Frederick was born on 25th October 1869 in Awre, Gloucestershire to parents William and Jane (nee Asher), although his birth wasn’t registered until the following quarter, in 1870. He was baptised on November 28th 1869 in the parish of Awre.
The family can’t be found on the 1871 census, but in 1881, aged 11, Frederick was the eldest of three children. He was recorded attending school, while his father worked as an agricultural labourer on a farm. Sadly three years later, in March 1884, William died, aged 47. Perhaps pressure to provide an income for his mother persuaded Frederick to leave a life on the land, as he joined the Navy as a Boy 2nd Class on 25th October 1887, for 12 years. He was at that time 5'2" tall, brown hair and eyes, with no visible marks, scars or wounds.
He began his training at HMS IMPREGNABLE on 16th Oct 1885, transferring to HMS LION, a training ship, from 31st Oct 1885 to 28th Sept 1887, rising in rank to Boy 1st Class.
He then joined HMS TURQUOISE on 29th Sept 1887 which sailed to India. Frederick was rated as an Ordinary Seaman at the time of his posting to his next ship, HMS BACCHANTE on 12th Nov 1887 until 2nd March 1888. He was aboard HMS PENGUIN for a month before spending 6 months aboard HMS GARNET. He then moved to HMS STORK, a survey ship at the time, on 2nd Oct 1888, until 5th March 1891, rising to Able Seaman on 1st March 1890.
He was recorded as being held in Gaol (jail) for 15 days in 1890 due to 'absence'. We can assume this wasn't authorised!
On the 1891 census Frederick was recorded as being at home in Bread Street, Stroud with his widowed mother and younger siblings, his occupation being a Seaman in HM Navy, aged 22.
For 3 months in 1891 Frederick then trained at HMS VIVID (a shore establishment) at Devonport, as an Able Seaman, his service history followed:
HMS CAMBRIDGE - 17/06/1891 - 30/04/1892
HMS DEFIANCE - 01/05/1892 - 19/11/1892
HMS VIVID - 20/11/1892 - 21/11/1892
HMS SUPERB - 22/11/1892 - 11/01/1893
HMS VIVID - 12/01/1893 - 12/03/1893, Frederick married at the beginning of 1893 in Stoke Damerel while on leave.
HMS ROYALIST - 13/03/1893 - 11/05/1895
HMS MILDURA - 12/05/1895 - 15/09/1896, (spending another 5 days in cells)
HMS RINGAROOMA - 16/09/1896 - 20/09/1896
HMS MILDURA - 21/09/1896 - 04/12/1896
HMS RINGAROOMA - 05/12/1896 - 31/03/1897
HMS VIVID I - 01/04/1897 - 16/11/1897
HMS CAMBRIDGE - 17/11/1897 - 12/02/1898
HMS DEFIANCE - 13/02/1898 - 12/03/1898
HMS CAMBRIDGE - 13/03/1898 - 07/05/1898
HMS VIVID I - 08/05/1898 - 24/06/1898
HMS BENBOW - 25/06/1898 - 02/05/1899, rising to Leading Seaman on 02/02/1899
HMS VIVID I - 03/05/1899 - 15/05/1899
HMS BLONDE - 16/05/1899 - 02/06/1899
HMS VIVID I - 03/06/1899 - 30/09/1899. By this date Frederick had served his 12 years with the Navy, but signed up again. He was then 5'6" tall, with black hair, brown eyes and had two tattoos, one of a Brig (a sailing ship) on his left forearm and a mermaid image on his right forearm.
HMS GALATEA - 01/10/1899 - 24/10/1899
HMS HULL (posted to Morston and Hunstanton on the North Norfolk coast) - 25/10/1899 - 29/03/1903, passing for Petty Officer 2nd Class (Coast Guard in 1901) The 1901 census records Frederick living in Moreston, Norfolk with his wife and daughter.
EASTERN (posted to Hunstanton, Blyth Haven and Sea Horse) - 30/03/1903 - 05/09/1910, as Petty Officer 2nd Class (Coast Guard) from 01/04/1910. Frederick was given the opportunity to terminate his engagement due to his previous 22 years service, but he refused, preferring to remain.
WESTERN (posted to Prussia Cove and Porthallow) - 06/09/1910 - 31/07/1914. The 1911 census recorded Frederick as a Coast Guard within the Royal Navy, stationed at St Keverne, Cornwall with his wife and 6 children.
HMS VIVID I - 01/08/1914 - 24/08/1914, on the outbreak of war, he was recalled from Coast Guard service and transferred to the Battleship HMS VANGUARD on 25/08/1914 where he served during the Battle of Jutland. He was killed in the explosion, but was one of very few whose body was found and laid to rest (along with a fellow shipmate) at Lyness Naval Cemetery on Hoy, Orkney and is remembered locally on the St Keverne Memorial.
His Star, Victory and British war medals were claimed by his widow Sarah following his death.
(#133 - 262/843)
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 - Free BMD
Gloucestershire, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1913 Gloucestershire Archives; Gloucester, Gloucestershire; Gloucestershire Church of England Parish Registers; Reference Numbers: P30 in ½
England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915 - Free BMD
1881, 1891, 1901 and 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: 185
Norfolk, England, Register of Electors, 1832-1915
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: 008 (1914 - 1919)
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/8; Scan Number: 0243
World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 Western Front Association; London, England; WWI Pension Record Cards and Ledgers; Reference: 066/0291/EDG-EDW
Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 Class: ADM 171; Piece: 101
Memorial photo courtesy of Megan Jewell
Headstone image courtesy of Brian Budge
Medal images courtesy of Elizabeth Lancaster