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Albert Gladstone Trotter, usually referred to as "Uncle Albert", was the great uncle of Del Boy and Rodney and long-lost brother of Edward 'Grandad' Trotter. After his brother passed away, Albert met his great nephews during the funeral, and after being abandoned by the family members he was staying with, was allowed to live with them. He replaced his brother as the third main character in Only Fools and Horses from 1985 to 1996

Biography

Albert Gladstone Trotter was born on the 19th November 1920 in Tobacco Road, Bermondsey, London, near the docks, one of 5 children, to an impoverished family. His father was Jack Trotter Sr and his mother was Victoria Trotter. Albert grew up in a 2 up, 2 down house where his dad Jack was a dock labourer. He used to play football as a child in the streets and often disrupted the other residents who used to chase him away with their brooms. As he grew up near the docks he met many sailors from all over the world who frequented the pubs and cafes in the area. Albert left school at 15 in about 1935 and worked on a tramp steamer for a while.

He joined the Royal Navy in 1937 and two years later was called to action following the outbreak of the Second World War. He fought in most theatres of the conflict, from the Russian convoys to the Pacific, won seven medals and was sunk seven times in a period of four years. He was on watch duty on HMS Peerless when it sunk after crashing into an American aircraft carrier and was court martialled. He escaped prosecution because his papers were lost when Singapore fell to the Japanese soon after. While in The Navy he did basic parachute training along with laundry matters. He briefly knew  Freddie "The Frog" Robdal, who was the father of Albert's great-nephew, Rodney Trotter.

After the war ended in May 1945 Albert helped assist bring imprisoned soldiers home. In 1946 he even fell in love with Helga, who was not as interested, but she loved him in some way as she never charged him as much for sex as she did the other men.

One time in 1946 he fell down a pub cellar, The Victory Inn in Portsmouth but did not hurt himself badly yet still received compensation. He thought this was handy so whenever he was hard up for money he would go and "fall down a cellar". So in many pubs across Southern England he fell down cellars to claim money, in-between 1944 and 1951. These pubs were in Gravesend, Kent and Canning Town, London. The cases got so numerous not only were they kept on the courts records, but the courts even nicknamed him 'The Ferret'. Albert was discharged from the Navy sometime in the 1970s and returned to Civvy Street.

Despite his tales of his wartime exploits, the defence council in "Hole in One" stated that Albert actually spent much of the war stationed in a storage depot on the Isle of Wight. During this time, he was given basic parachute training and learned how to fall without injuring himself, a skill he put to use after the war by purposely falling down pub cellars in order to gain compensation money. The only places actually confirmed with evidence that Albert has been to during the war are: Germany - (where he fell in love with a German girl with one of her fingers missing) and France - namely, the village of St. Claire a la Chappelle. Confirmed by his friend George Parker in which he tells Del and Rodney of Albert's womanizing while hiding in the village.

Albert joined the Merchant Navy after the war and at some point he married Ada, although they were subsequently estranged and he stated they "didn't talk to each other for years".[1] Ada reputedly told relatives that she would kill Albert if she ever saw him again.[2] It is unspecified whether they had any children. He told Rodney that he and Edward (Grandad) fell out over Ada and as a result didn't speak again. Much later, it is stated that Albert and Elsie Partridge had been childhood sweethearts who were separated by the war. In retirement, Albert lived with (and was abandoned by) a series of relatives, including Del and Rodney's cousin Stan and his wife Jean.

In the summer of 1983, he went to live with his nephew Stan Trotter and his wife Jean Trotter in their mobile home after initially only going around to borrow a screwdriver.

Del was sure that Grandad Trotter had mentioned Albert a couple of times, but he never went into detail (He Who Dares)

Only Fools and Horses

Series 4 (1985)

Uncle Albert at his brother's funeral in "Strained Relations"

In February 1985, Albert was about 65 years old now and was still living with Stan and Jean when he got news of his brother "Grandad"'s death. Albert, Stan and Jean attended the funeral. At the wake at Del's flat, Albert and Jean mildly argued over North Londoners vs South Londoners as Jean said North Londoners were friendlier. Albert got drunk at the wake and fell asleep on one of the beds in Del's flat. He woke at 11pm when the wake was finished and everyone went home, including Stan and Jean, they just left Albert there. Albert stayed the night and Del

drove him back to North London the following morning, but when they got to the caravan site they found the caravan was gone and Albert's duffel bag of goods was laying on the grass where the caravan once stood. Stan and Jean had moved away and left no contact details. Del had to drive him back to Peckham.

