Roberts, Frank

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Narrative Source Photograph
AB Frank (Francis) Roberts, a gunner in B Turret Grandson Duncan Howarth

"Gunner Francis Roberts RNVR. Born in Wavertree, Liverpool, He joined Centurion in 1912, and served in her until 1920. He lost two fingers in the action against the Lutzow, and didn't notice until suppertime 2 hours later. They were found the morning after in the recoil mechanism. Pic 1 was taken upon his return from Jutland and pic 2 at his marriage to my Grandmother- whom raised me. He was awarded the long service-good conduct medal which, upon the recent death of my mother, came into my possession. He died of a heart condition in February 1960, when I was 5 months old."

Wedding Photo Grandson Duncan Howarth
AB Frank (Francis) Roberts Grandson Duncan Howarth

“My Grandad, Gunner Francis Roberts RNVR on a family holiday in Cornwall when in his '50s. L to R - my Aunt Jean, who married the deputy director of GCHQ, My Gran and her sister Minnie- she who believed that children "should be seen and not heard..." Grandad, at the end, who sweated in the ammunition lobby of 'B' turret HMS Centurion whilst they pounded the SMS Lutzow, at twilight on the day of the battle of Jutland- still looking like an advert for 'Player's Navy Cut'. I still miss them.”

40 years after the battle Grandson Duncan Howarth