Alexander Glass Simpson

Military Information

  • Date of enlistment:
  • Place of enlistment:
  • Service no: 181971
  • Rank: Able Seaman
  • Service Occupation:
  • Awards:
  • Regiment/Service: H.M.S. Invincible
  • Unit/Ship: Royal Navy
  • Place of Death: Lost at Sea, Jutland
  • Age at Death: 38
  • Date of Death: 31.05.1916
  • Burial Country:
  • Cemetery: Chatham Naval Memorial
  • Grave/Mem Ref no: Panel 16

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth:
  • Place of Birth:
  • Address: 32 Ann St, Dundee
  • Occupation: Mill Worker
  • Mother:

    Elizabeth Simpson

  • Father:

    Robert Simpson

  • Siblings:
  • Spouse:

    Maggie Ann Simpson, 22 Tay Ave, Fairbank, Toronto, Canada

  • Children:

    Alexander, born 10.04.1906 & Stella, born 25.09.1908

More about Alexander Glass Simpson

Son of Robert & Elizabeth Simpson of Dundee.

Alexander Glass Simpson   181971   Royal Navy

SIMPSON___Lost in naval action on 31st May, off H.M.S. Invincible, Alexander Glass Simpson, Royal Fleet Reserve, Aged 38, beloved husband of Maggie Ann Malcolm, 32 Ann Street, Dundee.

Dundee People’s Journal 10th June 1916

Alexander has no known grave but is remembered on the Chatham Naval Memorial. He was serving aboard H.M.S. Invincible which was a Battle cruiser of the Royal Navy, the lead ship of her class of three, and the first Battle cruiser to be built by any country in the world.

The ship was built at Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co., Ltd on Tyneside. She was laid down on 2 April 1906, and launched at 3 p.m. on 13 April 1907 by Lady Allendale.

H.M.S. Invincible,  was lost in the battle of Jutland. H.M.S. Invicible became became the third of Britain´s battleships to explode after a German shell penetrated a turret at 18.33.

After the war, the wreckage was located in 1919 by a minesweeper at 57-02-40 N/ 06-07-15.E in 180 feet (55 m) down. Invincible was blown in half by the midships explosion, and the pieces of the ship rest on a sandy bottom near each other, the stern right-side up and the bow upside-down.

The roof of the aft 12 inch turret is missing, the guns still loaded. She is protected as a War Grave, though her propellers have already been removed by looters.

Alexander G Simpson was the son of Mr Robert and Mrs Elizabeth Simpson of Dundee and was born in the city. He was the husband of Mrs Maggie Ann Simpson of 32 Ann Street, Dundee and, later, of 22 Tay Avenue, Fairbank, Toronto, Ontario. Canada. He was a Mill worker when he volunteered to join the Royal Navy in December 1894 as a Boy Second Class. His initial training was carried out onboard HMS Caledonia, an old wooden battleship moored in the River Forth and then onboard HMS Boscawen, a similar vessel based at Portland in Dorset. During his career he served in HM Ships Sans Pareil, Blenheim, Medusa, Isis, Hazard, Forte and he purchased his discharge in November 1902. As was normal he was enrolled into the Royal Fleet Reserve with liability for call out. He re-enrolled in 1908 and was recalled in August 1914. Initially drafted to the battlecruiser HMS Inflexible he was transferred to HMS Invincible in September of that year. In December he took part in the Battle of the Falkland Islands where his ship was instrumental in sinking the German armoured cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. On 31 May 1916 the Invincible was the Flagship of the Third Battlecruiser Squadron during the Battle of Jutland. During an exchange of fire with German battlecruisers the Invincible hit the Lutzow which slowed her down. Unfortunately, the Invincible was struck amidships by fire from Lutzow and Derfflinger and her centre magazine exploded, breaking the ship in half. She sank in 90 seconds, leaving only six survivors out of a crew of 1,032 Officers and Men. Alexander Simpson is named on the Chatham Naval Memorial in Kent. He is mentioned in the Courier of Saturday 13 February 2016 on a feature on First World War Valentines and he sent a Postcard to his wife in May 1916 from Rosyth.


Additional information kindly supplied by Michael Caldwell, Ian Stewart & Ian Birnie

Can you tell us more about Alexander Glass Simpson'? Some additional facts, a small story handed down through the family or perhaps a picture or an heirloom you can share online. Contact our curator...

THANK YOU for your interest in helping the Great War Dundee project. Please complete the short form below and a curator will contact you in the next few days.

    I am writing to: