Albert Francis Barclay Bridges

From The Dreadnought Project
Jump to: navigation, search

Paymaster Lieutenant Albert Francis Barclay Bridges (25 January, 1895 – ) served in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Bridges was fond of "ruggers" and hockey and other sporting activities and records that he took the chance to play whenever it presented itself. A dog named "Jock" had some place in his life in late 1917, and shouldered the duty of "barking at aeroplanes".

Bridges recorded in his scrap book that he was appointed to Pembroke on 15 July, 1912 "for purposes of time and pay only", but the "Navy List" notes that the date also marked his promotion to Assistant Clerk.[1] On the 29th, he received an appointment to H.M.S. Neptune, effective on the 31st, when he reported to the Fleet Paymaster, John E. Jones.

On 11 November, 1912, he learned he was to go to Princess Royal. Arriving there on the 14th, he "found the ship absolutely uninhabitable," prompting him to seek accommodations in the barracks for a week.

On 10 January, 1913, Princess Royal ventured to Berehaven, arriving the next day to discover Lion, Indomitable and Invincible already there.

Bridges was promoted to what he described as "the exalted rank of Clerk" on 15 July, 1913.[2]

In February, 1914, Princess Royal went with Lion, Queen Mary and New Zealand (the last fresh back from her around-the-world cruise) to Brest where heavy rains made the roads miserable. Bridges noted that "I managed to make some of the people [the French] understand me, but others didn't seem to understand a word." After some shopping and some yelling for a missed boat back to ship, the squadron went to sea where it encountered terribly foul weather on the 19th, prompting a call to "Negative PZ" as Princess Royal "rolled 25° one way and 22° the other.

On 1 July, 1914, he was appointed to Benbow as one of three Clerks assisting Secretary Herbert S. Measham on Vice-Admiral Gamble's staff.[3] There does not seem to be any entries in his scrap book that indicate this occurred; rather, he records that he went into Dreadnought on 7 July when she and Princess Royal were both in Portland.

On 2 August, 1916, he exchanged places with Clerk Wyatt in the Erin "so as to learn Ship's Office work."

Bridges was promoted to Acting Paymaster on 15 October, 1915.[4]

His diary records that he was appointed Acting Assistant Paymaster on 15 January, 1916 and the next day he left Erin ("Worse luck!") to "rejoin the Admiral's office in Benbow". By mid-June, he had taken the exam for A.P..

In 1917, Bridges was in Hercules.


Bridges is notable for scrap book he kept during his naval service, which is now held at the Caird Library at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. It contains many programmes for dramatic productions put on by ships' crews and their sporting competitions.

It has the pencilled inscription in its inner jacket:


See Also



  1. The Navy List. (March, 1913). p. 10.
  2. The Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 13.
  3. The Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 281.
  4. The Navy List. (January, 1918). p. 24.