Albert FARLEY (1866-1890)

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Albert Richard FARLEY, HMS Serpent 1888

Albert Richard FARLEY was born on 31 March 1866 in Millbrook, Cornwall. He was a Seaman RN. He married Elizabeth HOCKING on 10 September 1890 in Stoke Damerel, Plymouth. He died on 10 November 1890 in HMS Serpent, Lost at sea.

 

The Wreck of HMS Serpent

Thursday, November 10th, 2005 marked the 115th anniversary of the loss of HMS Serpent, off the coast of Galicia in Spain, in 1890.

The Serpent was a twin-screw cruiser, launched in 1887, and was the first vessel in the Royal Navy to be galvanized to protect metal plates from corrosion.

On her last voyage she sailed from Plymouth, bound for Sierra Leone, on November 8th. During the night of November 9th – 10th, three seamen from the Serpent swam ashore, exhausted, bruised and bleeding. They eventually told their story after walking several miles to the little town of Camarinas.

When the townspeople reached the place they saw wreckage coming ashore, but no trace was found of other survivors. During the following week bodies were washed ashore, including that of Commander Leith-Ross. The Admiralty sent HMS Lapwing and HMS Tyne to the area and they recovered more bodies. In all 147 men were drowned.

From the stories of the survivors and other investigations it was concluded that the ship had been lost through a navigational error. It was a bad night and there was a heavy sea running off the coast of Galicia. The Serpent was steering a course which should have taken her well clear of Cape Villano, notorious for its rocks, but a fault in the compass meant that she was more than ten miles off course and entered Punta Bay, north of Cape Villano. The officers were on the bridge and six men were on watch when the ship ran aground on the Boy Rock, while travelling at a speed of eight or nine knots. She remained stuck on the rock for a while and an attempt was made to launch a boat. However, the boat was immediately smashed to pieces. Waves were breaking over the deck and the remaining men were ordered into the rigging where, for the time being, they were comparatively safe. But eventually the Serpent slid off the rock and sank in deep water.

A memorial stands on the shore of Punta Bay and many of the men are buried in a graveyard there.

 

Elizabeth HOCKING, daughter of William Henry HOCKING (1838-1908) and Elizabeth Ann HOSKING (1840-1918), was born on 18 July 1862 in Kingsand, Cornwall. She appeared in the census on 2 April 1871 in Cawsand, Cornwall aged 8.1 The address was: Garrett Street. On 2 April 1871 she was a Scholar in Cawsand aged 8.2 She appeared in the census in 1891 in Kingsand aged 28. The address was: The Cleave. In 1891 she was a Housekeeper in Kingsand aged 28. She appeared in the census in 1901 in Kingsand aged 38. The address was: The Green. She appeared in the census on 2 April 1911 in Kingsand aged 48.3 The address was: Fore Street. She died Q1 1947 in Kingsand. She and Albert Richard FARLEY had the following children:

 

Albert John FARLEY (1891- ). Albert was born Q3 1891 in Kingsand. The address was: Higher Row. He was baptised on 30 July 1891 in Maker, Cornwall. He appeared in the census in 1901 in Kingsand aged 9. The address was: The Green. He appeared in the census on 2 April 1911 in Kingsand aged 19.3 The address was: Fore Street. On 2 April 1911 he was a Labourer & Painter HM Dockyard in Kingsand aged 19.4 He married Margaret Elsie STICK Q3 1916 in Plymouth, Devon. Plymouth 5b/598.

Sources

1"1871 Census". Cit. Date: 2 April 1871.
Text From Source: Name Related Cond Age Occupation Birth Place
William Henry Hocking Head Mar 33 Labourer Millbrook, Cornwall
Elizabeth Ann Hocking Wife Mar 30 Antony, Cornwall
William Joseph Hocking Son Unm 12 Scholar Kingsand, Cornwall
John Henry Hocking Son Unm 10 Scholar Maker, Cornwall
Elizabeth Hocking Dau Unm 8 Scholar Kingsand, Cornwall
Edward Hocking Son Unm 6 Scholar Kingsand, Cornwall
Richard Hocking Son Unm 4 Scholar Cawsand, Cornwall
Samuel Hocking Son Unm 2 Kingsand, Cornwall
Thomas George Hocking Son Unm 2 mths Kingsand, Cornwall
National Archives, Kew.
2Ibid. Cit. Date: 2 April 1871.
3"1911 census". Cit. Date: 2 April 1911.
Text From Source: Name Related Cond Age Occupation Birth Place
Elizabeth Hocking Head Wid 48 Kingsand, Cornwall
Albert John Farley Son Unm 19 Labourer & Painter HM Dockyard Kingsand, Cornwall
John Thomas Wid 45 Naval Pensioner Millbrook, Cornwall
Ida Blanche Thomas 11 School Kingsand, Cornwall
National Archives, Kew.
4Ibid. Cit. Date: 2 April 1911.