Alfred Palmer. (Ch) J 34809, Ordinary Seaman.
Alfred was born on 2nd July 1899 in Sandwich, Kent to parents Arthur, a Police Sergeant and Alice (Treadwell), their fifth child. He was recorded the following year aged one (which would place his birth year as 1900) on the 1901 census living with his family at Mill Nall Place, Sandwich.
By the 1911 census Alfred attended school, aged eleven - his father was now a Police Pensioner and the three eldest children had left home, leaving the three youngest sons living at Barnsole, Staple, Kent with their parents.
He worked briefly as a labourer (carter) before joining the Navy for twelve years service, giving his birth date as 26/04/1899. He was recorded as being 5’1” tall with fair hair, grey eyes and a scar on the left side of his cheek.
HMS GANGES - 26/01/1915 - 26/03/1915, training as a Boy 2nd Class
HMS IMPREGNABLE - 27/03/1915 - 08/07/1915, rising to Boy 1st Class on 26/04/1915 and Boy Telegraphist on 12/06/1915
HMS VERNON - 09/07/1915 - 27/08/1915
HMS VANGUARD - 28/08/1915 - 28/04/1916
HMS PEMBROKE - 29/04/1916 - 12/05/1916
HMS VANGUARD - 13/05/1916 - 09/07/1917, reverting to Boy 1st Class on 04/08/1916, rising to Ordinary Seaman on 26/04/1917 he participated aboard during the Battle of Jutland.
Double tragedy hit the family when Alice died just before her son. Alfred’s Star, Victory and British war medals were issued to his father following his death. He is remembered in Staple on the local war memorial along with a willow tree dedicated in his memory.
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GRO Reference: 1899 J Quarter in EASTRY Volume 02A Page 1029
England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975
1901 & 1911 England Census
Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services, 1848-1939 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services; Class: ADM 188; Piece: 716
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: 009 (1914 - 1919)
World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 Western Front Association; London, England; WWI Pension Record Cards and Ledgers; Reference: 147/0711/PAI-PAL
Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 Class: ADM 171; Piece: 111
Image courtesy of RBLStaple.wixsite.com and John Holland