Date of birth: 25th March 1882
Place of birth: Freemantle, Southampton
Date of marriage: 28th May 1910
Place of marriage: Devonport, Devon
Service No.: 202257
Rank: Leading Seaman
Regiment / Division: Royal Navy
Ship: H.M.S. Bulwark
Died: 26th November 1914 aged 34 years
Death Location: At Sea near Sheerness, Kent
Life before the war
Alfred was born on 25 March 1882 in Freemantle, Southampton. His parents were William, b. 1844 in Dorset and Mary Jane, nee Squire, b. 1855 in Hackney, Middlesex. They were married in 1877 in Christchurch, Hampshire. Alfred’s siblings were William Francis 1880 – 1930, Elizabeth b. 1885 and Harry b. 1887.
On 28 May 1910 Alfred married Ethel, nee Andrews, in Devonport, Devon. Ethel was born 1885 in Exeter, Devon. They had a son Alfred George born 23 December 1912 at 48 Melville Road, Gosport, Hampshire.
In 1911 Alfred was living with his wife Ethel at 34 Albert Road, Southsea, Hampshire. His occupation was given as Royal Navy Able Seaman.
Alfred joined the Royal Navy in about 1900/1901. When he died he was a Leading Seaman, Service Number 202257.
He died on 26 November 1914 aged 34 whilst serving on H.M.S. Bulwark.
Alfred 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.
Following the outbreak of the First World War, Bulwark, along with the rest of the squadron, was attached to the Channel Fleet conducting patrols in the English Channel. On 26 November 1914, while anchored near Sheerness, she was destroyed by a large internal explosion with the loss of 736 men. Two of the 14 survivors died later in hospital. The explosion was likely to have been caused by the overheating of cordite charges that had been placed adjacent to a boiler room bulkhead.
Bulwark’s wreck site is designated as a controlled site under the Protection of the Military Remains Act.
A memorial to those lost on Bulwark and Princess Irene was erected at the Dockyard Church, Sheerness in 1921. It was dedicated by Archdeacon Ingles, the Chaplain of the Fleet. It was unveiled by Hugh Evan-Thomas, Commander-in-Chief, The Nore. Victims of both ships are also commemorated on the Naval War Memorial at Southsea.
Another memorial was placed in Woodlands Road Cemetery, Gillingham, as part of the Naval Burial Ground.
National roll of the Great War
“Bishop, A.G., Seaman, R.N.
He had served thirteen years in the navy in H.M. Ships Flying Fish, Victory and the Vincent and at the outbreak of WWI was in August 1914 on board H.M.S. Bulwark. He was killed when this vessel blew up in November 1914. He was entitled to the 1914 – 1915 Star and the General Service and Victory Medals.
71 Pound Street, Shirley, Southampton”.
Royal navy and Royal Marine War Graves
Name: Alfred George Bishop
Rank: Ldg Smn
Birth Date: 25 Mar 1882
Birth Place: Freemantle, Southampton, Hampshire, England
Branch of Service: Royal Navy
Cause of Death: Killed or died by means other than disease, accident or enemy action
Official Number Port Division: 202257. (Po)
Death Date: 26 Nov 1914
Ship or Unit: HMS Bulwark
Location of Grave: Not recorded
Name and Address of Cemetery: Body Not Recovered For Burial
Relatives Notified and Address: Wife: Ethel 48, Melville Rd, Mill Lane, Gosport