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Frederick Robert Knight O/N 235787 (Ch)

by Barrie Downer

Frederick Knight was born on 3rd Mar 1889 at Romford in Essex. His address on joining was given as 24, Shakespeare Road, Romford. On leaving school he was employed as a Warehouse Boy. He joined the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class at HMS Boscawen on 6th Feb 1906 and was rated up to Boy 1st Class on 6th May 1906. On 18th May

1906 he was drafted to the 12,000 ton Cruiser HMS Sutlej. He was next drafted to the 3,400 ton Light cruiser HMS Thetis on 15th Sep 1906 but this was only a short draft as he then joined the 16,350 ton Battle Ship HMS Africa on 6th Nov 1906. He was rated Ordinary Seaman on 3rd Mar 1907 and Able Seaman on 3rd Feb 1909.

Frederick Knight remained in HMS Africa until 15th Feb 1909 and was then drafted ashore to HMS Pembroke (the Royal Naval Barracks) at Chatham on 16th Feb 1909 before being drafted to HMS Ganges II - the Depot Ship of the Training Establishment at Shotley, Harwich on 26th Feb 1909.

Frederick Knight returned to HMS Pembroke for one week on 9th Sep 1910 before joining HMS Acteon (the Torpedo School) at Sheerness for HMS Charger on 16th Sep 1910. He qualified as an Able Seaman Torpedo-man and was then drafted to the Destroyer Depot Ship HMS Blenheim for the 810 ton Torpedo Boat Destroyer HMS Beagle on 10th Oct 1911. He again returned to HMS Pembroke on 18th Nov 1911 before being drafted back to HMS Acteon on 21st Feb 1912. He returned to HMS Pembroke on 18th Jun 1912 awaiting draft to the 13,550 ton Cruiser HMS Natal on 20th Aug 1912.

The draft to HMS Natal lasted until 19th Mar 1913 when Frederick Knight returned to HMS Pembroke for three weeks before joining HMS Vernon (the Torpedo School at Portsmouth) on Apr 1913 for his 'Leading Torpedo Operators Course'. On completion of his LTO Course he was drafted back to HMS Pembroke to await draft to the 14,000 ton Battle Ship HMS Russell on 30th Sep 1913. His Commanding Officer in HMS Russell was Captain William Bowden-Smith, Royal Navy. He qualified educationally for Petty Officer on 2nd Dec 1913.

Frederick Knight served in HMS Russell until 23rd May 1915 when he was drafted to HMS Dolphin at Gosport 'for Submarine Training'. A draft to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS Vulcan 'for Submarines' followed on 27th May 1915.

On 22nd Jun 1916 he was drafted to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS Arrogant (4th Submarine Flotilla) at Dover 'for Submarines'. Frederick Knight passed his 'Professional Examination for Torpedo Gunners Mate' on 24th Jan 1917 and he was then drafted to HMS Maidstone (9th Submarine Flotilla) at Harwich 'for Submarines' on 11th Feb 1917.

Frederick Knight was drafted to HMS Lucia (10th Submarine Flotilla) at South Bank, Middlesborough 'for Submarine C22' on 1st Jul 1917. He was rated Leading Seaman on 1st Aug 1917. Submarine C22 transferred to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS Hebe on 14th Oct 1917. He remained in Submarine C22 until 6th Feb 1918 when he was noted as drafted to HMS Dolphin 'Sick'. He was then loaned to HMS Vernon on 27th Apr 1918 'for Torpedo Gunners Mates Course' and then, after 'Qualifying' returned to HMS Dolphin 'Additional' on 4th Oct 1918. One month later, on 5th Nov 1918 he was drafted to HMS Lucia (7th Submarine Flotilla) 'for Submarine E27'. His Commanding Officer in Submarine E27 was Lieutenant Alec M Carrie, Royal Navy. During his time in Submarines his address was given as 54, Cardiff Road, Watford, Hertfordshire.

Frederick Knight married a Miss Susannah Sparkes in 1917 and they later had one son and four daughters. Frederick Knight was demobilised on 8th Apr 1919.

On 27th Jun 1921 he joined the Royal Fleet Reserve and was given the RFR Official No. of 13440. He also volunteered (on 27th Jun 1921) to rejoin the Submarine Service if he was called up for Mobilisation. He was awarded the 'trio' of World War One medals consisting on the '1914-1915 Star, the 'British War Medal' and the 'Victory Medal' on 15th Sep 1921. He completed his Annual RFR Drill each year up until 1928 and, it is understood, he finally left the Royal Fleet Reserve in 1929. In 1929

Frederick Knight was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and he lived for the rest of his life at 10, Primrose Gardens, Bushey, Hertfordshire. Susannah Knight died in 1953 and Frederick Knight died in 1958. They were both buried in the Cemetery of the Bushey Congregational Church (now the Bushey United Reform Church).

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