George Frederick Fenwick Bennett (Ch) J34932, Ordinary Seaman


George, known as Freddie, was the second child born on 23rd April 1889 to parents George Frederick Aubrey, an omnibus conductor and Charlotte (nee Downes). He was baptised 21st May 1899 at St Andrew’s Parish Church, Fulham and the family, at the time, lived at 4 Sherbrooke Road.


On the 1901 census the family of four (at the time) lived at 5A Edenvale Street along with George Snr’s mother Elizabeth, a widow. Within ten years, the family had grown to produce another 4 sisters for George and he became the only son. They were all recorded on the 1911 census living at 46 St Olafs Road, Fulham, a residence that had just 3 rooms. George Snr continued to work within the omnibus industry and it is presumed that Freddie attended school. His education began on 11th January 1904 when he was admitted to Langford Road School, Fulham along with his older sister Annie. Annie left in August 1904 to attend St Thomas’, Freddie remained at the school until 25th July 1906. The children’s home address at the time was recorded as 112 Townmead Road, which may have been a set of rooms under one single address as another family’s children, the Shrosbery’s, who were also admitted to Langford School on 11th January 1904 were similarly noted as living at 112 Townmead Road.


Freddie joined the Navy for a 12 year service, leaving his job as a vanguard, probably on a local railway. He was 5’2” tall with brown hair and brown eyes with a fair complexion .

He joined HMS POWERFUL for initial training from 26th January 1915 until 7th May 1915, as a Boy 2nd Class, rising to Boy 1st Class the day he transferred. He was sent to shore base HMS PEMBROKE I to await his first ship posting, which came just a week late. He embarked to HMS BRILLIANT on the 17th May 1915 and left on 23rd September 1915. He returned to HMS PEMBROKE I for a further month before being assigned to HMS VANGUARD on 27th October 1915. He saw action at the Battle of Jutland aboard the dreadnought still as a Boy 1st Class before rising to Ordinary Seaman on 30th April 1917. He was just 18 when he was killed.


Following his death, his pension was claimed by his mother, his Star, Victory and British war medals claimed by his father. He is remembered in perpetuity on the Chatham Naval Memorial.


#300 - 71/843



Sources:

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; London Church of England Parish Registers; Reference Number: P77/AND/008

1901 & 1911 England Census

London, England, School Admissions and Discharges, 1840-1911 London Metropolitan Archives; London, England; School Admission and Discharge Registers; Reference: LCC/EO/DIV01/LFD/AD/004

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: 716

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)

British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Admiralty and predecessors: Office of the Director General of the Medical Department of the Navy and predecessors: Service Registers and Registers of Deaths and Injuries. Registers of Reports of Deaths

CWGC Register

Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/7; Scan Number: 0305

World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 Western Front Association; London, England; WWI Pension Record Cards and Ledgers; Reference: 730/11PP

Photos courtesy of Liz Milne



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