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Tower Hill Memorial, London Tower Hill Memorial, London
First Name: Alfred James Last Name: BAKER
Date of Death: 27/06/1918 Lived/Born In: Finchley
Rank: Wardroom Attendant Unit: HMHS Llandovery Catle
Memorial Site: Tower Hill Memorial, London

Current Information:


Claremont, Churchfield Avenue, North Finchley


The Llandovery Castle was originally an ocean liner of the Union Castle Line before being requisitioned as a hospital ship in 1916 and used to transport Canadian soldiers across the Atlantic. On 17th June, 1918 she was sailing to England from Nova Scotia when she was torpedoed, one hundred miles off the west coast of Ireland. The torpedo had been fired by the German submarine U-86 in direct contravention of agreements not to fire on hospital ships. Within ten minutes she sank and then, to make matters worse, the submarine came to the surface and ran down and opened fire on the survivors in lifeboats probably in an attempt to eliminate all witnesses to their crime. Only one  lifeboat, with twenty-four survivors, escaped to bear witness to the attack. They were rescued by HMS Lysander some 35 hours later. There were no patients aboard at the time but nevertheless 258 crew members, nurses and Canadian Medical Corps personnel lost their lives. One of these was Alfred Baker.

The sinking of the Llandovery Castle caused widespread disgust and condemnation and after the war, the submarine captain, Lieutenant Patzig was charged with war crimes but disappeared before his trial.

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