Cole, Albert Parr (Albert)
Petty Officer Stoker
D/KX 82617, HMS Stanley, Royal Navy
Killed in action on Friday 19 December 1941 (aged 27)
No known grave
Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon (Panel 51 Column 3)
Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Comgall’s)
Albert Parr Cole was the only son of Albert Charles Cole and Margaret Frances Cole. Albert Charles Cole was a policeman and in the 1920s he, Margaret and their children Albert and Maud moved from Cottage Grove, Stockwell in London to South Africa. When Albert Parr Cole died, the Cole family was living at 14 Primrose Avenue, Bangor.
Albert Parr Cole served in the Royal Navy aboard HMS Stanley. Originally named USS McCalla, this destroyer was built by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation of Quincy, Massachusetts in the USA and was commissioned in May 1919. USS McCalla was decommissioned in June 1922 and then, after the outbreak of the Second World War, was re-commissioned and handed over to Britain in October 1940 at Halifax in Nova Scotia. As HMS Stanley she became a ship of the Royal Navy and on 19 December 1941, when she was on station at the rear of a convoy in the North Atlantic, she exploded and sank after being hit by a torpedo fired from the German submarine U-574. More than 130 crew members died. Twelve minutes later U-574 was sunk by HMS Stork.
Albert Parr Cole (aged 27) had nine years of service in the Royal Navy and his two brothers-in-law were also on active service – Stanley Went and Alex McDougall. Maud Cole and Stanley Went were married on 30 December 1939 in Belfast. Violet Cole and Alexander McDougall were married on 29 December 1941 in North Down.
In the years after Albert died, his mother Margaret and his two sisters placed In Memoriam notices in the County Down Spectator and one of them contained the verse:
Too good in life to be forgotten
O why was he taken so soon?
Petty Officer Stoker Albert Parr Cole (No. D/KX 82617) is commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial in Devon and in Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Comgall’s).