ALFRED PREECE

Image from the Suffolk Chronicle And Mercury – 1918

Born: 2nd October 1882, Northfleet, Kent.

Died: 16th August 1917; age 33; KiA with submarine in North Sea.

Residence: 33, Orwell Road, Ipswich.

Enlistment Details: Location: Chatham; Date: 2nd October 1900 – signed up for 12 years; Occupation: Coal Porter. Height on joining 5ft 1 1/2ins, height at 18 years old 5ft 4ins. Fresh complexion, grey eyes & light brown hair. Tattoo – female figure on right forearm.

 

Service:

Boscawen – Boy 2nd Class – 10th October 1898

Boscawen – Boy 1st Class – 12th July 1899 – 14th September 1899

Minotaur – Boy 1st Class – 15th September 1899 – 14th February 1900

Agincourt – Boy 1st Class – 15th February 1900 – 26th March 1900

Goliath – Boy 1st Class – 27th March 1900

Goliath – Ordinary Seaman – 2nd October 1900

Goliath – Able Seaman – 29th September 1903 – 8th October 1903

Pembroke – Able Seaman – 9th October 1903 – 3rd May 1904

Wildfire – Able Seaman – 4th May 1904 – 5th October 1904

Pembroke – Able Seaman – 6th October 1904 – 28th October 1904

Surly – Able Seaman – 29th October 1904 – 18th November 1904

Pembroke – Able Seaman – 19th November 1904 – 11th December 1904

Wildfire – Able Seaman – 12th December 1904 – 30th June 1905

Endymion – Able Seaman – 1st July 1905 – 26th October 1905

Pembroke – Able Seaman – 27th October 1905 – 31st December 1905

Ocean – Able Seaman – 1st January 1905 – 28th January 1907

Hannibal – Able Seaman – 29th January 1907 – 31st March 1907

Ocean – Able Seaman – 1st April 1907 – 1st June 1908

Pembroke I – Able Seaman – 2nd June 1908 – 24th June 1908

Crescent – Able Seaman – 25th June 1908 – 23rd September 1908

Clio – Able Seaman – 24th September 1908 – 10th October 1910

Royal Arthur – Able Seaman – 11th October 1910 – 20th December 1910

Pembroke I – Able Seaman – 21st December 1910 – 4th October 1912 – Shore.

Character – Very Good.

Joined the Royal Fleet Reserves – Chatham – 5th October 1912.

Bacchante – Able Seaman – 2nd August 1914 – 10th February 1916

Pembroke I – Able Seaman – 11th February 1916 – 16th May 1916

Halcyon II – Able Seaman – 17th May 1916 – 13th February 1917

Halycon II – Able Seaman – 14th February 1917 – 16th August 1917.

Relatives notified missing when death officially presumed – 15th September 1917.

 

Rank: Able Seaman; Service Number: 201483

Regiment: Royal Navy, H.M. Smack ‘Ethel & Millie.’ Decoy/Q-ship, fishing smack

 

Memorial Reference:

22.

Chatham Naval Memorial,

Kent.

 

Relatives Notified & Address: Son of J. & T. Preece, of 30, Tomline Road, Ipswich; husband of Mary E. Preece, of 33, Orwell Road, Ipswich.

Isaiah Preece and Susanna Preece, Isaiah wearing The Anglo-Egyptian War medals 1882-1889: Egypt Campaign Medal And Khedive’s Star with clasp. Isaiah served in the Royal Navy. Photograph courtesy of Susan.

Isaiah had a long naval career:

HMS Lynx   Jan 73 – Sept 73, HMS Duke of Wellington (flagship) – Sept 73 – Dec 73, HMS Asia   Dec 73 – HMS Duke of Wellington Aug 75- Sept 75. HMS Malabar Sept 75 – Apr 76. HMS Duke of Wellington Apr 76 – May 76. HMS Hector   May 76 – Dec 78. HMS Duke of Wellington Dec 78 – Sept 79. HMS Euphrates   Sept 79 – Jan 81. Feb 81 – Aug 81. HMS Duke of Wellington Aug 81 – Apr 82.

HMS Sultan   Apr 82. taking part in the bombardment of Alexandria 11–13 July 1882. Sustaining casualties, two killed and eight wounded. 

HMS Duke of Wellington Jan 85 – Feb 85.  HMS Sultan   Feb 85 – Nov 85. HMS Sultan   Feb 85 – Nov 85. HMS Duke of Wellington Nov 85 – Jan 86. HMS Serapis   Jan 86 – Jan 89. HMS Duke of Wellington Jan 89 – Feb 89. HMS St. Vincent   Feb 89 – Mar 89. HMS Duke of Wellington Mar 89 – Oct 89. HMS Orontes   Oct 89 – May 90.

 

CENSUS

 

1891   Glenyu Cottage, Camden Road, Ipswich.

 

Alfred was 8 years old and living with his parents & siblings. They were boarders at the home of 65 year old, widow, Mary Ann Youngman, a Sick Monthly Nurse.

Isaiah Preece, 38, an Iron Foundry – Labourer, born Crickhowell, Glamorganshire.

Susanna Preece (nee Fulcher), 36, born Bucklesham, Suffolk.

Beatrice Edith Preece, 4, Bucklesham.

George Cecil Preece, 2, born Ipswich.

 

1901   42, Bingfield Street, Islington, London.

 

Alfred was 18 years old, a Boot Maker. He was an employee and boarder of 40 year old, William Crispin.

1911   30, Tomline Road, Ipswich.

Alfred was 28 years old, a Seaman – Royal Navy. He was living with his parents & siblings.

Isaiah, 58, a General Labourer – Dock Commissioners.

Susanna, 55.

George, 22, a Fitter & Turner – Engineering Works.

Ethel May Preece, 19, born Ipswich.

Burt Preece, 14, born Ipswich.

 

Alfred’s father, Isaiah Preece died in February 1915, St. Bartholomew’s, Ipswich.

 

In 1912, Ipswich, Alfred married Mary Ellen Barber, born December 1882, Stradbroke, Suffolk – daughter of John Barber, an assurance agent for Wesleyan & General Assurance Co., and Mary Ann Barber (nee Ruthen), of 96, York Road, Ipswich.

 

Mary and Alfred had two children:

Gwendoline Minnie Preece, born June 1913, Ipswich.

Alfred John Preece, born Christmas Day, 1916, Ipswich.

 

Probate to Mary Ellen Goodrich – widow.

 

Editors note:

Alfred Preece was involved in a fierce firefight at sea with a German submarine resulting in the deaths of most of the crew. This gallant action became a national incident, with a Victoria Cross and D.S.M. awarded to the small crew. The survivors from one of the smacks managed to escape to tell the tale. Some crew members were seen on the deck of the German Submarine, sadly, they were never seen again. Please read the link below. Alfred needs more recognition for his part.

Thomas Crisp VC

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