Albert Gladstone Trotter was a major character in Only Fools And Horses from 1985 to 1996. He was the brother of Grandad Trotter and great uncle of Del Boy Trotter and adoptive great uncle of Rodney Trotter. (Rodney was the result of an extra marital affair). Albert was the old sea dog who went round the world more times than Philleas Fogg, and one time even got the Trotters lost at sea when they were off to Amsterdam, on a diamond smuggling expedition. Allegedly, yes, allegedly, one of Albert's great uncles was a safety officer on the Titanic. When Grandad died, Albert came to live with his great nephews. Albert was not a copy of his older brother, he was much more active and more sly than Grandad, and was far more openly proud about his wartime service. "During the war" was a phrase that Albert became known for, and he often annoyed people with his war stories, especially Del and Rodney. Albert was played by Buster Merryfield.
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 Snr 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. In about 1937 or 1938 he joined The Navy. While in The Navy he did basic parachute training along with laundry matters. He briefly knew Freddie "The Frog" Robdal who was a future friend of Albert's nephew Reg Trotter. Also Albert managed to sink a ship called HMS Peerless and was due for court martial but another battle broke out and Albert never was bought to trial. The war ended in May 1945 and 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. All were kept on the courts records. Albert was discharged from the Navy sometime in the 1970s and returned to Civvy Street.
In the summer of 1983, he went to live with his nephew Stan Trotter and his wife Jean Trotter. Albert had initially only come round to borrow a screwdriver. Jean was annoyed with Albert's war stories.
It is suggested that most of Alberts wartime stories are fictional, with Del and Rodney both confirming this to eachother in the episode Strained Relations. Also, during cross examination in court in the episode Hole In One it was revealed that he spent most of the war on a stoage depot in the Isle Of Wight. However, we do know that Albert certainly spent at least some time in France where he was betrayed by the French Resistance due to his promiscuity and Germany where he fell in love with a German girl called Helga.
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. Somehow 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 saying that he always seems to attract trouble with people he stays with such as houses setting fire etc. Also it is so soon after Grandad's death so Del chucked him out with £100. Del 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. 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. Albert had wanted to help Del and Rodney, 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.
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 the local bent copper Roy Slater was behind. When caught, Slater took the diamonds and money or he would have Boycie, Abdul and the Trotters arrested.
In 1986, 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.
In 1987 when Rodney got a job as an undertaker, Albert took over as Del's lookout. Albert had to pretend to have a bad back when Del was selling infra red massager's. Albert said he vaguelly knew Freddie "The Frog" Robdal, a former friend of the Trotters, and 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 a rumour. Albert never said how he met Freddie and what job he did. Freddie had left Joan some gold in his will, and had arranged a fake funeral to bury the gold, by using an alias called Alfred Broderick. 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 deep sea diver and a frogman, then they would have relaised Robdal had the gold buried at sea. The Trotters later abandoned the search, as it took 70 years to find the Titanic, which was a huge ship, so what chance did they have with a coffin in the middle of the North Sea.
In 1988 Albert was organised a stripper at his 68th birthday party but the stripper was a lady Del was dating, Raquel Turner. One time, Rodney took Cassandra Parry for a meal, and left Albert to help Del carry boxes of shirts up to their 12th floor flat. Albert moaned about how Rodney stopped off to have dinner with a girl and left the donkey work to an old chap like him, then said that youngsters have no respect these days, and how he fought in the war for them. Del and Rodney soon went on holiday with Cassandra, without Albert. Rodney had to pretend to be 14 all week. When Del had stomach pains shortly after the holiday, Albert and Rodney (for Del's own good) manipulated Del into going to the doctors. Thankfully, the pains were nothing serious, and simply due to the fact that Del ate and drank too much and he was told to cut down. Albert and Rodney ran round after Del as he ws getting better. Del said he is no invalid, then Rodney told Albert he had the complan for Del. Del soon got better.
In 1989, Rodney flew the nest, got married and had a chance to move on with his life, no longer Del's dogsbody down markets, he got a job working for his father in law's computer firm. Albert got Rodney's old job. 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. Del soon moved Raquel Turner in. Sometime, Albert got his beard caught in the food blender.
In 1990, Rodney's marriage to Cassandra hit the rocks and he kept going back to stay with Del. Albert had to keep making him a bed on the settee. Rodney then lost his job with his father in law's printing firm and ended up working for Del again. In January 1991, Albert had a game of dominoes with his old schoolfriend 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 welcomed his great nephew Damien Trotter into the world in February 1991. Now aged about 70-72,
Albert was still a very active man. When the Trotters hit upon hard times in 1992, Albert's pension was one main income into the flat as Del and Rodney had not bought or sold anything for months by late 1992. 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 in the reservoir put and end to that.
In 1993 Albert started to boil his vests and pants on the cooker rather than use a washing machine. Raquel was not happy. She also asked Albert to buy ketchup in a glass bottle, not a plastic bottle. 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 then said she is a young grandmother. Del and Raquel later reconciled.
In 1996, when Del and Rodney became millionaires Albert moved in with Del, Raquel and Damien at their new country mansion Del bought. Del bought Albert a boat, but he crashed it soon after in true plonker style.
Albert, with his share of the winnings, moved down to the coast with Elsie Partridge. He lived in Weston Super Mare, Somerset. He never spent much of his winnings and wrote up a will, leaving £150'000 each to Del and Rodney. Del and Rodney lost their millions in 2001 after investing in a dodgy stock market which collapsed. They went back to how they were but Albert remained on the coast and died soon after. Del owed the Inland Revenue £50'000. In 2003, Del's solicitor said Albert had left them £150'000 each and they could pay off their debts.
Albert's middle name was Gladstone. While never officially stated, 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. Reasons why Albert may be older is he said he was in the Navy in Australia in 1929. He may have been a boy sailor, sent to sea at a young age or he was lying.
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. The illegal stowaway, Rashid Mamoon, who was actually the son of a billionaire Mr Mamoon was Albert's great grandson, as his father said he always loved the British, and his nan met an English sailor in the war, and Albert had once told Del and Rodney about a woman he met in the Middle East during the war. And Mr Mamoon looks a bit like Albert. This means this Lebanese billionaire, with an English grandfather, is a cousin of the Trotters.
In 2020, the world was gripped by a coronavirus pandemic, and this started a humourous meme of how, in decades to come people will say "During the coronavirus", as a nod to Albert's "During the war" phrase.
First Line:- "But I wanna go back there, he was my brother"
Final Line:- "Dangerous game, investment".
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.
- Born: 19th November 1920
- Full Name: Albert Gladstone Trotter
- Spouse: Ada Trotter (??-??)
- Children: Several French Men in 1944/1945 , A son by a Middle Eastern Woman Miss Mamoon (c1941)
- Grandchildren: Mr Mamoon
- Great Grandchildren Rashid Mamoon
- Nieces: Gillian
- Great, Great Nephews: Damien Trotter
- Occupation: Tramp steamer labourer (1929-??), Naval stoker (c1935-??), Sailor and sea dog (??-??), Retired (c1980-2001)