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London Gazette editions 29680-31063 (July 1916-December 1918)

Signals Staff of light cruiser HMS Cassandra in 1917 (Yeoman of Signals George Smith, click to enlarge)

on to Royal Navy Despatches 1919-1920
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Naval Despatches, Part 2 of 3

(London Gazette edition in brackets)

Dover Patrol (29680)

East African Campaign (30133)

Gallipoli Campaign - Evacuation (30015)

Jutland, Battle of, Commendations and Awards to Officers (29751)

Memorable non-Naval Gallantry award (civilian) (30442)

Mesopotamian Campaign (30298)

Ostend Raid, Second - Honours (30870)

Russia, North Russian Expeditionary Force - White Sea Operations (31063)

Return to Main Index for all Naval Despatches, and Army Despatches that relate to Naval Operations and Mentions





29680 - 25 JULY 1916



NAVAL DESPATCH dated 29 May 1916



North Sea Sandbanks and Dover Straits (with later defences),
click to enlarge


Admiralty, 25th July, 1916.


The following despatch has been received from Vice-Admiral Sir Reginald H. S. Bacon, K.C.B., C.V.O., D.S.O., commanding the Dover Patrol, reporting the operations of the Dover Patrol since 3rd Dec. 1915:


To the Secretary of the Admiralty.


Office of the Vice-Admiral, Dover, 29th May, 1916.



Since my last Despatch to their Lordships on 3rd December, 1915, the varied duties of this Patrol have been carried out with unremitting energy on the part of the Officers and men under my command.


During the winter month's offensive operations on the Belgian Coast were much impeded by the shortness of the daylight hours and by gales of wind and bad weather. These same factors that impeded offensive action facilitated the work of the enemy in laying mines and in attacking our commerce in these narrow waters, since it assisted them to elude our patrols of protective vessels.


The Services of the Dover Patrol can be best appreciated from the following facts:


Over 21,000 Merchant Ships, apart from Men-of-War and Auxiliaries, have passed through this Patrol in the last six months. Of these twenty-one have been lost or have been seriously damaged by the enemy. The losses in Merchant Vessels, therefore, have been less than one per thousand. On the other hand, to effect this very considerable security to our Merchant Shipping I regret that over 4 per cent of our Patrol Vessels have been sunk and the lives of 77 Officers and men lost to the Nation. No figures could emphasise more thoroughly the sacrifice made by the personnel of the Patrol and the relative immunity ensured to the commerce of their country.


Besides the foregoing the Patrol assists in the protection of the flank of all the sea Transport to and from our Army in France. The number of vessels that have passed and also of the troops that have been carried are known to Their Lordships, but it is well to call attention to the fact that this vast transport of troops has been so thoroughly safeguarded that not one single life has been lost during the sea passage.


The work of the Destroyer Flotilla (below, HMS Amazon of the Dover Patrol's 6th Flotilla - Jon Richards) throughout the winter has been incessant and arduous and thoroughly well carried out.



Certain opportunities have arisen of bombarding the enemy's positions in Belgium. On these occasions the necessary minor operations have been carried out.


In addition to the daily reconnaissance and protective work performed by the Royal Naval Air Service on the coast, eleven organised attacks against the enemy's Aerodromes and thirteen attacks on enemy vessels have been carried out. Nine enemy machines and one submarine have been destroyed by air attack and appreciable damage has been inflicted on military adjuncts.


The services rendered by the Naval Airmen in Flanders, under Acting Captain Lambe, have been most valuable.


It is equally advantageous to maintain the offensive in the air as it is to do so on land or at sea. It is with considerable satisfaction, therefore, that I am able to report that, with only one exception, all the aeroplanes destroyed were fought over the enemy's territory and that all the seaplanes were brought down into waters off the enemy's coast.


The advent of spring weather has lately enabled me to take measures to limit the extent to which the submarine and other vessels of the enemy had free access to the waters off the Belgian coast.


The success achieved has, so far, been considerable, and the activities of submarines operating from the Belgian Coast have been much reduced.


We have destroyed several of the enemy's submarines and some of his surface vessels.


Our losses, I regret to say, were four Officers killed, one wounded; men: 22 killed, two wounded.


It is to the energy and endurance of the Officers and men of the vessels that have been employed, and who are now daily on patrol that the success of these operations has been due. Whether of our Royal Navy, of the French Navy, of our Mercantile Marine or our Fishermen, all have exhibited those qualities most valued at sea in time of war.


My cordial thanks are due to Rear-Admiral de Marliave for the hearty co-operation he has afforded me during the whole of the foregoing period.


During these operations I was afforded much assistance by Commodore R. Tyrwhitt, C.B., Commodore C. D. Johnson, M.V.O., D.S.O., and Captain F. S. Litchfield-Speer, as well as Commandant Excelman, of the French Navy.


Captain H. W. Bowring, D.S.O., acted most ably as Chief of my Staff throughout the operations.


Enclosed is a list of Officers and men I desire to bring to their Lordships' notice for distinguished and meritorious services, in addition to those of the Auxiliary patrol and Royal Naval Air Service previously specially forwarded by me during the period under report.


I have the honour to be, Sir, Your obedient Servant,

(Sd.) R. H. BACON,  Vice-Admiral Dover Patrol.


Officers Recommended.


Captain F. S. Litchfield-Speer, D.S.O. Carried out several important operations under difficult circumstances off the enemy's coast.


Commander George Louis Downall Gibbs. Commanded a Division of Destroyers with marked ability and dash in action against the enemy.


Commander Henry Gerard Laurence Oliphant, M.V.O. Commanded a Division of Destroyers in action and on patrol duties off the enemy’s coast.


Commander Reginald Lionel Hancock. Carried out surveying operations of considerable importance under heavy gun fire off the enemy's coast.


Lieutenant Henry Forrester. Carried out dangerous patrol duties with  marked ability.


Lieutenant Rudolf Henry Fane De Salis. Commanded a detached Division on several occasions in close proximity to the enemy's coast.


Acting Lieutenant James Towrie Muir, R.N.R. In command of a Division of Drifters during several operations off the enemy's coast.


Skipper Robert George Hurren, R.N.R. Distinguished conduct which led to the destruction of an enemy Submarine Boat.


Chief Artificer Engineer Thomas Robson Hall, R.N. Exceptional services during War operations.


Commander Edward Ratcliffe Garth Russell Evans, C.B., R.N.

Lieut.-Commr. John Stewart Gordon Fraser, R.N.

Lieut.-Commr. Mountague Robert Bernard, R.N.

Lieutenant John Cracroft-Amcotts, R.N.

Lieutenant James Douglas Godfrey, D.S.C., R.N.

Sub-Lieutenant Robert Don Oliver, R.N.

Skipper Isaac Lilly Manthorpe, R.N.R.

Chief Gunner John Steel, R.N.

Artificer Engineer William George Jackson, R.N.


Men Recommended.


Yeoman of Signals A. W. Harding, O.N. 229905.

Chief Stoker J. Brown, O.N. 290363.

Leading Signalman J. Wise, O.N. 222824.

Petty Officer, 1st Class, C. W. Moore, O.N. 179983.

Chief Engine Room Artificer R. Sheppard, O.N. 270663.

Chief Petty Officer H. Barber, O.N. 165446.

Chief Engine Room Artificer Robert Shires, O.N. 271126.

Engine Room Artificer, 1st Cl., H. Robertson, O.N. 270936.

Chief Engine Room Artificer, 1st Cl., G. F. Cockrell, O.N. 268235.

Acting Chief Petty Officer Wm. Ewles, O.N. 154421.

Stoker Petty Officer A. A. Bradley, O.N 300678.

Stoker Edward Madden, O.N.(K.) 25097.

Chief Petty Officer Charles Darton, O.N. 187656.

Ch. Armourer J. T. Lewis, O.N. 340703.

Ch. Armourer H. Goodwin, O.N. 345418.

Petty Officer J. Hailstone, O.N. 181161.

Electrical Artificer, 2nd Cl., H. A. Hughes, O.N. 347720.

Ldg. Seaman C. H. Holmes, O.N. 191648.

Chief Petty Officer T. A. W. Collard, O.N. 133361.

Signalman J. C. Duley, O.N.J. 13042.

Chief Petty Officer Jas. Southwood, O.N. 117014.

2nd Hand J. Gardiner, R.N.R., O.N. 1431 S.A.

2nd Hand F. W. Saunders, R.N.R., O.N. 910 S.A.

2nd Hand W. J. Sutton, O.N. 891 S.A.

Chief Motor Boatman G. Culverwell, M.B. 242.

Chief Engine Room Artificer G. Barrowman, O.N. 269387.

Leading Signalman G. V. McKenzie, O.N. 233487.

Leading Signalman C. W. Lumley, O.N. 226962.

Leading Signalman R. Giddings, O.N. J.4044.

Chief Engine Room Artificer J. E. Pether, O.N. 270497.

Chief Engine Room Artificer A. Matthews, O.N. 271000.

Leading Signalman T. Young, O.N. 223558.

Engine Room Artificer L. C. Boggust, O.N. 271134.

Petty Officer Charles Nason, O.N. 191247.

Leading Seaman Albert Mercer, O.N. 235474.

Petty Officer William Foley, O.N. 209001.

Acting Chief Petty Officer W. J. Brown, O.N. 160889.

Able Seaman William Austin, O.N. 194423.

Petty Officer W. A. Osborne, O.N. 235133.

Ldg. Seaman E. Savage, O.N. J. 8986.

Yeoman of Signals W. C. Chapman, O.N. 213631.

Able Seaman O. J. Broers,O.N.J. 9965.

Petty Officer, 1st Cl, G. Arlingham, O.N. 174787.

Petty Officer G. J. L. Staff, O.N. 237841.

Petty Officer J. Penman, O.N. 231159.

Engineman J. Berry, R.N.R., O.N. 1715 E.S.

Stoker (Acting Engineman) D. B. Knowles, R.N.R., O.N. 2557 T.

Able Seaman W. J. Hunt, R.N.R. O.N.J. 19181.

Deck Hand James Latta, R.N.R., O.N. 2364 S.D.

Leading Deck Hand William Wigg, O.N. 2722 S.D.

Deck Hand, R.N.R., Francis William Beamish, O.N. 3239 D.A.



Click here for Appointments and Awards to Officers and Ratings mentioned in the foregoing despatches





29751 - 15 SEPTEMBER 1916



NAVAL DESPATCH dated 23 August 1916

including Promotions

Also French Gallantry Awards to Royal Navy


Admiralty, S.W., 15th September, 1916.


The following despatch has been received from Admiral Sir John R. Jellicoe, G.C.B., G.C.V.O., Commander-in-Chief, Grand Fleet:


To the Secretary of the Admiralty.


"Iron Duke," 23rd August, 1916.



With reference to my despatch of 24th June, 1916, I have the honour to bring to the notice of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty the names of the following officers who are recommended for honours and special commendation.


Where all carried out their duties so well it is somewhat invidious and difficult to select officers for special recognition. As regards the Flag Officers, I would again draw the attention of their Lordships to the remarks made in that despatch on the subject of their services, and I would recommend for honours:


Admiral Sir Cecil Burney, K.C.B., K.C.M.G.

Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Henry Martyn Jerram, K.C.B.

Vice-Admiral Sir Frederick Charles Doveton Sturdee, Bart., K.C.B., C.V.O., C.M.G.

Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty, K.C.B., K.C.V.O., D.S.O. (Commanding the Battle Cruiser Fleet).

Rear-Admiral Hugh Evan-Thomas, C.B., M.V.O.

Rear-Admiral Alexander Ludovic Duff, C.B. (Civil).

Rear-Admiral William Christopher Pakenham, C.B., M.V.O.

Rear-Admiral Arthur Cavenagh Leveson, C.B. (Civil).

Rear-Admiral Ernest Frederic Augustus Gaunt, C.M.G.

Rear-Admiral Osmond De Beauvoir Brock, C.B.


Although Rear-Admiral Evan-Thomas has but recently received the C.B., I would draw attention to the fact that he commands a Battle Squadron which was closely engaged, and that he is, with the exception of Rear-Admiral Heath, the senior Rear-Admiral in the Grand Fleet.



Rear-Admiral Herbert Leopold Heath, C.B., M.V.O., would have been recommended for an honour had he not so recently received the C.B.



Commodore Charles Edward Le Mesurier whose squadron was handled with great ability.



Rear-Admiral Trevylyan Dacres Willes Napier, C.B., M.V.O., would have been recommended for an honour had he not so recently received the C.B.


Rear-Admiral William Edmund Goodenough, C.B., M.V.O., who with great tenacity kept touch with the enemy's battle fleet during the afternoon of 31st May, and


Commodore Edwyn Sinclair Alexander-Sinclair, C.B., M.V.O., AdC., who first gained touch with the enemy forces, would have been recommended for an honour had they not so recently received the CB.








Captain Frederic Charles Dreyer, C.B. (Civil), R.N. Commanded and handled the Fleet Flagship most ably during the action. The rapidity with which hitting was established on ships of the enemy's fleet was the result of long and careful organisation and training of the personnel.


Commander Geoffrey Blake, R.N. Gunnery and principal control officer of H.M.S. "Iron Duke," whose zeal, knowledge and devotion to duty throughout the war, and coolness and skill in action resulted in severe damage being inflicted by ''Iron Duke's" 13.5-inch guns on a German battleship of the "Koenig" class in the action off the coast of Jutland on 31st May.


Remarks of Admiral Sir Cecil Burney.


Captain Edmund Percy Fenwick George Grant, R.N. (Commodore, 2nd Class). My Chief of Staff, who afforded me very valuable assistance during the action.


Captain George Parish Ross, R.N. My Flag Captain, who helped me greatly during the action. He fought his ship well, and subsequently, after she was torpedoed, successfully took "Marlborough" back to harbour, avoiding attack by two submarines on the way.


Captain Lewis Clinton-Baker, R.N. The Senior Captain in the First Battle Squadron at the time of the action. His valuable services are worthy of recognition.


Commander Hugh Schomberg Currey, R.N. Executive officer of "Marlborough," whose untiring energy and skilful work greatly assisted in saving the ship after she was torpedoed.


Engineer Commander Reginald William Skelton, R.N. A valuable officer whose department during the action reflected credit on his organisation.


Fleet Surgeon Henry William Finlayson, M.B., R.N. A zealous and hardworking officer, who organised his department in an efficient manner for the action.


Staff Paymaster Herbert Patrick William George Murray, R.N. (Secretary to Second in Command). My Secretary, whose services were most valuable to me during the action.


Lieutenant-Commander James Buller Kitson, R.N. My Flag Lieutenant-Commander, who was of very great assistance to me during the action.


Remarks of Vice-Admiral Sir Martyn Jerram.


Captain Michael Culme-Seymour, M.V.O., R.N. (now Rear-Admiral). Sub-Divisional Leader. An officer of great experience, who handled his sub-division with excellent judgment throughout the action.


Captain Hugh Henry Darby Tothill, A.d.C., R.N. Sub-Divisional Leader. Handled his subdivision most skilfully throughout the action, and amply justified the high opinion I have always held of him.


Captain Frederick Laurence Field, R.N. Handled "King George V." (below - Photo Ships) as leader of the line of battle with great skill under very difficult conditions. His previous good services in the Signal School and "Vernon" are well known.




Deputy Inspector-General Robert Forbes Bowie, R.N. Displayed a high degree of ability during the action in the working of the medical department.


Engineer Commander William Cory Sanders, R.N. A very capable and zealous officer, who showed great ability throughout the action in the working of the engine-room department.


Commander Richard Home, R.N. An officer of great ability, who conned "Orion" throughout the action with ability and skill.


Commander John Walsh Carrington, R.N. An officer of great ability, who conned "King George V." throughout the action with good judgment and prompt decision. He was navigating officer of H.M.S. "Inflexible " in the action off the Falkland Islands and in the Dardanelles.


Remarks of Vice-Admiral Sir Doveton Sturdee.


Captain William Coldingham Masters Nicholson, R.N. (now Rear-Admiral). Took his ship into action in a fine manner, and by the effective gunfire of his command materially assisted in forcing the enemy to retire.


Engineer Captain John Richardson, R.N. Was personally responsible for the excellent organisation of the engine-room and stokehold departments in every ship of the squadron. The maximum speeds were obtained in all cases without mishap, though in the older ships the authorised horsepower was exceeded.


Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Edwin Collard, R.M.L.I. Very materially assisted in controlling the gunfire of H.M.S. "Benbow" from an exposed position. This officer has seen much war service previously in East and South Africa.


Fleet Surgeon Joseph Agnew Moon, R.N. Was responsible for the excellent medical arrangements for dealing with the wounded in H.M.S. "Benbow," which were very efficient.


Captain Henry Wise Parker, R.N. Was of great assistance to me as my Flag Captain. He showed great coolness and judgment in his handling of the ship and its fighting power. Captain Parker was Commander of the "Lion" in the Heligoland action of 28th August, 1914.


Paymaster Cyril Sheldon Johnson, R.N. Rendered valuable services as my Secretary in keeping records and generally assisting me during the action. His name was mentioned in despatches after the Falkland Islands action.


Engineer Commander Robert Spence, R.N. By his general management of the machinery and stokers under his orders in H.M.S. "Vanguard" enabled the ship to be taken into and maintained in action in a most effective manner.


Remarks of Rear-Admiral Evan-Thomas.


Captain Edward Montgomery Phillpotts, R.N. At a critical time, when the Fifth Battle Squadron was turning to form astern of the battle-fleet, under a heavy fire, "Warspite," owing to a breakdown in her steering gear, turned towards the enemy, and got into a very dangerous position. She was splendidly handled, however, and got away to the northward clear of the enemy's fire. Also when nearing the Firth of Forth, much damaged, she was attacked by three submarines and was handled in such a manner as to get her safely into port. Captain Phillpotts is the senior captain in the ships of the Fifth Battle Squadron which were engaged, and I strongly recommend him for an honour worthy of his great services.


Captain Maurice Woollcombe, R.N.

Captain Arthur William Craig, R.N.


The Rear-Admiral Commanding reports that the ships under his orders were handled and fought by their Captains in the manner one would expect from those officers and in accordance with the best traditions of the British Navy.


Commander Humphrey Thomas Walwyn, R.N. Commander Walwyn, from the moment the first shell struck the ship, managed to be everywhere where attention was necessary in putting out fires, plugging holes, shoring, etc., with the fire brigade and repair parties. Considering the size of the ship and the damage sustained, and also the fact that he was keeping the Captain fully informed of her condition, the work effected by Commander Walwyn in the short space of time was marvellous, and the Captain considers it greatly due to his prompt action that much water was prevented from access into the port wing and main engine rooms.


Rev. Anthony Pollen (Roman Catholic Chaplain). The Reverend Anthony Pollen carried men injured by severe burns from the battery deck to the distributing station, he himself being severely burned at the time. Aged 56.


Lieutenant. John Gordon Cliff-McCulloch, R.N.R. Lieutenant Cliff-McCulloch was in charge of the port battery, and immediately went across and in a short space of time the fire had been got under and the situation was in hand, and Nos. 1 and 6 6-inch starboard were ready to open fire in ten minutes from the explosion. This is due to the prompt action taken by Lieutenant McCulloch, and his example had undoubtedly a good effect on the large number of very young men stationed there.


Commander Henry John Studholme Brownrigg, R.N. Commander Brownrigg took charge of and conducted the operations in connection with dealing with fires and repairs to damage by shell. He was continually in positions of greatest danger, and where the conditions were most trying to the nerves. His example inspired all those under him, and he was largely instrumental in keeping the ship in effective fighting condition to the end of the action, notwithstanding the severe damage from shell fire.


Remarks of Rear-Admiral Herbert L. Heath.


Captain Eustace La Trobe Leatham, R.N. For the very able and efficient manner in which he handled his ship throughout the action.


Captain John Saumarez Dumaresq, M.V.O., R.N. For the very able and efficient manner in which he handled his ship throughout the action.


Captain Arthur Cloudesley Shovel Hughes D'Aeth, R.N. For the untiring zeal and energy displayed throughout the action, and during the events preceding and subsequent thereto, when he handled my flagship with marked ability and was of the greatest assistance to me.


Engineer Captain Arthur Frederick Kingsnorth, R.N. Engineer Captain of the First Cruiser Squadron - recommended by the Rear-Admiral, Commanding, Second Cruiser Squadron.


Commander James Geoffry Penrose Ingham, R.N.

Engineer Commander Henry Walton Kitching, R.N.


Remarks of Commodore Charles E. Le Mesurier.


Staff Surgeon Bertram Raleigh Bickford, R.N. For great gallantry and devotion to duty in action. This officer, though severely wounded by a shell splinter, persisted in attending to the wounded, only yielding to a direct order from myself to place himself on the sick list.


Remarks of Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty.


Captain Rudolf Walter Bentinck, R.N. (Chief of Staff to Vice-Admiral Commanding Battle Cruiser Fleet). For very valuable services in the action and throughout the war.


Acting Paymaster Frank Todd Spickernell, R.N. (Secretary to the Vice-Admiral Commanding Battle Cruiser Fleet). For very valuable services in the action and throughout the war.


Lieut.-Commander Ralph Frederick Seymour, R.N. (Flag Lieut.-Commander to Vice Admiral Commanding Battle Cruiser Fleet). For very valuable services in the action and throughout the war.


Captain Alfred Ernle Montacute Chatfield, C.V.O., C.B., R.N. (Flag Captain to Vice-Admiral Commanding Battle Cruiser Fleet). Commanded and fought my Flagship with great skill and gallantry.


Lieutenant-Commander Gerald Fortescue Longhurst, R.N. (now Commander). Gunnery Officer of my Flagship. Controlled the fire of "Lion" with greatest coolness, courage and skill, and inflicted immense damage on the enemy. This is the third time he has controlled the fire of "Lion" in action.


Fleet Surgeon Alexander Maclean, M.B., R.N. Performed his exhausting duties with the greatest zeal and courage. The medical staff was seriously depleted by casualties; the wounded and dying had to be dressed under very difficult conditions on the mess deck, which was flooded with a foot of water from damaged fire mains. Fleet Surgeon Maclean has suffered considerably since the action from his devotion to duty.


Lieutenant (E.) Stewart Magee Walker, R.N. The command of the mess deck devolved on Lieutenant Walker in the absence on duty of the commander of the ship. He grappled successfully with very difficult and trying situations, putting out extensive fires in a blinding and suffocating atmosphere, saving life from asphyxiation, clearing compartments of water, and flooding magazines.


Captain Walter Henry Cowan, M.V.O., D.S.O., R.N. Commanded and fought the "Princess Royal" with great skill and gallantry.


Engineer Lieutenant-Commander Albert Arthur Green Martell, R.N. In charge of all fire and salvage parties, and directed and led them with complete success, setting an example of coolness and vigour of action which unquestionably prevented far more serious damage.


Artificer Engineer Joseph House, R.N. When the ship was hit and badly damaged, effected repairs to pipes under very difficult circumstances of smoke and darkness, whereby fires were got under which otherwise must have been a very grave danger.


Captain Henry Bertram Pelly, M.V.O., R.N. Commanded and fought "Tiger" with great skill and gallantry.


Lieutenant Percy Harrison, R.N.V.R. His work with the fire brigade was beyond praise. He was gassed badly, but continued work until noon the next day, clearing debris, etc., and only gave up when his lungs would stand no more, and he was placed on the sick list.


Carpenter Lieutenant John Norman Matheson, R.N. Did splendid work below. Although taken to the dressing-station twice, once gassed and once nearly drowned, he insisted on going back to his work, and only rested when ordered by the Commander to do so on the following morning.


Captain John Frederick Ernest Green, R.N. Commanded and fought "New Zealand" (below - Photo Ships) with great skill and gallantry.




Captain Francis William Kennedy, R.N. (now Rear-Admiral). Commanded the Third Battle Cruiser Squadron after the loss of Rear-Admiral Hood, and fought his ship with great skill and gallantry.


Captain Edward Henry Fitzhardinge Heaton-Ellis, M.V.O., R.N. Commanded and fought "Inflexible" with great skill and gallantry.


Commander Hubert Edward Dannreuther, R.N. The senior of the two surviving officers of the "Invincible." Up till the moment when the ship blew up Commander Dannreuther controlled the fire of "Invincible " in a manner which produced visible and overwhelming results on the enemy.


Captain Bertram Sackville Thesiger, C.M.G., R.N. Assumed command of a Light Cruiser Squadron when "Galatea" was temporarily disabled by shell fire, and fought his ship with great skill and gallantry.


Captain Charles Blois Miller, R.N. Commanded and fought ''Nottingham'' with great skill and gallantry.


Lieutenant Arthur Malcolm Peters, R.N. His coolness and clearness on this occasion, and his constant care and attention in regard to the signals and communications of the squadron during the past three years, enabled the fullest advantage to be taken when reporting the enemy's battle fleet.


Commander Malcolm Henry Somerled Macdonald, R.N. For his coolness in the night action, when he extinguished the fires on mess deck, and his prompt action in preventing the fore magazine from being flooded.


Captain John Douglas Edwards, R.N. Commanded and fought the "Falmouth " with great skill and gallantry.


Captain Edward Bamford, R.M.L.I. In after control when it was blown to pieces by a shell burst. Slightly burnt in face and slightly wounded in leg. Then assisted to work one gun with a much reduced crew, and controlled another gun. Assisted in extinguishing a fire, and in general showed great coolness, power of command, judgment and courage, when exposed to a very heavy fire.


Lieutenant Frederick Joseph Rutland, R.N., (Flight Lieut., R.N.A.S.). For his gallantry and persistence in flying within close range of four enemy lightcruisers, in order to enable accurate information to be obtained and transmitted concerning them. Conditions at the time made low flying necessary.


Lieutenant-Commander Laurence Reynolds Palmer, R.N. For his gallantry, when his destroyer was disabled, in proceeding to the assistance of "Onslow" and taking her in tow under heavy shell fire. He succeeded in towing her in a heavy sea until relieved by tugs when in sight of land.


Lieutenant Jack Ernest Albert Mocatta, R.N. Supported Commander Bingham, of "Nestor," in his gallant action against destroyers, battle-cruisers, and battleships, in the most courageous and effective manner.


Lieutenant-Commander Roger Vincent Alison, R.N. For promptness and gallantry in taking advantage of the opportunity of attacking the enemy's vessels with the torpedo on two occasions, as described in my original despatch.


Lieutenant-Commander Montague George Bentinck Legge, R.N. Having defeated the enemy destroyers, gallantly pressed home attack with torpedoes on the enemy battle-cruisers.


Lieutenant-Commander Cuthbert Patrick Blake, R.N. Having defeated the enemy destroyers, gallantly pressed home attack with torpedoes on the enemy battle-cruisers.


Commander the Hon. Edward Barry Stewart Bingham, R.N. (prisoner of war). Recommended for Victoria Cross. For the extremely gallant way in which he led his division in their attack, first on enemy destroyers and then on their battlecruisers. He finally sighted the enemy battle-fleet, and, followed by the one remaining destroyer of his division ("Nicator"), with dauntless courage he closed to within 3,000 yards of the enemy in order to attain a favourable position for firing the torpedoes. While making this attack, "Nestor" and "Nicator" were under concentrated fire of the secondary batteries of the High Sea Fleet. "Nestor" was subsequently sunk.


Major Francis John William Harvey, R.M.L.I. Recommended for posthumous Victoria Cross. Whilst mortally wounded and almost the only survivor after the explosion of an enemy shell in "Q" gunhouse, with great presence of mind and devotion to duty ordered the magazine to be flooded, thereby saving the ship. He died shortly afterwards.


Remarks of Captain Percy M.R. Royds.


Lieutenant-Commander Cecil Charles Brittain Vacher, R.N. For controlling the fire from the ship in the coolest manner from a very exposed position under extremely heavy fire.


Lieutenant Cuthbert Coppinger, R.N. For navigating the ship in the coolest manner from a very exposed position under extremely heavy fire.


Remarks of Captain Walter L. Allen.


Lieutenant-Commander Gordon Alston Coles, R.N. The commander of his division speaks highly of the way he conned his ship. "Ambuscade" (below - Photo Ships) fired three torpedoes, and the rapid reloading under fire reflects great credit on all concerned, and proves the ship is in a high state of efficiency.




Commander Loftus William Jones, R.N. Recommended for posthumous honour. For fighting his ship until she sank after having been seriously wounded.


Acting Sub-Lieutenant Newton James Wallop William-Powlett, R.N. (now Sub-Lieutenant). Very strongly recommended. This officer showed wonderful coolness under most trying circumstances, and his pluck and cheerfulness after the ship sank were certainly the means of saving the lives of several who would otherwise have given in and succumbed. I cannot speak too highly of this young officer's conduct throughout.


Surgeon Probationer Douglas George Patrick Bell, R.N.V.R. Devoted great attention to the wounded, and amputated a limb single-handed in the dark.


Chief Artificer Engineer Alexander Noble, R.N. Went twice into the after stokehold, but was driven out by steam. Succeeded at the third attempt and shut off auxiliary feed pump and auxiliary stop valve.


Remarks of Commodore James R. P. Hawkesley.


Staff Surgeon James McAlister Holmes, M.B., R.N. For the very efficient manner in which the wounded were attended to whilst under fire and subsequently.


Lieutenant-Commander Henry Ruthven Moore, R.N. For the assistance he gave the Commodore (F), both during the day and night action, and the manner in which he carried out his duties.


Commander Harold Ernest Sulivan, R.N. As second in command of the flotilla he manoeuvred his half very ably during the daytime, and at night, when "Castor" could make no signals owing to damage by gunfire, he very ably turned his half-flotilla and kept clear of the first half-flotilla manoeuvring.


Remarks of Captain (D) Anselan J. B. Stirling.


Commander John Pelham Champion, R.N. Handled his division with great ability whilst in action, and led his division to attack an enemy battle squadron with great gallantry.


Lieutenant John Hinton Carrow, R.N. Was on the bridge the whole time during the action and carried out the duties of navigating officer in a most exemplary manner, and was of the greatest assistance to me in keeping me informed of the range and bearing of the enemy, especially during the night attack.


Engineer Lieutenant-Commander John Kirk Corsar, R.N. Kept his department in good order and kept the boiler water going in spite of evaporator being semi-disabled most of the time and out of action entirely for some period.


Remarks of Captain Berwick Curtis.


Engineer Lieutenant-Commander Harold Bertram Tostevin, R.N. This officer's organisation of the engine room department and general energy at all times, keeping the machinery of the ship in a thoroughly efficient state, contributed largely to the success of "Abdiel's" operations on the night of 31st May, observing that the ship proceeded at full speed for over six hours.


Staff of the Commander-in-Chief (with remarks of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe).


Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Edward Madden, K.C.B., C.V.O. (Chief of the Staff).

Commodore Lionel Halsey, C.B., C.M.G., A.-d.-C. (Captain of the Fleet).


The very valuable services of these officers are mentioned in my despatch of the 24th June, 1916. Commodore Halsey would have been recommended for an honour had he not so recently received the C.B.


Commander The Hon. Matthew Robert Best, M.V.O., R.N. Has performed valuable staff work during the war and services during the action.


Commander Charles Morton Forbes, R.N. My Flag Commander, who has always afforded me great assistance. This officer was Executive Officer of H.M.S. "Queen Elizabeth" (below - Photos Ships) during the whole period that ship was employed at the Dardanelles.




Commander Alexander Riall Wadham Woods, R.N. Controlled the visual signal work with great coolness and accuracy.


Commander Richard Lindsay Nicholson, R.N. Controlled the wireless telegraph work with great coolness and most marked efficiency, and reaped the reward of the excellent organization for which he is responsible.


Fleet Paymaster Hamnet Holditch Share, C.B., R.N. (Secretary). I should have recommended my Secretary, Fleet Paymaster Share, for an honour for his invaluable work during the war and his assistance during the action had he not recently been awarded a C.B.


Fleet Paymaster Victor Herbert Thomas Weekes, R.N. (Additional Secretary). Has been of great assistance to me during the war and took valuable records throughout the action.



List of Commanding Officers Recommended for Commendation for Service in the Battle Of Jutland.


Captain Vivian Henry Gerald Bernard, R.N.

Captain James Clement Ley, R.N.

Captain Edward Buxton Kiddle, R.N.

Captain Henry Montagu Doughty, R.N.

Captain Crawford Maclachlan, R.N.

Captain William Wordsworth Fisher. M.V.O., R.N.

Captain (Flag Captain) Alfred Dudley Pickman Rogers Pound, R.N.

Captain Arthur Brandreth Scott Dutton, R.N.

