Armagh survivor of Anzio sinking

Albert Kirkpatrick was in HMS Spartan when it was sunk in the Anzio operations on 29/01/1944.

Albert was born in Armagh where he attended St Mark’s Parish School. His family moved to Portadown. He joined the RN on his 16th. birthday and began training on the Isle of Man. His pay was a shilling a week.

Whilst at HMS Sea Eagle at Ebrington, Londonderry, he met Isobel, later to be his wife, at a dance. Theirs was the first marriage to be solemnised by Rev. Charles Willoughby as curate of St Columb’s Cathedral. Mr Willoughby was later to be rector of All Saints’ Church, Clooney, which has strong RNA links, and he was also Archdeacon of Derry.

After his service with the RN, Albert worked for the GPO (now BT), until his retirement. He was a Past President of the Apprentice Boys of Derry No Surrender Parent Club, Past Master of LOL 1912 and for over fifty years a member of RBP No 237.

He loved animals and never came to the Cathedral on a Sunday without an encounter with Widor, the aptly named Deanery dog. When the Cathedral bells started ringing Widor would bolt across the cathedral grounds to take up station by the gates and wait on his weekly treat from Albert.

Father to Pat, Marilyn and Augusta. Albert died 05/02/2011. Based on an appreciation in St Columb’s magazine, March 2011.

RN Crestjpg

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