Able Seaman Frank Brook

Service Royal Navy Service No. 234952
Rank Able Seaman
Ship:HMS Kilmaine
Date of Birth: 26/07/1889
Born Dawlish
Date of Death: 30/06/1920
Memorial: Dawlish Memorial Inscription BROOK F. A.B. ROYAL NAVY

Service History

Frank Brook left home in October 1905 and joined the Navy at Devonport as a Boy Seaman, 2nd class for training aboard the wooden hulk, H.M.S.IMPREGNABLE. He was then 15. He had given his birth year as 1889 but a registration for him appears in 1890 and this accords with the inscription on his coffin which showed his age as 29 at his death.

He progressed to Boy Seaman, 1st class in June 1906 and served until 26 July 1907 (theoretically aged 18!) when he was made up to Ordinary Seaman and signed on for 12 years.

He joined H.M.S.CUMBERLAND in May 1914 and was at the Spithead Review of the Fleet in July 1914. At the outbreak of war he was aboard until 30 November 1915 when he returned to barracks. He was next posted to H.M.S.DILIGENCE (OBEDIENT). H.M.S.DILIGENCE was a Depot Ship to the 12th Destroyer Flotilla and the OBEDIENT was an M Class Destroyer within the 12th Destroyer Flotilla, and he was on the books from 2 February 1916 to 14 May 1918, which included action in the Battle of Jutland.

He ended his war service with H.M.S.KILMAINE which was a Kil class patrol gunboat and based in the English Channel. He was given a free discharge on 15 March 1919 as an Able Seaman.

A footnote is to the effect that this was in error and is to be regarded as having been granted a free discharge on the date (i.e. a few months short of the 12 years).

Association with Dawlish

Frank Brook was one of ten children of Frank and Mary Brook of Dawlish. He died at Ivybank, St David's Hill, Exeter of pulmonary tuberculosis after a long illness and is buried in Dawlish Cemetery.

Frank Brook married Mary Stoneman in 1877. Mary was a wool spinner and the daughter of Philip and Grace Stoneman who lived at Hatherleigh Street, North Tawton.

Frank and Mary moved to Dawlish where he was an agricultural labourer living at Luscombe Home Farm, Dawlish, in 1881 with their first two children, George H Brook (1878-1894) and Arthur Brook (1880-1904).

By 1891 they had settled again, at 6 Queen Lane, Old Town Street, Dawlish. There were five additional children, all born in Dawlish: Alice, dau 8, (1883- ), Charles son 6, (1885- ), Ida, dau 4, (1887- ), William son 3, (1888- ), Frank son 8 mths (1889-1920).

Frank was already working as an errand boy for a dairy by 1901 when the family had moved along the street to 10 Queen Lane, and two more children had been added: Mary dau 8, (1893- ), Linda dau 4, (1897- ).

Further along Queen Lane at this time was the Harris family at No 3. John Harris had been born in Dawlish, ca 1864, and had married Loveday Stoneman, a serge weaver born in North Tawton ca 1859. They had four children the second of which was Winifred Ivy Harris (1894-1958). Frank married Winifred Ivy Harris in 1914. Winifred was a sister to Henry John Harris (q.v.) who died of wounds on 26 August 1918. (Harris and Stoneman Census extracts are documents in Henry John Harris profile).

Devon Roll of Honour
Additional Information Commonwealth War Graves Site

Next of Kin: Winifred Ivy Brook, widow
Last Known Address: Shiverstone Cottages, Dawlish Water, Dawlish

The grave of Frank Brook in Dawlish Cemetery

H.M.S.CUMBERLAND, a cruiser mainly used for training purposes.

Kil class sloop in dazzle camouflage, as per H.M.S.KILMAINE

Royal Navy Service record (National Archive, Kew) His name is inscribed on the west-facing supplementary panel to the Dawlish War Memorial.

Dawlish Gazette

Free BMD

Royal Navy Service Record (National Archives, Kew)

Wikipedia - 'Kil class sloop'

Refs from subscription websites:

Census records

Marriage and other refs