Captain The Hon. Victor Albert Stanley, M.V.O., A.d.C., R.N.

Captain James Andrew Fergusson, A.d.C., R.N.

Captain George Holmes Borrett, R.N.

Captain George Henry Baird, R.N.

Captain Louis Charles Stirling Woolloombe, M.V.O., R.N.

Captain (Flag Captain) Oliver Backhouse, C.B., R.N.

Captain Edward Francis Bruen, R.N.

Captain (Acting as Flag Captain) Edmond Hyde Parker, R.N.

Captain Edwin Veale Underbill, R.N.

Captain James Douglas Dick, R.N.

Captain John Moore Casement, R.N.

Captain The Hon. Algernon Douglas Edward Harry Boyle, C.B., M.V.O., R.N.

Captain Henry Blackett, R.N.

Captain Vincent Barkly Molteno, R.N.

Captain Herbert John Savill, R.N.

Captain Henry Ralph Crooke, R.N.

Captain Alan Geoffrey Hotham, R.N.

Captain Cyril Samuel Townsend, R.N.

Captain The Hon. Herbert Meade, D.S.O., R.N.

Captain Percy Molyneux Rawson Royds, R.N.

Captain Albert Charles Scott, R.N.

Captain Robert Neale Lawson, R.N.

Captain Arthur Allan Morison Duff, R.N.

Captain Edward Reeves, R.N.

Captain William Frederick Blunt, D.S.O., R.N.

Captain Thomas Drummond Pratt, R.N.

Captain John Ewen Cameron, M.V.O., R.N.

Captain Tufton Percy Hamilton Beamish, R.N.

Captain James Uchtred Farie, R.N.

Captain Charles Donnison Roper, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Cecil Henry Hulton Sams, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Evelyn Claude Ogilvie Thomson, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Kenneth Adair Beattie, R.N.

Commander Charles Gordon Ramsey, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Arthur Grendon Tippet, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Charles Herbert Neill James, R.N.

Lieutenant Francis George Glossop, R.N.

Commander Charles Albert Fremantle, R.N.

Commander Dashwood Fowler Moir, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Edward Brooke, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Alexander Hugh Gye, R.N.

Commander Malcolm Lennon Goldsmith, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Philip Wilfred Sidney King, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Francis Edward Henry Graham Hobart, R.N.

Lieutenant Henry Dawson Crawford Stanistreet, R.N.

Commander John Coombe Hodgson, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Edward Sidney Graham, R.N.

Commodore James Rose Price Hawkesley, M.V.O., R.N.

Captain Percy Withers, R.N.

Commander Lewis Gonne Eyre Crabbe, R.N.

Commander Walter Lingen Allen (now Captain), R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Arthur Marsden, R.N.

Commander Harold Victor Dundas, R.N.

Commander Claud Finlinson Allsup, R.N.

Acting Commander William Dion Irvin, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Edward McConnell Wyndham Lawrie, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Ralph Vincent Eyre, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Henry Clive Rawlings, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Claude Lindsay Bate, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander (now Commander) Hugh Undecimus Fletcher, R.N.

Captain Anselan John Buchanan Stirling, R.N.

Commander Norton Allen Sulivan, R.N.

Commander Charles Geoffrey Coleridge Sumner, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Henry Victor Hudson, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander John Jackson Cuthbert Ridley, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Reginald Watkins Grubb, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Herbert Inglis Nigel Lyon, R.N.

Commander (now Captain) Berwick Curtis, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Douglas Faviell, M.V.O., R.N.


List of Officers Recommended for Commendation for Service in the Battle Of Jutland.

Engineer Commander Herbert Brooks Moorshead, R.N.

Commander Denis Granville Thynne, R.N.

Commander George Knightley Chetwode, R.N.

Commander Alfred Headley Norman, R.N.

Fleet Paymaster Charles Scrivener Wonham, R.N.

Fleet Surgeon Harold Paget Jones, R.N.

Engineer Lieutenant-Commander David Duncan Cuninghame, R.N.

Lieutenant (Flag Lieutenant) David Norman Walter Joel, R.N.

Sub-Lieutenant H.R.H. The Prince Albert, R.N.

Fleet Paymaster John Anthony Keys, R.N.

Major Arthur Phayre Grattan, R.M.L.I.

Commander John Miles Steel, R.N.

Commander Reginald Guy Hannam Henderson, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander (Flag Lieutenant-Commander) Alfred Englefield Evans, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander (Flag Lieutenant-Commander) Martin Edward Scobell Boissier, R.N.

Chaplain Rev. Percy Herbert Jones, M.A., R.N.

Fleet Paymaster William Davenport Sarratt, R.N.

Naval Instructor George Herbert Andrew, M.A., R.N.

Chief Boatswain Henry Valentine Roberts, R.N.

Chief Gunner Michael Hall, R.N.

Chief Artificer Engineer William Alfred Hook, R.N.

Commander Stanley Tunstall Haverfield Wilton, R.N.

Temporary Surgeon Horace Palmer Margetts, R.N.

Commander Geoffrey Herbert Freyberg, R.N.

Midshipman Alec Edward Dodington, R.N.

Lieutenant George Griffiths, R.N.

Chief Gunner Leonard Slight, R.N.

Commander (Flag Commander) Wilfred Allan Egerton, R.N.

Commander Harold Brisbane Bedwell, R.N.

Fleet Surgeon John Hunter Pead, M.B., M.A., R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander (Flag Lieutenant-Commander) Philip Acheson Warre, R.N.

Lieutenant Robert Mends, R.N.

Engineer Commander David Edward Duke, R.N.

Engineer Commander William Reginald Crawford, R.N.

Engineer Commander George Herbert Fletcher, R.N.

Engineer Commander Charles de Faye Messervy, R.N.

Engineer Lieutenant-Commander James Bell Nicholson, R.N.

Lieutenant William Scott Chalmers, R.N.

Lieutenant Edward Richard Busk Kemble, R.N.

Commander Evan Campbell Bunbury, R.N.

Surgeon Horace Elliott Rose Stephens, R.N.

Lieutenant Arthur Leyland Harrison, R.N.

Engineer Commander Mark Rundle, R.N.

Midshipman Nevill Glennie Garnons-Williams, R.N.

Lieutenant (Flag Lieutenant) the Hon. Humphrey Legge, R.N.

Commander Charles Dominick Burke, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Arthur Gerald Harris, R.N.

Fleet Surgeon Arthur Richard Harrie Skey, M.B., R.N.

Artificer Engineer Ernest Thaxter, R.N.

Gunner Richard Francis MacDermott, R.N.

Engineer Commander Cecil Henry Alec Bermingham, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Patrick Macnamara, R.N.

Fleet Surgeon John Reid Muir, M.B., R.N.

Lieutenant Alexander Stuart Mackay, R.N.R.

Lieutenant (Flag Lieutenant) Stewart Dykes Spicer, R.N.

Captain Alexander George William Grierson, R.M.L.I.

Commander Dudley Burton Napier North, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Arthur Douglas Wales Smith, R.N.

Chief Gunner Jesse Hannat Mack, R.N.

Lieutenant Alexander David Boyle, R.N.

Commander Morgan Tindal, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Ralph Benest Janvrin, D.S.O., R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander Ronald Wolseley Oldham, R.N.

Lieutenant Gerald Harman Warner, R.N.

Lieutenant Arthur George Curtis, R.N.

Engineer Commander William Pascho Cunday Spriddle, R.N.

Gunner (T) Henry Jackson Epworth, R.N.

Engineer Lieutenant-Commander William Smith, R.N.

Surgeon Probationer Neil Macleod, R.N.V.R.

Lieutenant Maurice Arthur Brind, R.N.

Engineer Lieutenant-Commander Thomas Johnston Foulkes, R.N.

Gunner Richard Gould, R.N.

Surgeon Probationer Gilbert Blurton, R.N.V.R.

Lieutenant Charles Ernest Hotham, R.N.

Lieutenant Eric Alfred Davis, R.N.

Lieutenant Hew Cockburn Hedderwick, R.N.V.R.

Gunner Charles Henry Young, R.N.

Gunner Thomas McConnell, R.N.

Engineer Lieutenant-Commander Sidney Gordon Wheeler, R.N.

Gunner Frederick Joseph Coulton, R.N.

Surgeon Probationer Carl Knight Cullen, R.N.V.R.


Staff of the Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleets.


Commander Roger M. Bellairs, R.N.

Paymaster (Secretary to my Chief of Staff) Cunningham Prior, R.N.

Lieutenant-Commander (my Flag Lieutenant-Commander) Herbert Fitzherbert, R.N.


I am, Sir, Your obedient Servant,

J. R. JELLICOE, Admiral.



Click here for Honours, Appointments and Awards to Officers mentioned in the foregoing despatches


Click here for French Gallantry Awards to Royal Navy, including Battle of Jutland






29752 - 15 SEPTEMBER 1916



NAVAL DESPATCH dated 15 September 1916










30015 - 10 APRIL 1917



NAVAL DESPATCHES dated 22 December 1915 and 26 January 1916



Gallipoli and area - click to enlarge


Admiralty, 11th April, 1917.


The following despatches from Vice-Admiral Sir John M. de Robeck, K.C.B., late Vice- Admiral Commanding the Eastern Mediterranean Squadron, and Vice-Admiral Sir Rosslyn E. Wemyss, K.C.B., K.C.M.G., M.V.O., late Senior Naval Officer, Mudros, describe the naval operations in connection with the withdrawal of the Army from the Gallipoli Peninsula:


"Lord Nelson" at Mudros, 22nd December, 1915.



Be pleased to lay before the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty the following report on the operations connected with the evacuation of the positions at Suvla and Anzac.


The evacuation was carried out in three stages, as follows:


(a) A Preliminary Stage. During this stage all personnel, animals, and vehicles not necessary for a winter campaign were removed. This necessitated no special arrangements, and was completed by the date on which definite orders to evacuate Suvla and Anzac were received.


(b) An Intermediate Stage. During this stage all personnel, guns, and animals which were not absolutely necessary for the defence of the positions in the event of an enemy attack at the last moment were removed. This also was carried out without special arrangements beyond the withdrawal of increased amounts of material each night.


(c) Final Stage. Special and detailed orders were necessary for the operations of this stage, which had to be completed in thirty-six hours, and which included the embarkation of all personnel remaining, and of all guns and animals not previously withdrawn.


The principle decided upon for all three stages was secrecy and the attempt to take the enemy entirely by surprise. It was hoped that he would ascribe any unusual activity, if observed, to the preparation for an attack. Every effort was therefore made during the whole of the operations to maintain the beaches, offing,, etc., in their usual appearance, and all embarkations were carried out during the dark hours. The increase in the number of motor lighters, boats, etc., in use at the beaches was hidden as far as possible during the daytime. The preliminary stage was completed satisfactorily by the 10th December, when the definite orders to evacuate were received.


It had been computed that ten nights would be required for the intermediate stage, on each of which three thousand personnel and a proportion of guns and animals would be embarked from each beach. This estimate was eventually reduced, special efforts, being made in order to take advantage of the fine weather, the duration of which could not be relied on at this season.


The intermediate stage was completed on the night of the 17th/18th December, and, from the absence of any unusual shelling of the beaches during these nights, it was apparent that the enemy had no idea of the movement in progress.


Some forty-four thousand personnel, nearly 200 guns, numerous wagons, and 3,000 animals, were evacuated during this period, together with a large amount of stores and ammunition.


The final stage commenced on the night of the 18th/19th December, and was completed on the night of the 19th/20th December. The fixing of the date for this stage had been a question of some discussion. On the one hand, it was deemed most advisable that the operation should be carried on with the utmost despatch and without loss of time for fear of the weather breaking; on the other hand, the moon on the 18th was very near its full. It was considered, however, that this fact might not altogether be a disadvantage, as the benefit accruing to us would probably counteract any advantage gained by the enemy. The weather conditions, however, proved to be ideal. An absolutely smooth sea, no wind, and a cloudy sky caused grey nights which were of the utmost benefit to the work on the beaches, and were apparently not sufficiently light to enable the enemy to get an idea of what was taking place.


On each of the two nights of the final stage it was necessary to evacuate rather more than ten thousand personnel from each beach, and for this special arrangement were necessary. The chief possible difficulties to contend with were two: Firstly, the bad weather to be expected at this season; secondly, interference by the enemy.


After some heavy winds, fine weather set in with December, and, except for a strong northeasterly wind on the 15th, continued until 24 hours after the completion of the evacuation. This prolonged period of fine weather alone made possible the success which attended the operation. It enabled light piers, and improvements of a temporary nature to existing piers, to be carried out. A southerly wind of even moderate force at any time during this period must have wrecked piers, and have caused very considerable losses among the small craft assembled for the operations, and would have necessitated the embarkation being carried out from the open beaches. Such loss of small craft would have made anything in the nature of rapid evacuation an impossibility, and would have enormously increased the difficulties. To cope with such an eventuality a reserve of small craft up to 50 per cent, would not have been too great; actually the reserve maintained had to be very much smaller.


Interference by the enemy would have been most serious, as the beaches were fully exposed to shell fire, and the damage inflicted to personnel, small craft, piers, &c., might have been most serious, as he would have had no inducement to husband his ammunition.


Under such conditions it was most improbable that anything beyond personnel could have been evacuated. Casualties would also have been heavy, and removal of wounded out of the question. To meet the latter possibility, arrangements were made to leave the hospital clearing stations intact, with a proportion of medical staff in attendance, and thus ensure that our wounded would not suffer from want of attention, which the enemy, with all the good will in the world, might have been unable to supply. It was also arranged that in such circumstances an attempt would have been made to negotiate an armistice on the morning after the evacuation to collect and, if possible, bring off our wounded. Fortunately neither of these two dangers matured, but the probability of either or both doing so made this stage of the operations most anxious for all concerned.


The final concentration of the ships and craft required at Kephalo was completed on the 17th December, and in order to prevent enemy's aircraft observing the unusual quantity of shipping, a constant air patrol was maintained to keep these at a distance.


Reports of the presence of enemy submarines were also received during these two days: patrols were strengthened, but no attacks by these craft were made.


The evacuation was carried out in accordance with orders. No delays occurred, and there were no accidents to ships or boats.


On the night of the 18th/19th December, when I embarked in H.M.S. "Arno" (below - Navy Photos) accompanied by General Sir William Birdwood, the embarkation was finished at Suvla by 3 a.m., and at Anzac by 5.30 a.m., and by daylight the beaches and anchorages at these places had resumed their normal aspect.




The second night's operations, as far as the Navy was concerned, differed in no wise from the first; precisely the same routine being adhered to. The weather conditions were similar and could not have suited our purpose better. On this night I hoisted my flag in H.M.S. "Chatham," and was accompanied by General Sir William Birdwood and members of our two Staffs.


The last troops left the front trenches at 1.30 a.m., and I received the signal that the evacuation was complete at 4.15 a.m. at Anzac and 5.39 a.m. at Suvla.


A large mine was exploded at about 3.15 a.m. by the Australians, and at Suvla all perishable stores which had not been taken off and which were heaped up in large mounds with petrol poured over them, were fired at 4 a.m., making a vast bonfire which lighted everything round for a very long distance.


In spite of all this, the enemy seemed perfectly unaware of what had taken place. As day dawned, soon after 6.30. the anchorages of both places were clear of all craft, except the covering Squadrons, which had been ordered up during the night, and when the sun had sufficiently risen for objects to be made out, the bombardment of the beaches commenced with the object of destroying everything that remained. At Suvla this consisted only of some water tanks a ad four motor lighters, which, I regret to say, had been washed ashore in the gale of 28th of November and which had never been recovered, owing principally to lack of time. At Anzac it had been deemed inadvisable to set a light to the stores which had been found impossible to embark, so that here the bombardment was more severe and large fires were started by the bursting shell.


A curious spectacle now presented itself, certain areas absolutely clear of troops being subjected to a heavy shell fire from our own and the enemy's guns.


It seems incredible that all this work had taken place without the enemy becoming aware of our object, for although the utmost care was taken to preserve the beaches and offing as near as possible normal, yet it proved quite impracticable to get up boats and troop carriers in sufficient time to carry out the night's work, and yet for them not to have been visible from some parts of the Peninsula.


