Regiment : HMS Arethusa Royal Navy
Service number : A0
Conflict : WW1
Date of death : 4th August 1919 aged 27
Memorial : Stourbridge War Memorial
Also appears on : Stourbridge Hill Street Council School. Stourbridge King Edward VI Grammar School WW1 Memorial.
Credits : Researched by The Black Country Society. School records courtesy of King Edward VI school archives, researched and transcribed by Sandra Taylor.
There is no record of this casualty on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Albert Bennett was educated at Hill Street Council School and attended Stourbridge Grammar School from 1906 to 1910. He was a member of the New Road Methodist church. He enlisted in the Royal Navy, probably before 1914, and served on HMS Arethusa as a Writer. This vessel was a light cruiser launched in 1913 and capable of 30 knots. It was armed with 2 6″ guns and was part of the 3rd Destroyer Squadron. The ship took part in the battles of Heligoland Bight in 1914 and the Dogger Bank on the 24th January 1915 when the German armoured cruiser, Blucher, was sunk. However, Arethusa was seriously damaged by mines on the 11th February 1916 and Writer Albert Bennett was invalided out of the navy in October 1918. He died on the 4th August 1919 but he does not appear to have been buried in any local cemetery. His name is also commemorated on St. Thomas’s church and the Methodist church memorials.
Albert Bennett was born on 29th September 1891. He entered Form IV2 as a Day Scholar at King Edward VI Grammar School on 12th September 1906. At the time of his admission to the school his father is recorded as Edward Bennett, a Retail Grocer (Proprietor) and the family resided at Brook Street, Stourbridge. Albert had previously been educated at Hill St. Council (Elementary) School and Council Secondary School, Stourbridge. He left King Edward VI Grammar School from Form VI P.T. on 26th July 1910 and took employment teaching in an elementary school.
From King Edward VI Grammar School war record booklet:
Writer, H.M.S. “Arethusa”; present at sinking of “Blucher”; mined 11th February, 1916; invalided out of Navy 16th October, 1918; died 4th August, 1919.