The 'Colton' Family



Alfred John Colton
1888 - 1916


Alfred John Colton  


April 18, 1888 Reading, Berkshire
Died: May 31, 1916 Battle of Jutland 1916 - age 28
Buried: Plymouth Navel Memorial Commonwealth War Dead
Parents Arthur John Colton
Eliza Ann Hillier



File Information:


Alfred was killed in The Battle of Jutland 1916

Nationality :
United Kingdom


Royal Navy

Unit Text:

H.M.S. Invincible 

Date of Death:
Additional Information
Son of Arthur John and Eliza Colton, of Reading , Berk
A Freemason of Lamblask Lodge , Scotland
Casualty Type:
Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference:

I have downloaded Alfreds service records which have very kindly been transcribed for me.

My thanks to Neil Austen for his help in this matter

1891: Census - 105 ??? (un readable) ---- Reading St Giles
Arthur J. Colton - Head - age 38 - Grocer's Assistant - born Reading, Berkshire
Eliza A. Colton - Wife - age 35 - born Reading, Berkshire
Arthur H. Colton - Son - age 10 - Scholar - born Reading, Berkshire
Walter W. Colton - Son - age 9 - Scholar - born Reading, Berkshire
Mary Jane. Daughter - age 7 - Scholar - born Reading, Berkshire
Alfred J. Coulton - Son - age 3 - Scholar - born Reading, Berkshire
Albert E. Colton - Son - age 1 -born Reading, Berkshire

1901: Census - Address: 2, Castle Square, Reading St Mary, Reading St Mary, Berkshire
Piece: 1144, Folio: 114, Page: 32
Arthur J Colton - Head - Widower - age 44 born 1857 - Butcher - Reading, Berkshire
Arthur H Colton - Son - Single - age 20 born 1881 - Biscuit Packer - Reading, Berkshire
Walter W Colton - Son - Single - age 19 born 1882 - Biscuit Manufacturer - Reading, Berkshire
Mary R J Colton - Daughter - Single - age 17 born 1884 - Reading, Berkshire
Alfred J Colton - Son - age 12 born 1889 - Reading, Berkshire
Albert E Colton - Son - age 11 born 1890 - Reading, Berkshire
Herbert S Colton - Son - age 7 born 1894 - Reading, Berkshire

2 Jan enlisted, age 17, as a Boy in the RN (rank; Boy 2nd Class)
trained at HMS Boscawen II (which I think was a shore-based boy's training depot)
2 Apr promoted to Boy 1st Class
11 Apr his 18th birthday, he signed up for 12 years regular service with the RN, character reference for Boy service 'VG' (very good)
18 May posted to HMS Satley
6 Jul promoted to O/S (ordinary seaman)
12 Sep posted to HMS Vivid I (I think the Vivid was a shore depot, and was split into different 'divisions'; I, II, III, etc)
end of year character reference 'VG'

22 May posted to HMS Carnarvon
end of year character ref; VG

5 Aug promoted A/B (able seaman) This was his rank when he had the photo taken (see the back of the photo - it says 'AB')
end of year character ref; VG

15 Apr posted HMS Vivid (back on shore again, I think)
3 Jul granted a 'Good Conduct' badge (I think that this is the broad chevron that you can see on his Left sleeve in my photo - I can't remember the requirements for it, but I think it was something like 3 years service without any disciplinary offences)
10 Dec posted HMS Defiance
end of year character ref; VG/VG (I think the Navy started using 2 references, one for character and the other for 'ability')

1 March passed educationally for promotion to Petty Officer
15 Dec posted HMS Queen (this is the ship he was serving on when he had the photo taken - see the writing on the back of the photo)

1911: Census - Royal Navy at Sea and in ports abroad
Alfred J Colton born 1889 - age 22 born at Reading

7 Dec promoted L/S (leading seaman)
end of year character ref; VG/Sat (satisfactory)

15 May posted HMS Defiance
1 Jun posted HMS Vivid II
22 Oct posted HMS Pactolus
end of year character ref; VG/Supr (superior)

3 Jun passed proficiency test for promotion to Petty Officer
23 Dec Posted HMS Defiance
end of year character ref; VG/Supr

11 Jul granted 2nd Good Conduct badge (I think the 2nd one was for 5 years unblemished service)
1 Aug promoted Petty Officer and assigned to crew of HMS Diana. The record states 'PO (NS)', I'm not sure what the (NS) means
2 Aug posted to HMS Diana
end of year character ref; VG/Supr

23 Apr posted HMS Defiance
22 Jun promoted to acting Gunner

31st May 1916 HMS Invincible sank with the loss of 1,026 of her crew; only 5 men survived.



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