Initially Del did not want Albert to stay with him and Rodney, due to Albert unknowingly revealing that nearly every member of the family he's stayed with went to extreme lengths to get rid of him (moving away, emigrating, setting fire to their house etc) and because he felt he was not ready to accept Albert into the flat when he was till mourning the passing of Grandad. Del chucked him out with £100 and said there is a seaman's mission in the docks, and he can get a bed there. Albert left the flat but was seen in The Nags Head that evening, with a chesty cough. Rodney spoke to him and Albert said he had been to the seaman's mission but it was demolished. This was not true, but instead a mere ploy by Albert to get Del to agree to let him stay. In the end, Del agreed to let him move in. Albert was soon to bore Del and Rodney with his war stories. Rodney said at one time it was like listening to the adventures of a Dover sole.

In about February 1985, 4 weeks after moving in, Albert "fell" down a hole to try and win compensation for the hard up Trotter family but it turned out he had several other lawsuits, and all the previous lawsuits in-between 1944 and 1951 were bought up in court, and the case was thrown out, even revealing his nickname gained from all the cases. Del and Rodney were initially furious with him, but forgave him after Albert revealed he only wanted to help them, plus he wanted to pay for Grandad's headstone. Albert settled in to life at Nelson Mandela House. In 1985 he helped Del and Rodney catch a rare butterfly.

To Hull & back (1985)

In around mid 1985, Albert put his old sailor days to the test again when he steered a boat across The North Sea to Amsterdam, Holland as Del was the courier in a diamond smuggling expedition, which was arranged by Boycie and Abdul (but the real driving force behind it was local bent copper Roy Slater). When caught, Slater took the diamonds and money, in exchange for letting Boycie, Abdul and the Trotters go free.

Series 5 (1986)

In 1986, Albert was with Del and Rodney when they were held hostage in the managers office at the supermarket, so that they could be used as independent witnesses for an inside-job robbery. In the same year, Del was offered a job in Australia by his old friend Jumbo Mills. Rodney was refused an immigration visa due to his minor drugs conviction and Albert refused to go as he had spent all his life sailing round the world and wanted a place to sit down and stay there. In the end, Del, realising Rodney and Albert could not survive without him, said no to Jumbo's offer.

A Royal Flush (1986)

Albert accompanies Del to the Duke of Maylebury's residence, where he spends the evening with the kitchen staff, telling them stories of his days at sea. Albert's role in this particular episode is mainly a background role, and he makes little contribution to the actual plot.

The Frog's Legacy (1987)

Albert breifly took over as Del's lookout, when Rodney got a job as at Mr Jahan's undertaker's. Albert had to pretend to have a bad back when Del was selling infra red massagers.

The three Trotter's attend the Wedding of Trigger's cousin Lisa, where Del learns about Fredrick Robdal, and his lost gold that was left to the Trotter's Mother, and subsequently to them. Albert said he vaguely knew Freddie "The Frog" Robdal, whom was friendly with Del and Rodney's late mum Joan Mavis Trotter at around the time Rodney was conceived. Joan and her husband Reg were having many rows at the time. Rodney was told they had some similarities but Albert dismissed it as "just rumours".

Freddie had left Joan some gold (from a bank robbery) in his will, and had arranged a fake funeral to bury the gold, by using an alias called "Alfred Broderick" (an anagram of Frederick Robdal). Del and Rodney spent hours scouring cemeteries in London looking for the gold, and an Alfred Broderick headstone, where the gold may be. Turned out, Robdal had the gold buried at sea, and if Albert had said that Freddie was a frogman (deep sea diver) in the navy, then they would have realised Robdal had the gold buried at sea. The Trotters decided to abandon the search for the gold, much to Del's reluctance, since there was little hope of being able to find it within the vastness of the ocean.

Dates (1988)

Albert tells the story of when he was on watch duty on HMS Peerless, and it sunk after crashing into an American aircraft carrier (that it was supposed to be protecting), in broad daylight. Albert was given the blame and was court martialled, but escaped prosecution because his papers were sent to Naval HQ in Singapore, but were lost when Singapore fell to the Japanese. Also, Del books a stripper for Albert's 68th birthday party, but inadvertently booked Raquel Turner, whom he was dating at the time.

Series 6 (1989)

Albert accompanies Del to "Dirty Barry's" shop, where they unsuccessfully try to sell the inflatable dolls that Del got from Denzil, since Rodney is out on a date with Cassandra. In the following episode, Albert invests money into Del's gold-chain deal with "retired jewellery dealer" Archie, who turns out to be a con-man, as well as accompanied the consortium to the restaurant where Archie supposedly suffers a fatal heart attack.

In the same year, Albert rekindles his friendship with his old childhood sweetheart, Elsie Partridge, whom is a medium and is coerced by Del into hosting a Seance at the Nag's head for a profit (a plan that fails spectacularly off-screen). During a trial-run Seance composed of just the Trotter,s Boycie, Trigger and Mike, Elsie "makes contact" with Del and Rodney's Mum, in order to convince a severely reluctant Del to see a doctor about his stomach pains. Elsie later admits to Albert that she made this up - the only time she's ever lied to anyone in a seance - and that she only did it because Albert asked her to, since Albert felt the only person Del would ever listen to was his Mum.

