Monthly Archives: July 2014

The sad story of Lt Surgeon Bertram Flack, RN

Naval Surgeon Lt Bertram FlackWW1 Medals
Lt Surgeon Bertram Flack, RN., was born 3 February 1882 at Burnley, Lancs. England, 3rd and youngest son of the six children, born to William Henry Douglas Flack and Eliza Alice Flack, nee Parker.

He was baptised on 12 March 1882 at St Stephens Church Burnley. The Baptism Register records that his parents were William Henry Douglas and Eliza Alice Flack, living at “13 Fair View”, that the father’s trade of profession was “Banker’s Clerk” and that the officiating minister was Rev James Cranbourne (?).

It is not know where Bertram Flack attended school, although it is likely that he attended Burnley Grammar School, where his father had been head boy. The later Medical Directory (see below) indicates that he studied medicine at Victoria University of Manchester (Owens College).

The Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh’s “Register of Licentiates” contains a listing of those “Candidates who have passed the Final Examination” and an entry dated 22 October 1910, lists Bertram Flack of “Brookside, Scott Park, Burnley”. He was officially registered as a medical practitioner on 29 October 1910.

1910 to 1914. A later Medical Directory shows that he undertook his medical residency at Torbay Hospital, Torquay and later served at the Royal Hospital Devenport and Royal Navy Hospital at Chatham.

1914 to 1918. The Navy Lists and personnel records for the years 1914-1919 list Lt Surgeon Bertram Flack “(tempy.)” appointments as follows:

1914 HMS PENBROKE (RN Barracks, Chatham.)

1915 HMS HAMPSHIRE (Cruiser sunk 5 June 1916)

1916 HMS PRINCESS MAUD (Fleet Auxiliary sunk 10 June 1918)

1916 HMS VIVID (RN Barracks, Devonport)

1917 RNAS LONGSIDE (Airship station, Aberdeenshire)

1917 HMS VIVID (RN Barracks, Devonport)

1917 HMS ROYAL ARTHUR (Guard ship Scapa Flow, Orkney)

1918 HMS PENBROKE (RN Barracks, Chatham.)

1918 HMS CYCLOPS (Scapa Flow, Orkney)

HMS Hampshire

HMS Hampshire

HMS Cyclops

SS Princess Maud

RNAS Longside airship used for anti-submarine patrols in the North Sea

RNAS Longside airship used for anti-submarine patrols in the North Sea

The Royal Navy Medal Roll shows that Surgeon Lt. Bertram Flack was awarded 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He was demobilised on 17 February 1919.

The Medical Directory 1919 lists “Flack, Bertram, “Brookside,” Scott-pk, Burnley, Lancs. (Tel. Burnley 627) – L.R.C.P., L.R.C.S. Ed., L.R.F.P.S. Glas. 1910; (Owens Coll. Manch.); Temp. Surg, RN.; late Hon.Surg. Torbay Hosp. Torquay & Asst. Res.Med Off. Roy. Albert Hosp. Devenport, & Roy. Navy Hosp. Chatham.”

Bertram Flack died suddenly, aged 37, on 16 June 1919 at the Nursing Home at 18 Shear Bank Road Blackburn, Lancs. England. The family oral tradition says that he died in the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1919. The cause of death listed on the Death Certificate was “Lobar Pneumonia”. His death was registered at Blackburn by his brother F.H. Flack of 54 Railway Street Nelson on 17 June 1919.

Bertram Flack's Death Certificate

Probate was granted in London on 9 August to William Henry Douglas Flack, bank manager and his effects were valued at 985 pounds 14 shillings. The certificate stated that he lived at Underleigh Darwen, Lancashire and that he died on 16 June 1919.

Bertram Flack is buried in the Flack family grave in Burnley Cemetery.

Grave No. 4230 Burnley Cemetery

Grave No. 4230 Burnley Cemetery