The morning bombardment lasted but a very short time, for I felt that the use of much ammunition would merely be a waste; moreover the risk of submarines appearing on the scene of action had never been absent from my mind at any time during the whole operation. Consequently at 7.25 a.m., I ordered the Squadron to return to Kephalo, leaving two specially protected cruisers to watch the area. These subsequently reported that they had caused a good deal of damage amongst the enemy when they eventually swarmed down to take possession of the loot, the realisation of which, I trust, was a great disappointment to them.


All the arrangements were most admirably carried out, and the time table previously laid down was adhered to exactly.


Before closing this despatch, I would like to emphasise the fact that what made this operation so successful, apart from the kindness of the weather and of the enemy, was the hearty co-operation of both services. The evacuation forms an excellent example of the cordial manner in which the Navy and Army have worked together during these last eight months.


For the Army the evacuation was an operation of great probable danger, shared by the naval beach personnel; it was also, specially for the former, one of considerable sadness. Throughout the whole proceedings nothing could have exceeded the courtesy of Generals Sir William Birdwood, Sir Julian Byng, and Sir Alexander Godley, and their respective Staffs, and this attitude was typical of the whole Army.


The traditions of the Navy were fully maintained, the seamanship and resource displayed reaching a very high standard. From the Commanding Officers of men-of-war, transports, and large supply ships, to the Midshipmen in charge of steamboats and pulling boats off the beaches, all did well.


I am, Sir, Your obedient Servant,




"Lord Nelson," 26th January, 1916.




I have the honour to forward the following despatch dealing with the withdrawal of the Army from the Gallipoli Peninsula.


In considering the evacuation of the Helles position it was laid down by Sir Charles Monro, for the guidance of the Army, that:


(a) The withdrawal should be conducted with the utmost rapidity, the final stage being limited to one night.


(b) Every effort should be made to improve embarkation facilities at as many points on the coast as could be used, other than W and V beaches.


(c) Every endeavour should be made to evacuate as many as possible of the following:


British: 18-pdr. Guns. 4.5-inch howitzers. 60-pdr. Guns. 6-inch guns.

French: 75 mm. guns. Heavy guns.


Also artillery ammunition and such small-arm ammunition as could safely be withdrawn before the final stage.


(d) The period of time which must elapse before the final stage could be undertaken would be determined by the time required to collect necessary shipping and to make essential preparations ashore (work on beaches, pathways, &c.) taken in conjunction with the necessity for evacuating the superfluous personnel and as much as possible of the material mentioned in I.


(e) During the "intermediate stage" the duration of which would be determined by the foregoing considerations, such other animals, material, stores and supplies as could be embarked without prolonging this period would also be evacuated.


Forty-eight hours before the evacuation was completed the number of men remaining on the peninsula was to be cut down to 22,000.


Of these 7,000 were to embark on the last night but one, leaving 15,000 for the final night; at the request of the military the latter, number was increased to 17,000.


As few guns as possible were to be left to the final night and arrangements were made to destroy any of these which it might be found impossible to remove or which, by reason of their condition, were considered not worth removing.


The original intention was to use Gully, "X," "W" and "V" beaches for the embarkation of troops on the final night; this was deemed advisable in consequence of the very accurate and heavy fire which the enemy could bring to bear on "W" and "V" beaches, on to both of which their guns were carefully registered.


The decision not to use "X" beach and to use Gully beach only to embark the last 700 men was arrived at on the 6th January.


This alteration of plan was recommended by General Sir Francis Davies, commanding the 8th Corps; he based his objections to the use of "X" and Gully beaches to:  


(a) The probability of bad weather. Embarkation from these beaches, even in a moderately strong northerly blow, was-impossible.


(b) "X" and Gully beaches had not been used for a considerable time as landing places; and should the movements of ships and boats off the beaches be observed by the enemy, it might awaken their suspicions as to what was taking place.


The essence of the operation being secrecy, the second of these reasons decided me to concur in this change of plan almost at the eleventh hour.


The preliminary stage commenced on the night of the 30th/31st December and terminated on the night of the 7th/8th January.


During this stage all personnel except 17,000 were removed, as well as the majority of the guns and a great quantity of animals, stores, &c.


The amount of stores remaining on shore after the preliminary stage was greater than was anticipated or intended; this was almost entirely due to the unfavourable weather conditions and, as men were evacuated, to a shortage in working parties.


On 1st January the weather showed signs of breaking; on the 2nd and 3rd strong northeasterly winds blew all day; the morning of the 4th was calm, but the weather broke at 7 p.m. and by 11 p.m. it was blowing a gale from the N.E., which, however, moderated on the evening of the 5th; on the 6th and 7th the weather conditions were favourable.


Fortunately the wind remained in the north to north-east which permitted work to continue on "V" and "W" beaches. The transfer of guns, animals and stores, &c., from motor lighters to transports and supply ships lying off the beaches was a matter of great difficulty under such conditions of weather.


During the whole of this period "V" and "W" beaches were subjected to a heavy and accurate shell fire from the enemy's batteries mounted on the Asiatic shore and also from guns firing from positions to north of Achi Baba.


All these guns were accurately registered on to the beaches, and the shelling continued day and night at frequent and uncertain intervals; that the actual loss of life from this fire was very small borders on the miraculous; the beach parties were completely exposed, and piers and foreshore constantly hit by shells while officers and men were working on them; even when resting in the dug-outs security from enemy's fire could not be assured, and several casualties occurred under these conditions.


The work on the beaches was practically continuous; during the day time motor lighters, &c., were loaded up with stores, &c., to be transferred to store ships at night; by night the work was most strenuous.


During the whole time there remained the paramount necessity of preventing the enemy gaining intelligence of what was in progress; this added greatly to the difficulties of work during daylight. Enemy aircraft paid frequent visits to the peninsula; on these occasions, whilst the "Taube" was in evidence, animals and transports approaching the beaches were turned and marched in the opposite direction, and stores and horses already in lighters were even unloaded on to the beaches to give the appearance of a disembarkation.


On the afternoon of the 7th the enemy delivered a very heavy artillery attack against certain portions of our advanced position, probably the most intense bombardment our trenches in the Helles area have ever been subjected to.


Attempts were made by the enemy to follow up this bombardment by an infantry attack, but the few Turks who could be persuaded to quit their trenches were instantly shot down, and the infantry advance was a complete failure.


This bombardment and attack most fortunately took place at a time when our forward position was fully manned and when there were still about sixty guns in position on the peninsula, with a very large supply of ammunition.


The ships supporting the left flank opened a heavy fire on the Turkish position. H.M.S. "Grafton" (rbelow - Photo Ships) (Captain Henry E. Grace), H.M.S. "Raglan" (Captain Cecil D. S. Raikes), and H.M. Destroyer "Wolverine" (Lieutenant-Commander Adrian St. V. Keyes), were on duty in position to support the army, which they did most ably, undoubtedly inflicting heavy loss on the enemy. They were reinforced by H.M.S. "Russell," H.M.S. "Havelock," and H.M. Destroyer "Scorpion."




Arrangements were also made to reinforce Helles with one brigade of infantry from Imbros, should such a step become necessary.


The principal reasons the enemy did not discover that the evacuation was taking place were, I consider:


(a) The excellent arrangements made by the military and the beach parties to prevent the enemy noticing any change in the landscape or any undue activity on the beaches.


(b) The probable unexpected force encountered in their attack on the 7th. It appears reasonable to suppose that the enemy, having thus convinced himself that the peninsula was still held in force by us, was satisfied that no evacuation would take place for some days.


The fact that on the 8th the wind was in the south and blowing on to "W" and "V" beaches, and that by 9 p.m. it had freshened so considerably as to render any evacuation a most difficult and hazardous proceeding.


The enemy were certainly deceived as to the date of our final departure from his shores, and his artillery fire on the final night of the evacuation was negligible.


The decision arrived at on the 6th to evacuate practically all the personnel of the final night from "W" and "V" beaches necessitated some rearrangement of plans, as some 5,000 additional troops had to be embarked from these beaches.


To use motor lighters from the already crowded piers would have lengthened the operation very considerably, and it was therefore decided to employ destroyers to embark 5,200 men from the blockships, which were fitted with stagings and connected to the shore; thus existing arrangements would be interfered with as little as possible. The result was excellent. The destroyers which were laid alongside the blockships, in spite of a nasty sea, being handled with great skill by their commanding officers, once more showing their powers of adaptability.


The necessary amendments to orders were issued on the morning of the 7th, and, in spite of the short notice given, the naval operations on the night of the 8th/9th were carried out without confusion or delay, a fact which reflects great credit on all concerned, especially on the beach personnel, who were chiefly affected by the change of plan.


On the 8th January the weather was favourable except that the wind was from the south; this showed no signs of freshening at 5 p.m., and orders were given to carry out the final stage.


The actual embarkation on the 8th commenced at 8 p.m., and the last section were to commence embarking at 6.30 a.m.


By 9 p.m. the wind had freshened considerably, still blowing from the south; a slight sea got up, and caused much inconvenience on the beaches.


A floating bridge at "W" beach commenced to break up, necessitating arrangements being made to ferry the last section of the personnel to the waiting destroyers.


At Gully beach matters were worse, and, after a portion of the 700 troops had been embarked in motor lighters and sent off to H.M.S. "Talbot," it was found impossible to continue using this beach (one motor lighter was already badly on shore - she was subsequently destroyed by gunfire), and orders were given for the remainder of the Gully beach party to embark from "W" beach; this was done without confusion, special steps having been taken by the beachmaster to cope with such an eventuality.


After a temporary lull the wind again increased, and by 3 a.m. a very nasty sea was running into "W" beach.


It was only by the great skill and determination displayed by the beach personnel that the embarkation was brought to a successful conclusion, and all the small craft except one steamboat (damaged in collision) got away in safety.


The last troops were leaving at 3.45 a.m., after which the beach personnel embarked.


Great difficulty was experienced in getting the last motor lighters away, owing to the heavy seas running into the harbour.


This was unfortunate, as the piles of stores which it had been found impossible to take off, and which were prepared for burning, were lit perhaps rather sooner than was necessary, as were also the fuses leading to the magazine.


The latter blew up before all the boats were clear, and, I regret to report, caused the death of one of the crew of the hospital barge, which was amongst the last boats to leave.


It was fortunate that more casualties were not caused by the explosion, debris from which fell over and around a great many boats.


The success of the operations was due principally to:


(a) Excellent staff work.


(b) The untiring energy and skill displayed by officers and men, both Army and Navy, comprising the beach parties.


(c) The good seamanship and zeal of the officers and crews of the various craft employed in the evacuation of the troops.


(d) The excellent punctuality of the Army in the arrival of the troops for embarkation at the different beaches.


The Navy has especially to thank Generals Sir William Birdwood and Sir Francis Davies for their forethought and hearty co-operation in all matters.


The staff work was above reproach, and I hope I may be permitted to mention some of those military officers who rendered special assistance to the Navy. They are: Major-General the Hon. H. A. Lawrence, Brigadier-General H. E. Street, and Colonel A. B. Carey, R.E. the latter of whom performed work of inestimable value in the last few days by improving piers and preparing means of rapid embarkation from the blockships.


The programme and plans as regards the naval portion of the operations were due to the work of my chief of staff, Commodore Roger J. B. Keyes, to whom too great credit cannot be given; to Captain Francis H. Mitchell, R.N., attached to General Headquarters; Major William W. Godfrey, R.M.L.I., of my staff; Captain Cecil M Staveley (principal beachmaster at Cape Helles); Captain Henry F. G. Talbot, in charge of the vessels taking part; and Acting Commander George F. A. Mulock (chief assistant to Captain Staveley).


The organisation of the communications, on which so much depended, was very ably carried out by my Fleet Wireless Officer (Commander James F. Somerville) and my Signal Officer (Lieutenant Hugh S. Bowlby). The arrangement by which H.M.S. "Triad" (on board of which was the General Officer commanding Helles Army) was anchored close in under Cape Tekeh, and connected with the shore telephone system by two cables, thus leaving her wireless installation free for communicating with the ships of covering squadron, &c., was especially good.


The naval covering squadron was under the command of Rear-Admiral Sydney R. Fremantle in H.M.S. "Hibernia" (below - Maritime Quest) who had a most able colleague in Captain Douglas L. Dent, of H.M.S. "Edgar," whose ability had done so much to improve the naval gun support to the Helles Army.




The work of this squadron was conducted with great energy, and was in every way satisfactory. It controlled to a great extent the enemy's guns firing on to the beaches.


Whenever the enemy opened fire, whether by day or night, there were always ships in position to reply, a result which reflects much credit on the officers named.


The Army Headquarters gave us again the invaluable assistance and experience of Lieutenant-Colonel C. F. Aspinall in arranging details, and I cannot help laying special stress on this officer's excellent co-operation with my staff on all occasions.


I now have the pleasure of bringing to your notice the loyal support and assistance we received, now, as always, from our French friends.


Contre Admiral de Bon was responsible for the French naval programme of evacuation, and on its completion he rendered us every assistance with his beach parties, who were under the immediate command of a most able and gallant officer - Capitaine de Fregate Bréart de Boisanger - an officer whom I have already brought to your Lordships' notice in a previous despatch.


There are many officers and men who have performed meritorious service in connection with this evacuation; their names will be forwarded in due course in a separate letter.


I have the honour to be, Sir, Your obedient Servant,

J. M. DE ROBECK, Vice-Admiral.






30133 - 15 JUNE 1917



NAVAL DESPATCH dated 28 January 1917


German East Africa - from "The Navy Everywhere" by Conrad Gato,
click map to enlarge


Admiralty, 15th June, 1917.


The following despatch has been received from the Commander-in-Chief, Cape of Good Hope Station, describing the later coastal operations by H.M. ships against German East Africa.


H.M.S. "Hyacinth," 25th January, 1917.

(below - Navy Photos)




Be pleased to lay before their Lordships the following report of the later coastal operations against German East Africa by H.M. ships under my orders.


These operations may be said to have commenced with the occupation, on the 1st August, 1916, of the town of Saadani by naval forces, assisted by a detachment of the Zanzibar African Rifles. The capture of this coast town was undertaken at the request of General Smuts, and was well and effectively carried out under the immediate supervision of Captain A. H. Williamson, M.V.O., of "Vengeance" (flying my flag) for the outer squadron, and of Captain E. J. A. Fullerton, D.S.O., of "Severn" for the inshore squadron; Commander R. J. N. Watson of "Vengeance" being in command of the landing party.


The force was landed in boats from "Vengeance," "Talbot" (Captain R, C. Kemble Lambert, D.S.O.), "Severn," and "Mersey" (Commander R. A. Wilson, D.S.O.) about one mile to the north of the town at 6 a.m., "Severn" and "Mersey" covering the landing with their guns. But slight opposition was experienced, only three casualties being sustained. The fort was enclosed in a "boma," which had been constructed originally to keep out leopards and savages, and was surrounded by the native village and dense bush, which had to be cleared.


During the period of naval occupation a few encounters took place between our advanced patrols and those of the enemy, but no attack in force was made and our energies were confined to consolidating the position.


On the 5th August the whole of the naval forces, except the Marines and a few special details, re-embarked on military forces being landed to relieve them.


On the 13th August I received a wireless message from the military officer in command at Saadani, giving the enemy force at Bagamoyo at about ten whites and forty Askaris, and asking if the Navy would take the town, as its earliest occupation was essential. I replied that this would be done and issued orders accordingly.


Although the information given me indicated that the enemy force was small, I knew that it would be strongly entrenched and would have Maxims, and I therefore decided to land what force I could raise from the ships immediately available, together with all machine guns, and to have a strong covering force of light-draught ships inshore with heavy-draught ships outside.


As it turned out the intelligence was very much at fault, the enemy having one 4.1-in. gun, one five-barrelled pom-pom, and two Maxims, their total force being more numerous than the landing party.


At 5.0 p.m. on the 14th August, "Vengeance" (Flag), with "Challenger" (Captain A. C. Sykes) and "Manica" (Commander W. E. Whittingham, R.N.R.) in company, left Zanzibar, anchoring at 3.24 a.m. on the 15th off Bagamoyo, the landing party leaving "Vengeance" at 4.40 a.m., under the command of Commander R. J. N. Watson.


There was a slight swell, little wind, and a bright moon, so that a complete surprise was not to be expected; but the landing turned out to be as near a surprise as was possible in the circumstances, and it is believed that the boats were not seen until they had left the monitors at 5.30 a.m.


Owing to the skill with which the advance was conducted by Commander Watson and Commander (acting) W. B. Wilkinson, and an alteration of course when some little way from the shore, the enemy were completely deceived as to the point of landing, and found themselves under a heavy fire from the monitors and motor boats, which effectually prevented them from firing on the landing party.


