Lot Varmin

Go to new information about Lot Varmin

Able-bodied Seaman
“H.M.S. Noble”
Awarded the Order of St Stanislaus (Russian)

Born - Plymouth
Died - 31st March, 1919 - aged 40yrs

Buried at Llanfabon (New) Cemetery, Nelson

Son of Edward and Mary Ann Varman
Husband of Laura Lydia Bevan


Early entry
This entry has intrigued me. I cannot find any references or information at all about this entry. However, speaking to Bert Richards, a former member of the Nelson Historical Society I have found out this information.

Lot Varmin's mother used to run a chip shop in High Street, Nelson. The chip shop is now a private dwelling. It was first known to be a public house called 'The Boot'. It was later changed to become a private house and then became the chip shop run by Lot Varmin's mother. Afterwards it became a butchers but then reverted to the private house as it is to this day.

When Lot Varmin's mother married, she became a Vickery. The Vickery family were related to the Vaux family. I am not sure if there are any living relatives in the area.

On 3rd May 2007 I was kindly granted access to the inside of St Mabon's Church, Llanfabon by Father Chris Reaney. Inside the Church is a memorial which shows that A.B. Lot Varmin actually served on H.M.S. Noble.
According to records, H.M.S. Noble was an 'M' (Moon) class destroyer that was part of the 12th Destroyer Force in the Battle of Jutland. It was launched on 25th November 1915 and was sold in November 1921 for scrap. I am still researching this and will update the site when I have more information.

New Information

Since the last update, I have been contacted by a Rae Gordon. Rae is a descendant-relative of Lot Varmin and we have agreed to meet in order that this information can be correctly placed in this site.

Rae has already supplied the following information...

Lot Varmin was one of four brothers that served in The Great War. One was in the Rifle Regiment, one was a Chief Petty Officer in His Majesty's Navy while the other is yet to be traced.

Lot had been awarded The Order of St Stanislaus by the Russian authorities. He was discharged from the Navy in 1918 on medical grounds and was given a sum of money to start a business. (Maybe the chip-shop mentioned above was that business). It seems, also, that the information above regarding Lot's mother becoming a Vickery may apply to his wife. This information is corroborated by Lot Varmin's headstone which tends to show that Lot's wife Laura may have married a John Vickery. Laura died on 20th November 1957 aged 73yrs, while John Vickery died on 19th August, 1963 aged 76yrs.

I have since uncovered a document that shows that Lot and Laura had a child named Vivian Thomas Varmin, who would have been born sometime before December 1907.

Lot Varmin's headstone

Lot himself actually died on 31st March, 1919 aged 40yrs. He is buried in Llanfabon cemetery, Nelson.

The photograph of his headstone (left) has been generously provided by Rae Gordon

I am certain that there will be more information being added to this entry.

More information

On 31st May, 2007 I received a letter from Brian Phillips of Nelson. Mr Phillips has given me the further information below that I will need to confirm.

The 1881 census shows that there were two persons called Varmin living in Nelson, Glamorgan. They were Fred and Henry. Fred is shown as having been born in 1876 and Henry in 1874, both born in Plymouth. At this time they were both lodging in a house in Heol Fawr, Nelson.

Brian has also been able to give me further information about Laura, Lot’s wife.
Her full name was Laura Lydia Bevan. She was born in Pontypridd, Glamorgan. There are descendants still living in the Nelson area that I will hopefully make contact with.

From the 1881 census the Varmin address was shown as West Street, Woolavington, Somerset. At this time the family name was recorded as Varman, not Varmin.
The records show that the following persons lived at that same address:

Edward Varman, 36 years - a pensioner, born Woolavington, Somerset
Mary Ann Varman, 35 years - a laundress, born in Devon
Emily Varman, 12 years - a scholar, born in Stonehouse, Plymouth
John Henry Varman, 7 years       ~ do~
Frederick Edward Varman, 4 years   ~ do ~
Lott Varman, 2 years           ~ do ~

Lot Varmin’s father, Edward, was baptized in Woolavington in 1844. He served in the marines from 1863 until 1879 and returned to Woolavington only to be killed in an accident with a loaded hay cart in 1886. [Information from Godfrey Hebdon, Church Warden at Woolavington, Somerset]

There are also other records showing the following at that address with the slightly different spelling of the family name that follows the name recorded for Lot on the Nelson memorial:
William Varmin, born in 1882, and
Annie Varmin, born in 1886, around the time that records also show Edward Varmin (Varman) as having died.

