Can anyone help with this photo

Discussion in 'History' started by LowLander, Oct 16, 2009.

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  1. I have found this old photo with my grandads WW1 medals, I have no history with it and was wondering if anyone out there could shed some light?

    Thanks for looking
  2. Can you scan it and post it up so those who can help can see?
  3. Well it's difficult to be certain because there's not a lot to go on there but it looks like East Africa? (very low lying coast, solar topees, etc), First World War. If he wasn't Australian then we can knock out the Pacific.

    Capital ship, probably German, I would stick my neck and say SMS Konigsberg, Rufiji delta, 1916-17ish.

    Any other offers?
  4. With the gents in the foreground of the pic in pith helmets, I would suggest that this may be taken in the Dardenelles, and relate to the Gallipoli theatre of war.


  5. He was English, a Stoker First Class by all accounts, the story used to go that he was one of the people in the water, but if you reckon its a german ship mabey not.
  6. Hmm, looks too wide for the Rufiji actually - give me 2 secs
  7. If it's Gallipoli then it's either OCEAN, IRRESISTIBLE, TRIUMPH, MAJESTIC. The only one that they tried to salvage was IRRESISTIBLE, but OCEAN was destroyed going to her aid and they gave up any further attempts (TRIUMPH and MAJESTIC were lost without possiblity of salvage. It's the depth that worries me tbh- that ship looks settled which is why I originally wnet with Konigsberg. However, the salvage look of the vessel leads me to suspect IRRESISTIBLE or OCEAN.

    Best Ican do, and quite possibly wrong...
  8. Your knowledge amazes me, it will give me something to go on and try and dig a bit deeper.

    Do you know what sort of craft the picture was taken from ?

    one more question if you dont mind:
    If i find my grandfathers service number would it be possible to find out what ships he served on?

    Many many thanks
  9. If your grandfather served during the First World War, it should be possible to download a scanned copy of his service record via the National Archives website. The usual charge is £3.50. See here.

    What was his full name?
  10. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    I'd put my money on the Dardanelles and one of the British or French BBs that came to grief on Turkish mines. Rather an historic photo if I may say so; possibly the RN Museum could help.
  11. Try posting it on Haze Gray & Underway. Fantastic site they photos of all the ships in all the navies on there.
    What I've got in mind is, they do a ship recognition quiz once a month, try that.
  12. The sinking of the British battleship HMS Majestic, Dardanelles, May 1915 (link).
  13. Good effrt that man :thumbup:
  14. Thanks you guys for all your time and effort,
    I see there must be more than one of these photos in existance, although the one I have seems to be alot bigger with more detail.
    Do you think any other sites would be interested?

    Once again thanks all

    Looking for details on Able Seaman Gunner Archibald Knight who served aboard HMS Severn in the action against the Königsberg in the Rufiji Delta.
    HMS Severn was a Humber class monitor that took part in fighting off the Belgian coast and the east coast of Africa during the First World War. She saw service off the Belgian coast during October-November 1914, taking part in the race to the sea and the battle of the Yser. Her turret guns then had to be replaced. The turret was removed and she was given one 6in Mk VII gun at each end. In March 1915 Severn and Mersey were dispatched to the Dardanelles, but after reaching Malta they were diverted to the east coast of Africa. There they were to take part in an attack on the German cruiser Königsberg, then trapped in the shallow Rufiji Delta. After a difficult journey, the two monitors arrived at Mafia Island on 3 June, and were ready to take part in attack by 5 June.The first attack was made on 6 June. The two monitors took up a position 11,000 yards from the Königsberg and opened fire. They came under immediate fire from the Germans, who had clearly prepared to bombard that location. After an hour, the Severn was hit, and her forward gun knocked out. She was then holed by a second hit just above the waterline and forced to retreat, although did return to the fight later in the day. Archie Knight was my Wife's Grandfather and during the action, he dived overboard and rescued a colleague from drowning. This was the second time he had saved a drowning man - the previous occasion being at Curry Rivel in Somerset, for which he was awarded recognition by the Royal Humane Society.
  16. Try the National Archives for details on him. For background on the battle and maybe a little more detail, have a look at Edward Paice:
    Tip and Run, the Untold Story of the Great War in Africa (2007).

    Also, if you're so inclined, there's always the Wilbur Smith book Shout at the Devil (which was made into a genuinely appalling film staring Lee Marvin) which might give you a bit more of a sense of what conditions in that particularly shabby theatre of the war were like.
  17. Nice one NG right on target :study:

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