Albert Ernest Stoker AM

b. ?  d. ?

DATE OF AM ACTION: 16/09/1918 Dover, Kent.

Little is known about the life of Petty Officer Albert Ernest Stoker AM other than the events of 16th September 1918 in Dover Harbour.



On the 16th September, 1918, a serious explosion occurred amidships on board H.M.S. ” Glatton ” whilst lying in Dover Harbour. This was followed immediately by an outbreak of fire, the oil fuel burning furiously and spreading fore and aft. Efforts were made to extinguish the fire by means of salvage tugs. The foremost magazines were flooded, but it was found impossible to get to the after magazine flooding positions. The explosion and fire cut off the after part of the ship, killing or seriously injuring all the officers who were on board with one exception. The ship might have blown up at any moment. Lieutenant Belben, Sub Lieutenant Evans, Petty Officer Stoker, and Able Seaman Nunn were in boats which were rescuing men who had been blown, or who had jumped, overboard. They proceeded on board H.M.S. “Glatton” on their own initiative, and entered the super-structure, which was full of dense smoke, and proceeded down to the deck below. Behaving with the greatest gallantry and contempt of danger, they succeeded in rescuing seven or eight badly injured men from the mess deck, in addition to fifteen whom they found and brought out from inside the superstructure. This work was carried out before the arrival of any gas masks, and, though at one time they were driven out by the fire, they proceeded down again after the hoses had been played on the flames. They continued until all chance of rescuing others had passed, and the ship was ordered to be abandoned, when she was sunk by torpedo, as the fire was spreading, and it was impossible to flood the after magazines.