Frederick William Weeks AM

b. 01/06/1890 Exeter, Devon. d. 20/10/1967 Sutton, Surrey.

DATE OF AM ACTION: 18/01/1917 Lowestoft, Suffolk.

Frederick was the second of three children of George and Angelina Weeks. Little else is known about his life, though in 1939, following retirement from the Royal Navy he was a small holder in Bigbury on Sea, Devon with his wife Ethel. In later life he moved to Surrey following Ethel’s death and lived in Banstead. He died in Sutton General Hospital on 20th October 1967 and his estate was left to his son Peter George Ray Weeks, a company director.



On the night of Thursday, the 18th January 1917, a member of the crew of one of His Majesty’s Ships, when returning from leave, fell into the sea between the ship and the quay. The matter was at once reported to Acting Lieutenant Frederick William Weeks, R.N.R., to whom it was obvious that any attempt at rescue must be attended by considerable danger. The ship, which was kept clear of the side of the quay by spar fenders of only nine inches in diameter, was working to and fro with the slight swell entering the harbour. Moreover the man was incapable of helping himself; he was of heavy build and was wearing a uniform greatcoat. In view of the risk to the rescuer of being crushed between the ship and the quay, Lieutenant Weeks decided that he could not order a man down. He thereupon took a line and went down himself. By this time the man was almost unconscious. Lieutenant Weeks managed to obtain a hold of his hair and by this mean kept him sufficiently above water, whilst wedging himself with his back against the quay with his knees against the ship’s side. During this time he was mostly under water, the temperature of which was thirty-nine degrees. He succeeded in securing a line round the man, who was hauled on deck. The man was unconscious and very nearly drowned when brought on deck, and there is no doubt that, but for Lieutenant Weeks’ prompt measures, he would have lost his life.