Chief Stoker  



Royal Navy

Boat Crest
Died On:
23 February 1942


Albert Spowart was born on 18 February 1901, in Hetton-le-Hole, Co Durham, the son of David and Gertrude Spowart of Sauchie, Clackmannanshire.  He joined the Royal Navy on 29 May 1919, on a Short Service engagement, stating his occupation as a miner.  He was drafted to the light cruiser HMS CORDELIA in March 1920 and joined HMS DOLPHIN in November 2021.

From February 1922 to January 1923 he was serving in HMS L52 then in February 1923 he transferred to a Continuous Service engagement.  From February 1923 to November 1925 he served on the China Station in HMS L5, L20 and L2, being rated Acting Leading Stoker on 19 Jun 1925.  In July 1926, he was serving in HMS FISGARD as an Acting Stoker PO.  Subsequently, on 2 September 1926 he joined the battlecruiser HMS RENOWN, returning to submarines with a draft to HMS DOLPHIN on 2 January 1929, and joining HMS OTUS, completing at Barrow-in-Furness, on 1 July 1929, which then deployed to the China Station.

He took passage home in the cruiser HMS VINDICTIVE in October 1931 then served in DOLPHIN from February 1932, subsequently being rated Chief Stoker and joining HMS L69.  By October 1934 he was back in HMS MEDWAY on the China Station and serving in HMS OLYMPUS.  By the outbreak of WWII, he was in HMS CACHALOT at Malta, subsequently joining HMS TEMPEST based at DOLPHIN on 1 October 1941.

HMS TEMPEST was attacked on 13 February 1942 in the Gulf of Taranto by the Italian Torpedo Boat CIRCE.  After a prolonged period of depth charging, the submarine was forced to surface and abandon ship.  CIRCE picked up 23 of the crew but sadly, Albert Spowart was not among them.  The submarine was officially reported as lost on 23 February 1942.

Albert Spowart left a wife, Jane, whom he had married on 26 July 1926, and three daughters, aged 8, 11 and 13.  He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 67, Column 2.

Please see these collages describing his career, by his daughter, Trudy Powell, from which much of this information is taken.


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