Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

Although he was born in Gosport Albert George spent most his life in Portsmouth, that is when he wasn't away at sea with the Royal Navy thereby following a pattern set by his father William, though in his case he had been born in Soberton, north of Portsmouth.
William had been born in 1844 and began his working life as a servant (carter) to Charles Stiggant a farmer of much land at Boarshunt, near Fareham. The agricultural life could not have appealed to him for long, if ever, as he left it to join the navy around his 20th year. 1871 saw him aboard HMS Mintotaur as a stoker whilst ten years later at the 1881 census he was serving on HMS Victoria and Albert, then moored in Portsmouth harbour.
In the meantime William had married Portsmouth born Elizabeth Taylor and set up home in Gosport. In the period between 1880 and 1887 they had five children before moving to Southsea where they had two more. The second eldest was Albert George, born in 1881. The move to Southsea may have followed William's retirement from the navy which certainly occurred before the 1891 census when the whole family was recorded living at 33 Addison Road, off Fawcett Road.
1901 saw William and Elizabeth at 31 Addison Road with four of their children but by then Albert George had left home and joined the Royal Navy. In 1902 he married Ellen Amelia, daughter of William and Amelia Hatto of 109 St. Vincent Street, Southsea. Ellen was one of nine children and was born in 1884. The couple were recorded by the 1911 census living at 67 West Street, Southsea with their two young children Albert William (b. 1908) and Rupert Claud (b. 1910).
Albert George may have left the navy before the outbreak of the Great War as the National Roll states that he was 'mobilised' in August 1914. He was posted to HMS Good Hope which was sent to join the 4th Cruiser Squadron under Rear Admiral Cradock off the coast of South America. There the ship took part in the Battle of Coronel and was sunk with all hands.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list Albert George Crook, Able Seaman (196640), Royal Navy, HMS Good Hope, died 01/11/1914. Commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 1). Son of William Henry and Elizabeth Crook, of Portsmouth; husband of Ellen A. Shinn (formerly Crook), of 88, West St. Southsea, Portsmouth
Francis Carter is also commemorated on the Cenotaph in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth. He is listed in "The National Roll of the Great War", Section X, p58.
Tim Backhouse
December 2014