It appears that Lot’s mother then remarried to a James Cox. On 1891 census reports, there is a record that Lot, William and Annie are shown as ‘Cox’ themselves.

As earlier stated, I have some leads to surviving family members from Laura who I will try and make contact with. Hopefully, I will be able to confirm this information and produce a history of Lot Varmin and his family.


March 13th 1915.

Lot Varmin of 11 Thomas Street, Nelson is home on leave from his ship, H.M.S. Jupiter. He was on navy reserve.

June 10th 1916.

North Sea Battle - Tuesday morning, Lot Varmin, A.B., whose home is at 11, Thomas Street, Nelson arrived at Nelson for a few days rest leave, having travelled from Scotland overnight. He informed our representative that his boat, a destroyer, had taken part in the great naval battle of last week off the coast of Denmark [The Battle of Jutland - records show HMS Jupiter was a battleship but never took part in the Battle of Jutland, so Lot must have transferred from HMS Jupiter to HMS Noble between March 1915 and May 1916.]
Whilst very reluctant to give any details of the fight, Seaman Varmin said he was positive that at least 22 German ships were sunk. It was an ordeal he never wished to go through again, and one which he would never forget. Whilst the battle was on, the British sailors had no thought of possible danger, but devoted themselves to the task of wiping out the enemy. He now wears the medal and ribbon of the Russian Order of St Stanislaus, which was presented to him a month ago by the Russian Government in recognition of his service to wounded Russians when serving on HMS Jupiter during the early stages of the war. This gallant sailor who is a native of Nelson, was a reservist when war broke out, and has seen a great deal of fighting. This is his third visit home on rest leave and he was accorded a warm reception by family and friends, who were glad to find that he had escaped uninjured in the great sea fight. He returned to his base Friday.

April 5th 1919.

The death occurred on Monday evening from a sharp attack of pneumonia of Mr Lot Varmin, 9, High Street, Nelson, one of our discharged local heroes. Deceased who was in his 41st year had served 12 years in the Royal navy, having joined when a boy. He was on the reserve when war broke out and was the first Nelson man to rejoin the force.
During the war he served on His Majesty’s ships “Jupiter”, “Benbow” and “Noble” and whilst on the latter, took part in the Famous Battle of Jutland. He also saw service in the White Sea where HMS Jupiter acted as a Russian hospital ship and whilst on this boat he was awarded the Russian Order of St Stanislaus for gallant services and devotion to duty. Continued exposure to the elements in the North Sea, however, soon undermined his splendid constitution, and he was discharged a 12 month ago with a pension. Being unable to work underground he set up a small business and attended to it up to last Wednesday week when he was taken with the illness to which he succumbed on Monday evening.
Funeral held Saturday 5th April 1919 with full military honours. The late Mr Varmin belonged to a fighting family, 2 of his brothers, Harry and Will having served in the army, whilst another brother, Fred, has completed 25 years service in the navy and is now Chief Petty Officer on “H.M.S. Impregnable”
Deceased was married to the youngest daughter of Mr Tom Bevan (Mason) who is left with one son to mourn her loss.
Principal mourners:- Mrs Varmin, wife, Master Vivian, son, Chief Petty Officer Fred Varmin, brother, Mr and Mrs Will Varmin, brother and sister-in-law, Mr and Mrs Reynolds, Nelson, Mr and Mrs Addicott, Caerphilly, Mr James, Sirhowy, brother-in-law and sister, Mr Tom Bevan, father –in-law.

[Source: Merthyr Express]

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