CWG: Stoker 1st Class Herbert Rose

Stoker 1st Class Herbert Rose

Herbert Hastings Rose was born on 19th August 1893 in the Somerset town of Frome. He was one of four children, all of whom were boys, to Hastings and Emily Rose. Hastings was a employed as a labourer, but he died young, passing away in 1900, when Herbert was only seven years old.

Emily was left raising her four boys alone – the youngest of whom was a mere babe-in-arms – and found domestic char work to bring in some money. By 1905, however, local carter Enos Bainton had taken the family under his wing, and the couple married.

The census return six years later found the family living in a small cottage near the centre of Frome. Herbert and his older brother, who were in their late teens by this point, were working with their stepfather, carting coal for a local merchant.

Herbert’s job was to stand him in good stead when hostilities broke out. When the call came in November 1915, he enlisted in the Royal Navy, and was employed as a Stoker 2nd Class. After his initial training on board HMS Vivid – the shore-based establishment in Plymouth – he was assigned to the cruiser HMS Constance. He served on board the ship for two years, gaining a promotion to Stoker 1st Class in the process.

After a month back in Plymouth, Stoker Rose was transferred to HMS Cambrian, another cruiser, on board which he spent three months. He then returned to HMS Vivid. It was during this time that Herbert fell ill. Admitted to hospital in Plymouth with pneumonia, this was to get the better of him; he passed away on 31st October 1918, aged just 25 years old.

Herbert Hastings Rose’s body was brought back to Somerset; he was laid to rest in the Dissenters’ Cemetery in Vallis Road, Frome.


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