Thursday, 19 February 2015

Remembering Alexander Hill – J/21769 Royal Navy

Remembering Alexander Hill – J/21769 Royal Navy – Lost at Sea 21 February 1917 aged 20.

Alexander Hill was born in Ayrshire 9 March 1897 the son of Samuel and Elizabeth Hill and brother of James, Samuel (Killed in action 1915), Mary, David and Elizabeth.  His father was originally from Carrickfergus but his mother of Scottish and it was here that all of the Hill children were born.  Between 1906 and 1910 the family moved to Carrickfergus and by 1911 were living in the North East Division of Eden.  Alexander was by now 14 and had left school to work in the Barn Mills Flax Mill along with his brother Samuel and sister Mary. 

In January 1913 Alexander left a job as a farm labourer and joined the Royal Navy as a boy sailor on board HMS Impregnable from 18th January 1913 to 15th September 1913, then HMS Crescent 16th September 1913 to 13th January 1914, HMS Vivid 14th January 1914 to 30th January 1914 and HMS Foresight 31st January 1914 to 20th February 1917.  On 9th March 1915, his 18th birthday he was officially enlisted for a 12 year service at which time his service papers list him as 5 foot 3 inches, brown hair, grey eyes and a fresh complexion.  It was also around the time of his 18th birthday that Alexander joined the Carrickfergus Total Abstinence Loyal Orange Lodge 1537. 

Throughout his time in the Navy his reports are of a high standard and listed as being of very good character.  On 31st December 1916 he is promoted to the rank of Able seaman while on board HMS Foresight.   It is also while serving onboard Foresight in the Aegean Sea that he is transferred for service on board HMS Alberta.  Alberta was a 1586 gross tonne steamer owned by M Langlands & Sons and built in Dundee in 1905.  During the war she acted as a fleet messenger carrying messages between ships, fleets bases and commanders.  While on a voyage from Styros to Mudros in the Aegean Sea she hit a mine laid by German Sub UC23 (Captained by Johannes Kirchner) and was sunk with the loss of 33 soles including Alexander. 

Alexander’s body was never recovered and remains lost at sea, he is forever remembered on Plymouth Navy Memorial Panel 21.  

H.M.S Alberta


No comments:

Post a Comment