Frank Lockwood LARKINS

Poppy

LARKINS, Frank Lockwood

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 31 December 1912
Last Rank: Sub Lieutenant
Last Unit: Royal Australian Navy
Born: United Kingdom, 1899
Home Town: Not yet discovered
Schooling: Melbourne Grammar School
Occupation: Naval Officer
Died: Drowning, Carimata Strait off the coast of Borneo, 20 June 1919
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Melbourne Grammar School WW1 Fallen Honour Roll, Plymouth Naval Memorial to the Missing / Lost at Sea
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Non Warlike Service

31 Dec 1912: Enlisted Royal Australian Navy, Cadet Midshipman, SN Officer, Royal Australian Navy

World War 1 Service

31 Dec 1912: Transferred Royal Australian Navy, Royal Australian Navy, Where Attached for Duty
  • 31st December 1912 - Royal Australian Navy College
  • 1st January 1917 - HMAS Cerebus
  • 18th January 1917 - London Depot
  • 5th April 1917 - HMS Royal Sovereign
  • 21st November 1918 - HMS Vampire
  • 3rd March 1919 - HMS Dolphin
  • 25th March 1919 - HMAS Platypus J2
  • 1 Jan 1917: Promoted Royal Australian Navy, Midshipman, Royal Australian Navy
    1 Dec 1918: Promoted Royal Australian Navy, Sub Lieutenant, Royal Australian Navy, Had been promoted to Acting Sub Lieutenant on 1st September 1918.
    20 Jun 1919: Wounded Royal Australian Navy, Sub Lieutenant, SN Officer, Royal Australian Navy, Washed overboard and drowned

    Help us honour Frank Lockwood Larkins's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

    Biography contributed by Daryl Jones

    FRANK LOCKWOOD LARKINS

    Who was drowned at sea, being lost overboard from Submarine J2 in Carimata Strait on the coast of Borneo on 20th June 1919, was the son of Mr. W. A. Larkins. He was born in 1899 and was at the Melbourne Grammar Preparatory School from 1910 to 1913. He was the first Old Melburnian to join the Royal Australian Naval College, which he entered in February 1913 at the opening of the College. He
    was the first Cadet Captain appointed in the College, and finished his course in December 1916. In January 1917 he proceeded to the North Sea, where he served in H.M.S. " Royal Sovereign " until November 1918, and shortly after was transferred to H.M.S. " Vampire." Sub-Lieutenant Larkins was later appointed to the Submarine J2, in which he was proceeding to Australia. The news of the loss was received with deep regret by the Naval Board and the comrades of Sub-Lieutenant Larkins in the Royal Australian Navy. The story of the loss is told in a letter from Commander Boyle, H.M.A.S. "Platypus," thus : "Your son was washed overboard and drowned from H.M.A. Submarine J2 on Friday, 20th June, in the Carimata Strait, when we were two days out from Singapore. His absence was first noticed at 6.30 a.m., and upon careful inquiry being made it was thought probable that he had been washed overboard about 3.30 a.m. The whole flotilla was immediately turned round and proceeded at full speed to the position we were in at that time, and a thorough search was carried out in the vicinity until after dark that evening. In the hot fine weather all the officers and men sleep on the upper deck. The boat's side is guarded. Only one small wave came inboard during the whole night, and this was at 3.30 a.m. Although nothing happened to indicate that anybody had fallen overboard, it must be assumed that your son was either washed overboard at this time or that he got out of bed and fell over the side just before, as he was seen in his bed on the upper deck asleep at 3.10 a.m. and no one saw him after this. He was one of the nicest officers that his Captain has ever had to do with, and he will be a very great loss to the service. His record at Jervis Bay was splendid, and he promised to become an example of everything that an officer should be. The funeral service with full military honours was read in this ship on the evening of the day he died." The following letter from the Chaplain of H.M.A.S. " Platypus " is a tribute to a young naval officer of which his parents are justly proud. Chaplain Tulloh wrote : " He was a splendid young man, courteous, cheerful and capable. Everybody liked him and thought well of him. My own feelings towards him were of deep attachment and regard." Sub-Lieutenant Getting wrote thus of him : " Your son was our leader in everything. At college, as you know, he was our games leader and our senior captain, and one we always looked for wherever we were. I knew him probably better than anyone else in our term, and I cannot say I have met a finer and fairer fellow."

