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  • Photograph published in the Nottingham Evening Post, 28 September 1914.
Person Details
10 Nov 1878
Sheffield Yorkshire
CWGC Additional information: 'He was the son of John and SA Smith of 15 Taylors Cottages, Melton Street, London Road, Nottingham, and the husband of Mrs E [Mary Lizzie] Smith of 7 Mafeking Terrace, Rupert Street, Wilford Road, Nottingham.' Frederick married Mary Lizzie Harriman in 1906 (J/F/M) when he was still serving in the Royal Navy. In 1911 they were living with his parents-in-law, Walter and Alice Harriman, at 72 Rupert Street, Meadows. According to the census, Frederick and Mary had had two children only one of whom survived, James Victor Smith (18 months b. 14 September 1909). At the time of Frederick's death he and his wife were living at 7 Mafeking Terrace, Rupert Street, Meadows. Their son James Victor married Fanny Burdin in 1932. In 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled they and their son were living in Nottingham. James died in 1965.
He was a labourer when he joined the Royal Navy on 8 March 1898 at the age of 19. His CS engagement (12 years) dated from 8 March 1898 and he transferred to the Royal Fleet Reserve on 12 March 1910 on completion of his engagement. In 1911 he was employed by the City Corporation as a 'stoker destructor'. He was mobilized before the outbreak of war and joined HMS Aboukir on 2 August 1914.
22 Sep 1914
3050092 - CWGC Website
Stoker 1st Class
HMS Aboukir Royal Navy
(RFR/CH/B/6480). Date and period of engagement: 8 March 1898, 12 years. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: Pembroke, 8 March 1898-7 March 1899 (Stoker 2nd Class); HMS Comus, 8 March 1899-17 April 1900 (Stoker, 1 October 1899); HMS Charybidis, 18 April 1900—2 May 1900; Pembroke I, 3 Macy 1900-18 September 1902; HMS Gleaner, 19 September 1902-16 December 1903; HMS Jason, 17 December 1903-29 May 1905; Pembroke, 30 May 1906-30 June 1905; HMS Juno 1 July 1905-14 July 1907 (Stoker 1st Class, 1 July 1906); Pembroke II, 15 July 1907-14 July 1907; HMS Blake, 20 July 1907-2 January 1908; Pembroke II, 3 January 1908-17 February 1908; HMS Cochrane, 18 February 1908-31 March 1909; HMS Berwick, 1 April 1909-18 January 1910; Pembroke II, 19 January 1910—11 March 1910 Frederick transferred to the Royal Fleet Reserve Chatham (B6480), on 12 March 1910 on completion of his continuous service engagement. He was mobilized before the declaration of war and joined HMS Aboukir on 2 August 1914. His RN record was annotated, 'NP 2259/14, ‘DD [discharged dead] 22 September 1914, Lost in the North Sea when HMS Aboukir was sunk by a German submarine.’ His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial. The action of 22 September 1914 was a naval engagement in which three obsolete British Royal Navy cruisers, HMS Aboukir, HMS Cressy and HMS Hogue, sometimes referred to as the ‘Live Bait Squadron’, were sunk by the German submarine U9 while on patrol in the North Sea. The ships were manned mainly by reservists approximately 1,450 sailors died in the incident, 527 of them serving in Aboukir. There was a public outcry at the losses and the incident eroded confidence in the British government and damaged the reputation of the Royal Navy at a time when many countries were still considering which side in the war they might support.
A number of Nottinghamshire men were lost in HM Ships Aboukir, Cressy and Hogue, 'The Live Bait Squadron', on 22 September 1914. The RN and RM War Graves Roll records that the relative who was notified of Frederick's death in 1914 was his mother, Mrs Gibbons, of 26 Melton Terrace, Melton Road, London Road, Nottingham. Nottingham Evening Post notice, 28 September 1914 (photograph): 'FJ Smith. 1st Class Stoker of Mafeking Terrace, Nottingham.' Frederick's photograph was published alongside that of another Aboukir casualty, Gunner WH Newton RMLI of Fisher Street, Nottingham. Letter published in the Nottingham Evening Post, 5 October 1914: “NOTTINGHAM MOTHER'S APPEAL. “Mrs. Gibbons, of 26, Melton-terrace, Nottingham, writes: “I am longing to trace the whereabouts of my son – F. J. Smith. He was a stoker on the Aboukir. His marks are a bunch of roses on each shoulder, 'Lizzie' tatooed on one arm, a fly, a Japanese lady, and a s...nake on the other; on one wrist a sailor's bust, on the other a lady's bust. “If you could trace his whereabouts, if alive, you would bring comfort to a broken-hearted mother.” “The name F. J. Smith does not appear in the official list published of survivors of the Aboukir.” Above item and photograph published 28 September 1914 courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918 Nottingham Post, 'Deaths', 7 October 1914: 'SMITH. On September 22nd in the North Sea disaster, Frederick James Smith, 1st Class Stoker, HMS Aboukir, husband of Mary Lizzie Smith, 7 Mafeking Terrace, Rupert Street.'
Remembered on


  • Photograph published in the Nottingham Evening Post, 28 September 1914.
    Frederick James Smith - Photograph published in the Nottingham Evening Post, 28 September 1914.
  • Commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent. (www.cwgc.org)
    Frederick James Smith - Commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent. (www.cwgc.org)