|H.M.S. Victoria Survivors
Captain of the Mast (PO1)
Henry ALDRIDGE RN
Henry Aldridge was born 3 July 1857 & entered
the RN as a 15 yr old boy on 11 Apl 1873. He
progressed up the ranks fairly quickly, being
rated AB, LS, & Seaman Gunner prior by 1879.
On 1 Apl ’82 he was advanced to PO 2nd class.
Whilst serving on HMS Temeraire in the
Mediterranean Fleet, he saw action at the
bombardment of Alexandria, no doubt manning
one of the ships guns.
However something went wrong for him on 24
Dec ’83 - on that day he was disrated to
Leading Seaman & lost both his Good Conduct
badges. He got both GCB’s back whilst serving
on HMS Excellent & Penelope in ’84, & was
promoted again to PO2 on 23 Sept ’85. At that
time he was rated Captain of the Mizzen Top.
On 24 Jan ’86 he was promoted to PO 1st class
& rated Quarter Master.
He never got into trouble again. He was rated Gun Captain on 1 Feb ’86 & Seaman Gunner Torpedo
(qualified in torpedos) on 23 Nov ’88. He was again rated Gun Captain on 11 Dec ’88 when drafted
to HMS Champion. He had also had rec’d his third GCB on 3 July ’88. A couple more stints on
Excellent & Vernon followed, then he was posted to HMS Achilles as Gun Captain. His next posting as
Gun Captain & Captain of the Forecastle, was to the ill fated HMS Victoria on 1 Apl ’93. At that time
she was re-commissioned at Malta with Vice Admiral Sir George Tryon flying his flag in Victoria as
Commander in Chief Mediterranean Fleet.
Aldridge survived the sinking, he rec'd his clothing & bedding grant of £3.3.8. and ceased his
appointment as Gun Captain of Victoria on 12 Aug 1893. He was then posted to HMS Crocodile, then
to Victory , Hibernia, & Victory again to pension on 11 July ’95.
His replacement Egypt medal & star was sent to Crocodile on 6 Feb ’94, but as he had left her on 27
Jan, they were returned for transmission to Hibernia on 9 Feb 94. He finally rec’d both on 14 Jan ’95.
So doubtful he ever wore them & if so very little, as both are virtually mint.
Aldridge did not receive the Naval LS medal as he had been disrated in ’83 & did not receive a clear
conduct rating again until 24 Dec ’84. He would have at that time required 15 years to qualify for the