Herbert was born on 20th November 1890 in Luton, Bedfordshire to parents Frederick and Annie and recorded several months later aged five months old living at 10 Tavistock Street in Luton, along with a slightly older brother Sydney.
On the 1901 census Herbert, aged ten, was the second of three boys, living with their parents at 8 Willsden (sp?) Road, Luton. Frederick worked as a straw hat blocker and Annie ran her own grocery shop.
Ten years later, on the 1911 census the family still remained together, living at 17 Burr Street, Luton (now an industrial area). All members of the family worked; Frederick was a purveyor of milk and dairy produce, running his own business, with Annie assisting. Sydney worked as a straw hat warehouseman, Herbert’s younger brother Frederick Jnr also worked with his parents in the business and Herbert worked in engineering as a hydraulic fitter.
Herbert left his engineering job and joined the Navy for twelve years service at the beginning of 1914. He was recorded as being 5’9” tall with brown hair, grey eyes and a fair complexion.
HMS PEMBROKE II - 01/01/1914 - 13/03/1914, training as Acting E.R.A 4th Class
HMS ANDROMACHE - 14/03/1914 - 01/08/1914
HMS PEMBROKE II - 02/08/1914 - 22/10/1914
HMS ACTAEON I - 23/10/1914 - 19/11/1914
HMS PEMBROKE II - 20/11/1914 - 20/11/194
HMS VANGUARD - 21/11/1914 - 09/07/917, rising to E.R.A 4th Class on 23/03/1915 and E.R.A 3rd Class on 31/12/1916, he was also aboard the ship during the Battle of Jutland. He married Elsie Sawyer in Driffield, East Riding Yorkshire while on leave in the spring of 1916.
His Star, Victory and British war medals were issued to his widow following his death, along with his pension. He is remembered locally on the Luton War Memorial and on the Chatham Naval Memorial, his body never found.
(#51 - 611/843)
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 Free BMD
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: 1032
England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005 General Register Office; United Kingdom; Volume: 9d; Page: 537
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: 009 (1914 - 1919)
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/9; Scan Number: 0890
Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 Class: ADM 171; Piece: 112
World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 Western Front Association; London, England; WWI Pension Record Cards and Ledgers; Reference: 149/0733/PER-PET
Photo courtesy of Luton News Archive and WorldWar1Luton.com