Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Frederick was born on 10th October 1880 and baptised in St Stephen’s, South Shields, on 29th March, 1882. His parents were Thomas (TH103) Wouldhave and his wife Louisa formerly Blair.
Thomas and Louisa had married in Gateshead in April 1869 and they lived in South Shields. Thomas was born in Leeds in 1838, his father, Thomas (TH101), was a cabinet maker. Thomas however did not follow the family tradition of cabinet making but worked in the iron industry on the South Tyne. In the 1901 census, at the age of 63, he was a church caretaker. His death is registered in the first quarter of 1911, aged 73. Louisa was born in South Shields and died in the fourth quarter of 1924.
Frederick (Fred) was a labourer in the Shipyards in the 1901 census and his service record (National Archives, ADM242/0010/01/1148) with the Royal Navy indicates that he joined up on 19th February 1903 for a period of 12 years. In the 1911 census he was on board HMS St George at Clee, Great Grimsby, as a stoker in the engine room. The advent of war resulted in Frederick continuing in service after his twelve years.
In November 1916, Frederick was promoted to Leading Stoker on HMS Conquest (a C-class light cruiser). On firing practice in the North Sea off the Thames estuary on 13th June 1917 HMS Conquest hit a mine. This caused serious damage to the ship, specifically the forward engine room, and caused a number of fires including in the “stokers’ bath room”.
The report of the Court of Enquiry into this incident is available to view in the National Archives (ADM137/3790). According to the Captain’s report the ship was mined at 11.40 on 13th June. The enquiry concluded that no blame was attached to anyone on board the ship, although later comments suggested that the ship had been manoeuvred unnecessarily close to known dangers.
In the mining of HMS Conquest, 7 crew were killed, 10 seriously wounded, including Frederick, 10 slightly injured (five of whom remained on duty), and a further 20 crew were very slightly injured and remained on duty. From the casualty lists, Frederick suffered multiple burns.
All the viable casualties were passed onto a trawler (HMT Marlow) and thence to RNSQ Shotley. The Conquest was towed by HMS Curacao toward Chatham. Although Frederick’s service record states that HMS Conquest was sunk by the mine, this was not the case and it was towed back to dock.
Frederick was treated for his burns but died of his injuries 8 days later on 21st June. He was buried in Harton Cemetery, South Shields. His mother, Louisa, was named as his next of kin. Her address at the time was 312 South Parmerston St, Tyne Dock. Frederick’s name is recorded on a war memorial which was originally in St Mary’s Churchyard, South Shields, but is now at Tyne Dock.
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