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Good First and Second World War Naval Group, on HMS St Vincent at Jutland.


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Good First and Second World War Naval Group, on HMS St Vincent at Jutland.

War and Victory Medals, K. 28055 A. Smith. Sto. 1. R.N.; 1939-45 Star, Atlantic Sat (France and Germany clasp); 1939-45 War Medal;  Naval Long Service and Good Conduct (Geo V) K,X. 78838 A. Smith L. Sto, H.M.S. Penzance.

Alfred Smith was born in Brighton on the 8th March 1897 and enlisted as a Stoker II class in September 1915.
Serving on HMS ST Vincent he was present at the Battle of Jutland.

As the Grand Fleet began deploying from columns into a line of battle beginning at 18:15, the 5th Division was near the rear. St Vincent, the twentieth ship from the head of the battle line after deployment, was briefly forced to stop to avoid overrunning ships further forward as the fleet had been forced to slow to 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph) to allow the battlecruisers to assume their position at the head of the line. During the first stage of the general engagement, the ship began firing a few salvos from her main guns at the crippled light cruiser SMS Wiesbaden at 18:33, although the number of hits made, if any, is unknown. Between 18:40 and 19:00 the ship turned away twice from what were thought to be torpedoes that stopped short of the ship. From 19:10 St Vincent began firing at what was initially identified as a German battleship, but proved to be the battlecruiser SMS Moltke, hitting her target twice before she disappeared into the mist. The first armour-piercing, capped (APC) shell was probably a ricochet and struck the upper hull abreast the bridge. It wrecked the sickbay and slightly damaged the surrounding superstructure and hull, which caused some minor flooding. One man in the conning tower was wounded by a splinter. The second hit penetrated the rear armour of the superfiring turret at the rear of the ship, wrecking it and starting a small fire that was easily extinguished by the crew. This was the last time that St Vincent fired her guns during the battle. The ship fired a total of 98 twelve-inch shells (90 APC and 8 common-pointed, capped) during the battle.

Smith served on St Vincent until December 1919.

He remained in the Navy after the war receiving his Long Service medal in 1933, continuing to serve into the Second World war mainly on Shore establishments, but between September 1943 and September 1944 was abroad HMS Vestal, which took part in a minesweeping exercise around Harwich with a flotilla, which was working in the Scheldt estuary. This was with the ships Pincher, Recruit, Rifleman, Plucky, Fancy, Squirrel, and Chameleon, all of which were Algerine-class minesweepers. The ship was later sunk by Kamikaze aircraft South West of Thailand (By this time Smith had left the ship)

Smith was Invalided out on the 8th August 1945

Condition – First two Good/VF and a little polished, others VF