Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

HM Dockyard in Portsmouth has long been a magnet for men seeking employment in trades associated with ships and seamen. Often, having found the work, such men cast around for a local women to marry and start a family. In this case the man was Frederick Harold Essery's father Joseph James Essery who had been born at Stonehouse in Devon in 1859 and who found work at the Dockyard as a Shipwright. The local woman he met was Emily Charlotte Dipnall who had been born at Portsea in 1864.
Joseph had arrived in Portsmouth in the early 1880s and married Emily in 1884. At the time Emily had been working as a dressmaker and living at home (49 North Street, Portsea) with her parents Alexander, a printer, and Naomi, also a dressmaker, both of whom were Portsmouth born and bred. Joseph and Emily set up home a few doors from her parents at 34 North Street, probably where their first child Ernest was born in 1886. A second son, Frederick Harold Essery followed a year later.

In the 1890s the family moved to 8 Cumberland Street, also in Portsea, and over the next 15 years expanded by the addition of six further children.
Frederick Harold entered the Higher Grade School on Victoria Road North, Southsea in 1899, and at the end of his third year he passed the Examination for Dockyard Apprentices and entered the Yard as a Shipwright. He had a successful career in the Dockyard School and eventually joined the Navy as a Carpenter. He served successively on the Britannia, the Black Prince, and the Terrible. He was active in organising entertainments, and was a prime favourite among officers and men.
In 1911 Frederick married Edith Mary Mills, probably in the same quarter that she gave birth to their son. Frederick remained in the navy and at the outbreak of the Great War found himself aboard HMS Bulwark which was lost when she was blown up in Sheerness Harbour on 26th November, 1914. His body was never recovered.
Further Information
The photograph and some of the information above is taken from a memorial booklet published by Southern Grammar School.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website lists Shipwright Frederick Harold Essery, (345081), Royal Navy, HMS Bulwark, date of death, 26/11/1914, remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 5). Son of Joseph and Emily Essery, of Portsmouth; husband of Edith Mary Holwell (formerly Essery), of 8, Kimberley Rd., East Southsea, Portsmouth.
Frederick Essery is remembered on the Southern Grammar School WW1 Memorial and on the Cenotaph. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War'