Charles Robert Fielder

Date of birth: 1871
Place of birth: Southampton
Regiment / Division: Royal Navy
Vessel: HMS Alcantara
Rank / Service No: Baker
Died: 29th February 1916, aged 43 years
Commemorated: Plymouth Naval Memorial


Charles was the fifth of 7 siblings born to Robert and Sarah Ann Fielder (nee Russell), who married in Shirley in 1862.

Both parents were bakers and both were born in West Wellow, Robert in 1839 and Sarah in 1844.


Robert died in Southampton in 1881 and Sarah passed away in the city in 1903.



Frederick   b. 1864 Shirley   d. 1941 Wokingham 

Frank   b. 1866 St. Mary’s   d. ??  Alive in 1927, probably died in Argentina.

Fanny   b. 1868 St. Mary’s   d. ??   Married George R. Connor in Southampton in 1885 and had at least 7 children.

Kate Elizabeth   b. 1870 St. Mary’s   d. 1957 Southampton   Married George T. Wheeler

Charles Robert 

Emma Jane   b. 1876 Southampton   d. 1931 Southampton   Married George James Whittle in Southampton in 1901.

Lydia Sarah   b. 1880 Southampton   d. 19 November 1956 New South Wales   Married Allan G. Reid in New South Wales in 1915.


Charles married a very interesting woman called Ada Eva Reed in Bournemouth in 1898. Ada had apparently been married twice before she became Charles’ wife, and had definitely had 4 children by two different men before she had Charles’ 4 offspring.


Ada’s siblings

Henry William A. Manning   b. 1887 Southampton   d. 1917 Fareham

Robert Frederick P. Manning   b. 1889 Southampton   d. 1961 New Forest   Married Mabel E. Small in Southampton in 1917.

Florence Eva Reed   b. 1893 Southampton   d. 1958 Surrey

John George Reed   b. 1895 Southampton   d. 1957 Southampton   Married Evelyn A. Wright in Southampton in 1920.

Robert Frank Fielder   b. 1898 Southampton   d. 1975 Wokingham   Married Gladys M. Golder in Reading in 1927.

Reginald Leslie Fielder   b. 1899 Southampton   d. 1985 Southampton   Married Joan F. McFarlane in Southampton in 1937.

Irene Kathleen L. Fielder   b. 1901 Southampton   d. 1996 Redbridge, Essex   Married Roland A. Allinson in Southampton in 1929.

Charles Norman C. Fielder   b. 1904 Southampton   d. 1947 Sturminster Newton.


Interestingly, Ada is boarding with the Mullins family at 66 Earl’s Road, Portswood at the 1911 Census.

She is a “monthly nurse” and she is on her own.


SS Alcantara was an ocean liner that went into service just weeks before the outbreak of war.

She was converted into an armed merchant cruiser in 1915 and commissioned into the Royal Navy’s 10th Cruiser Squadron as HMS Alcantara on 17 April 1915.


The squadron patrolled about 200,000 square miles of the North Sea, Norwegian Sea and Atlantic Ocean to prevent German access to and from the North Atlantic.


On 29 February 1916, Alcantara intercepted the German merchant raider Greif, disguised as the Norwegian merchant ship Rena.

Having been ordered to stop successfully, Alcantara dispatched a boarding party towards Greif / Rena.


The German vessel then revealed her guns, started her engines and started to depart the scene whilst firing on Alcantara.

Both vessels were severely damaged by the subsequent battle. Alcantara sank at 11.02 hours, with at least 16 lifeboats being released prior to the sinking.


Greif stayed afloat, because she was carrying a large consignment of cork, but an explosion eventually sank the vessel.

The battle accounted for 230 men from Greif and 68 from Alcantara, although the Captian of the British vessel survived.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 19th July 2016


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