Stoker 1st Class Alfred Thomas Dew

Service Royal Navy Service No. K/22766
Rank Stoker 1st Class
Ship:HMS Indefatigable
Date of Birth: 03/11/1891
Born Exeter
Date of Death: 13/05/1916
Memorial: Dawlish Memorial Inscription DEW A. A.B. R.N.

Service History

Alfred Thomas Dew was 18 when he joined the Royal Navy on 24th August, 1910 for a 12 year engagement as a Stoker, 2nd class with a service no SS 110286. His previous occupation is shown as gardener. He was transferred to C.S.Stoker 1st class on 10 June 1914 with service number K22746. He had joined H.M.S.INDEFATIGABLE in February 1911.

The Battle of Jutland was the largest naval battle of World War I, fought between 31st May and 1st June 1916, in the North Sea near Jutland, Denmark. The Germans' plan was to use five modern battlecruisers to lure the British through a submarine picket line and into the path of the main German fleet.
The plan didn't succeed, but the battle is considered to be won by the Germans, giving the Royal Navy a heavy blow.
The battlecruiser HMS INDEFATIGABLE (Captain Charles Sowerby) was locked in a gunnery duel with the German battlecruiser VON DER TANN when a German salvo was observed to strike HMS INDEFATIGABLE midships. HMS INDEFATIGABLE lurched out of line to starboard only to be stuck squarely by a second salvo. It appears that HMS INDEFATIGABLE received a shell in her X turret which ignited cordite charges, the resultant flash shooting down to the aft magazines. It is equally plausible that a shell may have penetrated the magazine directly.
The ship was wreathed in smoke but when it cleared, HMS INDEFATIGABLE was sinking by the stern and listing over to port. She sank in seconds taking 1,017 of her crew with her.

Association with Dawlish

Alfred Thomas Dew was one of five children of the marriage of John Dew and Louisa Harriet Hodge. (CWGC site info)
John Dew and Louisa married but a census entry for 1881 has not been found. John Dew is also missing from the 1891 census and there is no trace until his death in Exeter St Thomas in Q4, 1909, aged 48. His principal occupation is also unknown.
In the 1891 census Louisa Dew is head of household, married, age 30 and working as a charwoman. She lived at 10 Alphington Street, Exeter, with Annie Louisa (b, Q4 1879, St Thomas), Frances Alice (b Q2 1882, St Thomas), William John** (1885-1915), Sarah E (b Cardiff, 1886) and Alfred Thomas (1891 – 31/5/1916).

Louisa Dew married James Morris/Morrish in Exeter in Q4, 1897 and in 1901 they are shown as living at Redhill Cottage, Powderham with Alfred Thomas Dew, 11, step-son, Frederick Morris, son, 1, and Florence Morris, 5 months. James Morris was a wagoner.
It appears that she moved later to Queen’s terrace, Dawlish.
** William John Dew died at the Battle of Loos on 25 September 1915 (see separate record)

Devon Roll of Honour DEW R.N. no other information given, but subsequently added
Additional Information Commonwealth War Graves Site

Next of Kin: Mother, Louisa Dew
Last Known Address: Redhill Cottage, Powderham


Free BMD records
William J Dew – cross refers

Imperial War Museum podcast - H.M.S.INDEFATIGABLE

Records via subscription services (e.g.

Census records

War Graves Roll and Naval service record
RAWARD/BROWN/HEATH family tree (