Chief Petty Officer Richard Berkeley Crossman was born in Portsea in April 1876 and entered the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class aboard the Training Ship H.M.S. St. Vincent in December 1894. Following several other ship appointments over the next three years, he joined H.M.Y. Osborne as an Able Seaman in early 1898, thereafter, until August 1914, enjoying further H.M. Yacht appointments in the Victoria and Albert and Alexandra, a span of service that witnessed his advancement to Petty Officer 1st Class and the award of his L.S. and G.C. Medal in April 1909. Crossman returned to regular duties in the Battleship Agincourt for the duration of hostilities, in which ship he would have been present at the Battle of Jutland, and between May 1919 and June 1922, he returned to H.M. Yachts in the Alexandra, on this occasion as a Chief Petty Officer.