Able Seaman
Albert William J Adams


About Albert William Jesse

  • Name
    Albert William Jesse
  • Initials
    A W J
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth
    01 July 1886
  • Birth town
    Freshwater, Isle of Wight
  • Resided town
    Freshwater, Isle of Wight
  • Commemorated
  • Nationality
  • Place of death
  • Date of death
  • Married
  • Occupation
    Coal Hewer

Service Information

  • Royal Navy

  • Service Number
  • Rank
    Able Seaman
  • Ship
    HMS Barham


If the research is correct, Able Seaman William Adams was born in Freshwater on the Isle of Wight as Albert William Jesse Adams to parents Albert and Annie Emma Adams (nee Martin).  His father was a bricklayer’s labourer and with wife Annie they had 11 children.

William (as he appears to have preferred) was raised on the Isle of Wight and joined the Royal Navy at the age of 20, joining as a Stoker 2nd Class on 14 June 1905.  On Census night 1911, he was home on leave in the Isle of Wight whilst serving on HMS Glasgow.  On 19 August 1915, he joined HMS Barham, a new Queen Elizabeth Class Battleship that was commissioned in October.

The ship fired over 300 shells and was badly damaged at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May/1 June 1916, being struck by six large calibre projectiles that killed 26 men and wounded another 37. .  William was wounded in the engagement although we have no details of the severity of his wounds.

William passed through Peterborough East Station on 1 March 1917 and wrote in the visitors’ book “It gives me great pleasure to be able to come into such a nice welcome little place as this after having such a long train ride, and I wish the Ladies of this Sailors & Soldiers Rest every success for there kindness shown to us.”  HMS Barham was refitted at Cromarty (Scotland) in February/March 1917, which ties in well with his book entry and his reference to ‘such a long train ride’.  It is possible he may have been travelling between Scotland and the Isle of Wight.

On the 14 June 1917, he had completed 12 years service but extended his contract to complete 22 years.  He stayed with the HMS Barham until the end of September 1920, by which time he had gained promotion to Leading Seaman.  William was awarded the 14/15 Star, British War and Allied Victory medals.

He was discharged from the Royal Navy on 10 July 1927.  He appears to have made a brief return for two weeks in September/October 1938, whether it was decided he was not fit for service at the age of 53, but he was not required for WW2.

We have found records for a possible marriage in 1948, to Joyce Richmond and his death in 1964 in Portsmouth.

Do get in touch if you can you tell us any more about Able Seaman Adams.


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