Alfred Ernest Good

Date of birth:                     1893
Place of birth:                    Southampton
Date of marriage:             1916
Place of marriage:            Southampton
Regiment / Division:      Mercantile Marine
Died:                                      26th February 1918 aged 25 years
Death Location:                At Sea

Life before the War
Alfred was born in Shirley, Southampton in 1893.  His parents were Joseph and Mary Jane E, nee Lee, (aka Jane) who married in 1876 in Southampton.  Joseph was born in 1851 Chertsey, Surrey and died 1898 aged 47.

Like Alfred, his 6 siblings were all born in Shirley:

George William 1880
Rose Mabel 1884
Amy 1886
Arthur Albert 1888
Joseph William 1894
Elsie May 1897

His brother George was also killed in action aboard the S.S. St. Boswells (London) on 10 June 1920.  Please select his name to read George’s story.

By the 1901 census Albert’s father had died and his mother Mary, working as a Laundress, was head of the family.  She was living at 14 Chilworth Road, Shirley, Southampton.  Albert with his brothers Arthur and William (aka Joseph) and sister Elsie were also at this address.

In 1911 Albert’s mother was living at 45 Chilworth Road, Shirley Warren, Southampton.  Living with her is son Joseph who is a chemist’s errand boy and daughter Elsie May.  There is no trace of Alfred.

Alfred married Dorothy Mabel Head in Southampton in 1916.  They had a daughter Dorothy Edna N Good born 1917 Southampton.

War Service
Alfred served with the Mercantile Marine as a Pantryman aboard the H.M.H.S. Glenart Castle (Southampton).  Alfred died on 26 February 1918 age 25.  He received the Mercantile Marine War Medal.

He is Remembered with Honour at the Tower Hill Memorial in London.  The Tower Hill Memorial commemorates men and women of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets who died in both World Wars and who have no known grave.  His brother George is also remembered here.

National Roll of Honour
“Good, A. E. 1st Pantryman, Merchant Service. He volunteered in August 1914 and was posted to the Gloucester Castle which carried troops from Southampton to Mesopotamia and returned with the sick and wounded. In December 1916 he was transferred to the Dover Castle and in this ship was engaged in bringing wounded from Mesopotamia to Malta until she was torpedoed and sunk in the Mediterranean Sea May 26th 1917. He was saved and then served in the Glenart Castle which was used as a hospital ship for the wounded between Eastern Theatres of war and England. This vessel was torpedoed and sunk by a submarine in the Bristol Channel and he was drowned on February 26th 1918. He was entitled to the General Service and Mercantile Marine War Medals.
24 William Street, Northam, Southampton”

Historical Information
HMHS Glenart Castle (His Majesty’s Hospital Ship) was a steamship originally built as Galacian in 1900 for the Union-Castle Line.  She was renamed Glenart Castle in 1914, and requisitioned for use as a British hospital ship during the First World War.  On 26 February 1918 she was returning to the UK when at 4 am she was hit and sunk by a torpedo from the German U-boat UC-56.

In the eight minutes the ship took to sink only seven lifeboats could be launched.  Rough seas and inexperienced rowers swamped most of the boats. Only a few survivors were reported.  The Captain- Bernard Burt died along with 162 others including eight nurses, seven Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) medical officers and 47 medical orderlies.  The matron of Glenart Castle — Miss Kate Beaufoy — was a veteran of the South African War.  Her family kept her diary and her writings describe life on the ship.

Evidence surfaced later that initial survivors of the sinking may have been shot at by the submarine in an effort to cover up the sinking of Glenart Castle.  The body of one of the junior officers of Glenart Castle was pulled from the water close to the site of the sinking.  It was marked with two gunshot wounds, one in the neck and the other in the thigh.  The body also had a life vest indicating he was shot while in the water.


Research by Becky Lonergan 2013.

2 responses to “Alfred Ernest Good

  1. Hi and thanks for contacting us, I will pass your comment on to Becky who wrote the story.
    kind regards
    Brenda White-Southampton Cenotaph Families and Friends Group.

  2. Hi there,
    Thank you for your comments, Alfred’s story was uploaded in June, so pleased you liked it.
    Kind regards
    Brenda White for Southampton Cenotaph Families and Friends Group

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