Alfred Edmund Groves

Date of birth: 1882
Place of birth: Ventnor, I.o.W
Regiment / Division: Royal Navy
Vessel: HMS Viknor
Rank / Service No: Able Seaman, 204777
Died: 13th January 1915, aged 32 years
Commemorated: Portsmouth Naval Memorial


Alfred was the sixth of 9 siblings born to Alfred and Elizabeth Jane Groves (nee Jennings).


The whole family was born and bred in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight.


Alfred, an upholsterer, was born in 1846 and he died in 1920.

Elizabeth was born in 1850 and she passed away in 1938.



Annie Elizabeth   b. 1873   d. 1890 Ventnor

Edith Mary   b. 1876   d. 1910 Ventnor

James Alfred   b. 1877   d. 1945 I.o.W   Married Georgina Bruce Urry Isle of Wight 1900; the couple had at least 4 children.

Margaret Elsie   b. 1878   d. 1938 I.o.W   Married Reginald D. Medley Isle of Wight 1915.

William Henry   b. 1880   d. 1959 I.o.W Married Edith Young Isle of Wight 1905.

Alfred Edmund

Clarence   b. 1884   d. 1944 I.o.W

Deborah   b. 1886   d. 1923 I.o.W   Married Alfred W. Russell Isle of Wight 1916.

Effie Clara   b. 1890   d. 1976 I.o.W   Married Benjamin A. Jackman Isle of Wight 1919.


Alfred married Kate Helbert on the island in 1908 and the couple had 2 children….


Ronald Alfred   b. 1910 Millbrook, Southampton   d. 1958 Southampton   Married Nellie L. Forfitt in Southampton in 1933.

Nellie Louisa   b. 24 August 1911   d. 2003 Southampton


Kate had been born in Ventnor in 1884 and, interestingly, had been working as a domestic maid at the Temperance Hotel in Ventnor at the 1901 Census !

She remarried in 1917, to Frank Gleadhill, and passed away on the island in 1963.


Alfred enlisted in the RN on 4 April 1901 for the standard 12 years; he joined Viknor on 5 December 1914.

Viknor was originally built in 1888 in Glasgow, as the passenger ship S/S Atrato.


In 1912 she was renamed Viking and in 1914, when she became an Armed Merchant Cruiser, HMS Viknor.


She was transferring some high-profile German prisoners from Kirkwall to Liverpool when she sank in heavy weather off the Irish coast.

No distress call was sent, and none of the 295 crew and passengers survived.


It was assumed she had hit one of some recently-laid mines.


Many of the bodies were washed ashore days after the sinking.




Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 5th August 2016


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