Chailey Parish Magazine first notes him in March 1916, recording him as Jenner, Boy 2nd Class C, RN. Presumably he used the name Christopher, or Chris, rather than David, so I shall refer to him as this.
He enlisted with the Royal Navy at
for a period of 12 years on Portsmouth 29th
January 1916 but his reckonable service does not begin until his
eighteenth birthday on 23rd
August 1917. He was five
feet, two and a half inches tall, had brown hair, brown eyes and a dark
complexion. It was noted that he had a brown mole on the outer side of his left
Christopher gave his occupation as farm labourer. He was given the number J49195 and sent to the boys’ training establishment, HMS Ganges. His rating was Boy 2nd Class. On
5th July 1916 his rating was upgraded to Boy
1st class and on 6th
September 1916 he transferred from HMS Ganges to HMS Constance. On his eighteenth birthday his rating was
automatically upgraded to ordinary seaman and on 30th November that year he
became Able Seaman Jenner. He remained
with HMS Constance until 26th September 1920 when he
came ashore to
at HMS Victory I. He was given a free discharge on 16th
During his time with the Royal Navy his character was mostly rated as very good with his ability ranging from satisfactory to superior. He spent 14 days in the cells in 1918 (causing his character reference at the end of that year to be marked as “good” rather than “very good”) but whatever misdemeanour had caused him to be sentenced appears not to have affected his award of a good conduct badge on 5th September 1920.
HMS Constance was one of four Cambrian Class light cruisers which was ordered under the 1914-15 naval programme. It was launched on
September 1915 and sold for scrapping in January 1936.
Christopher’s brother Alec also served in the Royal Navy during the First World War.