Updated: Jul 20, 2022
Herbert was born on 2nd March 1893 in Watford, Hertfordshire to parents Alfred and Annie (Williams) and baptised the following month, on 7th April. He was the middle of three children on the 1901 census; Herbert was aged 8 and the family of five lived in Trinity Road, Ware, Alfred being the local Police Sergeant.
Herbert worked as an errand boy before joining the Navy for a 12 year service on 3rd May 1910, first training at HMS GANGES as a Boy 2nd Class. He remained at the Suffolk shore base until 29th August 1910, after rising to Boy 1st Class on 18th August 1910.
He was posted to his first ship, the pre-dreadnought HMS CAESAR on 30th August 1910 until 26th January 1911 then sent to shore at HMS PEMBROKE I for a month. His next ship was HMS ST GEORGE - he entered a short service aboard on 25th February until 13th April 1911, rising to Ordinary Seaman on his 18th Birthday, 2nd March 1911. He was also noted on the 1911 census here.
After returning to shore again to HMS PEMBROKE I for 5 weeks Herbert then joined the cruiser HMS AEOLUS from 22nd May 1911 until 3rd October 1913, rated to Able Seaman on 1st July 1912. He returned to HMS PEMBROKE I on the 4th October 1913 until 30th March 1914, joining the battleship HMS VANGUARD on 31st March 1914 after her refit. He rose to Leading Seaman on 1st May 1916 and was aboard the dreadnought during the Battle of Jutland.
Herbert was recorded as being 5'8" tall, with brown hair and blue eyes and a scar from a varicocele operation. Following his death, aged just 24 years old, he was awarded the Star, Victory and British war medals which were claimed by his father. His pension went to his parents.
(#72 - 433/843)
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 - Free BMD
England & Wales, Christening Index, 1530-1980
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: 663
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)
Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 Class: ADM 171; Piece: 106
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/8; Scan Number: 1113
World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 Western Front Association; London, England; WWI Pension Record Cards and Ledgers; Reference: 106/0493/JAM-JAR
Photo source - Jonathan Saunders