DIED DISEASE WW1 BRITISH NAVY ROYAL NAVY MEDAL GROUP LEADING STOKER HORNBLOWER
WW1 British Royal Navy 1915 medal trio to Leading Stoker Hornblower, who ‘Died of Disease’, Sierra Leone 1918.
1914-15 Star, impressed named K.11836 F. E HORNBLOWER. ACT. L. STO. R.N.; War and Victory Medal, impressed named K.11836 F. E HORNBLOWER. L. STO. R.N.; Period I.D disc. Court mounted with copies service papers, medal roll & basic research.
Frederick Edwin Hornblower was born in at Newington Butts, London on 26/4/ 1892. A warehouse porter by trade. He enlisted in the Royal Navy at Chatham on 28/7/1911 and served aboard the Invincible-class battlecruiser H.M.S. Indomitable from 4/6/1912 to 31/12/1913. Returning to Chatham for a little over a year, he was then posted to H.M.S. Africa on 15/4/1914 and was engaged in regular sweeps of the English Channel and Northern Patrol; during such patrols, Africa and her sister ships often steamed at the head of divisions of the far more valuable dreadnoughts, where they could watch for mines or be the first to strike them. H.M.S. Africa was refitted at Gibraltar in March 1917 and her four 6-inch guns were raised a deck higher as the original siting meant they were awash in even moderately rough weather. She was then attached to the 9th Cruiser Squadron for service in the Atlantic patrol and for convoy escort duties between Sierra Leone and Cape Town. In September 1918, whilst anchored off Freetown, some of her crew became extremely ill due to the influenza pandemic that broke out that year; their numbers virtually doubled each day from less than a handful at the start of the month, until 9th September when 76 crew members were reported ill; on that day, Painter 1st Class W. N. Duckmanton died of pneumonia following a case of influenza. Five more crewmen died on 12th September. The next day, another eight perished. On 14th September, 10 more crewmen died; Africa sent burial parties ashore daily and the ship was put into quarantine. The influenza epidemic ultimately claimed the lives of one officer and 51 ratings in little over a week, including Frederick. The statistics indicate a disproportionate number of deaths amongst the stokers and those ‘below decks’, commensurate with crowded mess decks and the transmission of the disease through sneezing and coughing in confined spaces.
||15 x 8 x 8 cm