The latter proceeded and landed close under the 4.1-in. gun position to the left of the town, at a point where the gun, owing to its position some 30 feet back from the ridge on which it was sited, could not be sufficiently depressed to bear on them.


On the other hand this gun came under the enfilading fire of the 3-pounders, one each in my steam barge, "Vengeance's" (below - Photo Ships) picket boat, and the tug "Helmuth." This fire, at from 800 to 500 yards, so seriously discomposed the enemy that they abandoned the gun as soon as attacked by the shore party. This gun had come from Tanga in tow of 500 coolies, and had arrived at the position in which it was taken on the 9th August. Its capture was, in my opinion, a most remarkable piece of work, reflecting the greatest credit on the boats and the attacking section.




Meanwhile the "Manica" had got up her kite balloon and was spotting, but her seaplane had engine trouble and was forced to come down in the breakers at the mouth of the Kingani River, returning undamaged. I accordingly called on "Himalaya" (Captain Colin Mackenzie, D.S.O.), which was just leaving Zanzibar, and at 6.0 a.m. her seaplane flew across from Zanzibar, and at once dropped bombs on the enemy in trenches, afterwards spotting. "Himalaya" herself followed and took a useful part in the subsequent bombardment.


At 6.30 a.m. it was reported from three sources - kite balloon, portable W./T. set ashore, and W./T from seaplane - that the enemy were retiring between the French Mission and the sea, and were around the Mission.


The cause of this retreat was the endeavour of Captain von Bok to rush his troops round to the opposite side of the town to oppose our landing. About this time the pom-pom gun was hit by a 6-in. shell from. "Severn" (Commander (acting) W. B. C. Jones) and nearly pulverised, Captain von Boedecke being killed. Shortly after Captain, von Bok was also killed, and with both leaders gone all initiative on the part of the enemy was lost, and our men were able to firmly establish themselves in a small but important quarter of the town, from which they subsequently spread and gathered in all the Arabs, Indians, and natives. Beyond slight damage from shell fire and a fire in the native village - where an occasional fire is beneficial - the town is intact.


The importance of the capture of this town on the native mind was very great, as it is the old capital of the slave trade and the starting place of the great caravan routes into the interior.


The result from a military point of view was immediately apparent in the demoralisation of the enemy forces, particularly the native portion, and in the evacuation of the Mtoni Ferry, a strategic and strongly-defended position about six miles above the town over the Kingani River, thereby giving our troops moving south from Saadani and Mandera an open road.


It is with deep regret that I record the death of Captain Francis H. Thomas, D.S.C., Royal Marine Light Infantry, whilst gallantly leading his men. He had taken part in all recent operations and was a most promising officer. Our other casualties were two seamen and two marines wounded, while the Zanzibar African Rifles had one sergeant and one Askari killed and one Askari wounded. Two native porters were also wounded.


The enemy casualties were estimated at two officers, one white soldier, and eight Askaris killed, three white and eight Askaris wounded, and four white and fifteen Askaris taken prisoner.


On the 20th August the naval forces were relieved by the military and re-embarked in their ships.


On the 21st August, in continuance of the policy of harassing Dar-es-Salaam, "Vengeance" and "Challenger" (below - Photo Ships) bombarded various gun positions; and during that night "Challenger" carried out a further bombardment, firing 50 rounds of 6-in. over the town into the railway station. On the 23rd, 26th, 28th, 30th and 31st August, and on the 1st September, other limited bombardments took place, and on the 3rd September the whalers "Pickle" (Lieutenant H. C. Davis, D.S.C., R.D., R.N.R.), "Fly" (Lieutenant D. H. H. Whitburn, R.N.R.), "Childers" (Lieutenant V. C. Large, R.N.R.), and "Echo" (Lieutenant C. J. Charlewood, D.S.C., R.N.R.), under Flag Commander the Hon. R. O. B. Bridgeman, D.S.O., simulated a landing at Upanga and attacked the front at short range from West Ferry Point to Ras Upanga. They were received with shrapnel fire from a field battery, but escaped injury.




Meanwhile preparations for the advance on Dar-es-Salaam were in full swing, and on the 31st August the military advance started from Bagamoyo, the main body marching south and being strongly reinforced at Konduchi on the 2nd September, for which landing they themselves formed the covering party. The plan succeeded admirably, the enemy retiring and making little attempt to oppose the advance, so that in the end the final reinforcements actually landed in face of the very formidable entrenchments at Mssassani Bay.


With the military column went six naval maxims, six Lewis guns, one 3-pounder Hotchkiss on field mounting, and a medical section, the party being under the command of Commander H. D. Bridges, D.S.O., of "Hyacinth."


Communication between the main column and the small craft inshore was maintained by a naval wireless party.


The march of 36 miles proved exceedingly arduous, the road turning into little better than a sandy track through a waterless district. Porters were short and speedily dropped behind with provisions, to add to which the first regiment of African descent which arrived at Mssassani consumed the 12,000 gallons of water and three days' provisions for the whole force.


On the 3rd September, following on the simulated landing from the whalers, a brisk bombardment of gun positions to the northward of the town, and in advance of our troops, was carried out for half an hour until 7.0 a.m., when firing ceased and our troops continued their advance to the outskirts of the town.


As matters now appeared ripe to demand the surrender of the town, on the morning of the 4th September, "Challenger," flying a "white flag, proceeded to Makatumbe with a written demand, signed by me and by the Officer commanding troops. This was transferred to the "Echo," which took it as far as the boom and then sent it ashore in her boat.


About 8.0 a.m., the deputy burgomaster, the bank manager, and an interpreter came off in the "Echo" and agreed to the conditions of the demand, giving all the required guarantees. Our troops were at once told by wireless to advance into the town. All ships entered Dar-es-Salaam Bay, and during the afternoon the monitors entered the harbour after destroying the hawsers of the boom across the entrance.


I landed with my staff at 2.30 p.m., and at 3.0 o'clock the Union Jack was hoisted over the Magistracy with full honours.


Following on the occupation of Dar-es-Salaam it became necessary to seize other coast towns further south, and thus prevent the enemy from retreating by the coast to Lindi and the southern ports. In consequence, on the 7th September, a simultaneous attack was made on the two Kilwas (Kivinje and Kisiwani), with the object of getting possession of these towns and holding the two hills, Singino Hill and Mpara Hill, which command Kilwa Kivinje and Port Beaver respectively. After four 12-in. shrapnel had been placed on the top of Singino Hill by "Vengeance," a white man was seen endeavouring to haul down the German colours at Kivinje and to hoist his boy's white "kanzu" in their place. This was observed just in time to prevent fire being opened from "Vengeance" with 6-in. guns on the trenches along the beach. A flag of truce was sent in, the town surrendered unconditionally, and a force was landed and occupied the town and the hill. Meanwhile, Kilwa Kisiwani had surrendered unconditionally to "Talbot," who landed a party and occupied Mpara Hill.


Operations against the three Southern Ports of Mikindani, Sudi and Lindi commenced on the 13th September, when 200 Marines, 700 Indian troops, 200 Zanzibar and Mafia African Rifles, 12 naval machine guns, 2 hotchkiss guns and 950 porters were landed at Mikindani in boats from "Hyacinth" (Capt David M Anderson, M.V.O, R.N.), "Vengeance," "Talbot," "Himalaya," and "Princess" (Captain C. La P. Lewin), assisted by the gunboats "Thistle" (Commander Hector Boyes) and "Rinaldo" (below - Photo Ships) (Lieutenant-Commander H. M. Garrett), and the kite balloon ship "Manica", and the transport " Barjora." There was no opposition, and the town was occupied by 9.0 a.m.




On the 14th September our troops commenced their advance towards Sudi, while "Vengeance," "Hyacinth," "Talbot" and "Himalaya," with "Barjora," proceeded round to the anchorage outside there. Whalers entered the inner harbour at daylight on the 16th, experiencing no resistance.


The whole force, having left a garrison of 100 men at Mikindani, marched to Sudi, arriving there at noon, when the marines, naval guns and African Rifles were embarked, the intention being to land these as a covering party outside Lindi under the guns of the squadron, while the main force marched from Sudi to Lindi, where, if any resistance was put up, they would have held a commanding position on the south side of the river.


Early on the 16th the ships proceeded to Lindi Bay and the Naval Brigade was landed after a short bombardment of the selected beach with 6-in. guns. An attempt to send in a flag of truce was made, but no answer could be obtained, and from seaplane observations the town appeared to be deserted. Supported by "Thistle," the force advanced along the beach and occupied the town.


The troops - who were thus saved a long and arduous march from Sudi to Lindi - were re-embarked at Sudi on the evening of the 16th, leaving a garrison of 100 men there. They arrived at Lindi on the 17th, and relieved the Naval Brigade and African Rifles, who were re-embarked.


The same evening "Talbot," "Thistle," and "Barjora," with a detachment of Indian troops on board, left Lindi, and by 8.0 a.m. on the 18th Kiswere was occupied without any opposition, the troops remaining as a garrison.


This was the last town of any importance on the coast of German East Africa, and the whole coast line is now occupied with the exception of the Rufiji Delta.


In connection with the operations covered by this despatch I append a list of officers and men whom I specially desire to bring to the notice of their Lordships for meritorious services.


I have the honour to be, Sir, Your obedient servant,

(Signed) E. CHARLTON, Rear Admiral, Commander in Chief.





Captain A. H. Williamson, M.V.O., H.M.S. "Vengeance."

Captain A. C. Sykes, H.M.S. "Challenger."

Commander R. J. N. Watson, H.M.S. "Vengeance."

Commander Philip H. Trimmer, H.M.S. "Talbot."

Lieutenant E. S. Brooksmith, H.M.S. "Vengeance."

Flag Lieutenant-Commander Cyril Goolden, H.M.S. "Hyacinth"

Flight Lieutenant E. R. Moon, R.N.A.S.

Flight Lieutenant J. E. B. Maclean, R.N.A.S.

Engineer-Commander F. J. Roskruge, H.M.S. "Hyacinth."

Fleet Paymaster W. F. Cullinan, H.M.S. "Hyacinth."

Paymaster (Acting) H. G. Badger, H.M.S "Challenger."

Acting Paymaster (Emergency) Charles H. Griffith, H.M.S. "Hyacinth."

Assistant Paymaster A. B. Johnston, H.M.S. "Hyacinth."

Mr. John Mackay, Chief Gunner, H.M.S. "Hyacinth."

Mr. Frank Goldsmith, Gunner (T.), H.M.S. "Talbot."

Sub-Lieutenant F. G. J. Manning, R.N.R., H.M.S. "Talbot."


Petty Officers and Men.


Chief Petty Officer (C.) James Noonan, R.N.A.S., O.N. M.2345 (Po.).

Chief Petty Officer Francis Ernest Strong, H.M.S. "Talbot," O.N. 166552 (Dev.).

Petty Officer William James Grills, H.M.S. "Vengeance," O.N. 210006 (Dev.).

Petty Officer John James Mitchell Lawes, H.M.S. "Talbot," O.N. 185088 (Dev.).

Petty Officer Charles Ernest Pease, H.M.S. "Vengeance," O.N. 189803 (Dev.).

Petty Officer Arthur John Pidgeon, H.M.S. "Talbot," O.N. 188779 (Dev.).

Petty Officer Frank Reynolds, H.M.S. "Echo," O.N. 216754 (Dev.).

Petty Officer William Henry James Vennal, H.M.S. "Mersey," O.N. 189805 (Cha.).

Petty Officer William Young, H.M.S. "Vengeance," O.N. 216745 (Dev.).

Leading Seaman George Brunker, H.M.S. "Hyacinth," O.N. 222576 (Dev.).

Leading Seaman Cecil William Saunders, H.M.S. "Challenger," O.N. 236629 (Dev.).

Able Seaman, R.F.R., Vincent Burrage, H.M.S. "Talbot," O.N. 160207 (Dev.), R.F.R., B.68.

Able Seaman, R.F.R., Samuel Charles Cubitt, H.M.S. "Severn," O.N. 217294 (Dev.), R.F.R. B.5408.

Able Seaman Michael Fitzgerald, H.M.S. "Echo,'' O.N. 196162 (R.F.R.) (Dev.), R.F.R. B 3743.

Able Seaman, R.F.R., Edward White Rose, H.M.S. "Vengeance," O.N. 215403 (Cha.), R.F.R. B.5017.

Yeoman of Signals Ernest James Templeman, H.M.S. "Vengeance," O.N. 194786 (Dev.).

Signalman John Joseph Collins, H.M.S. "Vengeance," O.N. J.27498 (Dev.).

Petty Officer Telegraphist Albert French, H.M.S. "Hyacinth," O.N. 227249 (Po.).

Petty Officer Telegraphist Percival Charles King, H.M.S. "Hyacinth," O.N. 235463 (Dev.).

Leading Telegraphist George Ambler, H.M.S. "Pickle," O.N. J.332 (Cha.).

Telegraphist William Gilbert Gardiner, H.M.S. "Challenger," O.N. J.13806 (Dev.).

Engine Room Artificer, R.N.R., William Gordon, H.M.S. "Mersey."

Engine Room Artificer, 2nd Class, Harry Hopkins, H.M.S. "Hyacinth," O.N. M.164 (Po.).

Leading Stoker, R.F.R., Bernard Sinden, H.M.S. "Severn," O.N. SS.103033 (Dev.), R.F.R., B.3753.

Stoker Petty Officer Charles Arthur Cronshaw, H.M.S. "Pickle," O.N. 297509 (Dev.).

Chief Writer Ernest Hambly, H.M.S "Challenger," O.N. 341834 (Dev.).

Ship's Steward Albert Edward Tull, H.M.S. "Hyacinth," O.N. 340905 (Po.).

Sick-Berth Steward Sampson Woodcock, H.M.S. "Challenger," O.N. 350687 (Dev.).

Co. Sergt.-Major Percy Evan Smith, R.M.L.I., No. Ply./10275, H.M.S. "Hyacinth."

Colour-Sergeant, R.M.L.I., Plymouth/7136, Walter James Fouracre, H.M.S. "Challenger."

Sergeant, R.M.L.I., Portsmouth/8394, Harry Carter, H.M.S. "Hyacinth."

Corporal, Plymouth/12447, Ernest Victor Dean, R.M.L.I., H.M.S. "Talbot."

Lance-Corporal, Plymouth/11073, William Bradley, R.M.L.I., H.M.S. "Talbot."

Private, Plymouth/9590 William Dennis, R.M.L.I., H.M.S. "Talbot."

Air Mechanic, 1st Grade, Frederick Wilmshurst, R.N.A.S., O.N. J.29563 (Po.).



Click here for Appointments and Awards to Officers and Ratings mentioned in the foregoing despatches






30298 - 21 SEPTEMBER 1917



NAVAL DESPATCH dated 7 May 1917


Admiralty, 21st September, 1917.


The following despatch has been received from Vice-Admiral Sir Rosslyn E. Wemyss, K.C.B., C.M.G., M.V.O., late Commander-in-Chief, East Indies Station, covering a report by Captain Wilfrid Nunn, C.M.G., D.S.O., R.N., on the operations of H.M. Gunboats in Mesopotamia from December, 1916, to March, 1917:


7th May, 1917.



Be pleased to submit to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty the enclosed report on the recent operations in Mesopotamia rendered to me by Captain Wilfrid Nunn, C.M.G., D.S.O., R.N.


2. I take this opportunity of specially bringing to Their Lordships' notice the excellent conduct of Captain Nunn during the whole period that he has commanded the Flotilla on the Tigris. Through force of circumstances this command devolved upon an officer of less standing than might have been otherwise expected, and he has shown himself under all circumstances not only to have been worthy of his responsible position, but to have carried out his duties with a zeal and dash worthy of the best traditions and to have shown a very remarkable capacity for command.


I am, Sir, Your obedient.Servant,

R. E. Wemyss, Vice-Admiral, Commander-in-Chief,


H.M.S. "Mantis," 21st March, 1917.




SIR: I have the honour to submit the following report on the operations on the Tigris during the months of December, 1916, and January, February, and March, 1917, which led to the capture and occupation of Baghdad by our forces on 11th March, 1917.


2. Our advance on the right bank of the Tigris began on 13th December, 1916, when our troops established themselves on the Shatt al Hai.


