Frederick George Simmons
Frederick George Simmons was born on 4 June 1896 in the King's Norton area of Birmingham to James Henry Simmons, a house decorator, and Mary Jane née Russell. His first job may have been a works messenger (the record is unclear), then a fitter and turner, a common trade in the many workshops of Birmingham. However, Frederick must have wanted a complete change, for on 6 March 1913, he enlisted into the Royal Navy at Devonport as a boy, essentially the equivalent of an apprenticeship for a trade.
During the latter part of his training he saw service at sea, first in the battleship Venerable and then the old cruiser Leander, by then a destroyer depot ship in the Mediterranean. It was there that Frederick attained the age of eighteen, signed for a 12-year engagement and was appointed ordinary seaman. In November he was promoted to able seaman. From May to December 1915 he attended the Royal Navy Torpedo School in HMS Defiance at Devonport and after graduation served for a year at Benbow, a naval shore station on Trinidad. His next postings were to the submarine support ships Dolphin and Vulcan, which took him to the end of 1917, with a further promotion to leading seaman. He continued his submarine association in Ambrose, a merchantman converted to submarine depot ship and then based in Ireland, until the last day of the war.
Frederick was in a training environment, presumably as an instructor, for the next two years. However he seems to have considered leaving the Navy, possibly in connection with his forthcoming marriage, as in January 1919 he paid £18 to purchase his discharge, only to receive a refund in April and continue his career. He married Margaret Mary Hough at Devonport on 28 July 1919, and probably settled for a time into a more domestic life. This would not have changed dramatically even with an appointment in October 1920 to the 1911 battleship HMS King George V which by then was part of the Reserve Fleet based at Devonport, and in which he earned promotion to petty officer.
The end of his naval career came earlier than expected, at a time when the British government was trying to reduce Service manpower and costs; on 27 July 1922 he was discharged with a bonus of £159 'on reduction'. His connection with Frampton had come while his parents were living at Buckholdt for a couple of years towards the end of the war and he was recorded as an absent voter in 1919–20. Frederick and Margaret appear to have emigrated to Western Australia shortly afterwards, where Frederick worked as a fitter on the railways and their son, Edward Patrick, was born. Frederick George Simmons died on 20 March 1987 at Taree, New South Wales. Frederick was awarded the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal for his service, but is not remembered on the plaque in the village hall.