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Frederick Brownjohn. (Ch) 291651, Mechanician.

Frederick was born on 29th December 1880 in Battersea, London to parents John and Sarah and baptised on 17th April 1886 at St Peter’s in the same parish. He was recorded on the 1881 census, the following year of his birth, living at 84 Grant Road in Battersea along with his parents and 3 older brothers. Ten years later, on the 1891 census, Frederick was recorded with John and Sarah and his six siblings living at Smith’s Cottage, York Road in Wandsworth.

He was previously a paperhanger before joining the Navy on 21st March 1899 for 12 years service

He was recorded as 5'6" tall, with light brown hair, blue eyes, a scar on his left thumb, a scar under his chin and a symbol of peace tattooed on his left forearm. He began his training at HMS PEMBROKE II as a Stoker 2nd Class - his service record follows:

HMS PEMBROKE II - 21/03/1899 - 03/07/1900, rising to Stoker on 28/07/1899

HMS VINDICTIVE - 04/07/1900 - 17/04/1901, aboard during the 1911 census, the vessel was anchored at Malta

HMS SURPRISE - 18/04/1901 - 07/11/1904, Frederick married Elizabetta Rickard on 24th May 1902 in Florina, Malta

HMS PEMBROKE II - 08/11/1904 - 27/02/1905

HMS SPARTIATE - 28/02/1905 - 02/11/1905

HMS TALBOT - 03/11/1905 - 04/12/1905

HMS LEVIATHAN - 05/12/1905 - 26/11/1906, rising to Leading Stoker on 07/04/1906

HMS BACCHANTE - 27/11/1906 - 17/02/1908

HMS PEMBROKE II - 18/02/1908 - 24/06/1908

HMS AGAMEMNON - 25/06/1908 - 15/12/1910, rising to Stoker Petty Officer on 30/04/1909, gaining his Stokehold Certificate on 09/09//1910

HMS PEMBROKE II - 16/12/1910 - 11/03/1911, rising to Acting Mechanician on 01/01/1913, he signed and filled out the 1911 census form for his household which included his wife and two young children living at Moat Cottage, Basildon, Essex

HMS VANGUARD - 12/03/1911 - 09/07/1917, rising to Mechanician on 01/04/1917. Frederick was awarded his Good Conduct Medal in 1914, medal number 44286 sent to him on 13th May 1914 while he was aboard VANGUARD, within the 1st Battle Squadron. Two years later his daughter May turned sixteen. Many of the officers aboard at the time were kind enough to sign an autograph book for her so that she received it on her birthday in January 1916. Signatures included Captain James D Dick (along with a little written note), Japanese Commander Eto, Edmund Cox, Staff Surgeon, along with Ship Surgeon W Barras.

Following Frederick’s death his pension was awarded to his widow to support their three children May, Fred and Rosie. His Star, Victory and British War medals were claimed by Elizabeth. His body was never recovered so he is remembered in perpetuity on the Chatham Naval Memorial.

The Brownjohn Family

(#114 - 116/843)


England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 - Free BMD

London, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906 London Metropolitan Archives; London, England; Board of Guardian Records, 1834-1906/Church of England Parish Registers, 1754-1906; Reference Number: p70/pet/002

1881, 1891, 1901 & 1911 England Census

Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services, 1848-1939 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services; Class: ADM 188; Piece: 470

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 007; Piece Description: Piece 007 (1914 - 1919)

CWGC Register

Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/7; Scan Number: 0536

World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923

Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 Class: ADM 171; Piece: 73

Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 Class: ADM 171; Piece: 97

Images courtesy of Ian Thorogood and Family

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