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HM Trawler Sarah Alice


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FD 140 - Sarah Alice - New Docks Steam Trawling Co Ltd

Sarah Alice 1916 Lost to U-boat off Fair Island

My grandfather was killed on the above and I would like to know more about his service record.

1) Would a death certificate have been issued? If so where can I obtain a copy?

2) Would there have been any medals awarded and if so where can I find out about them. He was a widower at the time of death.

3)The Commonwealth War Graves Commission quote a number "Deck Hand Alfred Hearn, 559DA, HM Trawler Sarah Alice" - will "559DA" be his service number?

Any help to further my investigation would be a great help. I know a lot about his personal family life but next to nothing about his service life.

Thank you in anticipation.

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Here are the crew names:

BROOKS, Ernest James 2nd Hand RNR 152SA(D) HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

CADBY, Fradenck Noonan Seaman RNR 4287.A © HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

CASS, Joseph Trunmer RNR 235.TS (D) HM Trawler Sarah Alice is 26.9.16

COLLINSON, Joseph Trimmer RNR 226.TS (D) HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

FRASER, Thomas McLennan Leading Tel RNVR ClydeZ2460 (PO) HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

GRIFFIN, William Engineman RNR 275.ES © HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

HEARN, Alfred DeckHand RNR 559.DA (D) HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

LOVETT, Hugh McVey Acting Lt RNR HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

MacLEOD, William Angus Deckhand RNR 9727 HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

MAIR, William Watson DeclkHand RNR 1565.DA HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

MANSLOW, William George Deckhand RNR 608.DA HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

MOORE, John Francis Enginemn RNR 3803.ES HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

REYNOLDS, Richard James PO RN 190582 (PO) HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

SCOTT, David Deckhand RNR 11439.DA (PO) HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

THOMPSON, John William DeckHand RNR 9565. HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

WIDDICOMBE, Rennels Edmond 2ndHand RNR 5382.B HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

Cheers Ron

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Here are the crew names:

BROOKS, Ernest James 2nd Hand RNR 152SA(D) HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

CADBY, Fradenck Noonan Seaman RNR 4287.A © HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

CASS, Joseph Trunmer RNR 235.TS (D) HM Trawler Sarah Alice is 26.9.16

COLLINSON, Joseph Trimmer RNR 226.TS (D) HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

FRASER, Thomas McLennan Leading Tel RNVR ClydeZ2460 (PO) HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

GRIFFIN, William Engineman RNR 275.ES © HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

HEARN, Alfred DeckHand RNR 559.DA (D) HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

LOVETT, Hugh McVey Acting Lt RNR HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

MacLEOD, William Angus Deckhand RNR 9727 HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

MAIR, William Watson DeclkHand RNR 1565.DA HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

MANSLOW, William George Deckhand RNR 608.DA HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

MOORE, John Francis Enginemn RNR 3803.ES HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

REYNOLDS, Richard James PO RN 190582 (PO) HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

SCOTT, David Deckhand RNR 11439.DA (PO) HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

THOMPSON, John William DeckHand RNR 9565. HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

WIDDICOMBE, Rennels Edmond 2ndHand RNR 5382.B HM Trawler Sarah Alice killed 26.9.16

Cheers Ron

Thanks Ron, that is just the sort of info I want to know.

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There are two sources for his RNR Record of Service. The original cards are at the Fleet Air Arm Museum - contact via www.fleetairarm.com for copies.

Alternatively copies from microfilm/fiche copies can be obtained at Kew - not on-line.

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The armed Trawler 'Sarah Alice' was in company with Steam Yatch 'Conqueror' off the Shetlands examining a Steamer when a submarine fired three torpedoes the first struck the 'Sarah Alice', the second passed under the Conquerers counter the third struck the Conqueror in the magazine forward of the bridge. No survivors from Sarah Alice. The next morning 17 officers and men were rescued from Carley rafts. Two Submarines surfaced after the attack.

Regards Charles

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U 52's war diary describes the sinkings somewhat different. The first torpedo was actually fired at Conquerer II, missing but striking Sarah Alice instead. The U-boat's commanding officer had noticed this overlap before firing. A second torpedo then hit and sank Conquerer II. A third torpedo, fired about 19 minutes after the first torpedo was launched, accounted for the steamer St. Gothard.

There's no mention of a second submarine in U 52's KTB. Note also that U 52's commander at the time, Kplt. Hans Walther, was awarded the Pour le Mérite in early 1917.

Best wishes,

Michael

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1) Would a death certificate have been issued? If so where can I obtain a copy?

2) Would there have been any medals awarded and if so where can I find out about them. He was a widower at the time of death.

3)The Commonwealth War Graves Commission quote a number "Deck Hand Alfred Hearn, 559DA, HM Trawler Sarah Alice" - will "559DA" be his service number?

Welcome to the forum.

1) Hopefully someone with the right reference from the indexes will be along shortly.

2) Yes he would have qualified for at least the British War and Victory Medals; they would be shown on the alphabetical medal roll. This is on microfilm at the UK National Archives, Kew, offline.

3) Yes it was his service number showing that he was an early member of the Royal Naval Reserve Trawler Section. At the UKNA his service cards will be on microfiche in BT 377/7.

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Charles,

Yes. U 52 was attempting to signal a fishing trawler it had observed at a distance to come rescue survivors:

"Bei Sumburgh Head ist ein Fischdampfer zu sehen, den ich durch feuern von weißen Sternen zur Hilfeleistung heranzurufen suche. Er antwortet mit Roten Sternen, wagt sich aber nicht in die Nähe, offenbar aus Furcht vor des U-Boot."

