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Person Details
07 Apr 1889
Beeston Nottingham
Frank was the son of Frank Rothera and his first wife Ada Mary Rothera (née Watson). His father was born in Nottingham in about 1861 (birth registered J/F/M Nottingham), the son of George Bell Rothera. He practised as a medical practitioner on his own account (MD Edinburgh 1887, MB & CM 1883, MRCS Eng 1885 (Universities: Edinburgh, Prague, Leipzig and Berlin); Member Nottingham Med. Chir. Soc and British Medical Association). Frank married Ada Mary Watson on 29 July 1887 in the parish of St Mary Magdalene, St Pancras, London, and they had at least three children of whom it is likely only Frank and his younger sister Gwendel (b. 17 September 1893) survived. In 1891 Frank and his wife Ada were living at West End, Beeston, Nottingham, with their two sons, Frank (2) and Ralph (under 1 month, b. Beeston). Also in the household was a female trained sick nurse, and two female servants, a nurse and a cook. Although the census gives the second son's name as Ralph no record has been found of the registration of a child of that name in 1891 and he does not appear on any subsequent census. However, there is a record of a Hubert Rothera born in 1891, birth registered A/M/J Basford, who died in 1892, death registered A/M/J Basford. Frank and Ada were still living in West End in 1901 with their two children, Frank (11) and Gwendel (7). Also in the house on the night of the census were two female servants, a cook and a housemaid. Ada Rothera died the same year on 10 August 1901 and two years later in 1903 her widower married Maud Mary Willet (marriage registered A/M/J Nottingham). Maud had been a teacher at a private school - possibly owned and managed by herself - and in 1901 had been living in West End, Beeston. Frank Alan joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in May 1904 when he would have been 15 years old and at the time of the next census in 1911 was serving as a sub-lieutenant in HMS Chelmer at Devonport. His sister, Gwendel (17), was at a private school in Darlington, while their father and stepmother, Maud (37), were now living at Old Manor House, Beeston. Gwendel married George AD [Duncan]Harvey in 1916 (marriage registered J/A/S Basford). Frank Rothera died on 5 January 1918 of double-pneumonia at the age of 56; his son was killed just eight months later. Gwendel lived to the age of 85, dying on 12 June 1979 (death registered June, Barnet, Middlesex).
He joined the Royal Navy in 1904 at the age of 15.
02 Aug 1918
3046669 - CWGC Website
HMS Ariel Royal Navy
Frank entered HMS Britannia (Training Ship) in May 1904. He was promoted midshipman 15 September 1905, acting sub-lieutenant 30 January 1909 and sub-lieutenant 30 March 1909, promoted lieutenant 1 October 1911. He was the captain of HMS Test 21 June 1916-12 November 1916 (Navy List October 1916), captain of HMS Hind 12 November 1916-July 1917 (Navy List August 1917) and in command of HMS Ariel, Twentieth Destroyer Flotilla, from July 1917 (Navy List November 1917). HMS Ariel was an Acheron class destroyer launched September 1911 and completed March 1912. Frank died when HMS Ariel hit a mine in the North Sea; he was lost along with 48 of the ship's company. His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial. 'In 1917, the Acheron-class destroyers Ferret, Sandfly and Ariel were converted to mine laying destroyers, capable of carrying 40 mines. Ariel served with the 20th Flotilla, and operated out of Immingham. On 2 August 1918, while conducting mine laying in the western end of the Heligoland Bight, the V-class destroyer Vehement sank after striking a German mine. In attempting to exit the minefield, Ariel lost her bow and sank in less than an hour. 49 lives were lost, including her commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Frank A Rothera.' (Wikipedia)
Two of the ship's company also lost on 2 August were K.21884 (P.O.) Petty Officer Stoker William Henry Harrison who was from Hucknall (Hucknall St Mary memorial) and Able Seaman Robert Harold Bee of Gedling (Gedling All Hallow's memorial). Probate: Rothera Ada Mary of Beeston Nottinghamshire (wife of Frank Rothera) died 10 August 1901 Administration (with Will) Nottingham 16 September to the said Frank Rothera MD. Effects £92. Nottingham Evening Post, Thursday 15 August 1901. ‘Sad Suicide at Beeston. Coroner (Mr E Williams) at Beeston this morning on the body of Mrs Ada Rothera, aged 40, of Beeston who died yesterday from the effects of belladonna poisoning. Dr Rothera of Beeston, husband of the deceased, said that his wife had suffered considerably from melancholia for the last three months. About six weeks ago she met with a carriage accident, from which she never thoroughly recovered. On Wednesday morning he was fetched home to see his wife, and found her suffering from the effects of poisoning from belladonna, which had been taken from his surgery. In conjunction with Dr Smith he tried to restore the deceased, but in spite of the efforts made death took place the same afternoon. Miss Willet said that she had practically lived with the deceased for the last three months. On Wednesday morning witness was with the deceased in the kitchen, but had occasion to leave her. On returning she found deceased lying at the foot of the stairs. Deceased said “I’ve done it.” A verdict of “Suicide whilst of unsound mind” was returned.’ (britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Probate: Rothera Frank of the Old Manor House Beeston Nottinghamshire MD died 5 January 1918 Probate Nottingham 12 February to Charles Lambert Rothera solicitor [sometime city coroner] and Tom Lambert lace dresser and dyer. Efects £6725 1s. ‘Dr Frank Rothera who died on January 5th from double pneumonia, aged 56, was the youngest son of the late Mr George B Rothera, solicitor, of Nottingham. He received his medical education at Edinburgh University, and graduated MB, CM in 1883 and MD in 1887; he also took the diploma of MRCS Eng in 1885. After a short experience in general practice in Devonshire, Dr Rothera settled at Beeston, where he was eventually appointed medical officer to the Beeston Urban District Council, which post he held at the time of his death. He was a member of the Nottingham Division of the British Medical Association’ (British Medical Journal, 2 February 1918) Probate: Rothera Frank Alan of Nottingham lieutenant in HM Army died 2 August 1918 at sea Administration Nottingham 29 November to Gwendel Harvey (wife of Duncan Harvey). Effects £382 3s. 10d. Probate: Harvey Gwendel of Arkley Lawn Nursing Home Arkley Barnet Herts died 12 June 1979 Probate Nottingham 16 October £18528. Article published 6th August 1918 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- 'KILLED. “LIEUT. FRANK ALAN ROTHERA, R.N., son of the late Dr. F. Rothera, of Beeston, was killed by a mine at sea on August 2nd. The deceased officer, who was 29 years of age, was educated at a naval school at Leigh, on the Solent, and entered the Royal Navy at an early age. He had had a very successful career.” Above article is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
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