Frederick Wood, aged 48 and from Southsea, and died while serving at HMAS Ceberus II – an Australian shore establishment – on 16 January 1941. He is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. He was a Lieutenant… hang on, isn’t 48 quite old for a Lieutenant?
After a little more digging, it transpires that Wood initially enlisted in the Royal Navy either prior to or during the First World War. Not only does this mean that he served in two World Wars, it seems like he was commissioned from the ranks. For somebody who was a Petty Officer in 1916, to be a Lieutenant by 1941 is quite impressive.
In 1916, as a Petty Officer, he saved the life of a man who had fallen overboard.
At 11.30 a.m. on the 20th November, 1916, a man fell overboard from his vessel in the Estuary of the Thames, the sea being choppy and the vessel going 12 knots. Frederick J. Wood, Petty Officer, and C.R. Walker at once jumped after him and kept him afloat till they were picked up.
For this brave act he was awarded the Royal Humane Society’s Bronze Medal.