Albert was born on 30th December 1894 to parents Thomas and Lydia Mates of 72, Vincent Street, Westminster. He was recorded on the 1901 census as an inmate at a convalescent home in Canterbury Parade, Westgate on Sea, aged 5 and three years later, on 13th February 1904, he was enrolled into Ashford School, in the West London School District. The record gave his home address as 98 Vauxhall Bridge Road.
Albert joined the Royal Marines as a Band Boy straight from finishing school on 11th November 1909, aged just 14. He attended the Royal Navy School of music at Eastney Portsmouth, his character assessed as very good and his ability good. Once fully grown he stood 5’4” tall and had dark brown hair and blue eyes. He was recorded at Portsmouth on the 1911 census.
On 28th March 1912 he joined the crew of the St Vincent class dreadnought battleship HMS Vanguard as a Royal Marine Musician and remained with her until her explosion. Albert was very much part of the band who kept morale high by performing his music in many of the plays the talented crew members would provide.
He is remembered in perpetuity on Portsmouth's Naval War Memorial. His pension was claimed by his mother following his death.
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England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 Free BMD
1901 & 1911 England Census
London, England, Poor Law School District Registers, 1852-1918 London Metropolitan Archives; London, England; Poor Law School District Registers; Reference Number: WLSD/425
UK, Royal Marines Registers of Service Index, 1842-1925 - ADM 159/109/1638
British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Admiralty: Naval Casualties, Indexes, War Grave Rolls and Statistics Book, First World War.; Class: ADM 242; Piece: Piece 009; Piece Description: Piece 009 (1914 - 1919)
British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Admiralty and predecessors: Office of the Director General of the Medical Department of the Navy and predecessors: Service Registers and Registers of Deaths and Injuries. Registers of Reports of Deaths
UK, Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/9; Scan Number: 0433
World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 Western Front Association; London, England; WWI Pension Record Cards and Ledgers; Reference: 542931