John Hart is someone whose life is destined to be a mystery. He lies at rest in the Woodlands Cemetery in Gillingham, Kent. His gravestone simply states that he was a Donkeyman for the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, and that he passed away on 17th May 1917.
Sadly, without a date or location of birth, it is impossible to narrow down any historic records to a specific John Hart.
The Royal Mail Steam Packet Company was a shipping company that transported goods and travellers around the world. Primary routes included the Americas, although it is impossible to confirm which countries John would have visited. His job as a Donkeyman, however, was to help pilot the vessel.
Unfortunately, there is little more to be determined about John’s life. Given that he is buried in a cemetery close to the Naval Dockyard in Chatham, it is likely that this is a port that he sailed out of or into on a regular basis. Sadly, we are unlikely ever to know.