Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

In 1874 William Harold's father Charles married Harriett Bridle Follett in Bridport, Dorset where both of them had been born in 1855. At the time Charles was probably already a seaman and though there's no clear evidence to show whether this was with the Merchant or Royal Navy it was probably the latter as he and Harriett had moved to Portsmouth by 1878.
The 1881 census shows Charles and Harriett at 21 Railway View, Fratton with three children, Ada, Frederick and Charles who had been born in 1875, 1878 and 1880 respectively. By 1891 they had moved round the corner to 12 Holloway Street and three more children had been born, Beatrice (in 1884), Arthur (in 1886) and Harriett (in 1889). By the time of the 1901 census Charles had left the navy and taken a job as a stoker at Gunwharf, the family had moved to 6 Telephone Road, off Fawcett Road, in Southsea and two further children had been born, William Harold (in 1893) and Violet (in 1906).
At the outbreak of the Great War William Harold was already in the Royal Marine Artillery and had been since at least 1911. In 1916 he was a gunner aboard HMS Lion when on 31st May the ship took part in the Battle of Jutland as Vice Admiral Beatty's flagship. The Lion suffered a serious fire which could have destroyed the ship had it not been for the bravery of turret commander Royal Marine Major Francis Harvey who ordered the magazine flooded, for which he received a posthumous Victoria Cross. It seems probable that Gunner William Froome lost his life in the same incident.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) lists William Harold Froome, Gunner, Royal Marine Artillery, HMS Lion, died, 31/05/1916. Commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, (Panel 21). Son of Charles and Mrs. H. B. Froome, of Portsmouth.
William Froome was also commemorated on the former WW1 Memorial at St. Matthew's Church, the WW1 Memorial Panel at the Royal Marines Museum (as Froome WF) and on the Cenotaph, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth. He is not listed in "The National Roll of the Great War", Section X.
Tim Backhouse
January 2015