Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Arduous duties at Lowestoft during WW1?


heatherannej

Recommended Posts

Hello there

One of my husband's great uncles was Leonard Arthur Johnson born 10 April 1884 in Stanway, nr Colchester, Essex.

He joined the Royal Navy on 11 November 1903.

He continued on with his service during WW1 .... Bert was attached to the Naval Base at Lowestoft – where he was awarded a Meritorious Medal for “specially arduous duties”. He completed his war time service on 31 March 1919.

Would anyone be able to give me some idea as to what "specially arduous duties" might have warranted a Meritorious Medal please?

Many thanks, as always, in anticipation ..... Heather

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you mean the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM)?

Strangely, the only RN rating of that name that I can locate enlisted in 1909 and served as a cook. He was born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1888. Even looking for just Leonard JOHNSON finds no RN rating to match the birth details. Do you have an official number for this man?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try the man with the same name, No 6 on the list. It doesn't necessarily follow that birth date and place of birth given are correct, for a number of reasons. One of the elements of research is eliminating possibilities.

TR

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OH DEAR ...... my face is rather red right now ...... for "Leonard" read "Ethelbert" ..... SO sorry for leading you all up the garden path ... when you are so helpful.

Leonard was his son and I got totally mixed up :-(

So it is Ethelbert Arthur Johnson, born 10 April 1884 in Stanway, nr Colchester, Essex. He joined the Royal Navy on 11 November 1903. Begging forgiveness here and hoping it won't be held against me!!

Heather

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Listed in The Meritorious Service Medal to Naval Forces by Ian MacInnes is:-

Chief Writer Ethelbert Arthur Johnson, Official No., 346516 [Chatham],

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you very much, Terry and ARABIS.

So ... is "Official No., 346516" Bert's service number and what is the significance of the word "Chatham", please? In his Service Record, it says that Bert joined the Royal Navy on the 11 November 1903 and volunteered for 12 years. He served right through WW1 and only finished his career when he died at Shotley Naval Hospital on 16 Feb 1922. I cannot see anything on his record that mentions the medals he would have been awarded (apart from the MSM)... would the others be:- the 1914/15 Star; British War; and Victory medals please?

I've Googled Lowestoft in WW1 ... Bert could have been awarded the MSM because of work on-shore during the 'Bombardment of Lowestoft' in April 1916. In the Ian MacInnes entry, it doesn't happen to give a date, does it?

Many thanks in anticipation ... again :-) Heather

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Heather

"Chatham" was one of the three divisions of the RN tha tacted as depots that provided the crews for RN ships and shore establishments, the other two were Portsmouth and Plymouth/Devonport. When a ship was commissioned usually all the Ratings, & Marines for the larger ships. came from the same Depot/Division.

I am not sure if the various shore establishmednts were exclusivly manned by members of the same depot.

If your husbands relative served in a "Theatre Of War" in 1915 he would be entitled to 1914-15 Star, British War and Victory medals. the North Sea and vessels operating out of the East Coast ports were definatly in a Theatre of war but If he was permenantly ashore at Lowestoft I am not sure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the navy the term Official Number was used for service number. The best way to find his WW1 medal entitlement would be if a kind soul could look in the medal roll to see what it was. Unlike the army the navy awarded the British War Medal for service ashore in the UK so he would at least have been awarded that

Sorry, there is no date for his MSM in Ian MacInnes's book. There may be an entry in the London Gazette but it might be difficult to find.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is the London Gazette entry for his post-war MSM in June 1919. The award was not for any particular event, rather for sustained good work (in an office, as a writer) during the war: "In recognition of the services of the undermentioned Officers and Men during the War."

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/31421/supplements/8068

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/31421/supplements/8069

The RN Medal Roll (ADM 171) shows that his WW1 trio of medals was issued to him while he was serving in HMS PEMBROKE (Chatham Barracks) after the war.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well ...... thank you all SO MUCH. Every time I post on this Forum, I am staggered by members' expertise and willingless to help a mere mortal like me :-)

Thanks again - it is much appreciated. Heather

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...