Herbert West (Ch) K 21136, Stoker 1st Class
Updated: Jul 20, 2022
Herbert was born in the small village of Sedgeford, east of Heacham, close to the Norfolk coast on 24th March 1894.
He was one of seven children born to parents John and Susannah and by the 1901 census when Herbert was 7, the family were recorded in Whittington, a small village north of Thetford Forest, where John worked on a farm.
Ten years later Herbert, his parents and just one older sibling, along with a boarder, were recorded on the 1911 census, residing at Ongar Hill Farm, Terrington Marsh, near Kings Lynn. Herbert worked on the farm along with his father and brother, handling the horses.
The possibility of better pay or the thought of a different life prompted Herbert to join the Navy as a Stoker 2nd Class on 31st October 1913 where he trained at HMS PEMBROKE II until 31st March 1914. He was posted to the re-commissioned battleship (following its re-fit) on 1st April 1914 where he served for over 3 years - he was held in cells for 14 days in July 1914, rose to Stoker 1st Class on 15th November 1914 and was aboard during the Battle of Jutland.
Herbert was 5’9” tall with brown hair and blue eyes and his Star, Victory and British medals were awarded to his father after his death. He is remembered on the Terrington St Clement War Memorial and Chatham Naval Memorial.
#293 - 807/843
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 FreeBMD
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: 909
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: 010 (1914 - 1919)
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/10; Scan Number: 0973
Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 Class: ADM 171; Piece: 118
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