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Remembered Today:

HMS Forward - Xmas day, 1914


headgardener
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I posted this image on a 'Christmas ephemera' thread (HERE). It shows 17 officers from HMS Forward, taken on Xmas day 1914 - exactly 100 years ago tomorrow.

post-55685-0-11559400-1419444070_thumb.j

Forum member Horatio was kind enough to post a list of ship's officers from the December 1914 Navy List:

hms forward dec 1914.jpg

Firstly, I'm terrible with Naval uniforms, and was hoping that someone here might be able to advise me on which officers out of this group may be identifiable from Horatio's list.

Secondly, I gather that HMS Forward was a recently commissioned cruiser. Could anyone tell me a little bit her, and what she was doing on Xmas day 1914?

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Well on 16th December she was one of two Cruisers defending the Hartlepools, based in Victoria Dock along with HMS Patrol and Submarine C9. Four destroyers based at the Hartlepools engaged the three German warships which then commenced to bombard the Hartlepools. HMS Patrol was first to leave harbour, three men were killed as it was struck by heavy German naval shells (I think from SMS Blucher) and a fourth washed overboard who sadly drowned. HMS Patrol had to be run aground to prevent sinking which blocked the path of HMS Forward so that could not engage the German raiders, and although C9 did manage to eventually leave harbour, did not get in a suitable position to fire a torpedo at any of the German raiders

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I'm terrible with Naval uniforms, and was hoping that someone here might be able to advise me on which officers out of this group may be identifiable from Horatio's list.

The following is my guess, assisted by the always useful Naval-History Net

see http://www.naval-history.net/WW1NavyBritish-Ranks09.JPG

and http://www.naval-history.net/WW1NavyBritish-Ranks07.JPG

Unfortunately we can only see the cuffs of three of the officers

however all three appear to be of the rank of Lieutenant Commander, but without the curl

If the above list is correct then two of them could be the Staff Surgeon and the Staff Paymaster

but who is the third two-and-a-half-ringer?

The chap third from the left in that same row: we cannot see his cuffs, but he appears to have the cap decoration of a Commander

The gentleman standing at the right and showing two buttons on his left cuff could be a Warrant Officers with less than 10 years' seniority

As I said, the above is a guess and it is therefore open to correction by forum members who really know what they are talking about.

regards

Michael

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The chap seated second from right is definitely Loder-Symonds on account of the device on the peak of his cap as Michael said. The Staff Paymaster is seated at left. The Staff Surgeon and Engineer Lieutenant-Commander are sat either side of Loder-Symonds. The man stood at far right is presumably Gunner Dore (being a Gunner of over 10 years' seniority - Mitchell wasn't).

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Well on 16th December she was one of two Cruisers defending the Hartlepools, based in Victoria Dock along with HMS Patrol and Submarine C9. Four destroyers based at the Hartlepools engaged the three German warships which then commenced to bombard the Hartlepools. HMS Patrol was first to leave harbour, three men were killed as it was struck by heavy German naval shells (I think from SMS Blucher) and a fourth washed overboard who sadly drowned. HMS Patrol had to be run aground to prevent sinking which blocked the path of HMS Forward so that could not engage the German raiders, and although C9 did manage to eventually leave harbour, did not get in a suitable position to fire a torpedo at any of the German raiders

Rob - thank you very much for posting this! Interesting to note that the ship was present at the bombardment of Hartlepool.

The following is my guess, assisted by the always useful Naval-History Net

see http://www.naval-history.net/WW1NavyBritish-Ranks09.JPG

and http://www.naval-history.net/WW1NavyBritish-Ranks07.JPG

Unfortunately we can only see the cuffs of three of the officers

however all three appear to be of the rank of Lieutenant Commander, but without the curl

If the above list is correct then two of them could be the Staff Surgeon and the Staff Paymaster

but who is the third two-and-a-half-ringer?

The chap third from the left in that same row: we cannot see his cuffs, but he appears to have the cap decoration of a Commander

The gentleman standing at the right and showing two buttons on his left cuff could be a Warrant Officers with less than 10 years' seniority

As I said, the above is a guess and it is therefore open to correction by forum members who really know what they are talking about.

regards

Michael

Thanks for posting this, Michael - the links that you posted are very helpful!

The chap seated second from right is definitely Loder-Symonds on account of the device on the peak of his cap as Michael said. The Staff Paymaster is seated at left. The Staff Surgeon and Engineer Lieutenant-Commander are sat either side of Loder-Symonds. The man stood at far right is presumably Gunner Dore (being a Gunner of over 10 years' seniority - Mitchell wasn't).

Simon - thanks for confirming this. I googled 'Fredrick Parland Loder Symonds and found some images of him from the collection of the NPG (I spotted him on your Dreadnaught Project site, too - no pic though!). A couple of quick questions;

The cuff rank of the two men on either side of Loder-Symonds looks the same - if one is the surgeon and the other is the Eng. Lt-Cdr, can you tell which is which?

What is it about the uniform of the man on the right which indicates that he's a gunner with >10 yrs seniority? I'm assuming that it's the braid along the top of his cuff?

There are 2 distinct styles of collar visible - a fold-down collar and an upright collar. Are these simply normal variants or do they denote anything about the man's service?

I can see 2 other cuff ranks in the photo (front row, seated 2nd from R, just above the word 'Forward' - he's a Lieut, I assume?) and 3rd row 2nd from R (also a Lieut?)

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Hi HG, as far as I can tell the only way you'll distinguish between the Staff Surgeon and Engineer Lieutenant-Commander is to find a picture of one or the other of them! I checked their dates of birth (as the one on the left looks somewhat rougher than the one on the right) but there's only a couple of years between them. Maroon and Scarlet are rather hard to distinguish in these old pictures unfortunately. The warrant officer at right has only 1/4 inch curl which I think means he was a Gunner or Boatswain of 10 years' seniority, which bill Dore fits.

I think collars boiled down to personal preference unless the captain decided to make an issue of it.

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