Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

Although there is no record of Frederick William living in Portsmouth prior to 1911, he certainly did so at the outbreak of the Great War, which made him eligible to be included on the Cenotaph in Guildhall Square. The fact that he is buried in Portsmouth creates a second, indelible, link to the town.
Born in Bishopston, East of Newhaven in Sussex, in 1869, Frederick William was the son of J. and Annie Isaac. He doesn't seem to have appeared in any of the following census returns until 1911, but as he was in the Royal Navy for much of that time it's assumed he was serving at sea. He was certainly at home in 1899 when he married his wife Annie who was born in Portslade, Sussex but absent again at the census of 1901 when Annie and their son Frederick jnr. were listed as still living at Portslade.
The 1911 census lists Warrant Officer, Gunner Frederick William Isaac at the naval residence in Edinburgh Road, Portsmouth whilst Annie was at the family home of 30 Connaught Road, North End, just off London Road. With her were Frederick jnr. and a second son Albert who had been born in Portsmouth in 1904.
Immediately after the outbreak of the Great War Frederick William was serving aboard Torpedo Boat Destroyer 85 patrolling in the English Channel. From December 1915 he was engaged in the transport of troops to the Western Front until posted to Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was present at the sinking of one of the Union Castle Liners and assisted in the rescue of passengers and crew. He was accidentally drowned whilst on duty in January 1919 and was buried in Portsmouth.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) lists Frederick William Isaac, Chief Gunner, Royal Navy, HMS Changuinola, died on 30/01/1919, age 50. Buried at Kingston Cemetery, Portsmouth, (Grave Ref: Timpson's 1.43.). Son of J. and Annie Isaac, of Portslade, Sussex; husband of Annie M. Isaac, of 49, London Avenue, North End, Portsmouth.
Frederick Isaac is commemorated on the Cenotaph in Guildhall Square. He is listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War', Section X, p317.
Tim Backhouse
February 2015