Vern acted as Frank’s best man. Uncle Vern, christened Vernon Joseph, arrived swiftly after on 6 Oct 1913. The front page of the Northern Daily Telegraph on 12 August 1942 explained that a communiqué from the Admiralty received that afternoon confirmed that the Eagle had been sunk in the Mediterranean. Two months into James’ tour on the Cumberland, Ellen gave birth to their eighth child, Albert Alfred, on 6 April 1919. Frank was by now finding the Mediterranean hotter in more ways than one. They settled on London Road in Blackburn, which was to become the home of the Thompson family for the next 60 years. In May 1940 the Eagle was transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet, in anticipation of outbreak of war with Italy, and operated in the Aegean Sea to engage the Italian Fleet following the outbreak of hostilities. Both he and Vern had a lasting legacy from their Far East wartime service – malaria, which they periodically suffered from for the rest of their lives. Two ratings were already there, terrified, they could not swim. Panic stricken I pushed him away and felt my stomach heaving uncontrollably. He found himself floating in the water, clinging on to a crewmate (whose name is now sadly forgotten) who had no life jacket. Un prototype sans armes effectua son premier vol le 27 février 1942, le Firebrand F Mk I, second prototype armé, à volé le 15 juillet de la même année. James’ final stint at sea was on board HMS Heather from October 1923. Blackburn entered the Royal Naval Air Service as a temporary probationary flight sub-lieutenant on 17 May 1915, and learned to fly at the Grahame-White School at Hendon Aerodrome, receiving Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate No. He lied about his date of birth, recorded as 10 August 1884, to appear to be 18. Look for the sun. If you reside in an EU member state besides UK, import VAT on this purchase is not recoverable. On 10 August, the Eagle was part of Operation Pedestal, providing cover for the passage of the Malta Convoy through the Skerki Narrows between Sicily and Cape Bon – known as ‘Bomb Alley’ to Allied sailors. “Swim away from the ship, depth charges, suction, the boilers will explode!” All these things went through my brain, but where was the ship? Luckily, I recalled Frank’s service number being on my mum’s birth certificate (she was a war baby). His eldest surviving son was my grandad, Frank Victor Thompson. Music, gardening, mountain climbing, travel. I clambered through the rails, and suddenly I too was sitting on the torpedo blister. In December 1913 James was back at sea on board HMS Woolwich, a destroyer depot ship. Outside of birth, marriage and death certificates, any online genealogy records beyond the 1911 census, and Ancestry.com’s WW1 Army Service records are a bit thin on the ground. L'avion avait tué deux pilotes d'essai lorsque après six mois de modifications Dennis Cambell réussit le premier appontage. I ordered their marriage certificate through the online certificate ordering service of the General Register Office for England and Wales, with the reference details for the certificate via FreeBMD. They had moved into a prefab at 9 Baker St, where they lived until 1960, before buying their own terraced house at 50 Cherry St. Frank decided not to follow in his father’s footsteps by completing a 22 year pensionable engagement in the Navy. Even off operational duty the crew could be in danger – in August during a period in Freetown, one of the ship’s company was killed when a guard rail failed and he fell from the Bridge structure. The Blackburn B-25 Roc was a British Second World War-era Fleet Air Arm fighter aircraft designed by Blackburn Aircraft Ltd. Saved by William House. When Frank and Vern were growing up with their numerous brothers and sisters, their father, when he was not at sea, would run the household like it was a ship. With the consent of the immediate next of kin the 25 year threshold doesn’t apply. A lifeboat perhaps – no it could not be a lifeboat – everything had happened too fast! I never did hear the order to abandon ship, but when I saw marines jumping from the flight deck, hurtling past the gundeck, and hitting the rising torpedo blister as the ship keeled over I really did begin to get worried. Excludes: Bolivia, Haiti, Liberia, Nicaragua, Turkmenistan, Paraguay, Mauritius, Sierra Leone, Venezuela. The Sinking of the Eagle – Mediterranean 1942. One can’t imagine how they all felt. With Royal Navy, 1947-1949. In August 1918 he was posted to HMS Achilles which had been refitted to become a stoker’s training ship at Chatham. There was a Royal Navy service record set on stiff, waxed paper; a long, heavy wooden framed photograph of a group of sailors taken on board a ship; a large brown book containing neatly transcribed letters; and a set of 4 war medals. Blackburn was a founder member in 1929 of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators (now The Honourable Company of Air Pilots), and was also an early member of the RAF Club. They were two of the 929 of the Eagle’s crew rescued. Luckily, both mother and baby pulled through. There was a covering letter containing some useful information on interpreting the records, a photocopy of Frank’s incomplete service record card, the missing service history extracted from the ‘Payment and Victual Ledgers’ and a photocopy of his medal entitlement. III fut déclaré incompatible pour les opérations embarquées et les travaux se sont orientés vers une cellule mieux adaptée au Centaurus.  He was injured in service in the weeks before October 1916. La première version d'attaque, le Fireband TF Mk.II(B-45), une adaptation du Mk.I a volé le 31 mars 1943. Half dragged. Given that he was also paid travelling expenses for the return journey from Blackburn to Portsmouth, I suspect that they also became a subsidised opportunity for Ellen to see her family. (Designed to withstand a charge of 750 per square inch, the torpedo blister was supposed to deflect the force of underwater explosions and preserve the hull of the ship).