Tuesday, February 17, 2015

K29857 Stoker Albert Frederick Washer, HMS Active

Albert Frederick Washer (known as Fred), was born at Lewes on 20th August 1896, his birth recorded at Lewes in the December quarter of that year.

He appears on the 1901 census as a four year old living with his family in three rooms at Burnt House, North Common, Chailey.  The household comprised Alfred Washer (head, aged 33 and working as a general agricultural labourer), Eliza Washer (his wife, aged 31), and their four children: Alfred Washer (aged ten), Edith Mary Washer (aged eight), Arthur Thomas Washer (aged seven) and Albert Frederick (aged four).

He enlisted in the Royal Navy at Portsmouth on 13th December 1915 for the duration of hostilities. His place of birth is recorded on his surviving Naval papers as Lewes and his occupation as farm labourer.  He was five feet, six and a quarter inches tall, had fair hair, blue eyes and a fair complexion.  It was noted that he had a scar on the joint of his left thumb.  He joined HMS Victory II on the 13th December and was given the number K29857 and the rating of stoker 2nd class. 

Chailey Parish Magazine noted in January 1916 that he had attested and then, the following month, that he was a stoker, reporting him as Washer, Stoker F, RN. He served throughout the war aboard HMS Active, joining the ship on 3rd April 1916 and only leaving it when demobilised on 11th February 1919.  He was promoted to stoker 1st class on 18th April 1916 and during his time with the Royal Navy was mostly rated as very good, in terms of character and satisfactory in terms of ability. 

Fred Washer married Daisy Hills (1896-1984) and the couple settled in Danehill, Sussex.  His older brother Arthur also served during the First World War and the two men were cousins of George Trayton Washer.  Fred Washer died in 1975.

No comments: