Windlesham schoolmaster who died at Jutland

Frank Vincent Wise

Title: Frank Vincent Wise
Description: Rev A J Hutton, Windlesham Roll of Honour, SHC Ref: Z_682_1 50A by-nc

Frank Vincent Wise served in the Royal Naval Reserve and was killed on 31st May 1916, when his ship, the H.M.S. Invincible was sunk at the Battle of Jutland. The story of his naval service is told in the following entry by Brian O’Connell:

The only child of James Augustus and Katherine Wise, Frank’s parents moved from Henley, where they married, to Virginia Water in Surrey. It appears from census records that James was employed as an under-butler in the household of Constance de Morella and lived in her home whilst his family lived in 4 Christchurch Cottage, Virginia Water. James died in 1912, aged 50.

At the time of the 1911 census, Frank was attending Teacher Training College in London and was living at 26 Kitto Road, St Paul’s, Deptford. In 1915, when he joined up on 20th August, he was living with his mother, Katherine, at Glenisla, Updown Hill and his occupation was schoolmaster. He was described in the records as having brown hair, grey eyes and a fresh complexion. Pertinent perhaps for his service, the form noted that he ‘can swim’.

Writing in the Windlesham Roll of Honour, the Rev A.J. Hutton says of him:

‘Frank V. Wise was assistant Master at Windlesham Council School when war broke out. In August 1915, he joined the Royal Naval Defence and went into training at the Chrystal (sic) Palace where he specialized in signalling. 

On finishing his training, he was posted to H.M.S. Lion but was shortly afterwards transferred to H.M.S. Invincible where he combined the duties of Signaller with those of Teacher. He succeeded so well as a Teacher that he was to have been appointed to a Nautical School at Plymouth in July 1916; But on May 31st 1916 he went down with his ship the Invincible in the Battle of Jutland.’ 

The suggestion about his potential transfer is confirmed in his naval records:

held rating of signalman at time of death; question of transfer to schoolmaster to take effect on 15th July- under consideration’.

The records suggest he served on H.M.S. Pembroke rather that H.M.S. Lion.

In 1913 and 1915, Kelly’s Directory confirms Mrs Wise living in Glenisla, Pine Grove, Updown Hill, Windlesham; however there is no entry for her from 1918 onwards suggesting she may have moved away around the time of Frank’s death. CWGC report her address as Birkrigg, Chesterfield Road, Ashford, Middlesex.


Hutton A.J., date unknown, Windlesham Roll of Honour SHC Ref: Z_682_1 50A

Kelly’s Directory 1913, 1915, 1918, 1919

National Archive ADM 337/38/91 & ADM 339/1/42226

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