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Alfred Henry Tidmarsh (Ch) 143647 Chief Stoker. RFR (Ch) A 1403

Alfred was born in Great Rollright on 26th May 1870 to parents Henry and Mary Ann Tidmarsh, their second child and first son.  He was first mentioned on the 1871 census aged just 10 months old, living at The Tyte with his parents and sister Bertha along with a lodger. At the time of the 1881 census the family still lived at Great Rollright and when Alfred was nineteen he married Florence Challis in 1889 having a son and a daughter together before Florence died in 1901.

Alfred joined the Royal Navy on 1st December 1887, aged 18 for 12 years service originally as a stoker, recorded as being 5’8” tall at full age, with brown hair and blue eyes His service follows:

HMS ASIA - 01/12/1887 - 21/02/1888, training as a Stoker 2nd Class

HMS MALABAR - 22/02/1888 - 28/04/1890, rising to Stoker on 20/04/1888

HMS ASIA - 29/04/1890 - 08/05/1890

HMS HOWE - 09/05/1890 - 24/05/1892

HMS VICTORY II - 25/05/1892 - 27/01/1893

HMS COLLINGWOOD - 28/01/1893 - 04/04/1896

HMS VICTORY II - 05/04/1896 - 25/11/1896, rising to Leading Stoker on 05/06/1896

HMS PRINCE GEORGE - 26/11/1896 - 26/06/1899, rising to Leading Stoker 1st Class on 12/06/1897, Acting Chief Stoker on 01/04/1898 and Chief Stoker on 01/04/1899

HMS DUKE OF WELLINGTON - 27/06/1899 - 14/01/1900

HMS RAMILLIES - 15/01/1900 - 07/10/1905

HMS PEMBROKE  - 08/10/1905 - 27/03/1904

HMS WILDFIRE - 28/03/1904 - 22/09/1905

HMS PEMBROKE II - 23/09/1905 - 09/10/1905

HMS WILDFIRE - 10/10/1905 - 09/03/1906

HMS PEMBROKE II - 10/03/1906 - 19/03/1906

HMS LANCASTER - 20/03/1906 - 06/04/1908

HMS PEMBROKE II - 07/04/1908 - 24/05/1908

HMS ENDYMION - 25/05/1908 - 03/12/1909

HMS PEMBROKE II - 04/12/1909 - 05/12/1909

Following a lengthy service Alfred retired to the Royal Navy Reserve in Chatham on 21st May 1910 after 22 ½ years. 

In April 1908 he married Violet Whitley in Coulsdon, Surrey. After leaving the Navy, Alfred and Violet ran a pub, The Prince Regent also called The Grapes, at 17 High Street, Isle of Sheppey, with a daughter and two sons by Violet. At the outbreak of the First World War he was recalled to the Royal Navy, joining Pembroke shore base in Chatham on 5th August 1914. On 15th September 1915 he was posted to the dreadnought HMS Vanguard until her explosion in 1917.

His family moved to Chiswick, where in March 1916 Violet gave birth to a second daughter called Poppy Vanguard.

Alfred was killed aged 48.  Following his death his Star, Victory and British war medals were issued to his widow; his pension was split into two disbursements.  His main pension of 32/6 was paid to his widow Violet and their four children Olga, Nicholas, Frank and Poppy, with a smaller, separate issue of 8 shillings a week being paid to his mother Mary Ann, from 1st September 1917.  Violet and the children did not start to receive their payments until 10th January 1918. 

Alfred's Signature

Alfred lies at rest on the Orkney island of Hoy, one of the few crew members found after the ship’s destruction.  He is buried with shipmate and Chief Stoker John Granfield.

14th November 2023 - A white rose placed at all Vanguard graves

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