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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Grandfathers service


Old Chap

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Hi Pals,

My late grand father served on the following ships/land bases and i'm trying to find photo's relating to any.

VICTORY I

HMS VIRGINIAN

EXCELLENT

PRESIDENT III

If anyone could help it would be deeply appreciated.

Cheers,

Bill

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Hi Pals,

My late grand father served on the following ships/land bases and i'm trying to find photo's relating to any.

VICTORY I

HMS VIRGINIAN

EXCELLENT

PRESIDENT III

If anyone could help it would be deeply appreciated.

Cheers,

Bill

Hello Bill, here's one

post-166-1175353712.jpg

HMS VIRGINIAN

Displacement 211TG 83TN

Engines 67HP - 10K

Armament 1 x 3pr

Admty No. 618

Port Reg. GY 211

1906 Launched. Built at Beverley by CWG. Owned by the Onward SPC of Grimsby. 1914 Requisitioned in September and converted to a M/S. 1915 Renamed VIRGINIAN 11 in Febuary. 1910 Returned to owners and reverted to original name. 1946 Mercantile loss. Sank in a collision with the troopship Empire Rapier off the Humber on 5th November. No loss of life.

(G.Toghill Royal Navy Trawlers Part 2 Reqisitioned Trawlers)

Hope this helps

Regards John

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HMS VIRGINIAN was an Armed Merchant Cruiser in the 10th Cruiser Squadron, enforcing the blockade off the Northern Isles. This is probably your ship, not the trawler in John's post, which would have been a tender to a depot ship. The other ships mentioned were all shore bases - 'stone frigates' which were accounting bases, barracks or training schools.

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John/Horatio,

Many thanks for your information. I did read that Virginian was formerly a troop ship so i presume it must have been a fair size?

Regards,

Bill

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John/Horatio,

Many thanks for your information. I did read that Virginian was formerly a troop ship so i presume it must have been a fair size?

Regards,

Bill

Bill, sorry for misleading you, hopefuly this will make amends

HMS VIRGINIAN Built for the Allan Line S.S. Co. Ltd, Glasgow.

post-166-1175374554.jpg

Regards John

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On 21st August 1917 Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Virginian, 10,757 grt, was torpedoed and damaged by SMU U 102 NW from Tory Island, Ireland, Atlantic Ocean.

Best wishes

David

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John/David,

Fantastic. Many thanks for the photo and the information regarding HMS Virginian. My grand father was a gunner on the ship. I'm delighted, cheers chaps.

Bill

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  • 1 year later...
Guest david.knight
Hi Pals,

My late grand father served on the following ships/land bases and i'm trying to find photo's relating to any.

VICTORY I

HMS VIRGINIAN

EXCELLENT

PRESIDENT III

If anyone could help it would be deeply appreciated.

Cheers,

Bill

Hello

My late grandfather also served on AMC Virginian from August 1915 till June 1918.I have in my possession a letter he wrote to my grandmother descibing the torpedo attack of 21.08.17. He was standing on No.1 gun platform, before they could fire the torpedo struck killing three men but only one body recovered, the Captain reported that they had been attacked by four submarines, the hole in the starboard side was 35ft. long x 26ft. deep & another on the port side 10ft. x 6ft.and still afloat!

He goes on to describe how they had to get the rudder into the water by taking out 1800 tons of coal and moved heavy things to the rear,the carpenters shored up the bulkheads with timber before steaming to Liverpool.

Hope this is interesting

Best Regards

David

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Hello Bill OLd Chap, find here two awards for services re VIRGINIAN, trust it is in `time frame' of three service of your Gfather on board V ;

RIDDEL Alexander N/E Lt.Cdr. RNR 82N038 Virginian

C-in-C North America and West Indies 21.06.18 Gazetted

In Tenth Cruiser Squadron to 31.12.17 Mentioned in Despatches

On the occasion of H.M.S. Virginian being torpedoed by an enemy submarine off the North Coast of Iceland, this officer who is serving as 1st Lieutenant and Gunnery Officer displayed the utmost coolness and efficiency in the control, and largely contributed to the ship's safety by his prompt and very creditable superintendance of the shoring of No. 2 Bulkhead.

RENNIE Alexander N/E Cdr. RNR 82N038 Virginian

C-in-C North America and West Indies 21.06.18 Gazetted

In Tenth Cruiser Squadron to 31.12.17 Mentioned in Despatches

For services on the 21st August, 1917, off the North Coast of Iceland, when H.M.S. Virginian was torpedoed by an enemy submarine, and for general efficiency.

Sadsac

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  • 7 months later...
Hello

My late grandfather also served on AMC Virginian from August 1915 till June 1918.I have in my possession a letter he wrote to my grandmother descibing the torpedo attack of 21.08.17. He was standing on No.1 gun platform, before they could fire the torpedo struck killing three men but only one body recovered, the Captain reported that they had been attacked by four submarines, the hole in the starboard side was 35ft. long x 26ft. deep & another on the port side 10ft. x 6ft.and still afloat!

He goes on to describe how they had to get the rudder into the water by taking out 1800 tons of coal and moved heavy things to the rear,the carpenters shored up the bulkheads with timber before steaming to Liverpool.

Hope this is interesting

Best Regards

David

Hello, your grandfather and mine served together. My grandfather, then a Lieutenant, Henry Stuart Knight, served on the Virginian from 24.11.14-21.5.17. When he was on shore, he rode a bicycle and so people used to say, 'Here comes Bogey Knight on his Iron Horse'. Years later, when he captained ocean-going liners, ships with a band would play 'Colonel Bogey' as they passed.

