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Distinguished Service Medal - Examples of This Award to Royal Navy Personnel


Ivor Anderson

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Distinguished Service Medal to J.5031 Petty Officer Edward William Wright,  Royal Navy

 

D.S.M. London Gazette 17 October 1919: ‘For services in Minesweeping Operations between 1st July and 31st December 1918.’ 

M.I.D. London Gazette 8 March 1920: ‘For Services in the Mine Clearance Force.’ 

 

Edward William Wright was born in Leyton, Essex, on 15 May 1893 and joined the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class on 10 August 1909. Advanced Petty Officer on 1 April 1917, whilst serving in H.M.S. Blenheim, he transferred to a Hunt-class minesweeper on 3 September 1918, and for his services in Minesweeping Operations in the Mediterranean Sea in the final few months of the War, and the first months of peace, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, and was later Mentioned in Despatches. He was appointed Acting Regulating Petty Officer on 15 June 1920. 

This DSM and its 1914-15 star sold on ebay on 21/09/2020 for £578.

I am surprised that it did not make a higher price considering that only around 4100 were awarded to naval personnel during WW1? 

 

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Another DSM group, to 214738 AB James Fortune sold for a much higher price on the same site on 12 August 2020

(I had no involvement in either the sale or purchase of either DSM - I'm just beginning to learn about this award).

James Fortune was born 7th December 1883 in Millwall, London, and enlisted into the Royal Navy 06th May 1901 as a Boy 2nd Class, promoted 1st Class 6th August 1901, and again on his 18th birthday to Ordinary Seaman. He spent time on various land-establishments and ships including HMS Woodcock and HMS Russell (including 5 days in the cells), until he was discharged, time expired on 6th December 1913. He would then have been transferred directly into the Royal Fleet Reserve as a Type B reservist. Under the Navy Reserve Act 1900 he was called back to the Royal Navy on the 2nd August 1914. AB James was attached to the Royal Navy Siege Guns in Belgium, which were large caliber, ex-naval guns (BL 9.2 inch) used for counter battery or coastal defence. 

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in the London Gazette 7th August 1915. His M.I.D. in the same LG, was an Army award.

He subsequently served on HMS Strongbow, an M-Class Destroyer. On Tuesday 17th October 1917, whilst escorting a convoy of 12 vessels from Lerwick to Bergen, the ship was attacked and sunk by the German Imperial Navy Cruisers SMS Bremse and Brummer, in what later became known as the “Battle of Lerwick”. This particular action caused some controversy as the Germans were accused of shelling survivors of the Strongbow in the water, and firing broadsides at unarmed merchantmen who had stopped to pick-up survivors. Remembered Chatham Naval Memorial

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Nice acquisitions Igor.  I us to collect DSM's many yrs back, had around 20 groups at my height. I collected mainly Submariners which in those days were not seen too much & when they became available for the time, quite pricey.

All gone save 2 groups, both to pre war pioneer submariners, one with a CGM.

I could post but dont wish to intrude on yr topic.

 

The pair to Wright is incomplete as you likely are aware of, I am kind of surprised they sold for the price you mention, having at least two missing named medals.

Did he remain in after 1920 advancement to RPO & possibly qualify for an RN LS?

 

Thanks for posting...

Bryan

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Thanks, Bryan.

I don't own any DSMs. I mainly focus on the MM. I'm just learning about the DSM, of which significantly fewer were awarded (4K vs. 115K).

Feel free to post about yours here. It will help to educate us about the DSM. Ivor

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Naval Distinguished Service Medal to A.5251. P. KEOGH. SEAN R.N.R. GALLIPOLI OPNS 1915-16.

Seaman Patrick Keogh was also entitled to the 1914-15 Trio. The DSM was gazetted 15th May 1916 for GALLIPOLI CAMPAIGN and EVACUATION - NAVAL AWARDS in recognition of services rendered by Petty Officers and men of the Eastern Mediterranean Squadron between the time of landing in the Gallipoli Peninsula in April, 1915, and the evacuation in December, 1915 - January, 1916. The lettering on DSMs is more ornate than the DCM/MM. etc.

 

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4 hours ago, Ivor Anderson said:

Thanks, Bryan.

I don't own any DSMs. I mainly focus on the MM. I'm just learning about the DSM, of which significantly fewer were awarded (4K vs. 115K).

Feel free to post about yours here. It will help to educate us about the DSM. Ivor

 

 

Yes I read two of yr MM post & notice one was locked but I dont know why?  That group appeared to be renamed to me but perhaps renames are not permitted on the Forum?

