Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

When Charles Frederick was born in 1891 the White family were living at 70 St. George's Square, Portsea. His father Frederick William (b. 1865 in Gosport) was a brewer's clerk and would have worked in one of the many breweries nearby. Frederick had married Caroline Florence Hilliard (b. 1866 in Chelsea) in 1889 at Portsea and their first child Harry Pierce White was born the following year.
By 1901 Frederick had been promoted to brewer's manager and moved the family out to 107 Walmer Road in Fratton. In addition to Harry and Charles, three more children had been born - Doris (in 1895), Alfreda Florence (in 1898) and Arthur Douglas (in 1901). Sadly, Frederick did not live long enough to see his children reach maturity as he died in 1904, leaving Caroline to raise them on her own. At about the same time Charles Frederick began attending the Higher Grade School on Victoria Road North.

As she declared no source of income on any census return it's difficult to see how Caroline managed to support her growing family but one economy may have been to move the family out to an area where the rents were cheaper. By the 1911 census it was clear that she had chosen Alverstone Road, Milton, right behind the east end of Fratton Park. By that time however Charles Frederick had left school and passed the necessary examinations to secure a place on H.M.S. Fisgard as Boy Artificer. After completing his training he served as an Engine Room Artificer on H.M.S. Achilles.
At the outbreak of the Great War Charles Frederick was transferred to H.M.S. Queen Mary. On this ship he took part in the Battle of Heligoland Bight in the first month of the war and with her went into the Battle off the Coast of Jutland on the afternoon of the 31st May, 1916. Quite early in the conflict, but not before her own superb marksmanship had inflicted great losses on the enemy, the Queen Mary was struck by two shells causing her magazines to explode, sinking the ship. Over 1200 members of the crew were lost. Charles White was one of them.
Further Information
The photograph above is taken from a memorial booklet published by Southern Grammar School from which extracts also appear above.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website lists Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class, Charles Frederick Hilliard White, (272250), Royal Navy, HMS Queen Mary, date of death, 31/05/1916, age 25, remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 15). Son of Frederick William and Caroline Florence White, of 1, Ravenswood Rd., Croydon, Surrey. Native of Southsea.
Charles White 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'
Research Notes
Charles White's history is mirrored closely by another casualty of the war - Clarence Wilfred Wilkinson. Both Charles and Clarence attended the Secondary School between 1904 and 1906, passed examinations to become Boy Artificers aboard HMS Fisgard and qualified as ERA3, fought at the Battle of Jutland, during which Charles was killed to be followed 5 days later by Clarence. They are remembered on the same panel of the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.