    Source : War Services Old Melburnians 1914 – 1918

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    Biography contributed by Evan Evans

    The summary below was completed by Cathy Sedgwick – Facebook “WW1 Australian War Graves in England/UK/Scotland/Ireland

    Died on this date – 20th June.... Frank Lockwood Larkins & his twin brother Brian Lockwood Larkins were born on 27th March, 1899 in Melbourne, Victoria.
    Frank Lockwood Larkins joined the Royal Australian Navy on 31st December, 1912 for 12 years from the age of eighteen. He appointed Cadet Midshipman P.N.F. (Permanent Naval Forces) on 31st December, 1912 & attended Royal Australian Naval College from 31st December, 1912 till 31st December, 1916.
    Cadet Midshipman Frank Lockwood Larkins was appointed Midshipman on 1st January, 1917. He was posted to H.M.A.S. Cerberus from 1st January, 1917 until 17th January, 1917 then transferred to London Depot until 4th April, 1917 then transferred again to H.M.S. Royal Sovereign from 5th April, 1917 until 26th October, 1918.

    Midshipman Frank Lockwood Larkins was promoted to Acting Sub-Lieutenant from 1st September, 1918 & was confirmed in the rank of Sub-Lieutenant from 1st December, 1918 having served on several more ships.
    Sub-Lieutenant Frank Lockwood Larkins gained a Commission on 21st March, 1919 & was posted to H.M.A.S. Platypus (J2) from 25th March, 1919.

    HMS J2 and her sisters, J1, J3, J4, J5 and J7, (submarines) were gifted to the Royal Australian Navy by the British Admiralty after the conclusion of the First World War hostilities. HMAS Platypus, from 25th March, 1919, was the Submarine Depot Ship for six J Class submarines.

    Sub-Lieutenant Frank Lockwood Larkins died on 20th June, 1919 as a result on an accidental drowning at Karimata Strait, Netherlands East Indies when he was lost overboard from Submarine J2.
    Cause of death listed by The Australian War Memorial – Accidental (Drowning).
    From The Naval Historical Society of Australia:
    June 20, 1919

    SBLT F. L. Larkins, RAN, was washed overboard and drowned from HMA Submarine J2, in the Karimata Strait, (between Borneo and Sumatra), while the vessel was returning to Australia. Larkins was one of the original entry to the RAN College in 1913.
    Extract from Australian Submarines at Peace: J Boats (by Graham Seal)

    “…..During this final stage of the voyage tragedy again struck the J-boats. Due to the oppressive heat of the tropics, the crews had taken to sleeping on the casing. But on the morning of June 20, the men of J2 discovered the empty blankets of Sub-Lieutenant Larkins. All the submarines immediately conducted a search until late in the afternoon, but without success. J2’s captain held a burial service with all the crew mustered – ‘They were a band of downcast men who stood there bareheaded’, Jones wrote………”
    From the Melbourne Grammar School War Services Books:

    “…..The story of the loss is told in a letter from Commander Boyle, H.M.A.S. "Platypus," thus : "Your son was washed overboard and drowned from H.M.A. Submarine J2 on Friday, 20th June, in the Carimata Strait, when we were two days out from Singapore. His absence was first noticed at 6.30 a.m., and upon careful inquiry being made it was thought probable that he had been washed overboard about 3.30 a.m. The whole flotilla was immediately turned round and proceeded at full speed to the position we were in at that time, and a thorough search was carried out in the vicinity until after dark that evening. In the hot fine weather all the officers and men sleep on the upper deck. The boat's side is guarded. Only one small wave came inboard during the whole night, and this was at 3.30 a.m. Although nothing happened to indicate that anybody had fallen overboard, it must be assumed that your son was either washed overboard at this time or that he got out of bed and fell over the side just before, as he was seen in his bed on the upper deck asleep at 3.10 a.m. and no one saw him after this. He was one of the nicest officers that his Captain has ever had to do with, and he will be a very great loss to the service……”

    Sub-Lieutenant F. L. Larkins is named on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon, England – Panel 31. He has no grave, however his death is still acknowledged by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

    (The above is a summary of my research. The full research can be found by following the link below)
    https://ww1austburialsuk.weebly.com/l---r.html

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