McDowell, Alfred George
No. D/JX 151550, HMS Glorious, Royal Navy
Killed in action on Saturday 8 June 1940 (aged 18)
No known grave
Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon, England (Panel 39 Column 1)
St. Peter’s Church, Martindale, Cumbria
Memorial Plaque near the Trondenes Historical Centre, Harstad, Norway
Family grave headstone in Holywood Cemetery, Co. Down
According to the Royal Navy Register of Deaths, Ordinary Seaman Alfred George McDowell was born on 22 June 1921.
Alfred George McDowell was a grandson of Charles McDowell (a foreman box maker) and Margaret McDowell (nee Cotter). Margaret Cotter was a daughter of Jane Cotter who died on 21 January 1906.
Charles McDowell and Margaret Cotter were married on 11 April 1881 in Carlisle Memorial Methodist Church, Belfast and they had six children:
Annie Cotter (born 18 May 1882, married George Henry Sargent on 5 August 1908 in Ballynafeigh Methodist Church, Belfast)
William Angus (born 27 September 1884)
Alfred Mogey (born 21 January 1887)
Mary (born 1 December 1888)
Agnes (born 9 May 1891)
Charles (born 3 March 1893, died 11 February 1940)
Ordinary Seaman Alfred George McDowell was a son of Alfred Mogey McDowell and Winifred Catherine McDowell (nee Stott) of 56 University Avenue, Belfast. Alfred Mogey McDowell was a plumber and he and Winifred Catherine Stott were married on 10 July 1915 in Christ Church, Church of Ireland Church, College Square North, Belfast. Winifred’s father Samuel was a soldier.
Alfred Mogey McDowell and Winifred Catherine McDowell had at least two children:
Janette Kathleen (born 2 March 1918 at 37 Reid Street, Belfast; married Arthur Donald Field)
Alfred George (born 22 June 1921)
During the Second World War Alfred George McDowell served with the Royal Navy aboard HMS Glorious. HMS Glorious was built by Harland and Wolff, Belfast and commissioned in 1917. In the 1920s she was converted from a heavy cruiser to an aircraft carrier. On 8 June 1940 HMS Glorious and her two escorting destroyers HMS Acasta and HMS Ardent were all sunk in the Norwegian Sea by the German battle cruisers Gneisenau and Scharnhorst. Ordinary Seaman Alfred George McDowell (aged 18) was one of more than 1,200 men from HMS Glorious who died. More than 300 from HMS Acasta and HMS Ardent also died. In total there were around 40 survivors.
The seamen who lost their lives in these three ships are commemorated on a stained glass window to the right of the nave in St. Peter’s Church, Martindale, Cumbria and on a Memorial Plaque near the Trondenes Historical Centre in Harstad, Norway.
Along with his brother-in-law, Signalman Arthur Donald Field MID, Ordinary Seaman Alfred George McDowell, is commemorated on the family grave headstone in Holywood Cemetery, Co. Down. On the gravestone both men are described as grandsons of Margaret Cotter McDowell.