Deck Hand Frank Norman Oliver

© Royston Williamson 2015

Thank you to Jane Anthony for the following research.

Very little information can be found on Deck Hand Frank Norman Oliver. His parents both having been born near Horley moved around quite a lot, with two or more of their children being born in the Kentish Town area of London.  By 1911 the family had returned to Horley and George was now a widower and was living there with six of his seven children whose ages ranged from 2 to 24. Frank was the second youngest child.  One of his older sisters Florence appears to be running the house. The only reference to Frank locally was having passed swimming exam in 1913.  Although one of his sisters lived at Victoria Terrace in Dorking, no details about her could be found.

Frank joined the Royal Navy Reserve and served aboard NHS John Abbott.  This was a Strath Trawler built in 1917.  It is not known where the ship was serving but as Deck Hand Frank Norman Oliver is buried in British Cemetery Palermo Sicily it seems likely that the ship was somewhere in the Eastern Mediterranean.  He died as the result of a fever.  The Cemetery at Palermo is not run by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as there are only 2 British servicemen buried there; both were sailors and aged only 18 at their times of death.  On of these was deck hand Frank Norman Oliver who is also commemorated on the South Street Memorial in Dorking.

Son of Henry and Harriet Oliver
Regiment H. M. Trawler “John Abbott” Royal Naval Reserve
Number 13797
Date of Death 16th September 1918
Place of Death Sicily, Italy
Cause of Death Died of fever
Age 18
Cemetery British Cemetery, Palmero, Italy