Hubert Philip Banks was born on 13th September 1896 in Tottenham, London and was one of eight children to Wilfrid and Mary Banks. Wilfrid was a gas engineer, but when he left school, Hubert found work as a clerk. By the time of the 1911 census, the family had moved to Edmonton.
Hubert had a sense of adventure, and wanted a career that reflected that. On 23rd September 1913, he enlisted in the Royal Navy; as he was underage at this point, he was given the role of Boy. Within a year he turned 18 and was formally given the rank of Ordinary Seaman.
After initial training at HMS Pembroke – the shore-based establishment at the Royal Naval Dockyard in Chatham, Kent – he was assigned to HMS Cornwallis, a dreadnought class vessel that served in the Mediterranean. Hubert spent two years on Cornwallis, during which time he was promoted to Able Seaman.
Over the next few years, Hubert served on three more vessels – HMS Quernmore, HMS Agamemnon and HMS Europa. In between times, he was based back in Chatham before moving back to HMS Pembroke on a more permanent basis in July 1918.
It was while he was back in Kent that Hubert fell ill. He was admitted to the Naval Hospital in Chatham with pneumonia, and was to succumb to the lung condition on 30th October 1918. He was just 22 years of age.
Hubert Philip Banks was laid to rest in the Woodlands Cemetery in Gillingham, Kent, not far from the naval base he called home.