HAND, John Alfred Stanton

HMS Vanguard. 09 July 1917

Alfred Hand was the son of John and Ellen Hand of Wordsley. He attended King Edward's School, Stourbridge, from 1904 to 1906 and by 1917 was living at 7 Clifton Street, Stourbridge, with his wife Lillian. He enlisted in the Royal Navy and in 1917 he was serving as a Gunner in the Royal Marine Artillery on HMS Vanguard, an advanced Dreadnought battleship launched in 1909 and a veteran of Jutland. She had returned to anchor at Scapa Flow with the main Battle Fleet, but on the 9th July 1917 the ship blew up with a gigantic explosion. Over 800 hands lost their lives. The Court of Enquiry found that the most likely cause of this catastrophic explosion was an undiscovered fire which spread to two amidships magazines. Gunner Alfred Hand died in the explosion. He was 27 years of age and is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial and the Stourbridge, Wordsley and King Edward VI College, Stourbridge, Memorials.

Commemorated at:

Stourbridge Mary Stevens Park

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Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge, West Midlands, United Kingdom

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