Edward James Le Page

Date of birth: 1887
Place of birth: Southampton
Regiment / Division: Royal Navy
Vessel: HMS Alcantara
Rank / Service No: Engineer Sub-Lieutenant
Died: 29th February 1916, aged 28 years
Commemorated: Portsmouth Naval Memorial

 

Edward was the youngest of 3 known siblings born to John and Margaret Le Page. There is no proof of the couple marrying, although the union probably happened in Guernsey in the early 1870’s.

The couple are known to have had 4 children, so one must have died in infancy.

 

Both parents were born on Guernsey, Margaret in 1843 and John in 1848.

The family had moved to Southampton by 1881, based on the birth of their second child.

 

Margaret passed away in Southampton in 1907, with John following in 1920.

 

Siblings 

John Henry  b. 4 July 1876 Guernsey   d. 1942 Southampton   Married Edith Mary Miller in Southampton in 1903.

Lily May   b. 13 September 1881 Southampton   d. 1972 Barnstaple  A spinster.

Edward James

 

 

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: 7th November 2016
Updated:

 

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