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231948 AB. W. ROSE. R.N.


William Rose was born in Farington on 14 February 1888, to Elizabeth Rose (unmarried at the time).  She married Lawrence Fox in 1889 and they had a daughter Elizabeth in 1891.  Lawrence died in 1892 and in 1895 Elizabeth married John Brundrett (b. 1858 in Guisborough, Yorkshire).  In 1901, the family lived at 36 Ward Street, Lostock Hall, though by 1911, John and Elizabeth Brundrett had moved to 12 Queen Street.   Before joining the Navy William Rose was a spinner.    


He joined the Navy at 16, in 1904, initially serving as Boy 2nd Class on HMS Emerald, a training ship based at Queenstown in Ireland.  He was promoted to Boy 1st Class in 1905, then Ordinary Seaman in 1906.


Having completed his training, he signed up on 14 February 1906, his 18th birthday, for 12 years. He was 5’ 6” tall, had fair hair, blue eyes and a fair  complexion.


He was promoted to Able Seaman in 1908, at the time aboard HMS Monmouth, an armoured cruiser based at the China Station – responsible for safeguarding British commercial interests off the southern coast of China.  But later he served on a number of battleships in the Home and Channel Fleets.


At the outbreak of War in August 1914, he was serving on HMS Essex, an armoured cruiser, built in 1901, and engaged in the Atlantic, escorting conveys and searching for German commerce raiders.  


From 15 April-24 June 1915, William was based at HMS Vivid 1, at Devonport, a seamanship, signalling and telegraphy school, and on 25 June 1915 he joined HMS Medea.  

HMS Medea.png

HMS Medea

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HMS Emerald

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HMS Monmouth

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HMS Essex

HMS Medea was a destroyer, originally being built for the Greek navy but taken over by the Royal Navy in 1914, and launched in 1915.  She formed part of the Harwich Force engaged in scouting and reconnaissance in the southern part of the North Sea and protection of shipping between Britain and Holland.  The Force engaged the enemy on a number of occasions, including the German attempted raid on Lowestoft and Yarmouth in April 1916.  


Lowestoft was a base for mine layers and Yarmouth for submarines so by bombarding these towns the Germans hoped to disrupt the Navy’s activities.  German battlecruisers opened fire on Lowestoft on 24 April, destroying 200 houses and killing three people.  They then moved on to Yarmouth but were unable to locate significant targets due to fog.  The Germans had hoped to engage the lighter British forces and take advantage of their superiority in numbers and fire power, but they failed.  They suffered severe damage to one of their battlecruisers in exchange for light damage to a British cruiser and a destroyer.  HMS Medea was the destroyer that was damaged and William Rose lost his life.  He was buried at sea.


Rank:  Able Seaman

Service No:  231948

Date of Death:  24/04/1916

Age:  28

Regiment/Service:  Royal Navy, H.M.S. "Medea."

Panel Reference:  12.


Additional Information:  Son of Mrs. E. Rose, of 25 Fairfield Street, Lostock Hall, Lancs.


Elizabeth (Rose) and John Brundrett had a son, Henry Brundrett, who was William Rose’s half-brother.  Henry Brundrett would be killed in the German Spring Offensive in March 1918.  So Elizabeth lost two sons in the War.


They had a cousin, Michael Jackson, who was a gunner with the RFA and who died (possibly of influenza) in October 1918.

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