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Albert Stone (1883-1916)

Gateshead born waiter served as officer's steward on HMS Defence at the Battle of Jutland

Albert Stone was born on 1 September 1883. His Royal Navy service record records his place of birth as Gateshead. His family and whereabouts cannot be confirmed with certainty until he appears in the 1911 census aboard HMS Queen in Gibraltar.

Albert joined the navy on 12 November 1902 when he was 19 years old. His civilian occupation is described as a waiter and he was given the rank of domestic 3rd class on entry. His service number was 360964. He spent almost three years at HMS Vivid I the navy barracks at Devonport. He became a domestic 2nd class while serving there on 1 July 1903. In October 1905 he joined HMS Cambrian a cruiser which served on the Australia station. He was promoted to domestic 1st class in the middle of his 2 years service on Cambrian. In 1907 he returned to HMS Vivid I where he was promoted to officer’s steward on 1 October 1907. Whilst in his home port of Devonport he married Mary Ann Stone nee Pearce in 1908.

Albert was serving on HMS Orion, a dreadnought battleship, when war broke out in 1914. On 17 January 1915, he was transferred to HMS Defence, a minotaur class armoured cruiser, when it was moved from its Mediterranean station to the Grand Fleet. She was participating in the Battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916 when two salvoes detonated her rear magazine. This led to a fire that detonated her secondary magazines causing an explosion that led to the total loss of the ship and her crew of 903 men.

Albert’s body was not recovered for burial. He is honoured on the Plymouth Naval Memorial.

Albert Stone was awarded the Star, the Victory Medal and the British War Medal for his service in World War One.

Civil Parish: Gateshead

Birth date: 01-Sep-1883

Death date: 31-May-1916

Armed force/civilian: Navy

Residence: HMS Queen, Atlantic Fleet, Gibraltar (1911 census)

Employment: Waiter (1902 Royal Navy record)

Family: Spouse: Mary A C Stone nee Pearce

Military service:

Domestic 3rd class, 12 November 1902
Domestic 2nd class, 1 July 1903
Domestic 1st class, 11 September 1906
Officer's steward 1st class, 1 October 1907
HMS Vivid I, 12 November 1902 - 30 September 1905
HMS Cambrian, 1 October 1905 - 9 October 1907
HMS Queen, 3 January 1910 - 2 October 1911
HMS Defence, 17 January 1915 - 31 May 1916

Medal(s): Star
Victory Medal
British War Medal

Memorial(s): Plymouth Naval Memorial

Gender: Male

Contributed by David D, Stanley, Co Durham