Able Seaman Bristol Z/181155 Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve SS Tanfield - Alfred Charles Walters
Alfred Charles Walters was born on 30 March 1900, to pottery labourer Alfred Charles Walters and his wife Sarah Jane Walters of 19 Angel Crescent. It is likely Alfred senior worked in the Northgate Pottery, which is now the site of the Chandos Glass Cone Ruins. In the 1901 census, young Alfred had an older sister and younger brother. By 1911 the family had moved to 31 Market Street, Bridgwater, where Alfred had three more siblings.
It seems that Alfred lied about his age when he joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, saying he was born on 26 August 1898. He was assigned to the steamship SS Tanfield, a 4538 ton cargo ship. This ship was torpedoed by U-Boat UB74 in the English Chanel on 15 April 1918, but remained afloat and managed to limp back to port. Alfred appears to have survived this incident, but died of influenza in Britain on 20 February 1919.
Each of the war stories on our website have been updated in our book, Bridgwater and the First World War.
We would dearly like to hear from anyone with more information, or even a picture of Alfred.