Frederick Charles Webb


Frederick Charles Webb
20 November 1899


First World War

Date of Death / Age


Rank, Service Number & Service Details

Boy Servant
Royal Navy
H.M.S. "Black Prince"

Awards: Service Medals/Honour Awards

British War and Victory medals

Cemetery/Memorial: Name/Reference/Country

Panel 21
United Kingdom

Headstone Inscription


UK & Other Memorials

Northaw Village Memorial, There is no memorial to the men of Cuffley (WW1)

Pre War

Frederick Charles Webb was born on 20 November 1899 in East Finchley, Middlesex, the eldest of four children of Frederick and Elizabeth Webb, and baptised on 4 March 1900 at Holy Trinity Church, Finchley. On the 1901 Census they were living at 11 Trinity Road and his father was working as a Platelayer on the railway.  By 1911 they had moved to No. 2 Hill Farm Cottages, Cuffley, Northaw, Herts. He was a schoolboy and his father was a platelayer for The Great Western Railway.

Wartime Service

He served in the Royal Navy as a Boy Servant  and was killed at the Battle of Jutland on the HMS Black Prince which was an armoured cruiser.  

HMS Black Prince was stationed in the Mediterranean when WW1 began  and was sent to the Red Sea in mid-August to protect troop ships and convoys arriving from India and to search for German merchant ships. After capturing two ships she was transferred to the Grand Fleet in December 1914. During the early engagement on 31 May 1916 she had followed her flagship, HMS Defence, into action and when it was blown up and HMS Warrior disabled, the Black Prince became separated from the rest of the British fleet. Seeing a line of battleships in the distance they mistakenly assumed them to be friendly. By the time the error was realised it was too late and the German battleship Thuringen bombarded the Black Prince with a tornado of shells.  Although they did manage to launch torpedoes, they didn’t stand a chance. Other German ships including the Nassau, Ostfriesland and Friedrich der Grosse joined in and opened fire as she lay a helpless wreck and eventually exploded, sinking in 15 minutes with no survivors from her crew of 857.

Additional Information

Although the legal age for combat was 18, many boy sailors rushed to enlist at the outbreak of war in 1914 and a large percentage of entrants to the navy were boys aged 14 to 17. He was only 16 when he died.


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