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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Kviberg, Göteborg. Sweden


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I'm a newbie here, hope I'm in the right forum for this question. Am Canadian citizen living in Gothenburg on the west coast of Sweden, live close to Kviberg cemetery. I occasionally visit the Commonwealth memorial there, although I have no relatives there. Noticed that some of the crew of the HM Drifter Catspaw are buried there. The Catspaw sank December 31, 1919. My first question is- I'm a bit confused that the date is as late as December 1919 - I thought the war was over by then? Or is a drifter a minesweeper? Just curious about her fate, and haven't been able to find anything on the Internet.

Another question -I see you have a forum about POWs. Is there a similar forum for WWII? My now deceased father served with ASHCAN (Argyll & Sutherland, Canada) and was a POW, but never really told us much about it before he died.

Thanks for any info. Joanne

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The Catspaw was a 96gr tons Admiralty Steel Drifter built by Ouse Shipbuilders 6/8/18 and used for minesweeping and coastal patrols. It was part of Admiral Cowan's Baltic Squadron and was returning to Copenhagan from involvement in the North Russian campaign as the Gulf of Reval had frozen up. She foundered in a storm at position N 56 21,20 ; E 16 34,20 off Segerstad, Öland (in the Kattegat), with all hands being lost (3 officers and 11 men)

The Swedish Salvage Company "Neptun" was accepted for the purchase of the wreck for 500 pounds "subject to the destruction of the gun on board and the return to the Admiralty of any books or documents which may be salved".

If you put 'drifter' and 'Catspaw' into Google then one of the returns will be a diving forum, one correspondent having posted links to pictures of the Catspaw. However, it appears you have to join up to ba able to access the links.

Best wishes.


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Welcome to the Forum. I hope you enjoy your stay.

The date of 11.11.18 was only an armistice and technically the war continued until settled by the various peace treaties. The UK government finally declared the war to be over on 31.08.21.

Therefore the Commonwealth War Graves Commission is obliged by its Royal Charter to commemorate all qualifying casualties between 04.08.14 and 31.08.21 inclusive as the war was technically still going on.

Apart from this technicality, fighting did continue in some parts of the world (eg Russia) and many men were still involved on occupation duties and battlefield clearances etc - many dying in the process.

All serving Commonwealth servicemen still qualify for war grave status if they died between those dates no matter how they died.

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Hi Jokan, i have researched the loss of catspaw and have quite a lot of information regarding the crew and its loss that I can send you if your interested. I was in particular researching Charles Stephen Webb whose medals I have and Thomas Wilding who came from my home town. I know this is very cheeky but if you have a digital camera do you think you could photograph the cemetry and in particular the Catspaw graves and E mail them to me? this would add a wonderful part to my research as at present I have only the CWGC photo. Thanks Gareth

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Hi Joanne, that would be fantastic thank you so much. From the CWGC site it would appear that Charles Webb and another share headstones, I dont know why this is so, I would guess they were moved from a previous site and they were unable to identify which sailor was which. I dont know how common this is, I understand there are shared graves i but I thought there would be separate headstones. gareth

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  • 9 years later...
Guest brewerjerry


I am researching my family history for my kids, and came across this site and thread.

A member of the crew of catspaw was my great uncle, Arthur bertie brewer.

Any info on either him or the catspaw would be of great interest to me.



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