The general situation early in January was as follows:


On the left bank our forces were held up by the Turks in the extremely strong Sannaiyat position, while on the right bank we had advanced much further up the river. The Turks opposed to us were commanded by Khalil Pasha. They were well dug In in strong positions.


Very large improvements have been effected in the Transport department, railways have been constructed, and a large number of river craft arrived.


A number of these, and also barges, were put together at Abadan and Basra, and the facilities for repairs much increased, and wharves constructed.


3. The gunboats at the Tigris front have cooperated with the Army in many intermittent bombardments of the enemy positions, and some very good results have been obtained, besides frequently engaging enemy aircraft.


We have at all times received great help from the Army, the Artillery officers and Staff being indefatigable in rendering the Navy every assistance.


The 14th Kite Balloon Section, R.N.A.S., commanded by Commander Francis R. Wrottesley, R.N., marked for us on many occasions, besides the useful work it has done keeping look-out for the Army.


Aeroplanes have also been frequently put at the disposal of the Royal Navy for spotting.


While keeping some gunboats at the Tigris front, I have also always, at the request of the military authorities, stationed others at various points on the line of communication, and two have been stationed in the Euphrates, in touch with the troops at Nasiriyah.


The following of H.M. Ships have been engaged in the operations at various times:



H.M.S. "Tarantula," Commander Henry G. Sherbrooke.

H.M.S. "Mantis," Commander Bernard Buxton.

H.M.S. "Moth," Lieutenant-Commander C. H. A. Cartwright.

H.M.S. "Gnat" (above - Photo Ships), Lieutenant-Commander E. H. B. L. Scrivener.

H.M.S. "Butterfly," Lieutenant-Commander G. A. Wilson.

H.M.S. "Sawfly," Commander G. F. A. Mulock, D.S.O.

H.M.S. "Snakefly," Lieutenant R. P. D. Webster.

H.M.S. "Greenfly," Lieutenant-Commander A. G. Seymour, D.S.O.

H.M.S. "Gadfly," Commander E. K. Arbuthnot.

H.M.S. "Grayfly," Lieutenant C. H. Heath-Caldwell, D.S.C.

H.M.S. "Stonefly," Lieutenant M. Singleton, D.S.O.

H.M.S. "Mayfly," Lieutenant R. H. Lilley, D.S.C.

H.M.S. "Waterfly," Act. Commander Charles T. Gervers.

H.M.S. "Firefly" (below - Photo Ships), Lieutenant-Commander C. J. F. Eddis.

H.M.S. "Flycatcher," Lieutenant Hugh Lincoln, R.N.R.

H.M.S. "Scotstoun," Lieutenant S. E. Nicolle.




4. Operations proceeded in a most satisfactory manner, and early in February our forces were in possession of the right bank as far as to the westward of Kut el Amara, with bridges over the Hai, large numbers of prisoners having been taken, guns captured, and heavy loss inflicted on the enemy.


After intense bombardment, in which the gunboats co-operated, a successful assault of the Sannaiyat position was made on 22nd February, and a footing obtained in the Sannaiyat position. During the night of the 22nd-23rd dummy attempts were made to cross the river in various places above Sannaiyat, and just before daybreak of the 23rd covering parties were rowed across the Tigris near Shumran in pontoons, a surprise landing effected, and a bridge thrown across.


By evening the infantry of one division had crossed, and another followed, the enemy trying ineffectually to stem the British advance on the Shumran peninsula.


Meanwhile our troops were pushing forward boldly through the Sannaiyat position.


The whole Turkish position was manifestly becoming untenable, and they commenced a general retreat, which developed later into a rout.


5. I was present at the operations on board H.M.S. "Tarantula," and later on on board H.M.S. "Mantis," other of H.M. Ships present being "Moth," "Butterfly," "Greenfly," "Gadfly," "Snakefly," "Waterfly", "Flycatcher," and "Scotstoun" were also present at the front from time to time, and H.M.S. "Gnat" rejoined me on 4th March.


6. On the forenoon of 24th February I moved up river with "Tarantula," "Moth," "Mantis," "Butterfly," "Gadfly," and arrived at Kut el Amara at 9.30 p.m., where I landed and hoisted the Union Jack.


The town was deserted and in ruins. Early on the morning of the 25th I moved on up river and communicated with our troops near Shumran.


Floating mines had been seen in the river, but were easily avoided.


7. During the morning I received a message from the Army Commander asking me to cooperate in pursuing the retreating Turkish Army, and I pressed on up river. We were abreast of our leading Infantry at about 9.30 a.m. and in sight of the Turkish rearguard, on which we at once opened with rapid fire, inflicting heavy casualties. This the enemy soon returned, opening an accurate fire on us with field batteries, and several 5.9 howitzers from a prepared position among the sand hills in the neighbourhood of Imam Mahdi. Our troops were advancing, and some of our field artillery considerably relieved the situation by the rapidity with which they came into action.


The battle continued, during the day - all ships being hit by splinters of shell, but luckily no serious damage was done.


Lieutenant John H. Murdock, R.N.R., of H.M.S. "Mantis," was somewhat severely wounded in the afternoon.


8. The enemy evacuated their position during the night, and we pushed on with the Army in pursuit on the morning of 26th February.


It soon became evident that the Turkish Army was much demoralised, and I received a message by W/T from General Sir F. S. Maude during the forenoon to push on and inflict as much damage as possible.


We proceeded at full speed in "Tarantula," leading "Mantis" and "Moth" (below, HMS Aphis, sister to all three - Maritime Quest) H.M. ships "Gadfly" and "Butterfly" following at their utmost speed.




My flotilla passed the small town of Bghailah at 2 p.m. White flags were flying over the town, and later on Commander Ernest K. Arbuthnot, of  "Gadfly" hoisted the Union Jack over the town, bringing in also about 200 prisoners and some trench mortars.


9. Just above Bghailah we now began to come up to numbers of Turkish stragglers on the left bank of the Tigris, and some guns partially submerged in the river, where they had been abandoned. We opened fire on all who did not surrender.


The smoke of steamers had been seen ahead, and we were soon able to distinguish several steamers, including H.M.S. "Firefly," which we had to abandon on 1st December, 1915, when her boiler was disabled by a shell during the retreat from Ctesiphon and we were surrounded by the Turkish Army.


We shortly afterwards got into gun range of the small shipping and opened a heavy fire, particularly on "Firefly" and the armed enemy ship "Pioneer," who both replied. The "Firefly " made some good shooting at us with her 4-inch gun.


10. The Turks retreating on the left bank were becoming more numerous; they now had our cavalry division in pursuit of them on their right flank and the gunboats on their left.


The enemy were firing at us from three directions, and on approaching Nahr Kellak bend I observed a large body of enemy on the left bank at the head of the loop in the river, and gave orders for all guns to be fired on them.


They proved to be a strong rearguard, and opened on us with field and machine guns and heavy rifle fire. At this close range there were casualties in all ships, who were all hit many times, but our guns must have caused immense damage to the enemy, as we were at one time firing six-inch guns into them at about 400 to 500 yards.


Besides the Turkish Artillery there were a large number of enemy with rifles and machine guns behind the bend at a range of about 100 yards from the ships.


In the act of turning round the bend shot came from all directions, and casualties of "Moth," which came last in the line, were particularly severe.


There were casualties in all three ships, "Moth," which was magnificently handled by Lieutenant Commander Charles H. A. Cartwright, who was himself wounded, had three officers wounded - all severely - out of four, and two men killed and eighteen wounded, which is about 50 per cent, of her complement.


She was hit eight times by shell - one from ahead hit the fore side of stokehold casing, burst, and pierced the port boiler, both front and back, but luckily missed the boiler tubes. The after compartment was holed below the water line, and the upper deck and funnels of all ships riddled with bullets.


The quartermaster and pilot in the conning tower of H.M.S. "Mantis" were killed, but the prompt action of her Captain saved her from running ashore. I consider that the excellent spirit of the men and skilful handling of the ships by their Captains in a difficult and unknown shallow river were most praiseworthy.


11. We thus passed the enemy rearguard, and large numbers of the retreating Turkish Army were on our starboard beam. I opened rapid fire from all guns that would hear (this included heavy and light guns, pom-poms, maxims, and rifles), and at this short range we did enormous execution, the enemy being too demoralised to reply, except in a very few cases.


We were also able to shoot down some of their gun teams, which they deserted, and several guns thus fell into the hands of our forces when going over this ground.


12. The vessels ahead were now in easy range, and several small craft stopped and surrendered, including the armed tug "Sumana," which we had left at Kut during the siege, and had been captured at the fall of that place.


About 5.20 p.m. the large Turkish steamer "Basra" stopped and surrendered when brought to by a shell from H.M.S. "Tarantula,'' which had, I was afterwards informed, killed and wounded some German machine gunners. The "Firefly " kept up a heavy fire from her 4-inch gun, but our reply began to tell on her, and having been hit several times she ran into the bank and fell into our hands about 6.15 p.m. in the north-west part of the Zaljah reach, to westward of Umm al Tubul.


The "Pioneer" having been badly hit by "Mantis," was in flames near her, and some barges laden with munitions in the vicinity.


The Turks had endeavoured to set fire to the "Firefly's" magazine, but we were able to put it out and took possession of her at once, and I put a prize crew on board and hoisted the White Ensign.


Darkness now came on, and I considered it inadvisable to go on further, as we were far ahead of our troops.


I placed Lieutenant John P. Bradley, R.N.R. (of H.M.S. "Proserpine" (below - Photo Ships) in temporary command of H.M.S. "Firefly," with a small crew, and we moved out of the way of the burning "Pioneer," anchored for the night, and buried our men who had been killed.




13. We remained in the vicinity the following day, and I sent the "Moth" back to Basra for repairs, and the prizes down river The advance of our Army continued, and we reached Aziziyah on 1st March. Here the Turks had abandoned more guns and again retreated. I was joined here by H.M.S. "Waterfly."


The pursuit was continued on 5th March, and our cavalry again engaged the enemy rearguard near Lajj, but we were unable to distinguish anything owing to a dense sandstorm.


14. We arrived at Ctesiphon on the 6th, finding the strong position there deserted, and next day arrived in gun-range of the enemy position on the north bank of the Dialah River, which joins the Tigris on the left bank about eight miles below Baghdad.


In attacking this position we again came under heavy fire from the Turkish guns, to which we briskly replied. During the night of the 10th-11th the enemy evacuated the position, as some of our troops had crossed the Dialah, and others were carrying out a wide flanking movement on the right bank to the south-west and west of Baghdad.


An attempt had also been made to send two motor lighters full of troops to land them on the left bank above the Dialah on the night of 10th March. One of them, however, grounded in the shallow river in gun range of the enemy. I sent H.M. Ships "Tarantula" and "Snakefly" to assist, and "Tarantula" rendered valuable assistance by extricating the motor lighter from her dangerous position before daylight.


15. The Baghdad railway was seized early on the 11th March.


I proceeded up river with the gunboat flotilla, which included H.M.S. "Firefly," Lieutenant-Commander C. J. F. Eddis in command, during the day, with minesweepers ahead, and arrived at the Citadel at Baghdad in H.M.S. "Mantis" at 3.40 p.m., on Sunday, 11th March. Paddle Steamer No. 53, having on board Sir F. S. Maude and Staff, being in company with the Flotilla.


The pursuit of the enemy was continued up river, and two iron barges captured.


16. I have much pleasure in bringing to your notice the excellent behaviour and spirit of the Captains, Officers, and men under my command during these operations, which were, in my opinion, worthy of the great traditions of His Majesty's Service.


In conclusion, I desire to express how greatly the Naval Forces serving in Mesopotamia have always been indebted to the Military and Political services for never-failing help and assistance on all occasions.


I have the honour to be, Sir, Your obedient Servant,

Wilfrid Nunn, Captain and S.N.O., Mesopotamia.



I have the honour to submit the following for special mention, promotion, honours or awards:




H.M.S. "Tarantula."


Commander Henry G. Sherbrooke, R.N. For skilful handling of his ship, and especially on 26th February, when he contributed largely to the success of the operations.


Lieutenant J. P. Bradley, R.N.R. For coolness under fire on all occasions. Lieutenant Bradley did very good work by personally taking the captured Turkish steamer "Basra " down the river laden with enemy wounded.


Sub-Lieutenant G. A. Feilman, R.N.V.R. For coolness and resource under very heavy fire, in firing with machine guns on the Turkish infantry and machine guns, when all other men were employed in working the main armament of 6-in., 12-pdr. and pompoms.


Surgeon J. C. Kelly, R.N. Attended to wounded whilst fire was at its hottest in an exposed position.


H.M.S. "Mantis."


Commander Bernard Buxton, R.N. For good work done on all occasions. His prompt action under heavy fire on 26th March saved H.M.S. "Mantis" from running aground in a critical position.


Surgeon James P. Shorten, R.N. Continued to dress and attend to the wounded in the open while under very heavy fire.


Sub-Lieutenant E. C. W. Vane Tempest, R.N.V.R. Was in charge of the gunnery of the ship, and while under hot fire he did his duty with coolness. At one time he personally worked a maxim though wounded.


H.M.S. "Moth."


Lieutenant-Commander Charles H. A. Cartwright, R.N. For excellent handling of his ship and gallant conduct on all occasions under fire, and particularly on 26th February, 1917. I submit that this officer is fully worthy of special promotion.


Surgeon Frederick G. E. Hill, R.N. Who, finding a man wounded on the battery deck, gallantly, under heavy fire, carried him into the sick bay to dress his wounds. Whilst doing this, the man received another wound through his throat, and Surgeon Hill himself received a nasty wound in his forearm. Nevertheless, although in considerable pain, and until his arm became too stiff to use it, he proceeded to dress and attend to all the wounded on board.


Lieutenant John H. A. Wood, M.C., R.N.V.R. Who was severely wounded while firing a machine gun in a totally exposed position.


H.M.S. " Snakefly."


Lieutenant R. P. D. Webster, R.N. Has shown judgment and resource on many occasions under fire.


H.M.S. "Flycatcher."


Lieutenant Hugh Lincoln, R.N.R. For good work while in command of H.M. ships "Comet" and "Flycatcher," and he has carried out the duty of forward observing Officer under fire in a very satisfactory manner.


H.M.S. "Gadfly."


Commander Ernest K. Arbuthnot, R.N. During the recent advance to Baghdad I have found this officer's knowledge and experience of great benefit, and he has shown great coolness under fire on all occasions.


Temporary Surgeon Robert G. Elwell, R.N. Has rendered valuable service under fire on many occasions.


H.M.S. "Proserpine."


Lieutenant Cecil G. Hallett, R.I.M. Has given me most valuable help throughout the campaign, and has carried out the gunnery duties for the Squadron. His experience, particularly of spotting the enemy gun positions, is of great value, and he has frequently done this under fire.




H.M.S. "Tarantula."


Chief Petty Officer W. B. Ayre, O.N. 171045 (Ch.).

Chief Engine Room Artificer H. Lovell, O.N. 268831 (Ch.).

Leading Seaman H. M. J. Thompson, O.N. 236295 (Ch.).

Able Seaman W. Stephenson, O.N. 234863 (Ch.).


H.M.S. "Mantis."


Chief Engine Boom Artificer, 2nd Class, Alexander Greig, O.N. M. 17441 (Ch.).

Petty Officer James Revell, O.N. 208740 (Ch.).

Petty Officer William H. Saunders, O.N. J5200 (Ch.).

Stoker Petty Officer Edward S. Crossman, O.N. 287047 (Ch.).

Leading Telegraphist Sydney W. Boulter, J15349 (Ch.).


H.M.S. "Moth."


Acting Chief Engine Room Artificer, 4th Class, William J. Hollies, O.N. M. 12130 (Ch.).

Stoker Petty Officer George T. Hasler, O.N. K1366 (Ch.).

Signalman Charles Poulter, R.N.V.R., O.N. London Z/3247 (Ch.).

Telegraphist Herbert W. Prior, O.N. J.32080 (Ch.).

Able Seaman Alfred E. Lucas, O.N. J.15975 (Ch.).

Able Seaman Percy W. Dean, R.F.R., Chatham B.3950 O.N. 209195 (Ch.).

Stoker John Farrell, R.N.R., O.N. S.8533.


H.M.S. "Snakefly."


Stoker Petty Officer John W. Mallinson, O.N. 303741 (Dev.).

Leading Telegraphist Martin L. Elliott, O.N. J.29215 (Dev.).


