Rank: Seaman C2340
Regiment: Royal Naval Reserve HMS Albion HMS King Alfred
HMS King Alfred © IWM (Q 74952)
Albert Rowe was born in Beer on 14 September 1881, the son of Albert and May Rowe of 2 Gordon Terrace.
Albert joined the Royal Naval Reserve on 1 January 1902, when his RNR record describes him as 5ft 10ins tall with blue eyes and a fair complexion. When war broke out he was fishing out of Beer on the Vera Alella (E199), and living at 7 West View.
Albert was called up on 3 August 1914, and with other Beer men he joined HMS Albion and served in the Dardanelles. On 19 May 1916, he was posted ashore to HMS Vivid at Plymouth. In October that year he was posted to HMS King Alfred, a Drake-class armoured cruiser with a crew of 900.
King Alfred was at St Vincent when he joined, and was patrolling the coast of West Africa. In 1917 King Alfred began escorting convoys from Dakar to Plymouth, then across the Atlantic from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Plymouth and Glasgow.
On 11 April 1918, while en route from Halifax to Glasgow, King Alfred was torpedoed near Rathlin Island, off the coast of Northern Ireland. The ship was badly damaged, and one stoker was killed. King Alfred diverted to Belfast for temporary repairs, and then went to Liverpool to enter dry dock. Albert left King Alfred at Liverpool and went to HMS Vivid in Plymouth until September that year. He then served on Defensively Armed Merchant Ships from 22 August 1918, and was still on this work when the war ended.
Albert was demobilised on 19 March 1919, and resumed fishing out of Beer, this time on the Try ’Em Again (E129).
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