CWG: Leading Stoker Cecil Scribbens

Leading Stoker Cecil Scribbens

Cecil Walter Thomas Scribbens was born on 27th June 1885 in Taunton, Somerset. He was one of five children to George and Ann Scribbens. Sadly, George passed away when Cecil was a toddler, leaving his widow to raise her young family alone.

Ann initially found work as a laundress, and her eldest daughter, Alice, began working at the local silk mill when she left school. This brought in a little money, but with five children to feed and clothe, it must have been a struggle.

In 1894, Ann found love again, and married George Sully, a scull labourer, on Christmas Day 1894. The couple went on to have a child together, a son they called Arthur, and the new family set up home in Taunton.

When he left school, Cecil found work as a labourer, but he had a sense of adventure and a life on the ocean was calling him. In July 1903 he joined the Royal Navy as a Stoker 2nd Class and, after his initial training in Plymouth he was assigned to HMS Russell.

Stoker Scribbens’ term of service was twelve years and, during that time, he served aboard five vessels, and was promoted to Leading Stoker. War had broken out when his initial contract ended, so it was extended until the end of the hostilities.

After five years aboard HMS Cornwall and eighteen months on HMS Cleopatra, Leading Stoker Scribbens was assigned to HMS Concord, which would turn out to be his last vessel, in December 1916. He stayed with this ship for nearly three years until falling ill in June 1919.

Brought back to England, he was admitted to the Military Hospital in Taunton with pneumonia. Leading Stoker Scribbens died from this lung disease on 24th June 1919, at the age of 34 years old.

Cecil Walter Thomas Scribbens was laid to rest in the St James’ Cemetery in his home town.

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