Image from 1918 Suffolk Chronical & Mercury newspaper

Born: 4th November 1888, Ipswich.

Died; 26th October 1918; age 29; died of Influenza on board H.M.Hospital Ship ‘Gareth Castle,’ docked at Rosyth, Fife, Scotland.

There were four deaths on board the day William died.

Occupation: Fitter & Turner.

Enlistment in to the Royal Navy – Location: Chatham; Date: 5th February 1910 – signed up for 12 years. Height: 5ft 4  7/10ins, fair complexion, grey eyes & brown hair. Birthmark right knee.                                                                                                  

Last day of service: 31st December 1915.

Residence: 94, Back Hamlet, Ipswich.

Employed: as an Engineer – Ransomes Sims & Jefferies Ltd., Ipswich.


Promoted 2nd Lieutenant – 1st April 1918.


Rank: Second Lieutenant

Regiment: Royal Air Force, 201st Training Squadron, based on H.M.S. ‘Argus.’


Grave Reference:IMG_6717


Ipswich Old Cemetery,



Relatives Notified & Address: Son of William Bartlett Finbow & Caroline Emma Finbow, of 94, Back Hamlet, Ipswich.


1891   23, Woodhouse Street, Ipswich.


William was 2 years old and living with his parents.

William Bartlett Finbow, 31, a Baker & Confectioner – own account, born Mendlesham, Suffolk.

Caroline Emma Finbow (nee Potter), 29, born Ipswich.


1901   168, Wherstead Road, Ipswich.


William was 12 years old and living with his parents & brothers.

William, 41, Painter – Iron Foundry.

Caroline, 38.

Bertie Arthur John Finbow, 6, born Ipswich.

Cecil Walter Finbow, 1 month, born Ipswich.

1 boarder Joseph M. Potter, 35, a Groom.


Probate to William Bartlett Finbow – father.


William Bartlett Finbow applied for his son’s officer medals on the 16th January 1922. The medals were sent to 94, Back Hamlet, Ipswich.


William is also remembered on the war memorial at Holy Trinity Church, Ipswich.

Extra information courtesy of Rob Webb.

Royal Air Force:




  • Thinking of my great uncle Bill today. I didn’t know you but my grandfather spoke of you with pride and affection.

  • Thinking of my great uncle too. I was too young to know about you but I’ve since learnt about your sacrifice in the Great War. With love and gratitude from all of us xxx

  • Discovered that William George Finbow died of influenza on board HM Hospital Ship Garth Castle on 26 October 1918. The ship was docked at Rosyth where it helped to manage an outbreak of influenza that swept the ships. Finbow was based on HMS Angus but obviously moved to Garth Castle. There were four deaths on board the day Finbow died.


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