Fernand Adrien Jean Schneider
French Merchant Navy No: Mle 2987-C-39
Born: 28th May 1919 in Leffrinckoucke
Died: 8th August 2008
Date of Commencement of Service in French Merchant Navy: 26th September 1938
Date of Termination: 11th September 1939
Date of Commencement of French Military Service: 16th September 1939
Date of Termination: 14th June 1940
Medal: Croix de Guerre with Silver Star
Royal Navy Official Number: Devonport MX 73346
Date of Commencement of Service in the Royal Navy: 15th June 1940
Date of Termination: 27th May 1946
Medals: 1939-45 Star, Atlantic Star, Africa Star, Italy Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45
Fernand Schneider was on the mine sweeper ‘Saint Cyr’ during the evacuation of troops from the Dunkerque beaches, making more than one return journey to Dover. Together with other members of the crew he was then given the choice of joining either the Free French Navy or the Royal Navy. He chose the latter and joined on the 2nd July 1940 with the rating of A/ERA 4. He took British nationality and, not wanting to have the bother of changing his kit bag (stencilled with his initials) changed his name to Frank Summers.
During Frank’s service in the Royal Navy he served on the Drake, the Rodney, the Victory, and the Scylla gaining the rating of Chief Petty Officer on the 16th January 1942.
For many years Frank played the clarinet in The Royal British Legion Band, based at Norbury.