In 1989, Albert took on Rodney's responsibilities at Trotter's Independent Traders after Rodney got married and left the flat as well as got himself a new job working for his father-in-law.

The Jolly Boys' Outing (1989)

Uncle Albert Jolly Boys Outing.jpg

In August 1989, on a beano to Margate in Kent, Albert was whining all the way there as he was hungry and had to get up early. Mickey Pearce and Jevon teased him about it. Due to the coach blowing up, a rail strike and the last bus to London had left 10 minutes before they arrived at the bus stop, the lot had to stay in Margate overnight. When Del and Rodney decide to go out for a drink, they find themselves locked out and try to wake Albert up to let them in. Del throws a brick up at the window and ends up hitting Albert square on the head.

Rodney Come Home (1990)

Albert accompanies Del to the Broadwalk Shopping Centre, where he (badly) works as Del's new lookout, following Rodney's employment at his father-in-law's printing works. Albert and the rest of the family are shocked when Rodney considers cheating on his wife, following a falling out.

Series 7 (1990-91)

Albert stopped working for Del after Rodney loses his Job with Alan and resumes his partnership with Del. In 1991, Albert had a game of dominoes with his old school friend "Knock Knock". They had a verbal fight over Dora Lane, Marlene's mum. There had been several muggings in the area, and some skinheads were watching Albert open up a wad of cash, and one night Albert was attacked, and claimed he was mugged. He became a recluse. Del Boy was trying to find 5 muggers, the police were making investigations. Rodney then suggested that Del toughen up on Albert so he can get back to normal. Del did so. During the night Albert left a note saying he would not get under their feet any more and then left. The following morning Del and Rodney quickly went out all across London and eventually suspected he may be at his old residence, Tobacco Road in Bermondsey. They found him and he came home. It soon transpired he was never mugged but had a fight with Knock Knock and was bested in the fight. Del was livid at Albert for lying to them. Those skinheads seen

in the Nags Head were undercover police officers, hence why they looked at Albert opening up a wad of money, as they were actually concerned for his safety. Albert soon put the ordeal with his old schoolmate behind him.

Albert in 1992

Albert welcomed his great-great nephew Damien Trotter into the world in 1991, accompanying Del, Raquel and Rodney to the Hospital. Now aged about 70-72, Albert was still a very active man.

Miami Twice (1991)

Albert attends the christening of great-great nephew Damien Trotter. Albert offers comfort to Raquel when Del fails to ring her from the states, and is also on the reviving end of Del's messed-up "pre-blessed wine" deal, with hundreds of crates of deemed-unfit white wine left in the flat.

Mother Nature's Son (1992)

When the Trotters hit upon hard times in 1992, Albert's pension was one of the main income sources into the flat as Del and Rodney had not bought or sold anything for months. Del got Albert to help him with the Peckham Spring venture where he created a spring in Grandad's old allotment and pretended it had just been discovered under a pile of overgrowth and rubbish. Albert sneakily passed off a full bottle of Buxton water as the water sample from Peckham Spring so the lab would accept it and the water would start being bottled and sold. Del's venture soon hit off but toxic waste dumped in the reservoir by Del put and end to it.

Fatal Extraction (1993)

In 1993 Albert started to boil his vests and pants on the cooker rather than use a washing machine, which Raquel was not happy about. Del kept going out every night down pubs and clubs. When Rodney told Del to consider Raquel more, he said how she was "Stuck in the flat night after night, with Horatio and his tales of the sea", describing Raquel stuck in the flat with Albert. When Raquel left Del, he said that it is horrible in the flat now. Rodney said that Del has got Albert and Del said "That's what I mean". Del said he had a date with a woman who happens to be a grandmother, and Rodney joked that she should bring her sister along for Albert. Del and Raquel later reconciled.

Heroes and Villians (1996)

In the opening to this episode, Rodney has nightmare in which Del's son Damien rules the world in a brutal dictatorship, in the year 2026. In this dream, Albert's body has been permanently preserved in a special machine, but he is only capable of saying "During the War..." on a constant loop.

In the episode itself, Albert hilariously drinks Cassandra's urine sample after mistaking it for apple Juice. Rodney elects not to tell Cassandra the truth about what happened to the sample.

Modern Men (1996)

Albert is on hand to offer Advice to Rodney when he tells his uncle of his plans to leave Del and find a better-paying job, in order to provide better financial support when his and Cassandra's baby is born. Tragically, Cassandra suffers a miscarriage and loses the baby. Albert is on hand to offer support.

Time on our hands (1996)

This episode marks the final on-screen appearance of Uncle Albert, as actor Buster Merryfield passed away in 1999, before the making of the final 3 episodes. However, Albert's character would posthumously play a role in the plot of the final trilogy.