H.M.S. " Gadfly.''


Petty Officer, 1st Class, Ronald Godfrey Robinson, O.N. 198809 (Po.).

Engineroom Artificer, 2nd Class, Leonard Ernest Brown, O.N. 271864 (Po.).


The following are recommended for good services at the base, which contributed largely to the successful operations:

Captain Cathcart B. Wason, C.M.O., R.N.

Staff Surgeon Thomas W. Jeffery, R.N., H.M.S. "Proserpine."

Staff Surgeon George G. Vickery, R.N., H.M.S. "Dalhousie."

Engineer Lieutenant-Commander Stanley W. Cooke, lately of H.M.S. "Proserpine."

Paymaster Herbert G. Cavanagh, R.N, H.M.S. "Dalhousie."

Lieutenant A. H. B. Gray, R.I.M., H.M.S. "Dalhousie."

Chief Gunner Patrick J. O'Connor, R.N., H.M.S. "Dalhousie."

Carpenter William Brown, R.N., H.M.S. " Proserpine."


(Sgd.) W. NUNN,

Captain and S.N.O., Mesopotamia.



Click here for Appointments and Awards to Officers and Ratings mentioned in the foregoing despatches






30442 - 21 DECEMBER 1917




Whitehall, December 17, 1917.


The KING has been pleased to award the Albert Medal to Doreen Ashburnham, aged 11 years, and Anthony Farrer, aged 8 years, residing at Cowichan Lake, Vancouver Island, in recognition of the great bravery displayed by the children in the following circumstances:


On the 23rd September, 1916, the two children left their homes at Cowichan Lake for the purpose of catching their ponies and, when about half a mile from home, they were attacked by a cougar. They were almost upon the animal before they saw it crouching in a path at a corner. The little girl was first attacked; the cougar sprang upon her, and she was knocked down with her face to the ground, the animal being on her back. The boy at once attacked the cougar with his fists and riding bridle, and drove the animal off the girl; it then attacked him, and his companion, getting to her feet, came to his rescue, fighting with her clenched hands and bridle, and even putting her arm into the cougar's mouth, to try to prevent it from biting Anthony. She succeeded in getting it off the boy, and it stood on its hindquarters and fought with her, but evidently it was disturbed by some sound, for presently it slunk away and ran under a log, where it was afterwards killed. The children, though both badly injured, were able to make their way home. The cougar measured over 7 feet from nose to tip of tail.










30870 - 27 AUGUST 1918



NAVAL DESPATCH dated 24 July 1918



Southern North Sea and Dover Straits


Admiralty, 28th August, 1918.


The following despatch has been received from Vice-Admiral Sir Roger J. B. Keyes, K.C.B., C.M.G., C.V.O., D.S.O., Commanding the Dover Patrol:


Fleet House, Dover, 24th July, 1918.



With reference to my despatch No. 2305/003 of 15th June, 1918 (not published), I have the honour to bring to the notice of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty the names of the following Officers and Men who performed distinguished service in the second blocking operation against Ostend on the night of 9th/10th May, 1918


2. Aerial photographs taken prior to the operation clearly showed that the enemy had made special preparations in anticipation of a renewed attack.


3. The operation was carried out in mined waters in the face of a tremendous fire, and the greatest credit is due to those who so readily volunteered for hazardous service in the "Vindictive" and in motor launches detailed for rescue work, and to the crews of the numerous craft which covered and screened the approach of the "Vindictive," led her to her objective, and rescued the survivors of her crew after she had been blown up between the piers of Ostend harbour.


The following Officers, Petty Officers and Men performed specially distinguished service in action on the night of 9th/10th May, 1918:


Capt. Hubert Lynes, C.B., C.M.G., R.N. (Cdre., 2nd Cl.). Commodore Lynes at Dunkirk having so ably carried out the direction of the former attempt to block Ostend as part of the Zeebrugge and Ostend scheme on the night of 22nd/23rd April, I entrusted the conduct of the operation again to him. He directed it in a most able manner, proceeding himself in H.M.S. "Faulknor," and supporting the "Vindictive" from an inshore position.


Cdr. Alfred E. Godsal, D.S.O., R.N. This officer led the previous attempt to block Ostend in the "Brilliant" (below, as original cruiser - CyberHeritage) and on his return at once begged to be allowed to try again. On being appointed to the "Vindictive" he worked with the greatest energy to get her ready for further service at the earliest possible moment. On the night of 9th/10th May, having placed his vessel between the piers of Ostend harbour, he left the shelter of the conning tower for the forecastle in order to get a better view for manoeuvring her into the required position. He was almost immediately killed, and the Service lost in him a very gallant and valuable officer.




Lieut. Angus H. Maclachlan, R.N. Lieutenant MacLachlan was in the "Brilliant" in the previous attempt to block Ostend, and at once volunteered for the second operation. This gallant young officer was in charge of the "Vindictive's " after control on the night of the 9th/10th May, and was killed at his post.


Lieut. Geoffrey H. Drummond, R.N.V.R. Volunteered for rescue work in command of M.L. 254. Following "Vindictive" to Ostend, when off the piers a shell burst on board, killing Lieutenant Gordon Ross and Deckhand J. Thomas, wounding the coxswain, and also severely wounding Lieutenant Drummond in three places. Notwithstanding his wounds he remained on the bridge, navigated his vessel, which was already seriously damaged by shell fire, into Ostend harbour, placed her alongside "Vindictive," and took off two officers and thirty-eight men - some of whom were killed and many wounded while embarking. When informed that there was no one alive left on board he backed his vessel out clear of the piers before sinking exhausted from his wounds. When H.M.S. "Warwick" fell in with M.L. 254 off Ostend half an hour later the latter was in a sinking condition. It was due to the indomitable courage of this very gallant officer that the majority of the crew of the "Vindictive" were rescued.


Lieut. Roland Bourke, D.S.O., R.N.V.R. (right, Canadian RNVR -  Andy Hunter). Volunteered for rescue work in command of M.L. 276, and followed "Vindictive" into Ostend, engaging the enemy's machine guns on both piers with Lewis guns. After M.L. 254 had backed out Lieutenant Bourke laid his vessel alongside "Vindictive" to make further search. Finding no one he withdrew, but hearing cries in the water he again entered the harbour, and after a prolonged search eventually found Lieutenant Sir John Alleyne and two ratings, all badly wounded, in the water, clinging to an upended skiff, and rescued them. During all this time the motor launch was under a very heavy fire at close range, being hit in fifty-five places, once by a 6 in. shell - two of her small crew being killed and others wounded. The vessel was seriously damaged and speed greatly reduced . Lieutenant Bourke, however, managed to bring her out and carry on until he fell in with a Monitor, which took him in tow. This episode displayed daring and skill of a very high order, and Lieutenant Bourke's bravery and perseverance undoubtedly saved the lives of Lieutenant Alleyne and two of the "Vindictive's" crew.


Lieut. Victor A. C. Crutchley, D.S.C., R.N. This officer was in "Brilliant" in the unsuccessful attempt to block Ostend on the night of 22nd/23rd April, and at once volunteered for a further effort. He acted as 1st Lieut. of "Vindictive" (below, as a cruiser -  Photo Ships), and worked with untiring energy fitting out that ship for further service. On the night of 9th/10th May, after his commanding officer had been killed and the second in command severely wounded, Lieut. Crutchley took command of "Vindictive" and did his utmost by manoeuvring the engines to place that ship in an effective position. He displayed great bravery both in the "Vindictive" and in M.L. 254, which rescued the crew after the charges had been blown and the former vessel sunk between the piers of Ostend harbour, and did not himself leave the "Vindictive" until he had made a thorough search with an electric torch for survivors under a very heavy fire. Lieut. Crutchley took command of M.L. 254 when the commanding officer sank exhausted from his wounds, the second in command having been killed. The vessel was full of wounded and very seriously damaged by shell fire, the fore part being flooded. With indomitable energy and by dint of baling with buckets and shifting weight aft, Lieut. Crutchley and the unwounded kept her afloat, but the leaks could not be kept under, and she was in a sinking condition, with her forecastle nearly awash when picked up by H.M.S. "Warwick." The bearing of this very gallant officer and fine seaman throughout these operations off the Belgian coast was altogether admirable and an inspiring example to all thrown in contact with him.




Lieut. Sir John M. Alleyne, Bart., D.S.C., R.N. Volunteered from a Monitor of the Dover Patrol for service in the "Vindictive." He rendered valuable service in refitting navigational arrangements which were destroyed in "Vindictive" on 23rd April, and on the actual night of the operation was invaluable on account of his local knowledge. He showed great coolness under a very heavy fire, and most skilfully navigated the "Vindictive" to the entrance to Ostend harbour. He was severely wounded and rendered unconscious when his Captain was killed.


Eng. Cdr. William A. Bury, R.N. This gallant officer greatly distinguished himself in "Vindictive" on 23rd April, and as soon as he knew another operation was contemplated, volunteered, begging to be allowed to remain in charge of the engine room department of that vessel. He worked most energetically to fit her out for further service, and on the night of 9th/10th May he again rendered invaluable service, setting a fine example to his men. He remained in the engine room until the last possible moment, and when everyone was clear he blew the bottom out of the ship by firing the main and auxiliary after charges. He was very severely wounded.


Cdr. (act. Capt.) Ion Hamilton Benn, D.S.O., M.P., R.N.V.R. This officer led the motor launches in M.L.105 with conspicuous ability and success. This is the third occasion Capt. Benn has led the inshore motor launch division off Ostend under a very heavy fire. Capt. Benn has set a very fine example of bravery and devotion to duty to the officers and men of the motor launches of the Dover Patrol, which he has commanded for nearly three years, and has thus contributed greatly to the success which has attended the gallant efforts of these small craft in carrying out the dangerous duties assigned to them during these operations off the Belgian coast.


Cdr. Reginald St. P. Parry, R.N. Commander Parry commanded a Destroyer, and handled his vessel with skill and decision, performing a most valuable service under difficult conditions.


Capt. Ernest Wigram, D.S.O., R.N. This officer was in command of H.M. Monitor "Prince Eugene." He led his division well inside the allotted range in order to bring the secondary armament of the vessel into action. This brought the ships under a heavy fire from the shore batteries, and undoubtedly contributed considerably to the success of the operations.


Lieut. Arthur E. P. Welman, D.S.O., D.S.C., R.N. The part played by the Coastal Motor Boats (below, believed to be HM CMB.33A lost in the first attempted raid on 12 April. Civilians on board suggest she is on acceptance trials - Photo Ships) during the operation was all-important. Lieut. Welman organised and led them in a coastal motor boat in a most spirited manner. He encountered an enemy torpedo boat near the entrance to Ostend, which switched on searchlights and opened fire. He at once closed with her, and engaged her with Lewis guns to such good effect that she withdrew and left the channel clear for the approach of the blockships.




Lieut. (act. Lieut.-Cdr.) Keith R. Hoare, D.S.O., D.S.C., A.M., R.N.V.R. Volunteered for rescue work at Ostend in command of M.L.283. He was ordered to follow astern and assist two other motor launches which were detailed for rescue work. He remained at the Stroom Bank Buoy position until "Vindictive" had passed and then followed her, patrolling east and west within a quarter of a mile of the shore under heavy pom-pom and machine-gun fire, searching for survivors until 3.20 a.m., when all hope of finding anyone had passed.


Cdr. William W. Watson, R.N.V.R. Was in command of M.L. 105, and was of the greatest assistance to Capt. Benn in arranging and supervising the smoke screen. This involved going from end to end of the line and taking his vessel close inshore several times, when he came under heavy barrage fire. He showed great courage and coolness throughout the operation.


Lieut.-Cdr. Raphael Saunders, R.N.V.R. This officer volunteered for rescue work at Ostend in command of M.L. 128. In company with M.L. 283 he went in after "Vindictive " to look for survivors. When near the shore he came under heavy fire - his signalman was killed and Lieut Brayfield and one of the crew wounded. This officer showed great coolness, setting a fine example to his men throughout, and was of the greatest assistance in organising the smoke screen.


Lieut. Russell H. McBean, R.N. In command of a coastal motor boat. He escorted "Vindictive" close up to the entrance at Ostend, covering her with smokescreen and then assisting her with guiding lights. He torpedoed the eastern and western piers, and finally engaged the machine guns there with his own machine guns at pointblank range with apparently good effect. He most skilfully handled his vessel under a. heavy fire until he was wounded.


Sub-Lieut. George R. Shaw, R.N.R. Second in command of a coastal motor boat which escorted ''Vindictive'' with smoke screen close up to the entrance of Ostend Harbour, assisting her with guiding lights. His vessel then torpedoed the eastern and western piers, and finally engaged the machine guns at point-blank range. During this engagement the commanding officer was wounded and the chief motor mechanic killed. Having seen "Vindictive" inside the piers, and the work of his vessel completed, Sub-Lieut. Shaw brought her safely back to harbour.


Lieut. William H. Bremner, R.N. Was in command of a coastal motor boat. When carrying out his smoke screening of the enemy shore batteries, he encountered close inshore an enemy torpedo boat, which switched on her searchlight and opened fire. Lieut. Bremner had no better weapons than Lewis guns, but with these he attacked and peppered the torpedo boat to such good effect as to drive her away from the harbour entrance and prevent her interfering with the blocking operation.


Lieut. The Hon. Cecil E. R. Spencer, D.S.C., R.N. This officer was in command of a coastal motor boat and escorted "Vindictive" close inshore and kept touch with her until she gave the "last resort" signal, on which he laid and lit the flare, which greatly assisted, the operation, drawing heavy fire previously directed at the "Vindictive" on to himself.


Lieut. Rawsthorne Procter, R.N.V.R. This officer was in charge of a section of motor launches screening Monitors during the bombardment of the Ostend shore batteries. He exhibited conspicuous ability and initiative under heavy fire, and materially contributed to the success of the operation.


Lieut. Archibald Dayrell-Reed, D.S.O., R.N.R. Was in command of a coastal motor boat, and carried out a successful attack on the pier ends, afterwards laying and maintaining good smoke screens close inshore throughout the remainder of the operation under a heavy fire.


Lieut.-Cdr. Jean S. Miéville, R.N.V.R. Was in command of M.L.280 and leader of a smoke-screen unit. He led his unit with skill and judgment in a very exposed position, and it was largely due to him that the screen was so extremely successful in his section.


Sub-Lieut. James Petrie, R.N.V.R. This officer volunteered for rescue work in M.L.276. When the coxswain was killed near the Ostend piers, he jumped to the wheel and steered the launch into the harbour. When fired on by machine guns from the piers, he manned the Lewis gun and returned the fire on both pier-heads. Later, when three wounded men were discovered in the water, he personally assisted them into the launch, being exposed all the time to heavy fire.


Lieut. Cuthbert F. B. Bowlby, D.S.C., R.N. In command of a coastal motor boat, and escorted ''Vindictive'' close up to the entrance, then ran ahead, and finding one of the piers, fired a torpedo at it. The water being shallow and the range short, the explosion shook the boat so severely as to damage her engines and open her seams. She commenced to sink, but by his presence of mind he got the leak stopped, engines going again, and brought his boat out of the fire zone, where he was taken in tow by H.M.S. "Broke."


Lieut. Albert L. Poland, R.N. In command of a coastal motor boat, and carried out a successful torpedo attack on the pier ends, afterwards laying and maintaining good smoke screens close inshore throughout the remainder of the operation under a heavy fire.


Lieut. Anthony C. Mackie, R.N.V.R. This officer was of great assistance in command of M.L.279 (below, sister-boat ML.319 - Pete London). He pluckily carried on his smoke-screen work under fire for one and a half hours after breaking the starboard shaft, retiring with the rest of the flotilla, when operations were completed, under one engine.




Lieut.-Cdr. Arthur G. Watts, R.N.V.R. This officer was in command of M.L.239 and leader of a smoke screen unit. He led his unit with skill and judgment in a very exposed position, and it was largely due to him that the screen was so extremely successful in his section.


Lieut. Felix F. Brayfield, R.N.V.R. This officer volunteered for rescue work as second in command of M.L. 128. M.L. 128, in company with M.L. 283, went in after "Vindictive" to look for survivors. When near the shore she came under heavy fire, the signalman was killed and Lieut. Brayfield and one of the crew wounded. Lieut. Brayfield showed great devotion to duty, remaining on the bridge and carrying on with his duties until the operation was over, though wounded in the leg.


