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Roll of Honour

Hartlepool seafarers lost at sea

Clark, Frederick James

21, Darlington Terrace, West Hartlepool
West Hartlepool

Lost on the Armoured Cruiser HMS Natal.

Frederick James Clark was born on 6th February, 1893, in Hartlepool to Neswell Clark, born in West Hartlepool and a shipping engineman, and his wife Ann who was also Hartlepool born. In 1901, the family were living in Dent Street. Frederick was 7 and he had a sister Elizabeth who was a year older and a 4 year old brother John.

Frederick's grandfather, John Clark, was a native of Robin Hood's Bay, and the 1851 Census shows him living with his parents in Bay,where his father (also called John), was a breadmaker.

Neswell Clark, Frederick's father, was a baby on the 1871 Census, with his father John away at sea at the time. His mother Elizabeth, from Scarborough, was given as a mariner's wife. John and Elizabeth are to be found in Albion Street on the 1861 Census aged 22 and 21 respectively, with John recorded as a master mariner. It is assumed that around this time they came to Hartlepool.

In 1881 the Clarks were living in Hill Street, West Hartlepool (in the isolated area close to the steel works known as Wagga). John was a seaman and Neswell an 11-year old scholar. By 1891 the family were in Lamb Street. Neswell was now 21 and a shipyard labourer. In 1911 they lived in James Street and had 8 sons (the seventh called Septimus) and one daughter. Frederick was a grocer's assistant, but on September 14th, 1914, joined the army as his army pension record can be found. At the time of joining up, he was a porter.

Frederick married Alice Waite on March 14th 1914 at Hartlepool Registry Office. On the army pension record, Alice Waite, given as his wife in her maiden name, of 2, Mildred Street, West Hartlepool, has a year-old son also Frederick.

Frederick Clark joined the Duke of Cornwall Light Infantry on 3rd September, 1914, but on 28th September that year was discharged as medically unfit. His record tells us he had good teeth, vision and physical development, was 5 feet 9 inches in height, had brown eyes and hair and was a Wesleyan.

Frederick was then in the Royal Naval Reserve and joined HMS Natal as a Stoker. He was killed on December 30th, 1915, when there was an internal explosion whilst the ship was at anchor in the Cromarty Firth. His wife Alice Clark, then in Bentick Street was informed of his death. On the Chatham Naval Memorial records, she is given as Alice Tidgeon (formerly Clark).