Frederick James Westerman

Date of birth:                   13th May 1887Poppies
Place of birth:                 Southampton
Date of marriage:          1915
Place of marriage:         Winchester, Hampshire
Service No.:                     F.3185
Rank                                   Air Mechanic 1st Class
Regiment / Division:   Royal Naval Air Service (Wormwood Scrubbs Station)
Died:                                   28th July 1915 aged 28 years
Death Location:             England

 Life before the War

Frederick was born on 13th May 1887 in Southampton to parents John Fielding Westerman and Sarah Ann nee Hepburn,Westerman_sisters
who married in 1877. John was born in 1849 and died 1930 Southampton and Sarah Ann was born 1857 in Jersey.He had 5 siblings
Nora Frances b.1877- John Sampson (Jack)b.1878 -Beatrice Louise b.1880 -Winifred b.1884 Gertrude Emma b.1885.
He also had twin brothers Arthur and Charles born 1882 and died within the year.

T_W_Gooch_and_N_Hepburn_Hibbs                                                                                                                              “Ann Senior provided the photograph of  Fredericks sisters.
                                                                                                                               Standing at the back Nora Frances Westerman b 1877 ( my                                                                                                                                       great grandma who I knew.  
                                                                                                                                Left Winnifred Elizabeth b 1883 died 1915 Spanish ‘Flu
                                                                                                                                Middle near to floor Gertrude Emma b1885
                                                                                                                                Right on chair Beatrice Louise b 1880″



“The second photo is the Wedding of my Grandma. – TW Gooch and Nora Hepburn Hibbs
 As you  look into the photo right to left, bottom row seated
Sarah Ann Westerman (née Hepburn ), mother, Nora Frances Hepburn Hibbs (Née Westerman), her daughter Winnifred Hibbs, Bride and daughter Nora Hepburn Hibbs
 Middle row John (Jack) Westerman, brother,Gertrude Emma Westerman. John Fielding Westerman father, James Hepburn Hibbs ( whom I knew) husband and cousin of Nora Frances Hepburn Hibbs (néeWesterman)
The little bridesmaid in the front is sister of the Bride who died last year age 93 and who put me on the path to Family History 20 years ago.
I thought it particularly useful to see John Jack Westerman as this is probably the closest we can get to seeing what Frederick James may have looked like.”

In the 1871 census, John Fielding was living in Jersey with his parents. He married in Jersey, and by 1881, the couple have moved to Southampton to live.

In the 1891 and 1901 census , the family were living at 10, Chapel Road, St. Mary’s, Southampton.

John Fielding was employed as a Boiler Maker on shore in 1891. His daughter Nora, was a Dress Makers Assistant. In 1901, John was still a Boiler Maker, whilst John Sampson was a Boot Finisher, Beatrice was employed as a Mantle Maker, Winifred was working as a Pupil Teacher and was a Gertrude Dress Maker. Nora had married and was living in Jersey with her husband and child.

By the 1911 census, the family had moved to 42, Clifford Street, Southampton. John was a Boiler Riveter and his daughter Winifred was a School Teacher. Frederick had left home and was living at 25 Khartoum Road, Plaistow, Essex as a boarder. He is employed as a Boat Builder.

Frederick James married Annie Emily Long in 1915 Winchester, Hampshire.

National Probate Calender

“Westerman Frederick James of 42 Clifford Cresent Southampton died 28 July 1915 at Wormwood Scrubs Middlesex. Administration London 2 September to Annie Emily Westerman widow. Effects £152”

southampton old cemetary

Southampton Old Cemetary

Winnifred, Arthur and Charles are all buried with their parents in Southampton old Cemetary.

 War Service

Frederick was entitled to the British War Medal.

He is Remembered with Honour at the Hammersmith Old Cemetery, London

National Roll of the Great War

“Westerman, F. J., Air Mechanic, R.A.F.

He volunteered in January 1915 and after qualifying as a mechanic, was retained on important duties with his squadron. In July 1915, he was unfortunately killed in a flying accident at Wormwood Scrubs, London, after having rendered valuable service.

42, Clifford Street, Southampton”

 Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll


Name: Frederick James Westerman
Rank: Air Mechanic 1st Grade
Birth Date: 13 May 1887
Birth Place: Southampton, Hants
Branch of Service: Royal Naval Air Station or Service
Cause of Death: Killed or died by means other than disease, accident or enemy action
Official Number Port Division: F.3185.
Death Date: 28 Jul 1915
Ship or Unit: Royal Naval Air Station Wormwood Scrubbs
Location of Grave: 2
Name and Address of Cemetery: Hammersmith Cemetery, Margravine Rd, Hammersmith, London
Relatives Notified and Address: Father: John Fielding 42 Clifford Crescent Southampton

The following information has been given by Ann Senior Great Great Grandaughter of John and Sarah WestermanWesterman 001

This is a copy of a newspaper report of Uncle Fred’s death.  This copy has been kept in the family. The tall man, with white hair,
behind the coffin is his father John Fielding Westerman, a boiler maker working in Southampton Docks and one time working in
Jersey and St Malo on the ships. The lady behind is Emily, Frederick James’ new wife of one month.  They were married in
Winchester.  The lady walking alongside the coffin in black is his mother Sarah Ann Westerman, a Jersey woman of Scots/French descent.
She looks awful but under the circumstances not surprising.  John Fielding Westerman and Sarah Ann Westerman are both buried in the
old Southampton Cemetery on the Common.

A fatal explosion occurred yesterday morning just before 11’o’clock in the airship garage at Wormwood Scrubbs.
It is stated that the explosion was caused by the escape of gas from the envelope.
The building was considerably damaged  and three men were killed and about 20 injured.
Many children playing in the vicinity had narrow escapes from falling debris. Another account says that about 25 other
men sustained injuries, and the cause of the explosion is not known, but it is understood to be an escape of gas.




The funeral of Mechanic Westerman  one of the victims of the explosion took place at Hammersmith  Cemetary yesterday afternoon.
Huge crowds witnessed the passing of the cortege.

Bands from the Royal Naval London Division played Chopin’s “Funeral March”  and the Dead March in “Saul” . The coffin draped with
the Union Jack  was borne on a gun carriage . After the committal sentences had been read the three volleys were fired  and the “Last Post”sounded.

westerman1 001

Researched by  Becky Lonergan 2013.

“We would like to thank Ann Senior – Frederick was her uncle – for taking an interest in his story and providing us with  information to help his story come alive for all who read it, we appreciate her input and validation of the story and providing the photographs which give the story of Frederick a meaning to all who read it.”

Please note :-no part of this story and no photograph should be copied without first obtaining permission from the family.

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