David was born on 27th September 1898 to Herbert and Mary Ann (nee Meekings), in Newbourne, a small village outside Ipswich, Suffolk.
On the 1901 census David, aged two years old, lived at Lower Farm, Newbourne with his parents, along with a 22 year old boarder.
The family remained at the address for the following ten years where another two brothers for David were born. On the census, in 1911, David attended school, aged twelve.
David left school and followed his father into working on the land and began as a farm labourer, presumably for the farm where the family lived. Possibly influenced by Lord Kitchener’s famous recruitment poster of January 1915, David signed up to the Navy as a Boy 2nd Class on 21st January 1915, beginning his training just east of his village, at Shotley Barracks on the Suffolk peninsular. He was recorded as being 5’6” tall, with brown hair, brown eyes, with a burn scar on the inside of his left wrist and a scar in the middle of his left shin.
David rose in rating to Boy 1st Class on 12th May 1915, the day he left his home county and was transferred to the Chatham base, HMS PEMBROKE I, in Kent, the following day, 13th May 1915 where he waited for his first vessel posting. He was posted to HMS VANGUARD on 14th May 1915 still as a Boy 1st Class and served aboard the battleship at the Battle of Jutland.
David was killed aged just 18. His Star, Victory and British war medals were awarded to his father following his death, his pension was claimed by his mother. He is remembered on the Chatham Naval Memorial and locally on the small memorial in his village of Newbourne.
#299 - 303/843
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 Free BMD
1901 & 1911 England Census
National Archives - ADM 188/716/34772
British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Admiralty: Naval Casualties, Indexes, War Grave Rolls and Statistics Book, First World War.; Class: ADM 242; Piece: Piece 008; Piece Description: Piece 008 (1914 - 1919)
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/8; Scan Number: 0466
Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 Class: ADM 171; Piece: 102
WWI Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 Western Front Association; London, England; Pension Record Cards; Reference: 074/0337/FRO-FRY
Photo courtesy of John Ogden and the Frost family.