Harry Aldwinckle (2)

Name Harry Aldwinckle
Corps Mercantile Marine
Rank Fireman
Service No.  
Date/Place of entry  
Date of death 31 March 1918
Memorial/Grave Tower Hill Memorial, London

Harry Aldwinckle was born in 1880 in Corby, the second child of Harry Aldwinckle and his wife Sarah nee Bailey.
Harry senior was born in 1850 in Rothwell, the third of eight children. His father Vincent was from Cottingham, the twin brother of Bartholomew Aldwinckle and thereby a great uncle of John Bartholomew Aldwinckle. Vincent got married to Alice Gray in 1845 in the City of London by special licence. The Grays were farmers and several of the family intermarried with Aldwinckles. Vincent then kept an inn on Rothwell market place. It appears his fortunes declined as in subsequent census he was employed as a labourer in Corby and Weldon, and on one occasion was convicted of laying snares.

Harry married Sarah Bailey at Corby and had two sons there, Thomas and Harry, before moving to Poplar in London’s East End. Sarah died  there in 1883 and three years afterwards Harry married a widow with two sons, Harriet Barnes. They had another seven children, all born at Grays in Thurrock between 1887 and 1907. Grays is on the north bank of the Thames, close to Tilbury, and Harry found work there as a labourer in the docks.
Harry junior cannot be located in the 1911 census. His brother Thomas Aldwinckle was in the merchant navy and it is likely that Harry junior was as well. He definitely served in the merchant navy during the war, and was a fireman on the SS Conargo in March 1918.

The SS Conargo was a steamship, originally built by a German – Australian company and named the Altona. In 1914 the ship was seized by the Australian government while visiting Melbourne and renamed Conargo. On 31st March 1918 she sailed from Liverpool and was torpedoed by a German U-Boat in the Irish Sea some miles north west of the Isle of Man.  Initial newspaper reports said that all the lifeboats got away but two were blown up either by torpedo or gunfire.

Later reports said forty four of the crew of fifty four were safely landed, and only two or three men, including the master, were in hospital though not seriously injured.  Presumably Harry was one of the ten missing crewmen. Although badly damaged, the Conargo had stayed afloat. While being towed into port the following evening the ship was hit by a second torpedo off Holyhead and finally sank.

Harry was survived by his father, brother and half-brothers, three of whom were also in the Merchant Navy. He was thirty eight when he died. He is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial which stands on the south side of the garden of Trinity Square, London, close to the Tower of London. It commemorates men and women of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets who died in both World Wars and who have no known grave.

For an account of the historic extended Aldwinckle family see John Bartholomew Aldwinckle. The following list gives the names of all known servicemen who were descended from Aldwinckles living Cottingham and Middleton in the nineteenth century.

(I also have information on a further five servicemen descended from the Aldwinckle family of Drayton in Leicestershire whose ancestors moved there from Cottingham in the eighteenth century. They are Ernest Aldwinckle, George Harry Aldwinckle, William Harold Aldwinckle, Herbert Aldwinckle and William James Aldwinckle. Please contact me <cottinghamsoldiers@gmail.com> if you would like to know more.)

Servicemen descended from Thomas Aldwinckle (1816-1899):
William Augustus Aldwinckle, Ralph Aldwinckle and Ernest Henry Aldwinckle.

Servicemen descended from Henry Aldwinckle (1770-1842):
John Bartholomew Aldwinckle, Charles Henry Aldwinckle, Arthur Edwin Aldwinckle, Frederick Wade Coles, Albert Edward Aldwinckle, Archibald Aldwinckle, Frank Aldwinckle, Harry Aldwinckle, William John Aldwinckle,  Harry Aldwinckle, George Robert Aldwinckle, Thomas Aldwinckle and Walter Aldwinckle.

Servicemen descended from William Aldwinckle (1807-1891):
Bartle Essex Aldwinckle, Charles Reginald Burdett, Alfred Norman Burdett and William Edward Burdett.

Servicemen descended from John Aldwinckle (1817-1884):
John Aldwinckle, Percy Aldwinckle, Henry Aldwinckle and Bernard Aldwinckle.