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Frederick Freeman - RNR, S 2938 Stoker.

Frederick was born on 4th March 1894 in the small Suffolk village of Middleton. He was one of 13 children, the 10th born to Ernest and Harriet Jane Cooper.

On the 1901 census Frederick and his family were recorded living at the Causeway in Middleton; several of Frederick’s siblings had already left the family home, Frederick himself aged 7, went to school.

Map showing area of Suffolk Middleton village is situated

Ten years later, on the night of the 1911 census he was recorded in Penzance, Cornwall aboard a fishing vessel which was harboured in the Dock for the evening.

He was noted as being a Fisherman Cook - the skipper of the steam drifter, Remembrance, and one other hand were

also from the village of Middleton, the rest of the crew from nearby Suffolk settlements.

Following the outbreak of the First World War, Frederick readily signed up to the Royal Navy Reserve, placing his name down on 22nd August 1914, recorded as 5’6” tall with blue eyes.

He was dispatched 2 days later from Lowestoft to Chatham where he remained in training and waiting to be posted to a Royal Navy vessel. His posting came on 15th October 1915 when he was sent to serve aboard HMS VANGUARD, the dreadnought in Scapa Flow. He remained aboard until 20th January 1917, having participated in the Battle of Jutland the previous year. Frederick returned to HMS Pembroke (Chatham) for 10 days before returning to HMS VANGUARD, aboard her during the evening of 9th July 1917 and caught in the explosion.

He is still very much remembered in his little village of Middleton, mentioned on the local war memorial, a cross of remembrance dedicated to him each year.

(#43 - 299/843)


1901 & 1911 England Census

The National Archives Admiralty: Naval Casualties, Indexes, War Grave Rolls and Statistics Book, First World War.ADM 242; 014; (1914 Jan 01 - 1919 Dec 31)

CWGC Register

The National Archives Admiralty: Naval Casualties, Indexes, War Grave Rolls and Statistics Book, First World War.; Class: ADM 242; 008; Piece Description: Piece 008 (1914 - 1919)

Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/8; Scan Number: 0455

Royal Naval Reserve Service Records Index, 1860-1955 - National Archives

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