CFHS code: AL253

Parish: St Andrew the Less

Inscription: F C Prevett Boy 1st Cal RN J64254HMS Royal Sovereign 1st October 1918 Age 18

Monument: Headstone

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.20274, 0.13858987 – click here for location

Prevett grave
Prevett CWGC headstone

This Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone, in the parish area of St Andrew the Less, is situated at the north end, close to the Norfolk Street entrance.

F. C. Prevett
Boy 1st Cl. R. N. J/64254
H. M. S. “Royal Sovereign”
1st October 1918 Age 18

Frederick Charles Prevett (1900-1918)

Frederick was born on 1 October 1900 in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. He was the youngest of at least twelve children born to Andrew Thomas Nash Prevett (1856-1928) and Susan Prevett (née Pink) (1854-1940).  In 1901 the family was living at 13 Leaders Row, Cambridge.  Frederick’s father was a bookbinder but he also worked as ‘Professor Prevett’ and performed with a Punch and Judy show.  In 1911 the family was living at 21 Vicarage Terrace, Cambridge.

Frederick worked in the Kitchens at Trinity College, Cambridge. However, on 30 November 1916 he joined the Royal Navy on HMS Ganges as Boy 4th Class.  He was promoted to Boy 1st Class on 3 August 1917.  He then transferred to HMS Victory on 31 August before transferring to HMS Royal Sovereign on 25 September as Boy 1st class (J/64254 (CH)).  HMS Royal Sovereign, the building of which was completed in 1916, served with the Grand Fleet in the First World War, but did not see action.  In late April 1918, with the rest of the Fleet, off the coast of Norway it sought to intercept the German fleet before it returned to harbour, but was unable to do so.

Frederick fell ill with influenza on 29 September 1918 and died of heart failure two days later on his 18th birthday on 1 October whilst at sea.  His body was brought back to Cambridge and buried in this cemetery.  He was commemorated on the Cambridge Guildhall War Memorial.

A SAILOR’S FUNERAL.-The remains of 1st Class Boy Frederick Charles Prevett, H.M.S. Royal Sovereign, were laid to rest in Mill-road Cemetery on Saturday, amidst many tokens of sympathy and respect.  The lad, who was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Prevett, of 21, Vicarage-terrace, was attacked with influenza whilst on his ship at sea on Sunday, September 9th, and died with tragic suddenness on the following Tuesday.  The first intimation that anything was amiss was conveyed in a sympathetic telegram from the Captain to the family informing them of his death.  It is but six weeks ago that Prevett obtained special leave to attend the funeral of his sister in Cambridge.  Young Prevett, who was but 18 years of age on the day of his death, was employed in Trinity College Kitchen previous to joining the Navy in November, 1916.  Letters of sympathy from the Captain and the Chaplain of the ship, testifying to the high esteem and admiration in which he was held by his officers and comrades have been received by his father and mother.  The body, draped in a massive Union Jack, was conveyed to Cambridge on Friday midday, the coffin bearing Navy blue fittings.  In the absence of sufficient Naval men in Cambridge, the deceased was accorded a full military funeral.  The service in the chapel was conducted by the Rev. F. Hawtrey May (Vicar of St. Matthew’s), and the concluding portion at the graveside by the Army Chaplain from the 1st Eastern General Hospital, the body being borne thence by members of the R.A.M.C from the same institution.  The body having been lowered in the family grave, the “Last Post” was sounded by a military bugler.  The family mourners were: Father and mother and Mrs. Lambert, Mrs. Brett, Mrs. Watts, Misses Susan, Gertrude, and Mabel Prevett (sisters), Mr. A. Watts (brother-in-law), and Mrs R. J. Watts. Nine massive wreaths from the Royal Sovereign were sent as follows:-From Officers, from Petty Officers, from Top-Mates, from F. O. Castlemen, from Quarterdeck men, from the Boys, from Torpedo men, from the Stokers, and from the Royal Marines, whilst a remittance was forwarded to the Rev. F.H. May with a request that he wold obtain a special floral tribute of affection from the Boys of the Royal Sovereign.  Besides the family wreaths, one was received from Petty Officer Clayton, of the training ship whereon the lad was trained.  The funeral arrangements in Cambridge were conducted by Mr. J. Brignell, and the gun carriage was supplied from the 1st Eastern Hospital.  – Mr. and Mrs. Prevett and family wish to thank all friends for the sympathy shown them in their sad and sudden bereavement.

Cambridge Daily News, Monday, 7 October 1918

[If you have any information about this man, please contact us at]

War Graves Photographic Project
Census returns for England: 1901 and 1911 England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837–1915
British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920
UK and Ireland, Find A Grave Index, 1300s-Current
UK, Royal Navy Registers of Seamen’s Services, 1853-1928
UK, WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920
Web: International, Find A Grave Index
Cambridge Daily News, Monday, 7 October 1918

By Ian Bent and Emma Easterbrook

Frederick Charles Prevett