Shearer, George Bramato Brown
Leading Cook (S)
No. P/MX 59307, H.M.S. Hood, Royal Navy
Killed in action on Saturday 24 May 1941 (aged 27)
No known grave
Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 57, Column 3)
Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire, England (Panel 51 Column 2)
HMS Hood Book of Remembrance in St. John the Baptist Parish Church, Boldre in Hampshire
Portrush and District War Memorial
George Bramato Brown Shearer was born on 17 January 1914 in Church Street, Holywood and he was a son of Robert Shearer, a master mariner, and Margaret (Maggie) Shearer (nee Thompson). Initially named George William Shearer when his birth was registered on 4 February 1914, George was officially renamed George Bramato Brown Shearer on 8 July 1914.
[It is interesting to note that George Bramato Brown, who was born on 22 July 1890, served as a Second Lieutenant with the North Irish Horse during the Great War. A linen merchant in civilian life, George Bramato Brown was a son of George Herbert Brown and Kathleen Margaret Brown (nee Kertland) who lived at Tordeevra in Helen’s Bay. The Brown family owned the firm John Shaw Brown & Sons Ltd., Damask, Linen & Handkerchief Manufacturers, Royal Ulster Works, Edenderry.
George Bramato Brown’s sister Kathleen, who was born on 20 August 1885 at Tordeevra, married Leslie Porter; Captain Porter was killed in action during the Great War on 24 October 1916.
George Bramato Brown was a keen yachtsman and competed in many races; he was Vice-Commodore of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club, and Commodore of the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club.
No familial connection between George Bramato Brown and George Bramato Brown Shearer has been established.]
Robert Shearer and Maggie Thompson were married on 2 September 1902 in Castlerock Presbyterian Church, Co Londonderry. Robert Shearer, a ship’s master from Bangor, was a son of Robert Shearer, also a ship’s master. Maggie Thompson from Portrush, Co Antrim was a daughter of Joseph Thompson, a carter.
Robert and Maggie Shearer (nee Thompson) had at least six children:
Roberta Annie Margaret (born 11 March 1903 at Quay, Portrush; her father was living at Balloo, Bangor)
Sara Josephine (born 5 March 1905 at 44 Kerr Street, Portrush; her father was living at Balloo, Bangor; died 17 September 1938 in the Route District Hospital)
Robert (Rowe, born 11 December 1907 in Church Street, Holywood; during the Second World War he served with the RAF in Scotland)
Eileen Maud (born 25 June 1909 in Church Street, Holywood)
John Charles (Jack, born 22 April 1911 in Church Street, Holywood; during the Second World War he served with the Royal Artillery, No. 1449202)
George Bramato Brown (born 17 January 1914 in Church Street, Holywood)
Later the Shearer family lived at 25 Princess Street, Portrush. George Bramato Brown Shearer was a playing member of Portrush Hockey Club and a staff sergeant in the Boys’ Brigade.
George Bramato Brown Shearer joined the Royal Navy in 1939 and during the Second World War he served aboard HMS Hood. Nicknamed the Mighty Hood, HMS Hood was an Admiral-class battle cruiser built by John Brown & Company, Clydebank and she was commissioned in May 1920. On 24 May 1941 HMS Hood and HMS Prince of Wales were in the Denmark Strait between Greenland and Iceland when they intercepted the German warships Prinz Eugen and Bismarck. HMS Hood was hit by shells fired from both ships, but it was a shell fired from Bismarck which triggered the magazine explosion that destroyed the aft part of the ship. With her back broken she sank in less than three minutes. More than 1,410 men lost their lives including Lambert Charles Shepherd (Bangor) and John Gordon Morrison Erskine (Holywood).
Leading Cook (S) George Bramato Brown Shearer is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire, England (Panel 51 Column 2); in the HMS Hood Book of Remembrance in St. John the Baptist Parish Church, Boldre in Hampshire, and on the Portrush and District War Memorial.
There is a Shearer family grave headstone in Bangor Abbey Graveyard, Newtownards Road, Bangor, on which Leading Cook (S) George Bramato Brown Shearer’s father, Captain Robert Shearer, is commemorated but there is no reference on the headstone to George. Captain Robert Shearer was buried in Ballywillan New Cemetery, Portrush.