In 1996, Del and Rodney became millionaires following the sale of a rare, missing time piece worth £6.2 million. Albert moved in with Del, Raquel and Damien at their new country mansion. Del bought Albert a boat, but he crashed it into a bridge and sunk it soon afterwards. A couple weeks after moving out of the Flat, Albert revisits in order to collect some of his belongings that he left behind. Whilst here a nostalgic Del Boy arrives and begins recalling the memories from the flat over the years. Rodney also returns to check on Del who reveals that he is already beginning to

miss the old life as a market trader. At this point Albert leaves his room and bumps into the two brothers, explaining why he's there as well as to have one last look. The three leave, though not before Del has answered a call from Lenny Norris offering them 250 carpet steamers. Del is initially keen, but Rodney reminds his older brother that they are not in the business any longer. Del reluctantly tells Lenny that "Trotters Independent Traders has ceased trading." The three men decide to walk to the local Chinese restaurant for a meal. As they set off, Del states that rather than the end for them, it is only just the beginning as they should now invest their new money in the futures market (making one last claim that this was one of the many things his mother Joan said, on her deathbed). The three continue to playfully argue about this as they walk off into an animated sunrise, as Del proclaims that it is their "big chance", and ending with the closing refrain: "This time next year, we could be billionaires!".

Albert revisits the flat one last time (Time On Our Hands

If They Could See Us Now (2001)

After the Trotters came into their fortune, Albert shunned the jet-setting lifestyle adopted by Del and Rodney, preferring to settle down on the coast with Elsie Partridge. His nephews consoled themselves with the thought that he couldn't have travelled the world with them anyway, as the "ancient mariner" never actually held a British passport. Soon after the Trotters became bankrupt, they went back to how they were in The Flat but Albert remained on the coast and they learned from Elsie Partridge's son that Albert had passed away. They went to attend his funeral, but unknown to them, they attended the wrong one.

Strangers on the Shore (2002)

In "Strangers on the Shore", Albert was invited to a naval reunion in a village in Normandy, France, as the organisers were not aware that Albert had died a few months earlier. Del and Rodney decided to attend in his honour (and double it up as a booze cruise). During the Ferry trip, they scatter Albert's ashes at sea. At the ceremony, an old man overhears them say "Trotter" and asks if they are related to Albert. The old man is George Parker, an Irishman, who sailed with Albert on HMS Cod in 1944. George says he is the only one in the fleet on HMS Cod who have turned up. He says all "the others are all either dead, in old people's homes, or could not be bothered turning up", as it is almost 60 years later. George is saddened to hear the death of Albert. Whilst getting to know George, they discover that he shares Albert's habit of telling stretched out stories of the war and find that the entire village is inhabited by bald men with white beards who all bore more than a passing resemblance to their late uncle. They joked about how it should have been called "Trottersville".

Sleepless In Peckham (2003)

In "Sleepless in Peckham", Del and Rodney attended the reading of Albert's will, and learned that he had invested his share of the Trotter fortune much more shrewdly than they had, and left them £145,000 each, meaning all their financial troubles were over. When visiting his mothers grave, Rodney asks her to thank Albert for everything he'd done.

Personality

Albert was a cunning, sly old sea dog with a good sense of humour. He was very proud of his time in the navy in WWII, and would talk about it endlessly, much to the annoyance of Del and Rodney. But despite their disagreements, Albert was a good friend of Del and Rodney, and the two were very sad when they heard he had died.

Albert was famed for telling stories that often began with the words "During the war...", which often annoyed Del and Rodney but sometimes caught their interest. In Albert's final appearance in the series ("Time On Our Hands", the third and final chapter of the 1996 Christmas trilogy), a frustrated Del cuts Albert off at "During the..." threatening to pour a cup of tea over his head should he complete the sentence. Albert cunningly says, "During the 1939-1945 conflict with Germany...". On many occasions, Albert has said upon meeting new people that he "never talks about his days at sea", but then immediately launches into one of his stories.

Trivia

  • Albert's middle name was Gladstone, which is only ever stated during the courtroom scene in the Series 4 episode "Hole in One". Albert's middle name probably came from the former Prime Minister William Gladstone.
  • Albert's year of birth is hinted as being 1920 but it is possible he is a few years older than this. The Bible Of Peckham books published in 2000 state Albert was born on the 19th November 1920 but the character bios were written by Steve Clark and not John Sullivan, the shows creator and writer. Some have suggested that a reason why Albert may be older than this, is because he reportedly one said he was in the Navy in Australia in 1929.
  • Albert was said to have been a bit of a lad during the war and that he had his way with several women whose husbands were away fighting.
  • First Line:- "But I wanna go back, he was my brother"
  • Final Line:- "Dangerous game, investment".

Notes

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