RAWLINSON, Albert George Evans

No.P/KX 97425, Stoker 1st class, Albert George Evans RAWLINSON
Aged 21

Royal Navy, H.M.S. "Hood"
Killed in Action on Saturday, 24th May 1941

Albert was born on 19th December 1919 (Risbridge Q1-1920 4A:2158) to Ann Rawlinson, born in 1882 at Souty (Sowley) Green (Thurlow), Suffolk. He was grandson of George and Harriet Rawlinson (can be Rowlingson)
The 1901 census shows his mother Ann at age 18 working as a Domestic Servant for the family of Thomas K. Viall, a Grocers Assistant from Bocking, Essex, living at 174 Shirland Road, Paddington, W 9. The house still exists.
The 1911 census shows his mother Annie, age 29, working for the Post Office as a Cook, Refreshment Club, (possibly working at the Mount Pleasant Sorting Office, a short tube ride away). Living at 305 Shirland Road with her elder sister, Charlotte, age 32, and her family, Herbert Edward Smith, age 30, Wood Turner, Herbert Edward, age 5, Madeline Gladys, age 3 and George William, age 1. This house also still exists.

His mother [17-11-1882] in the 1939 register, was at 156 Sowley Green with her brothers Robert G, Charles H and Walter, and also her sister Charlotte SMITH and Eva Lilian SMITH [6-10-1912] married. There is one closed record.

HMS Hood was 44,600 tons, had a crew of 1,418 and was faster than the Bismarck with a maximum speed of 32 knots. The Hood had been launched in 1918 and was armed with 8 x 15 inch guns, 12 x 5.5 inch guns, 8 x 4 inch AA guns, 24 x 2 pound guns and 4 x 21 inch torpedoes. However, the Hood suffered from one major flaw – she did not have the same amount of armour as the Bismarck. The fact that the Hood was faster than the Bismarck by 3 knots was as a result of her lack of sufficient armour for a naval battle fought in World War Two. What had been considered sufficient armour in 1918 when Hood was built, was to prove a fatal flaw in 1941.

The "Bismark" and "Prinz Eugen" broke out into the Atlantic where they would have created havoc amongst Allied shipping. The Royal Navy pursued them with "Hood" and "Prince of Wales" but lost them for a time at night and in fog, but the cruiser "Suffolk" re established contact early on the 24th May 1941.
"Prinz Eugen" hit the "Hood" from about 22 Km and ignited some anti aircraft shells on deck, not a great problem, but then the "Hood" was hit by a salvo of high trajectory shells from "Bismark". One is believed to have pierced the deck armour, exploding one of the magazines. This tore the "Hood" in half and she sunk within 2 minutes taking 1,415 men with her, just three men survived.
"Prince of Wales" was forced to disengage due to damage but not before hitting "Bismark" three time, which damage caused the Bismark to turn to return to safety in occupied France. Before she could do that she was intercepted by aircraft from "Ark Royal" who damaged her sufficiently for the "Rodney" and "King George V" to catch up and sink her.

Albert Rawlinson is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial - Ref; panel 55. column 2

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details