Date of birth: 27th December 1897
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: J/27072
Rank: Able Seaman
Service: Royal Navy
Ship: H.M.S. Narborough
Date of Death: 12th June 1918 aged 20 years
Death Location: At Sea
Life before the War
Alfred was born 27 December 1897 in Southampton. His parents were Albert and Amelia Bertha, nee Couzens. He had nine siblings:
George Stephen 1890
Lilian Mabel 1891
Alfred Charles 1897 – 1918
Bertha Pretoria 1900
Beatrice Alexandra 1902
Winifred Violet 1904
Two brothers served in WW1 and a sister supported the war effort. Alfred’s father also supported the war effort and is named on the Southampton Cenotaph.
In 1901 Alfred, with his family, were living at 52 Kingsley Road, Millbrook, Southampton. By 1911 they had moved to 19 Dukes Road, Portswood, Southampton.
Military History of Alfred’s father and siblings
Albert (father) enlisted in Southampton into the Royal Defence Corps, 253rd Protection Coy, as a Private, Service Number 24931. He died at home on 29 November 1916 aged 60. He is Remembered with Honour at Holybrook Cemetery, Southampton. Please select the link to his name to read Albert’s story.
Albert (brother) served with the Royal Navy for a period of time, though by the 1911 census he was no longer serving. In 1901 he was a crew member aboard the Boscowen berthed in Dorset. In WW1 he enlisted in Southampton on 22nd October 1914, joining the Royal Defence Corps, 5th Hampshire Regiment. His Service Number was 21688. He was discharged on 18th June 1916 after serving at home for the whole of his Military History. He gave his mother as next of kin.
George Stephen enlisted in Southampton into the Army Service Corps (MT). He gave his address as 1 Mount Street, Southampton and his occupation was a Motor Driver. He had previously served for 2 years and 8 months. He gave his next of kin as Emily Ann, nee Board who he had married on 23 April 1913 in Southampton, details of his two children were also entered on his military records. He received the British Service and Victory Medals.
Bertha Pretoria was mentioned in the National Roll of the Great War
“Winkworth, B. P., (Miss), Special War Worker. This lady volunteered for work of National importance in February 1917 and during the whole period of her service did excellent work for her employers. She was at first engaged at the British American Factory in soldering tins for conveying tobacco to the troops and later as Order and Ward Maid in the University War Hospital, Southampton, giving complete satisfaction in both places.
19 Dukes Road, St Denys, Southampton.”
Royal Navy Graves Roll
“Alfred joined the Royal Navy, rank was Able Seaman, Service Number J/27072. He was serving aboard the HMS Narbrough when he died on 12 January 1918. Cause of death was given as ‘killed or died by means other than disease, accident or enemy action’. His body was never recovered. His next of kin was Bertha A Winkworth of 19 Dukes Road, St Deny, Southampton; mother.”
National Roll of the Great War
“Winkworth, A. C., A.B., R.N. H,M,S. Crescent. He volunteered on August 4th 1914 and was posted to H.M.S. Crescent and later to H.M.S. Temeraire and H.M.S. Narborough. Attached to the Grand Fleet he was in action at the Battle of Jutland and the Bight of Heligoland and rendered services of a valuable nature until he was unfortunately drowned on January 12th 1917. He was entitled to the 1914 – 15 Star and the General Service and Victory Medals.”
19 Dukes Road, St Denys, Southampton.
He is Remembered with Honour on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire.
After the First World War an appropriate way had to be found of commemorating those members of the Royal Navy who had no known grave, the majority of deaths having occurred at sea where no permanent memorial could be provided.
An Admiralty committee recommended that the three manning ports in Great Britain – Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth – should each have an identical memorial of unmistakable naval form, an obelisk, which would serve as a leading mark for shipping. The memorials were designed by Sir Robert Lorimer, who had already carried out a considerable amount of work for the Commission, with sculpture by Henry Poole. The Portsmouth Naval Memorial was unveiled by the Duke of York (the future George VI) on 15 October 1924.
At Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery there are 439 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 112 of which are unidentified. The majority of the graves are of officers, ratings, and members of the land forces lost from H.M.S. Hampshire, Vanguard, Narborough and Opal.
HMS Narborough was an M class destroyer launched in 1916. On 12 January 1918 she and her sister ship HMS Opal were wrecked on the Pentland Skerries after running aground when a sudden violent snow storm occurred. Only one sailor survived, 188 were killed. Most of the casualties were never found and are commemorated on the Portsmouth Memorial.