A First War Royal Navy Long Service Group to H.M.S. Roxburgh
A First War Royal Navy Long Service Group to H.M.S. Roxburgh - 1914-15 Star (K. 15622, F.L. DOWN, STO. 1., R.N.); British War Medal (K. 15662 F.L. DOWN. STO. 1 R.N.); Victory Medal (K. 15662 F.L. DOWN. STO. 1 R.N.); and Royal Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, George V (K. 15622 F.L. DOWN. L. STO. H.M.S. DOLPHIN.). Naming is officially impressed. Court mounted, pitting on the BWM, contact marks, better than very fine. Accompanied by a duotang folder with his military biography, copies of his Service Records, an H.M.S. Dolphin tally ribbon and thirteen black and white ship photographs. Footnote: Frank Leonard Down was born on November 28, 1893 in Plymouth, Devonshire, England. He enlisted for twelve years' service with the Royal Navy at the age of 18, on August 10, 1912 at H.M.S. Vivid II, the Naval Barracks at Devonport, as a Stoker 2nd Class and stated his occupation as that of Baker. Six months later, he was drafted to the 10,850 ton Devonshire Class Armoured Cruiser H.M.S. Roxburgh, on February 12, 1913, where he later achieved the rank of Stoker 1st Class on August 10, 1913. At the outbreak of the First World War, he was serving on the H.M.S. Roxburgh, which was part of the 3rd Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet based at Scapa Flow. On June 20th, while on patrol off the Firth of Forth, under the command of Captain B.M. Chambers, the H.M.S. Roxburgh was struck by a torpedo from a German submarine. The damage was not serious and she managed to steam into port with no casualties. After a period ashore from July 29 to December 24, 1917 at H.M.S. Vivid II, Down was drafted to H.M.S. Idaho at Milford Haven, Wales, which was a hired yacht taken over by the Royal Navy and used as a tugboat and finished out the war on this vessel. For his First World War service, he was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. After the war, he returned to H.M.S. Vivid II on December 28, 1918, followed by a drafting in the new year to the 3,400 ton Light Cruiser H.M.S. Apollo, on April 1, 1919, the H.M.S. Apollo acting as a Depot Ship for the Destroyer Flotilla. After ten months with H.M.S. Apollo, he was drafted to the 3,380 ton Destroyer Depot Ship H.M.S. Woolwich, on February 3, 1920, but his stay would be a short one, as he was there only two weeks before being drafted to the 3,900 ton Light Cruiser H.M.S. Constance, on February 17th. He was almost three years with H.M.S. Constance before being drafted ashore and returning to H.M.S. Vivid II on January 4, 1923, followed by a draft at the end of the year to the 23,000 ton Battleship H.M.S. King George V, on November 26, 1923. His term with H.M.S. King George V would last only ten weeks, before being drafted to the 5,200 ton Light Cruiser H.M.S. Dartmouth, on February 1, 1924, for the next three months, then posted to H.M.S. Impregnable, the Training Establishment at Devonport, on May 6th. Down volunteered for submarine service on January 16, 1925, drafted to H.M.S. Dolphin, the Submarine Depot Ship at Gosport, "for Submarine Training". Upon completion of his training, he was drafted to the Submarine Depot Ship H.M.S. Cyclops, for Mediterranean service, as part of the 1st Submarine Flotilla at Malta and assigned to the L Class Submarine L-23 on February 11th. Twenty-one months later, and still in Malta, he was drafted on November 13, 1926 to the Cruiser H.M.S. Conquest, the Submarine Depot Ship and Submarine Flotilla Leader in the Mediterranean. Shortly thereafter, he returned to England and was posted to H.M.S. Dolphin at Gosport on November 26th. It was during this second stint with H.M.S. Dolphin that he was awarded his Royal Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal on November 28th and promoted to Leading Stoker on June 16, 1927. Down was admitted to H.M.S. Haslar, the Royal Naval Hospital at Gosport on September 26, 1927 with an undisclosed illness. He was drafted to the Submarine Depot Ship H.M.S. Ross at Portsmouth and assigned to the L Class Submarine H.M.S. L-22, as part of the 5th Submarine Flotilla, on November 11, 1927. Down was designated for Far East service and subsequently drafted to the 3,700 ton Light Cruiser H.M.S. Concord, on February 15, 1928. Upon arrival at Hong Kong, he was drafted to the Submarine Depot Ship H.M.S. Titania on February 24, 1928 and assigned to the L Class Submarine H.M.S. L-19 on April 11th, as part of the 4th Submarine Flotilla. After two years' service in China, he returned to England on March 14, 1930 and was drafted to H.M.S. Dolphin at Gosport as "spare crew", then drafted to the Submarine Depot Ship H.M.S. Lucia at The Nore in May, also as "spare crew", followed by a promotion to Stoker Petty Officer on September 26th. Down was retired to pension on August 10, 1934.