Officer's Steward, 1st Class Andrew Alec Selley

Service Royal Navy Service No. L/10925 (Dev)
Rank Officer's Steward, 1st Class
Ship:HMS Vivid
Date of Birth: 08/03/1896
Born Kenn
Date of Death: 04/04/1918
Memorial: Dawlish Memorial Inscription SELLEY A.A. 1st CL Std H.M.S.AUSTRALIA

Service History

He joined the Royal Australian Navy at their London Depot on 9th June 1913 where he has given his birth date as 8 March 1892 and his occupation as valet. His Service number was 8223.

His R.A.N. service record show that he served on H.M.S.AUSTRALIA which was the flagship of the 2nd Battlecruiser squadron, also referred to as H.M.A.S AUSTRALIA.

He was an Officer’s Steward, 2nd Class, from 21/6/1913 to 15/5/1915 when he is shown to have been ‘invalided on date following that of expiration of F.S.(Foreign Service?) Leave 15/5/1915 to 21/7/1915’.

Selley was made up to Officer’s Steward 1st Class on 2nd November 1915.

He then reverted to service in the Royal Navy with the number L 10925. (The Service record gives his second name as Alexander, rather than the abbreviation used when his birth was registered)

Andrew’s R.N. service was of short periods on the books of H.M.S.VIVID (R.N.base, Devonport) with other attachments to seagoing ships:

First to H.M.S.BENBOW, an Iron Duke Class battleship from 24 March 1917 to 19 April 1917 when the ship was due for a refit.

Then to H.M.S.BRACONDALE, a ‘Q’ ship of 2,095 tons being a collier converted to anti-submarine work, from 10 June 1917 to 8 August. BRACONDALE was torpedoed on August 5 and then taken in tow but sank on August 7 with the loss of one life.

Selley was then returned to barracks until 10 November when he joined another ‘Q’ ship, the H.M.S. ARVONIAN of 2,794 tons and he left her on 27 November, avoiding being torpedoed a second time which was the fate of ARVONIAN on 27 December 1917. She stayed afloat and was taken home and decommissioned and reappeared as the SANTRE on 8 April 1918.

His final seagoing posting was to the sloop H.M.S.CHRYSANTHEMUM from 30 January to 12 March 1918. HMS Chrysanthemum was a Flower Class Sloop launched on 10 Nov 1917.

He died in Hospital at Gibraltar from Nephritis on 4th April 1918.

Association with Dawlish

Henry Horrell Selley(1859 - ) was the son of Thomas (1821-) and Hannah (1821 -nee Horrell)-Selley who were living in Kenn in 1881.

Henry, an agricultural labourer, married Bertha Gatter (1859-) in St Thomas district Q4, 1880 and in 1891 were living at 2 Gossamer Cottages, Kenn with five children.

In 1901 they were at Kenton Bridge, Kenton with four more children.

By 1911 they had moved to Lower Southwood, Dawlish with three of their children, William Octavius, 21, Paulina, 12, and Howell (Horrell?), 10. All of their nine children were still living.

Andrew Elec Selley (sic) is shown as an Under-Butler with six other domestic servants to Edith Annie Morris at Highlands, Ivybridge in the 1911 census.

Devon Roll of Honour Selley, Andrew Alex, Steward, H.M.S.Vivid, 4th April 1918, Gibraltar
Additional Information Commonwealth War Graves Site

Next of Kin: Henry Selley, Week, Dawlish
Last Known Address: Kenton Bridge, Kenton (1901 census)

H.M.S.BENBOW, Iron Duke class battelship


UK Commonwealth War Graves

Free BMD records

Royal Navy Service Record (N.A.Kew)

Royal Australian Navy record (

List of shipwrecks 1917

refs from subscription sites:

census data