PO Albert Tiltman Royal Navy: 177951

PO ALBERT TILTMAN Albert was born in Bridport in 1897 and lived with his family in East Street. He was one of ten children and at the age of 15 he joined the Royal Navy as a  boy, second class.

He worked his way up through the ranks and first saw action in the Persian Gulf, on board HMS Espiegle and for his part in that action he was awarded  the Naval General Service Medal.

He returned to England after this engagement and in February 1913 married  Susanna Elizabeth Gale  at Powerstock Parish Church.  A son, William was born in  March 1914.

Naval General Service MedalIn 1914, after his onshore deployment, Albert joined  HMS Black Prince and after several engagements in the Mediterranean,  the armed cruiser  joined the British Grand Fleet gathering at Scapa Flow for the Battle of Jutland.

In the ensuing battle Black Prince lost contact with the  main body of the fleet  and sailed into German lines, with fatal results. After sustaining volleys of shell fire the ship blew up—sinking with the loss of all hands, including Albert.

Albert wrote a letter to his wife Susannah, on the eve of the battle and  through the kindness of his family it was printed in the Dorset Evening Echo.

A short extract is reproduced below.

May 30th 1916 H.M.S. Black Prince c/o G.P.O.

London My Darling Wife and Babe, I now take the greatest of pleasure in writing a few lines to you both in answer to your most kind and ever-loving letter which I was so pleased to receive yesterday, to know that both you, my own, and darling babe were quite alright and enjoying the best of health again, and that Mother and Bess are alright. Well, my darling girl I am very pleased to be able to tell you that I am enjoying the best of health at present…

…We are going on quite alright, not very busy now, just keeping fit and ready for anything that may happen, and waiting for the news that we are coming down for a few days …

… Well now my own darling girl, I don’t think I have any more to say this time, so give my love to Bess and Mother, give babe a few kisses for me and look well after yourself and bonny babe. Goodnight darling, God Bless you all and keep you safe,

from your loving Albert.

HMS Black Prince
HMS Black Prince