Best wishes,

Michael

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Michael,

Thank you, the reports are not to different, I suspect each report written, is to satisfy thier 'own' authorities, and a word or comma can make an awful lot of difference. The survivors took it that the very lights were to draw other victims, with one voice saying it was possibly for rescue.

Regards Charles

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Thank you very much everyone for all the info, it is more than I could have wished for. The "Sarah Alice" was a Fleetwood trawler and I am lucky enough to have a photograph of her. My grandfather was a widower when he died and left five very young children to be brought up in orphanages (one of them my mother). I wonder now who would have received his war medals.

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Thank you very much everyone for all the info, it is more than I could have wished for. The "Sarah Alice" was a Fleetwood trawler and I am lucky enough to have a photograph of her. My grandfather was a widower when he died and left five very young children to be brought up in orphanages (one of them my mother). I wonder now who would have received his war medals.

You can write in and ask for them, if they were claimed, they will tell you;)

Cheers Ron

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I'm sorry, I missed off the reference for the medal roll in my last post; it is ADM 171/121. The roll should also record who the madals were sent to as they were part of the man's estate. It's a quick look up for a pal to do at Kew.

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Thank you very much everyone for all the info, it is more than I could have wished for. ...

Wicked,

you can found further details at The National Archives, Kew, file no. ADM 137-3166 (Torpedoing of H.M. Yacht CONQUEROR II, H.M. Trawler SARAH ALICE and s.s. St. GOTHARD).

The trawler off Sumburgh Head was the HORACE STROUDE

Oliver

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Once more, thank you everyone. I have now applied to Kew for estimates for the costs of copies of the documents which you have highlighted. It made it very easy for me to locate the items I was looking for. I just have to wait patiently now.

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His 1914/15 Star trio was sent to his son.

I assume that would have been his eldest son who died in 1922 aged 17, so the medals will be long gone now which is a great pity.

Thank you for the info.

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  • 1 month later...
Thank you very much everyone for all the info, it is more than I could have wished for. The "Sarah Alice" was a Fleetwood trawler and I am lucky enough to have a photograph of her. My grandfather was a widower when he died and left five very young children to be brought up in orphanages (one of them my mother). I wonder now who would have received his war medals.

I am named after Richard Reynolds, my mothers uncle, who was Petty Officer aboard Sarah Alice and was lost with the ship. I have a report taken in Shetlands reporting the action of the 26 Sept. I would gladly trade a copy of it and the U52 log records for a copy of the pic of HM Trl Sarah Alice.

-Rich McCaffrey, Mantua NJ USA

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I am named after Richard Reynolds, my mothers uncle, who was Petty Officer aboard Sarah Alice and was lost with the ship. I have a report taken in Shetlands reporting the action of the 26 Sept. I would gladly trade a copy of it and the U52 log records for a copy of the pic of HM Trl Sarah Alice.

-Rich McCaffrey, Mantua NJ USA

Hi Rich,

There is a photograph of SARAH ALICE at this link.

http://www.fleetwood-trawlers.info/?p=4607

Joe R

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Hi Rich,

There is a photograph of SARAH ALICE at this link.

http://www.fleetwood-trawlers.info/?p=4607

Joe R

Joe

Many thanks - I had seen the pic before but the loss report is a new description to me.

Thanks again.... I have a few pics of Richard Reynolds 1905 Malta and 1916 Sarah Alice eras. Rich

Hi Rich,

There is a photograph of SARAH ALICE at this link.

http://www.fleetwood-trawlers.info/?p=4607

Joe R

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  • 1 month later...

I have just revisited this posting to get the reference numbers for various documents in readiness to a proposed visit to National Archives in August and was surprised there had been more activity.

Let me apologise Rich for my apparent lack of interest and believe me I am interested in anything you may have and if I have anything I will be only to glad to share it. The photograph of "Sarah Alice" mentioned is the same one as I have but much clearer though not brilliant as I believe it to be a opy of the original obtained from the local custodian. Also thank you Joe R as I hadn't seen the article on the trawler before and found it most interesting.

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U 52's war diary describes the sinkings somewhat different. The first torpedo was actually fired at Conquerer II, missing but striking Sarah Alice instead. The U-boat's commanding officer had noticed this overlap before firing. A second torpedo then hit and sank Conquerer II. A third torpedo, fired about 19 minutes after the first torpedo was launched, accounted for the steamer St. Gothard.

There's no mention of a second submarine in U 52's KTB. Note also that U 52's commander at the time, Kplt. Hans Walther, was awarded the Pour le Mérite in early 1917.

Best wishes,

Michael

Michael - is it possible to get a copy of the U52's report? - if so how?

Thank you

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Wicked,

PM me the e-mail address you'd like it sent to.

Best wishes,

Michael

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Wicked,

PM me the e-mail address you'd like it sent to.

Best wishes,

Michael

Walther rec'd the medal for the sinking of a French ship Suffron with loss of all hands in 1917.

The reports of the Shetlands authorities, I suppose a sort of "white paper" varies greatly from the U-52 report.

The locals report the presence of two submarines, apparently U52 and U48 in coordinated attacks,. the survivors of Conqueror state the Germans surfaced and asked for Admiralty papers and when told they were thrown overboard were quite angry - codebooks I suppose they sought.

At night the submarines fired white flares to aid the lifeboats but no British response came in the night.

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