Herbert George Hewlett was my 2nd cousin three times removed. We are both descended from Thomas Mungham, an agricultural labourer, and Elizabeth Sarah Wood who were my 4th Great Grandparents, and Herbert’s Great Grandparents. They were born in Kent, England in 1809 and 1921 respectively. They were married in June of 1841, but their son, William Mungham was already 7 years old at the time, which would have made his mother 13 at the time of his birth. Whether this was indeed the case or William was a child from another union, he was certainly claimed by both as their son. Herbert was descended from William, while I am descended from Thomas and Elizabeth’s third son, Henry. In all the census data, William is listed as a labourer, sometimes agricultural and sometimes industrial such as on the railway. He married Sarah Elizabeth Johnson in 1858, and they had six children together, including Herbert’s mother, Elizabeth Ann who was born in Kent in 1861. In 1889, she married widower Joseph Hewlett who had three children from his first marriage, aged 8, 5 and 4. Joseph and Elizabeth went on to have four more children together, the youngest of whom, Herbert, was born in 1896.
Abbreviated family tree of Herbert Hewlett
In the 1911 census, Herbert is listed as 15 years old, living with his parents and three of his older siblings, and working as a newspaper boy in Dover, Kent. He joined the Royal Navy in May of 1915 when he was 19 years old as a stoker, being trained at Pembroke II in Chatham. He then served aboard the HMS Jupiter and HMS Blenheim.
He was aboard HMS Jupiter at a time where she was assigned to the Medeterranean sea to the Suez Canal Patrol, then to the Red Sea, then back to the Suez Canal with a home port in Port Said, Egypt. This must have been an extraordinary experience for a newspaper boy from Dover. HMS Jupiter returned to England in November 1916, at which time Herbert spent some more time at Pembroke II, close to his family in Kent, before being assigned to HMS Blenheim in February of 1917. This ship was a depot ship to the destroyer fleet throughout the rest of the war.
Herbert married three times in his life, and I found no indication that he ever had children. He died in 1985 at the age of 89.