HE DIED without ever knowing he was a father.
That was the heartbreaking revelation made by relatives of one of those killed in the Battle of Jutland 100 years ago.
Ernest Lightfoot died alongside almost 1,300 others when his ship, the battlecruiser HMS Queen Mary, was sunk by the Germans.
The 23-year-old didn’t know his wife Ellen was three months’ pregnant with his son, who would also be named Ernest.
Now his grandchildren Roger and Patricia Lightfoot have told of their family’s story after attending the memorial service in Southsea yesterday.
Speaking of the day, Patricia, 67, said: ‘It really brings it home to us now, the sacrifices that our parents went through.’
The pair remember visiting Hayling Island with their dad, who would pay his respects to his late father, who followed in Ernest senior’s footsteps in joining the Royal Navy.
Roger, 70, added: ‘I’m incredibly proud of my grandfather.’