Lieut. Allan L. Geddes, R.N.V.R. This officer was in command of M.L. 553 and leader of an inshore smoke screen unit. He led his unit with skill and judgment under fire, and it was largely due to him that the smoke screen was so extremely successful in his section.


Lieut. Gordon F. Ross, R.N.V.R. (Killed in action.) Volunteered for rescue work in M.L. 254 - killed in the entrance to Ostend harbour.


P.O. Joseph James Reed, D.S.M., O.N. 230360 (Ch.). This Petty Officer was in "Brilliant" in the previous attempt to block Ostend. He immediately volunteered to accompany his officers in a second operation. On the night of 9th/10th May he steered the "Vindictive" into Ostend harbour and, when the charges were fired and the ship abandoned, he picked up Lieut. Sir John Alleyne, who was lying unconscious in the conning tower, carried him to the gangway, and lowered him over the side. This very gallant Petty Officer then assisted others to escape, and on board M.L. 254 was of the greatest assistance in keeping that vessel afloat until she was picked up.


Ldg. Dkhnd. David George Reee, R.N.R., O.N. 3146 S.D. For his conspicuous gallantry as coxswain, of M.L. 254, remaining at the wheel after being wounded. He assisted Lieut.-Cdr. Drummond - also seriously wounded - to put the motor-launch alongside ''Vindictive" in Ostend harbour and carried on until he was relieved by one of the rescued crew.


The following Engine-room Artificers distinguished themselves in the "Vindictive" during the attack on Zeebrugge Mole on 23rd April. They immediately volunteered for further service in "Vindictive," and behaved with conspicuous bravery in that ship on the night of 9th/10th May:


E.R.A., 3rd Cl., Herbert Cavanagh, D.S.M., O.N. M.1111 (Po.).

Act. E.R.A., 4th Cl., Herbert Alfred Harris, D.S.M., O.N. M.6218 (Po.).

E.R.A., 4th Cl., Norman Carroll, D.S M., O.N. M.17679 (Ch.).

E.R.A., 4th Cl., Alan Thomas, D.S.M., O.N. M. 16493 (Dev.) (Prisoner of war.)


The following volunteered for a very hazardous service and distinguished themselves in the "Vindictive" on the night of 9th/10th May. Lieut. Crutchley reports: "I find it impossible to select any other names, as all behaved, equally well."


Sig. David Heale, O.N. 233488 (Po.).

Ldg. Sea. Albert Westly Ling, O.N. 239540 (Ch.).

Ldg. Sea. Ernest Edward Robertson, O.N. J.2307 (Ch.).

A.B. Henry Frederick George Wilson, O.N. J.23754 (Ch.).

A.B. Frank John Bore, O.N. J.24770 (Ch.).

A.B. John Chambers, O.N. 225973 (Ch.).

A.B. Victor Vernon Surridge, O.N. 235405 (Ch.).

E.R.A., 3rd Cl., Francis Joseph Pickerell, O.N. M.3343 (Ch.).

Sto. P.O. Samuel John Jordan, O.N. 310625 (Dev.).

Sto. P.O. James Percy Newington, O.N. 307026 (Ch.).

Ldg. Sto. Bernard Whirledge Lowe, O.N. S.S. 111939 (Po.).

Ldg. Sto. Albert Edward Saunders, O.N. K.15952 (Ch.).

Sto., 1st Cl., John Edward Taylor, O.N. K.34589 (Ch.).

Sto., 1st Cl., Frederick Gilroy, O.N. S.S. 117139 (Ch.).

Sto., 2nd Cl., George William Kenneth Elliott, O.N. K.46559 (Ch.)

Sto., 1st Cl., William Carter, O.N. 292476 (R.F.R, Ch./B.4246).

Sto., 1st Cl., William Joslin, O.N. K.15132 (Ch.).

Sto., 1st Cl., John Henry Statton, O.N. K.24312 (Dev.).

Sto., 2nd Cl., Frederick Charles Russell, O.N. K.47238 (Ch.).

Sto., 2nd Cl., Patrick O'Reilly, O.N. K 44713 (Ch.).

Sto. P.O. Charles McDonald, O.N. 289446 (Po.). (Missing.)

Sto. P.O. George Herbert Fryer, O.N. K 5979 (Po.).

P.O. Henry William Martin, O.N. 183313 (Ch.). (Missing.)

Sto. P.O. James Relf, O.N. 302366 (Ch.).

Ldg. Sto. Henry William Kemp, O.N. 294331 (Ch.). (Missing.)

Ldg. Sto. Stanley Pearce, O.N. K 18074 (Dev.).

A.B. William John Morling, O.N. J 625 (Ch.). (Killed in action.)

Ldg. Sto. Thomas Everitt Chitty, O.N., K 8585 (Po.).

A.B. Ernest Garbutt, O.N. 238297 (Ch.). (Missing.)

Ldg. Sto. John Willie Nicholas Akid, O.N. K.5345 (Po.).

Sto., 1st Cl., Roger Bailey, O.N. 111004 (Po.).

Sto., 1st Cl., Samuel McCracken, O.N. K.7432 (Ch.).

Sto., 1st Cl., James Norris, O.N. S.S. 105228 (Ch.).

Sto., 1st Cl., William Thomas Wood, O.N. K.22062 (Ch.).

Sig. George Harold Linegar, R.N.V.R., O.N., Tyneside, Z/3910. (Missing.)

Sto., 1st Cl., Philippe Smithers, O.N. S.S. 117330 (Ch.). (Prisoner of war.)

Sto., 1st Cl., George Cross, O.N. K.37963 (Ch.).

Sto., 1st Cl., William John Johnson, O.N. S.S. 116938 (Ch.).

Sto., 1st Cl., Edward Largey, O.N. K.26917 (Ch.).

Sto., 1st Cl., Charles James Fisher, O.N. K.30188 (Ch.). (Missing.)

A.B. Frank Thomas Wilson, O.N., J 10611 (Ch.). (Killed in action.)

Sto., 1st Cl., Frank Neville, O.N. K.13235 (Po.).

Sto., 1st Cl., Michael Henry, O.N. 307662 (Dev.).

Sto., 1st Cl., Harold Parr, O.N. 108301 (R.F.R., Dev./B.5749).


In Destroyers.


Shipwt., 1st Cl., George Frater, O.N. M 8037 (Dev.).

Mechn. John Pelham, O.N. 307635 (Ch.).

P.O., 1st Cl. Charles Potter, O.N. 188035 (Ch.).

P.O., 1st Cl., Robert Charles Jeffreys, O.N. 206540 (Ch.).

Yeo. Sigs. Thomas Pinches, O.N. 218985 (Dev.).


In Motor Launches.


Ch. Yeo. Sigs. Daniel Paul Foley, D.S.M., O.N. 191303 (Ch.).


The following volunteered for dangerous rescue work. It was largely due to the magnificent manner in which the men of these vessels carried out their duties that so many of the officers and men of the "Vindictive" were rescued:


Air Mech., 1st Cl., Douglas Gordon Smith, R.N.A.S., O.N. F.12853.

Ch. Motor Mech. Archibald Murray Macfarlane, R.N.V.R., O.N. M.B. 549 (M.L.254).

Ch. Motor Mech. Edgar Frank Chivers, R.N.V.R., O.N. M.B. 1919 (M.L.276).

Ch. Motor Mech. Fred Clark Talbot, R.N.V.R., O.N. M.B. 1140 (M.L.283).

Ch. Motor Mech. Hugh McMillan, R.N.V.R., O.N. M.B. 834 (M.L.128).

Ldg. Dkhnd. John Maclean, R.N.R., O.N. 267 S.D. (M.L.128).

Dkhnd. Clive Ingold Gillett, R.N.R., O.N. 14166 D.A. (M.L. 128) (killed in action).

Ldg. Dkhnd. Joseph Hamshaw, R.N.R., O.N. 5006 S.D. (M.L, 276) (killed in action).

Dkhnd. Hugh Sutherland, R.N.R., O.N. 4282 S.D. (M.L. 276).

Dkhnd. Charles Edward Surtees, R.N.R., O.N. 19054 D.A. (M.L. 254).

Dkhnd. William George Clark. R.N.R., O.N. 2966 S.D. (M.L. 283).

Dkhnd. William Hutchinson, R.N.R., O.N. 14172 D.A. (M.L. 276) (killed in action).

Ch. Motor Mech. George Kerr, R.N.V.R., O.N. M.B. 1747 (M.L. 276).

Ch. Motor Mech. George Jones, R.N.V.R., O.N. M.B. 1131 (M.L. 254).

Dkhnd. John Owen Thomas, R.N.R., O.N. 19056 D.A. (M.L. 254) (killed in action).


The following displayed courage and coolness under fire on the nights of 11th/12th April, 22nd/23rd April, and 9th/10th May. These men carried out their duties with great steadiness, and materially contributed to the success of the operations:


Ldg. Dkhnd. Walter George Farthing, R.N.R., O.N. 2825 S.D. (M.L. 105).

Ldg. Dkhnd. George Turner, R.N.R., O.N. 621 S.D. (M.L. 274).

Ch. Motor Mech. Robert Rae, R.N.V.R., O.N. M.B. 676 (M.L. 551).

Ldg. Dkhnd. George McGee, R.N.R., O.N. 4177 S.D. (M.L. 397).


In Coastal Motor Boats.


Ch. Motor Mech. Eric William McCracken, R.N.V.R., O.N. M.B. 1942.

Ch. Motor Mech. Leslie Roy McGinley, R.N.V.R., O.N. M.B. 1850.

Motor Mech. Arthur John Davis, R.N.V.R., O.N. M.B. 2356.

Ch. Motor Mech. Ernest Seymour Mountain, R.N.V.R., O.N. M.B. 1217.

Ch. Motor Mech. Leonard Ernest McQueen, R.N.V.R., O.N. M.B. 1852.


The following Officers, Petty Officers and men also rendered valuable services in action and off the enemy coast:


Capt. Wilfred Tomkinson, C.B., R.N. In command of the Destroyers.

Cdr. Frederick E. K. Strong, D.S.O., R.N. In command of a Destroyer.

Cdr. Victor L. A. Campbell, D.S.O., R.N. In command of " Warwick," flying flag.

Cdr. Patrick E. Parker, R.N. Engaged Ostend batteries at close range with "Prince Eugene."

Cdr. James L. C. Clark, D.S.O., R.N. (Staff of Commodore, Dunkirk).

Cdr. Francis H. Sandford, D.S.O., R.N.


In Command of Off-Shore Destroyers.


Cdr. Henry G. L. Oliphant, M.V.O., D.S.O., R.N. (Senior officer of off-shore force - flying broad pennant of Commodore Lynes).

Cdr. Bertram H. Ramsay, R.N.

Lieut.-Cdr. Astley D. C. Cooper-Key, D.S.O., R.N.

Lieut.-Cdr. Hubert S. Braddyll, R.N.

Lieut.-Cdr William H. Sandford, R.N.

Lieut.-Cdr. Guy L. Warren, R.N.

Lieut. John R. Johnston, R.N.

Lieut. Christopher H. Ringrose. R.N.


In Destroyers.


Lieut. Richard H. Caldwell, R.N.

Lieut. Frederick H. G. Trumble (killed in action).

Eng. Lieut.-Cdr. Robin Rampling, R.N.


In Monitors.


Lieut.-Cdr. William L. Jackson, R.N.


In Motor Launches.


Lieut. Frank Afton MacCallum, R.N.V.R. (M.L. 292).

Lieut. John Gordon, R.N.V.R. (M.L. 397).

Lieut. Arthur G. Bagot, D.S.C., A.M., R.N.V.R. (M.L. 283).

Sub-Lieut. Cyril W. Scott, R.N.V.R. (M.L. 562).

Mid. Harold L. Proctor, R.N.V.R. (M.L. 283).


The following rendered good service in attending wounded and during the transportation of wounded at sea:


Act. Chap. Rev. Francis M. Jackson, R.N.

Surg. Stanley S. Beare, R.N.

Surg. Roger Buddie, M.B., R.N.

Surg. Bernard S. Ceilings, R.N.

Payr. (act.) Herbert G. A. Woolley, R.N.


In Destroyers.


Ord. Sea. James William Burns, R.N.V.R., O.N. TyneCOLLARside, Z/11423.

Snr. Res. Attendant Hugh Hill, O.N. M9188 (Ch.).

Jnr. Res. Attendant Alexander Roscoe, O.N. M16198(Ch.).


The above (sic) rendered good service in attending wounded and during the transportation of wounded.


In Monitors.


A.B. Albert Edward Wood, O.N. S.S. 6220 (Ch.).


In Motor Launches.


Dkhnd. Henry George Jarvest, R.N.R., O.N. 14410 D.A. (M.L. 276).

Ldg. Mech. William Henry Grice, R.N.A.S., O.N. F12790 (M.L. 283).

Ch. Motor Mech. William Patrick Yates, R.N.V.R., O.N. M.B. 814 (M.L. 128).

Dkhnd. Norman William Vigar, R.N.R., O.N. 13322 D.A. (M.L. 254).

Dkhnd. George Henry Hancock, R.N.R., O.N. 3129 S.D. (M.L. 283).

Dkhnd. Angus Morrison, R.N.R., O.N. 3363 S.D. (M.L. 128).

Dkhnd. Percy Humphreys, R.N.R., O.N. 18508 D.A. (M.L. 276).

Ch. Motor Mech. Herbert George Underwood, R.N.V.R., O.N. M.B. 746 (M.L. 105).

Dkhnd. Robert Gardner, R.N.R., O.N. 13732 D.A. (M.L. 128).

Air-Mech., 1st Cl., Laurence Henry Sensicle, R.N.A.S., O.N. F13014 (M.L. 105).


In Coastal Motor Boats.


Ch. Motor Mech. Albert William Saunders, D.S.M., R.N.V.R., O.N., M.B. 1490.

Ch. Motor Mech. Edward Gordon Windley, D.S.M., R.N.V.R., O.N., M.B. 1457.



The co-operation of the Air Force under Brigadier-General Charles L. Lambe, C.M.G., D.S.O., R.A.F., was of great value during the operation. In spite of the fog, the Squadron under the command of Squadron-Commander Herbert G. Brackley, D.S.O., D.S.C., continued to attack in accordance with programme until after the completion of the operation.


In conclusion, I desire to place on record my indebtedness to Vice-Admiral Pierre Alexis Marie Ampoine Ronarc'h, K.C.B., C.M.G. Commandant Superieur de la Marine dans la Zone des Armees du Nord, Dunkerque, for the valuable assistance afforded by the French Navy on the nights of 22nd/23rd April and 9th/10th May, and also in several preparatory operations.


The Vice-Admiral placed at my disposal all the available vessels under his command and assisted me in every possible way, as did Capitaine de vaisseau Bréart de Boisanger, D.S.O., Chef de Division des Flotilles de la Mer du Nord.


The following Officers distinguished themselves in action in the operations against Ostend:

Capitaine de Corvette Louis Vennin, T.B.D. "Lestin."

Capitaine de Corvette Maurice Mottez, T.B.D. "L'Enseigne Roux."

Lieutenant de Vaisseau Alfred Richard, T.B.D. "Bouclier."

Premier Maître Patron Pilote Baylet, T.B. No. 320.

Premier Maître Patron Pilote Mozach, T.B. No. 318.

Premier Maître Patron Pilote Rabaste, T.B. No. 341.

Second Maître Delporte, Vedette No. 34.


I have the honour to be, Sir, Your obedient Servant,

Roger Keyes, Vice-Admiral, Dover Patrol.


To the Secretary of the Admiralty.



Click here for Appointments and Awards to Officers and Ratings mentioned in the foregoing despatches





31063 - 10 DECEMBER 1918


Admiralty, 12th (sic) December, 1918.


Honours for Services in White Sea Operations, 1918.


Modyugski Island, at the sea end of the channels leading to Archangel, was captured on 1st August, 1918, after the batteries had been silenced by the Allied warships, and the town of Archangel was occupied on the 2nd August, the Bolshevik Forces being quickly and efficiently overcome and driven out of the vicinity.


Following these operations, a River Expeditionary Force was organised with local craft, armed and manned by Allied crews, and this expedition succeeded, in co-operation with the military forces, in clearing the River Dwina and the River Vaga of hostile craft up to the time when Allied ships had to be withdrawn to avoid the ice, several of the principal enemy vessels being destroyed.



(followed by honours, decorations and medals)


on to Royal Navy Despatches 1919-1920
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