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HMS Begonia


Hambo

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Second and last Naval man on the memorial I'm doing. I'm interested in the HMS Beogonia and what sort of ship she was and of course what happened to her but I'm also very interested in the list of letters after her name which I lifted straight of CWGC and I have absolutely no idea what they mean and hope someone else might. Any info on the man which is less likely to be avaliable would also be welcome

Scott, Richard Stoker 1st Class 282701

HMS Begonia (RFR/PO/B/3721)

Killed in action on the 6th of October 1917 aged 42

He was the son of Richard and Fanny Scott of Blindley Heath, South Godstone

And the husband of Elizabeth Mary Scott of Ivy Cottage, Saxby’s Lingfield

He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Memorial to the Missing Panel 26

Thanks Hambo

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Hambo

HMS Begonia was a Flower Class Sloop of the Azalea class launched on 26th August 1915.

Converted to Q-ship in 1916 renamed Dolcis, then Jessop then Q10. Lost October 1917 after colliding with or being torpedoed by U151.

The Flower class sloops were designed on merchant ship lines thus making them easily adaptable for conversion to Q-ships. These all had single funnels, and as the merchant ship silhouette was left to the builders, variations were many. The " Flower-Q's " were employed mainly on convoy and anti-submarine work. Nine were lost during the war.

Dave

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Hambo,

The attribution to U 151 is incorrect -- the ship the submarine was in collision with was HMS Parthian. Begonia is thus missing after sailing on Sept. 3, 1917. The sloop/Q-ship's patrol area was between 5° and 15° W. Loss to U-boat remains possible but not necessary but the U-boat itself would have to have not returned from patrol (U 106, UB 32, and UC 21 would qualify). Doubt we'll ever have a definite answer on this one.

Best wishes,

Michael

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His service register can be downloaded (or looked up on microfilm) for free at Kew or you can pay £3.50 to get it onine. That will give you a list of ships that he served with. You will have to cross reference that list with Gordon's British Battles and Medals to see if he was in China, the Boer War or the colonial wars.

Name Scott, Richard

Official Number: 282701

Place of Birth: Hellingley Heath, Sussex

Date of Birth: 31 August 1875

Catalogue reference ADM 188/452

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...p;resultcount=1

Edited by per ardua per mare per terram
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The attribution to U 151 is incorrect

Michael

Thanks for this. I've amended my my own notes on this. :D

Dave

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Royal Fleet Reserve Portsmouth B Class Reservist number 3721.

'B Class' meant that he had completed 12 years or mnimum of 4 and had been permitted to buy his discharge.

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Hambo,

The attribution to U 151 is incorrect -- the ship the submarine was in collision with was HMS Parthian. Begonia is thus missing after sailing on Sept. 3, 1917. The sloop/Q-ship's patrol area was between 5° and 15° W. Loss to U-boat remains possible but not necessary but the U-boat itself would have to have not returned from patrol (U 106, UB 32, and UC 21 would qualify). Doubt we'll ever have a definite answer on this one.

Best wishes,

Michael

Could we please have the authority for this revised view of BEGONIA's loss? It infers that Paul Kemp's detailed account of her sinking off Casablanca in "British Warship Losses of the Twentieth Century" is a figment of the imagination!

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Ionia,

No, not a figment of Kemp's imagination, more like a common misattribution that he was just repeating. The change is based upon primary source documents reviewed by Oliver Lörscher. His hard drive recently died so he hasn't been online much, but I would suspect its the logs of the Begonia and Parthian. I do have U 151's KTB (war diary) and the description is of colliding with a destroyer or small cruiser, not a Q-ship.

Best wishes,

Michael

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Ionia,

No, not a figment of Kemp's imagination, more like a common misattribution that he was just repeating. The change is based upon primary source documents reviewed by Oliver Lörscher. His hard drive recently died so he hasn't been online much, but I would suspect its the logs of the Begonia and Parthian. I do have U 151's KTB (war diary) and the description is of colliding with a destroyer or small cruiser, not a Q-ship.

Best wishes,

Michael

Thank you for this information. As the BEGONIA was lost with all hands it is unlikely that her log survived. Kemp's description of the vessel exploding and sinking is presumeably not included in U151's war diary.

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Exact references to the files Oliver used can be found here

As for U 151's KTB, she claimed a sinking alright, but not because she saw a ship explode, but rather after being rammed (buits of propellers were found in her deck), she didn't see a ship when she next used her periscope, thus she presumed it had exploded from damaged received in the attempt to ram. The noise she heard was presumably the depth charge the destroyer dropped.

Best wishes,

Michael

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Thank you for the information.

Kemp is obviously reading from a different script or indulging in poetic licence. After describing the collision he goes on : "A few minutes later BEGONIA was seen to stop, heel over and then explode. Evidently the damage done to her hull by the collision had caused massive flooding followed by the explosion of her boilers".

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Thanks for all the information. Being someone whose feet are normally in the trenches rather than in the naval section of the forum, am I right in saying that a Q ship was a decoy which pretended to be a cargo vessel but was in fact heavily armed. Some distant memory tells me that subs mostly attacked on the surface and when they did they were attacked by what they had thought was a merchantman??

Thanks again for all the information

Hambo

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Hambo,

Correct, until you get to the last sentence. "Attacking" surfacing ship -- really, making them stop, inspecting their papers if neutral etc., scuttling them was common early in the war. This is exactly when Q-ship were quite effective. However, by early to mid 1917, three things happened changed that nature of the U-boat war and made Q-ships much less effective:

1. The Germans adopted unrestricted submarine warfare as of February 1, 1917. U-boats could simply torpedo merchant ships without warning. And they did.

2. To reduce the number of ships sunk by German submarine gunnery, merchant ships were defensively armed. This began in 1915 but reached widespread application in late 1916 and early 1917. The success rate for for U-boat surface gunnery attacks was about 70% against unarmed ships but only 25% against defensively armed ships.

3. Convoys were introduced. No surface gunnery targets there. Actually a convoy was only marginally more difficult to spot than a single ship, thus U-boats came across fewer targets.

With fewer ships traveling alone and an increasing percentage of independent sailing armed, it only reinforced the tendency away from surface gunnery actions and towards torpedo attacks. And if U-boats aren't attacking by gun, Q-ships don't work very well. (At best it becomes take a torpedo, sink slowly and hope the U-boat comes up to try and finish the Q-ship off with its deck gun... not a winning concept really.)

U-boat sinkings peaked in April 1917 at about 850,000 tons. The rest of 1917 was about bringing losses down to a level the Allies could live with. Q-ships did not play a major role in this -- the latest analysis only credits them with one U-boat sunk from April 1917 on.

Best wishes,

Michael

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Thanks, got most of it right first time, amazingly!

Thanks for the help

Hambo

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  • 7 years later...

Hello, this is my first post. Apologies for resurrecting such an old post--fully seven years old!

I have only recently discovered that one of my great-great uncles from Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland named James Readdie Laing was an "engine room artificer" aboard the HMS Begonia aka. Q 10 aka SS Dolcis Jessop when it went down with all hands in October 1917. I am similarly very interested in learning more about what may have happened to the vessel and clearing the confusion about the ship's fate.

Thanks.

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