Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

Born at Brixton on the Isle of Wight in 1875, Frank Westbrook was probably always destined to follow his father Samuel into the Royal Navy and after doing so he went on to cement the Lovett family's connection with Portsmouth.
Samuel Lovett had also been born on the Isle of Wight, 32 years before Frank Westbrook. In 1864 he married another island native, the 23 year old Charlotte Reynolds, by which time he was probably already serving in the Royal Navy as a carpenter. Samuel and Charlotte remained based on the Isle of Wight until the 1880s when they moved to Portsmouth where they were found by the 1891 census living at 39 Garnier Street. Samuel was at sea at the time but the census recorded Charlotte with three of their children, Mary, John and Frank Westbrook, aged 23, 20 and 16 years respectively.
Shortly after the census was taken Frank Westbrook joined the Royal Navy where he was recorded by the 1901 census, serving as a Ship's Cook aboard HMS Phoebe in foreign waters. This was just a couple of months after he had married Portsmouth born Edith Ellen Lainson (the various registers differ somewhat over the spelling and order of her name). The earliest record we have of a home for Frank and Ellen (as she called herself) was 25 Coburg Street, Landport, in the 1911 census. By then they had two children, Frank Westbrook jnr. (b. 1906) and Nellie Frances (b. 1909).
After the outbreak of the Great War Frank Lovett was serving aboard HMS Kent when she was despatched to the Falklands Islands as part of the squadron commanded by Vice-Admiral Doveton Sturdee that was to hunt for the German East Asia Squadron led by Vice Admiral Maximilian von Spee. The Kent chased down and accepted the surrender of the Dresden before being posted briefly to the China Station and then home by May 1914. Records do not appear to show the Kent near the Falklands Islands again so it is odd that Frank Westbrook Lovett died and was buried there (according to CWGC records) in April 1916. Research on this matter is ongoing.
Further Information
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records Frank Westbrook Lovett Ship's Chief Cook (159802), Royal Navy, HMS Kent, age 41 years, date of death 05/04/1916. Buried at Stanley Cemetery, Falklands Islands (Grave Ref: I.805)). Son of Samuel and C. Lovett; husband of Ellen Lovett, of 14, Shearer Rd., Buckland, Portsmouth, England. Born in Isle of Wight.
Frank Lovett is also remembered on the Cenotaph in Guildhall Square. He is not listed in the National Roll of the Great War, Section X.
Tim Backhouse
March 2015