Rev. Philip George Alexander

Memorial: Downend

Regiment: Royal Navy

Medals: 1914–15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Rank and number: Chaplain

Parents: Mrs F M Alexander

Marital status: Married

Pre-war occupation: Curate of Christchurch Downend in 1910

Date of death: 05/06/1916

Buried/Commemorated at: Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Ref. 11.), Devon

Further information:

The Reverend Philip George Alexander was appointed curate of Christchurch Downend in 1910. In 1909 he founded the Downend Scout Group and in April 1913 he married Fannie, a daughter of the vicar, Rev John Walter Dann. Fannie was related to two notable Downend Families: she was a niece of both Lady Cave and W.G. Grace.

Philip Alexander took up a naval chaplaincy on H.M.S. Blenheim in 1912, from which he was transferred to H.M.S. Falmouth and in 1916, he was moved to HMS Hampshire, also aboard was Lord Kitchener, the British Secretary of State for War. Lord Kitchener was on his way to Russia where it was hoped he could persuade that country to stay in the War against Germany but, as the ship was sailing near the Orkney Isles, she was sunk by a German mine on 5th June 1916. All but 12 of the crew were lost. Lord Kitchener and Philip Alexander were amongst those who lost their lives. Rev. Philip George Alexander is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. This means that, sadly, his body was never recovered. He is also remembered on the Royal Naval Cemetery at Lyness, Orkney. At the time of his death, his wife Fannie was living in Bath.

Commemorated on the Downend (Scout) Memorial, Christ Church Downend Memorial and the Staple Hill (Page Park) Memorial.

By kind permission, this information is based on the following source(s):

Kingswood Heritage Museum
Downend and Bromley Heath Parish Council
Forces War Records and CWGC