Regards,

Jamafe

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Welcome to the forum Jamafe,

Have you managed to research you grandfather's career?

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Welcome to the forum Jamafe,

Have you managed to research you grandfather's career?

Thank you. I suppose I'm a latecomer although always fascinated by the sea and the role of those who sail it.

Yes, I've researched a good deal of it although there are gaps that I've not been able to fill. Most, but not all, of his ships were the

Queen of Cambria (1902-1906),

Clan Lindsay (1911), Navigation Officer

Bolingbroke, Beaverbrae (when?)

Virginian (1914-17), Lieutenant

Morea (1917-19), Lieutenant

Morca (1919), Lieutenant

Duchess of York (1930-32), Chief Officer

Montrose (1932), Chief Officer

Montcalm (1932-39), Chief Officer

Empire Loyalist (1940-41)

Edam (1941), Captain

Duchess of Richmond(1943-48), Captain

Duchess of Bedford (1947-48), Captain

Empress of Canada (1948), Captain

Empress of France-(?1949 until retirement) Captain

He was nicknamed Colonel Bogey (because of his surname: Knight) and also known as the 'Musical mariner' because he composed organ music and wrote poetry.

I'm told that at one time, he was on the Mauretania, but I've no idea when or in what capacity. I've managed to put in quite a few details in that list, but only in outline.

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That's quite a comprehensive list. Do you have details of his WW1 & WW2 medals? The WW2 Merchant Navy records are online, downloadable for £3.50 or free at Kew:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...rchant%20Seamen

I must check them out. Thanks for that information.

All I know for certain is that he received three awards for gallantry 'for rescuing 30 men and a dog when the tugboat, Reindeer, sank in Arctic waters' at some distance from the coast of Halifax on 12.3.32. At that stage, he was Chief Officer on the Montcalm. He must have had more medals than that because, for instance, he managed to take the Duchess of Bedford into Odessa in March 1945 when everybody else said it couldn't be done, carrying Russian POWs there and returning with repatriated Allies. From what I've hear of the Merchant Navy during the wars, everybody should have had a wheelbarrowful of medals!

I've been unable to find out from Cunard about his service with them. The Canadian Pacific info wasn't too difficult to trace after starting from existing family records but they don't include dates for his time with Cunard and I've had no reply from them. I've no idea why he spent time with Cunard or why he returned to Canadian Pacific. The number of fleets with which he sailed was partly to do with CP taking them over.

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Was your grandfather in the Royal Naval Reserve? Here's the link to the research guides for both RNR and Merchant Navy:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalog...tID=47#Section2

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalog...?sLeafletID=131

He would have had campaign medals for WW1 as well as for WW2; the WWI medals are listed on an alphabetical medal roll ADM 171/92 Royal Naval Reserve: (surnames A-Mas). Gallantry medals are usually shown after the name in publications like the Navy List.

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Was your grandfather in the Royal Naval Reserve? Here's the link to the research guides for both RNR and Merchant Navy:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalog...tID=47#Section2

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalog...?sLeafletID=131

He would have had campaign medals for WW1 as well as for WW2; the WWI medals are listed on an alphabetical medal roll ADM 171/92 Royal Naval Reserve: (surnames A-Mas). Gallantry medals are usually shown after the name in publications like the Navy List.

Thank you so much for this. It's really useful. I'll try to get across to Kew within the next few weeks.

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All I know for certain is that he received three awards for gallantry 'for rescuing 30 men and a dog when the tugboat, Reindeer, sank in Arctic waters' at some distance from the coast of Halifax on 12.3.32. At that stage, he was Chief Officer on the Montcalm.

Jamafe.

There are some brief reports of this rescue and subsequent awards in The Times. Won't go into details here (as it's post WW1) but suffice to say it matches what you say: in May 1932 he received Lloyd's Silver Medal for Saving Life at Sea (crew received Bronze Medals) and in Dec 1932 the Board of Trade Bronze Medal for Gallantry as well as a "binocular glass" from the Canadian Government (crew received monetary awards). In those reports, he's described as Second Officer of the Montcalm. If you'd like copies, send me your email address via PM.

The Reindeer is reported to have previously been a British gunboat on the China Station.

regards,

Martin

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Jamafe.

There are some brief reports of this rescue and subsequent awards in The Times. Won't go into details here (as it's post WW1) but suffice to say it matches what you say: in May 1932 he received Lloyd's Silver Medal for Saving Life at Sea (crew received Bronze Medals) and in Dec 1932 the Board of Trade Bronze Medal for Gallantry as well as a "binocular glass" from the Canadian Government (crew received monetary awards). In those reports, he's described as Second Officer of the Montcalm. If you'd like copies, send me your email address via PM.

The Reindeer is reported to have previously been a British gunboat on the China Station.

regards,

Martin

I'd love copies! Thanks a million! What is PM for me to send my address? Sorry. I'm new to this site. I really appreciate your help.

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I'd love copies! Thanks a million! What is PM for me to send my address? Sorry. I'm new to this site. I really appreciate your help.

Hi Jamafe,

PM=Private Message. I think you need to have made 10 posts on the forum before you can send or receive them. Do you have 5 more questions you can post separately? :)

Once you get access just click on the name of the poster and a menu will appear; PM is one option.

-Daniel

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Jamafe.

The forum discourages putting email addresses in posts mainly to fight spam, so have attached mine as an image. I will remove it once you reply. Send me an email (via your email program, not this forum) and I'll send those articles in return.

regards,

Martin

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