Doak, Alexander (No. D/SSX 24183)

Doak, Alexander

Able Seaman

D/SSX 24183, HMS Glorious, Royal Navy

Killed in action on Saturday 8 June 1940 (aged 20)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon (Panel 37 Column 2)

Stained glass window in the Church of St. Peter, Martindale in Cumbria

Memorial plaque in Harstad, Norway

Newtownards and District War Memorial


Alexander Doak was born on 31 December 1919 and he was a son of William and Annie Doak (nee Peters) who lived at 83 Mark Street, Newtownards.  During the Second World War Alexander Doak served with the Royal Navy aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious.  This ship was originally built as a battle cruiser by Harland and Wolff in Belfast and completed in 1917.  During the late 1920s she was converted to an aircraft carrier.

The evacuation of Allied Forces from Norway (Operation Alphabet) was carried out between 5 and 8 June 1940.  On the afternoon of 8 June 1940 HMS Glorious and her escorting destroyers HMS Acasta and HMS Ardent were proceeding independently to Scapa Flow when they were intercepted in the Norwegian Sea by the German battle cruisers Gneisenau and Scharnhorst.  At around 6.00 pm the three British ships were sunk by sustained and heavy gunfire with the loss of more than 1,500 lives.  In addition to Able Seaman Alexander Doak (No. D/SSX 24183), two other men from Newtownards also died – Able Seaman Hugh Alexander Eagleson (No. D/SSX 20113) and Ordinary Seaman David Scott (No. D/SSX 30791).

Able Seaman Alexander Doak (No. D/SSX 24183) was 20 when he died and he is commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial in Devon; on a stained glass window in the Church of St. Peter, Martindale in Cumbria; on a memorial plaque in Harstad, Norway and on Newtownards and District War Memorial.  His father William died on 25 January 1950 (aged 66).