Ajax Veterans Street Dedication: Raven Lane
- Media Type:
- Street Name: Raven Lane
Name of Veteran: Frederick Arthur Raven
Nov.30, 1920-Aug.12, 2005
Rank: Leading Telegraphist, Petty Officer
Ship Served: HMS Ajax
Date of Service on Ship: 1939
Year of Visit/Dedication: n/a
Veteran or Family Visit: n/a
Veteran of the Battle of the River Plate: Yes
Died at Battle: No
Frederick Arthur Raven was born on November 30, 1920 in Diss, Norfolk, UK to Frederick and May Belle. The middle child of three, he had an older sister called Stella and a younger brother called John. He started his working life as a mechanic and joined the Royal Navy in 1935. He was first based at the training ship HMS Ganges in Shotley, Suffolk and became a telegraphist. By the time he joined HMS Ajax in 1939 he was a leading telegraphist and become a Petty Officer. He was involved in the Battle of the River Plate and took photos of the Graf Spee sinking. As with many of his generation he never really spoke about what happened during the war but was affected deeply as he lost friends at close range. He remained on the HMS Ajax until 1944 and then served on the HMS Argonaut.
Frederick remained in the Royal Navy after the war and was an instructor at HMS Ganges for some time, where he was responsible for training new sailors. He was also recruited to organize communications at Christmas Island in 1958 when they were testing atom bombs. He received a commendation from the Air Vice Marshall for his work. He left the Royal Navy in 1960 and immediately went to work for ICI in Stowmarket, Suffolk where he stayed until he retired. He was awarded several medals during his twenty five year career.
Frederick met his soon to be wife in 1942 in Blackpool, UK while she was in the Women's Air Force. They married six months after they met. They had three children, Pam, Kevin and Barbara. Pam eventually moved to America and has two children. Kevin moved to Sheffield, UK and has 4 children and Barbara moved next door. Frederick and his wife kept a plot of land for their children to build on and Barbara and her husband built a house and remain there still. Barbara’s two daughters had a wonderful childhood as they spent a lot of time over at Grandad and Nan’s.
Frederick was a very private and contained man. Although some people thought he was quite stern and serious, he was nothing but warm and loving to his family. Grandaughter Helen wrote, “You always knew that he was there for you and would do all in his power to help with any problems. In fact my sister grew up thinking he was a doctor as whenever one of us fell over we would go over to see "Dr Raven" to make things better!” His main interest was his family but he was also a keen gardener. He is remembered as a very practical man that could do most things he set his mind to and even became qualified in welding and electrics in later life.
Frederick Arthur Raven died on August 12, 2005 in his eighty-fifth year.
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- Location of Original:
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