 

I did not know you were not collecting DSM's, & yes, they were awarded much fewer than the MM, but the numbers Army compared to RN were not any where near close, the Army was considerably greater than the RN, thus many many more MM's were awarded than DSM's.

& also RND members were awarded the MM for land operations in F & F & Gallipoli.

 

However I will post my two DSM groups here in a few days.....

 

Best wishes, 

Bryan

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  • Ivor Anderson changed the title to Distinguished Service Medal - Examples of This Award to Royal Navy Personnel

Thanks Bryan,

I've changed the thread title to reflect its purpose, so that information on WW1 recipients of this rarer naval award can be gathered, as examples disappear after resale. 

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Good idea Igor, unfortunately I did not retain photos of the many RN DSM groups once in my collection years ago, but I do have photos of the two I still have so will post them soon.

 

Best......Bryan

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Hi Ivor,

 

I will show photos of one of the two DSM groups still in my collection.  Edward Haydon was in HM Sub E6 prior to 1WW & was in her patrol the very first early morning of the war, 4 Aug 1914.  A pioneer submariner, he joined subs in 1910 & remained in them until 1920, when he went to pension.

Haydon was awarded his RN LS on HMS Titania, I think in 1917, I would have to check his record to be certain.  Submariner's LS medals were always named to the Depot ship to which their sub was attached, not to the specific sub they were serving in at time of award (which is kind of unfortunately as may times there is no record of the sub(s) they served on.  Haydon has no sub record card that has survived at the RN Sub museum in Gosport.

 

Best....Bryan

 

At one time I had 4 crew members of HMSub E-6.

Haydon DSM2.JPG

Haydon DSM name.JPG

Haydon DSM Oversea.JPG

Haydon DSM 1914-6.JPG

Haydon -CPO ST.jpg

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Thanks, Bryan, A fine set of medals and nicely mounted, with a LSGC medal too! I can see why you held onto it.

The thought of serving in a WW1 submarine is not attractive to me - a special breed of brave men who deserve to be remembered.

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Yes Igor, they were a very special breed of men, as in those early days of the Holland boats & the Type A class, when they went under they did not necessarily come back up again.

 

There is a story I have read relating to King George (when he was heir to his father Edward, not yet King Geo V) going down in an early class sub, future Queen Mary was terrified & said something to the effect - "if Georgie does not come back up again I shall be very disappointed indeed!"

 

I have a couple really excellent books on 1WW sub pioneers, will post here in case you may be interested in reading of their & Sub exploits of the period.

 

Best....Bryan

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13 minutes ago, Ivor Anderson said:

Thanks, Bryan, A fine set of medals and nicely mounted, with a LSGC medal too! I can see why you held onto it.

The thought of serving in a WW1 submarine is not attractive to me - a special breed of brave men who deserve to be remembered.

 

I always tried to get the group with an LS "in tow" Igor as I like the RN LS better than I liked the DSM!  A lot of RN collectors dont really appreciate the RN LS.   This was a hard earned medal, they had to have an absolutely unblemished clean record for 15 yrs to qualify for this medal, & in that time frame prior to 1WW that was difficult indeed.

It was very easy to 'get in the rattle' in the RN as the RN had a myriad of rules & regulations at rating could very easily fall into trouble with. Discipline was very strict & those rules were inviolable. A new entry or Ordinary\ Able seaman had to be on his feet constantly early in his career & had to "learn the ropes d***d quick to survive in a very harsh rigid environment . It was quite different than the life he knew on civvie street.  That is why a new 'un spent a couple yrs on the Boys Training ships learning those ropes before heading off to a sea going ship where he still had a lot to learn!

 

Best....Bryan

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I had several 1WW trios as well Igor, at least two of them came in at the very outset of the service -one rating in 1901 & the other in 1902 when the Hollands were still in service, & prior to the A class being commissioned. So they were of the first entries I expect, even before HMS Dolphin sub school was established.

 

Many times on their ADM 188 Records one would not know reading the ships on his record that they might be submariners. A collector had to know what ships were actually sub depot ships as their subs were not necessarily noted beside the depot ships.

 

ie; Maidstone ( D-2)  or Titania (E-6)

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Very interesting Bryan. I just bought a copy of 'THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL 1914-1920' by W Fevyer. It should arrive this week.

