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Leading Seaman Albert Edwin Spencer died 31-05-1916 aged 28

Albert was born in Enford, Wiltshire on the 3rd April 1888, his parents were Thomas and Ann Spencer. In the 1891 Census Albert is one of 9 children, 6 boys and 3 girls, his Father Thomas was a Farm Bailiff, the family lived at Chisenbury de la folly, Wiltshire.

In 1899 Albert’s father, Thomas died.

By the time of the 1901 Census the family has moved to Upavon, William, Thomas and Albert are all now Agricultural Labourers, and Thomas has a new brother Frank.

On the 3rd April 1906, Albert joined the Navy and signed up for 12 years, he was on many ships working his way up to Able Seaman.

By 1911, Albert has joined the Navy and is on board HMS Robin in China, Ann his mother is still living in Upavon with Albert’s brother Alfred, who is a Golf Green Keeper.

On 21st April 1914, Albert joined HMS Black Prince, and in February 1915 he was promoted to Leading Seaman.

In the 4th quarter of 1915 Albert Edwin Spencer married Ellen M Budden at Catherington, Hampshire.

HMS Black Prince was an armoured cruiser which formed part of Rear-Admiral Robert Arbuthnot's ill-fated 1st Cruiser Squadron at Jutland.
The battle unfolded in extensive manoeuvring and three main engagements (the battlecruiser action, the fleet action and the night action), from 31 May to 1 June 1916, off the North Sea coast of Denmark's Jutland Peninsula. It was the largest naval battle and the only full-scale clash of battleships in that war.

The Cruiser squadron was employed as a screen several miles ahead of the Grand Fleet. During the early engagement, Black Prince became separated from the rest of the force, and later during the night came into contact with the German High Seas Fleet at point blank range. Powerful searchlights were turned on her and she was engaged by up to five battleships. There were no survivors from a crew of 858.

Leading Seaman Albert Edwin Spencer, 235005, H.M.S. "Black Prince", Royal Navy died on 31 May 1916 aged 28, his body was not recovered, remembered with Honour on Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

Ellen, Albert’s wife, lived around the Portsmouth area and died at the age of 72, in 1964.


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