Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

In 1881, Alexander George Bain's father, also called Alexander, was a Bandsman in the Royal Marine Light Infantry in Barracks at Forton, Gosport. With him were his wife Margaret and children Alexander George (b. 18/02/1879) and Daisy (b. 1881). Alexander snr. was born at Newcastle upon Tyne in 1847 and he had married Margaret (nee Healey) at St. John's Church, Forton on 26th December 1877.
As the family do not seem to be present in England for the censuses of 1891 or 1901 it has to be assumed that Alexander snr, had been posted abroad and taken Margaret and the children with him. It is known that at some point whilst they were away Alexander George followed his father into the RMLI but he couldn't have stayed very long as by the time of the 1911 census he was working as a general labourer.
Eight years before the 1911 census, on 12th August 1903 Alexander George Bain had married Priscilla Westbrook who had been born at Westbourne, Sussex on 5th December 1882. Alexander listed his occupation as Private RMLI serving aboard HMS Hero. In 1909 they were living at 26 Wells Street, Landport but by 1911 they were living in a common lodging house at 53 Upper Church Path, Landport and Alexander George was working as a general labourer. They had three children, Olive (b. 1904), Alexander (b. 1909) and Anthony (b. 1911).
At the outbreak of the Great War the family were living in Bath Square, Old Portsmouth, opposite Quebec House. Alexander George was immediately recalled to the RMLI and was posted to HMS Bayano, an armed merchant cruiser. The ship was torpedoed by U27 off Ireland on 11th March 1915 with the loss of 197 lives including Alexander Bain.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list Private AG Bain, (PO/7542), Royal Marine Light Infantry, HMS Bayano, died 11/03/1915. Buried at Ballyphilip Church of Ireland Churchyard (Grave Ref: 197).
Alexander Bain is commemorated on the Anglican Cathedral WW1 Memorial Cross and the Cenotaph. He is not listed in "The National Roll of the Great War", Section X.
Tim Backhouse
October 2014
With additional information from Cynthia Sherwood and Pat Bennett