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Roll of Honour

Hartlepool seafarers lost at sea

Frank, John George

3rd Officer
39, Water Street, West Hartlepool
West Hartlepool

John George Frank was 3rd Officer on the hired Hospital Ship Rewa, which was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-55, off the North Devon coast, on January 4th, 1918. John may well have been injured at this time as it appears he died on 4th June 1918 in London. On 9th June, 1918, he was buried in the North Cemetery, Hartlepool. His father, also named John George, was buried in the same grave in 1921.

John George Frank appears to have been quite a character. In 1911, he is listed as an apprentice fitter living with his parents and siblings in Water Street, and November 1911 it seems he joined the Royal Garrison Artillery. On 27th June 1914, he married Elsie Hird. After discharge, he joined the Navy.

In 1920, Elsie appears to have applied for an army pension and John's army record, available on ancestry.com, makes lengthy reading. It seems he was a persistent absconder, often breaking out of barracks, was insolent, disorderly on church parade, used the Pass Cards of others and was many times fined or had deductions in pay. After 5years and 139 days, he was discharged on 3rd June 1917.

The couple had a child, also named John George Frank in January 1915, and it could be that Elsie applied for the pension as times were hard. It is unclear whether she was awarded it as the case is quite lengthy. She is given as Elsie Frank of 15 Marlborough Street, West Hartlepool, with the Water Street address crossed out.

On his record, John George Frank had good vision and was in good physical condition.