The WW1 naval LSGCM was also more ornate than the Army equivalent (which my GGF got) although the Army had the scroll suspender:

 

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Yes, agree Igor, the first rate Ship of the Line has been used on the RN LS since it was introduced on the Wide Suspension medal in 1875,

the wide replacing the former "Anchor" RN LS medal, each of which was unique.

 

But we better not get into RN LS medals here (perhaps another topic in Medals section) & overshadow the topic of the 1WW DSM.

 

Best....Bryan

 

Each of these early LS medals are unique as the each have the rating's name, rate, ship, & years on the reverse.

Brady LS rev b.jpg

 

Note the wider suspension - approx 1\4" longer than the regular LS suspension you have photo'd above.

Wide 1848.jpg

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On 04/10/2020 at 10:16, RNCVR said:

I have a couple really excellent books on 1WW sub pioneers, will post here in case you may be interested in reading of their & Sub exploits of the period.

 

Best....Bryan

 

Igor -- as promised.....  two of them are old publications tho, 

 

This book pub 1930 but its very good describing the activities of the various classes of subs & their activities during 1WW... the author was a 1WW submariner.

subbooks 002.JPG

 

This book pub in 1941, also very good describing the conditions & campaigns the various classes of subs participated in during 1WW ....

subbooks 003.JPG

 

 

This smaller booklet is more recent pub 2003. Author is or was an early member of the British Medal Forum & I corresponded with him for a few yrs, but I dont know if he is still active or not, he was very keen on 1WW submariner's medals.

subbooks 001.JPG

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Thanks Bryan, I think they might keep me awake at night though! :) A copy of this arrived in the post today in VGC:

 

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I have this book as well Ivor, he also did a 2nd WW book on Recipients of the DSM for that war as well.....

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I dont know if they might keep you awake at note but they are very interesting in revealing the conditions under which the 1WW submariners had to operate, & at times they were pretty grim especially in the Baltic & northern waters during winter on the Russian front.

 

Actually I just started re reading 'By Guess & By God' as not had it open for around 15 yrs!

 

Best....Bryan

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WW1 RNAS DSM Distinguished Service Medal Group F11344 JA Mortimer Air Mechanic 1st Grade 28th Sept 1917.

The DSM was awarded for sinking to enemy submarines both UC1 and UC6. Listed in the London gazette on the 30th of November 1917.

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Another interesting DSM group: No. 234638, H. J. Champion, Ldg. Sig, Mediterranean Station 1917.

                                                 Trio: Sig./L/Sig. R.N.. Naval LSGC (L.Sig. H.M.S. Defiance).

Hedley James Champion was Gazetted 17th May 1918. Hedley Champion was born at Stonehouse, Devon 25th January 1890. He served on HMS Underwing (a "Q" Ship) from 25th May 1917 to 19th Dec 1918 so his award must of been for service on this ship in the Mediterranean. He seems to have died in 1965 at Ince, Lancashire.

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The Navy certainly packed the maximum amount of detail into their DSM Inscriptions:

J.28842 A.J.R. KELLY ORD.TEL.H.M.T.B.11.PATROL SERVICES.1915-6, Allan John Ritchie Kelly was born in Aberdeen 5.4.1897, joined the navy as a boy on 16.12.1913, trained at Ganges then on to HMS Crescent. His DSM was listed in the London Gazette on the 23rd May 1917. HMTB 11 was built as HMS Mayfly and launched in January 1907. She was mined and sunk on the East coast 7.3.1916 with the loss of 3 Officers and 21 Ratings.

 

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  • 1 month later...

  

On 01/10/2020 at 18:46, Ivor Anderson said:

Thanks, Bryan.

I don't own any DSMs. I mainly focus on the MM. I'm just learning about the DSM, of which significantly fewer were awarded (4K vs. 115K).

Feel free to post about yours here. It will help to educate us about the DSM. Ivor

 

  

On 01/10/2020 at 22:53, RNCVR said:

Yes I read two of yr MM post & notice one was locked but I dont know why?  That group appeared to be renamed to me but perhaps renames are not permitted on the Forum?

 

Best wishes, 

Bryan

 

Hello Froderick and Igor (google if this makes no sense)

 

Owing to the GWF forum software (Invision) upgrade, threads that had not seen any activity for 3 years (I think) were locked. This does not affect your posts on the British Medal Forum, which uses different software.

A rolling programme of unlocking the threads has been taking place, so all being well, it should be possible to add to the existing threads. 

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2 hours ago, GrenPen said:

Hello Froderick and Igor (google if this makes no sense)

I think you're confusing me with Albert Einstein's brother Frank! :)

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