Tuesday, September 23, 2014

SS6327 Able Seaman Albert Langridge, Royal Navy

Albert Langridge, pictured above when he was serving on HMS Myngs,  was born at Lewes, Sussex on the 12th August 1897. He appears on the 1901 census of England & Wales as a three year old living at Broomfield, South Common, Chailey. The family comprised George Langridge (head), aged 33 and working as a farmer; his wife Harriet (also aged 33) and their two sons: Albert and Cecil (aged one). Like his older brother, Cecil Langridge would also later join the Royal Navy and would be killed at the Battle of Jutland on 31st May 1916.

By the time the 1911 census was taken, Albert was a 13-year-old schoolboy still living at Broomfields Farm with his parents and younger brother, Cecil. Two other siblings had also arrived since the 1901 census was taken: Ethel Langridge (aged nine in 1911) and Harold Langridge (aged seven). A five-year-old Frank Southam is noted as a boarder. The head of the household, George Langridge, is recorded as a farm foreman.

When Albert joined the Royal Navy on 23rd August 1915, he stated his trade as cowman. He enlisted for five years with the colours and seven years with the Royal Fleet Reserve. His hair is described as light brown his eyes as blue and his complexion as fair. He was given the number SS6327 and the rating of ordinary seaman. His service history reads as follows:

HMS Victory I: 23rd August – 13th October 1915
HMS Myngs: 14th October 1915 – 4th February 1917 (promoted to the rating of able seaman on 18th December 1916)
HMS Torrent: 17th February – 31st December 1917
HMS Victory I: 1st January – 28th April 1918
HMS Winchester: 29th April 1918 – 30th January 1920

The photograph above shows men of HMS Winchester. Text on the reverse, reads: "Taken at the well known place called Scapa Flow after taking the German fleet to anchor on November 21st 1918. Ship's Company of HMS Winchester."

Albert's last posting was to the shore establishment, HMS Victory I between the 31st January and the 20th September 1920. The following day he joined the Royal Fleet Reserve. He had held the sub-rating of seaman gunner between 8th July 1918 and his demob on 20th September 1920, and he was also awarded a good conduct badge on 22nd August 1918.

Throughout his service with the Royal Navy, Albert's character was rated “very good” with his ability ranging from “satisfactory” to “superior”. There is a note on his record that he was wounded when HMS Torrent was sunk on 23rd December 1918.

The photograph below shows Albert, seated third from left. It is undated but may date to his time on HMS Winchester as some men bear this ship's name on their caps.

My grateful thanks to Hazel Dean and Roger Langridge, great nephew of Albert and Cecil Langridge for sending me the photos that appear on this post, and for giving permission to reproduce these here.

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