Strange Circumstances for a Valour Award

Discussion in 'History' started by Nutty, Mar 6, 2006.

Welcome to the Navy Net aka Rum Ration

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial RN website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Today I read some history and wonder how many of you may know the answer to this riddle.

    "What soldier was awarded the highest award for gallantary for an incident on a RN ship at sea involved in a sea battle and was recommended for that award by the Captain of the enemy vessel involved in that battle.?"

  2. Two of them, strangely enough!

    Flying Officer Lloyd Allan Trigg, has the distinction of being the only servicemen ever awarded a Victoria Cross on evidence solely provided by the enemy, for an action in which there were no surviving Allied witnesses. The recommendation was made by the captain of a German U-boat sunk by Trigg's aircraft.

    Lieutenant-Commander Gerard Broadmead Roope was also awarded a Victoria Cross on recommendation of the enemy, the captain of the ship that he attacked, but there were also numerous surviving Allied witnesses to corroborate his actions.
  3. Pompey Sailor

    Neither were Soldiers/Army/ Pongos/ Brown Types you get the drift. This was a RN ship to Krigsmarine ship gun action at sea. He was not part of a gun crew seconded to a merchant ship either.

    Now go and stand in the corner.

  4. Hmm, sounds very interesting, any chance of a clue? My best guess would be either the action at Zeebrugge, Dunkirk or maybe St Nazaire. That's if it is a 20thC action.
  5. Captain Edward Fegen , HMS Jervis Bay versus the Admiral Scheer.

    Captain Fegen made the decision to order HX84 to scatter, then attempted to buy time by engaging a pocket Battleship with the equivalent of a Fyffes Line Banana Boat. He kept Scheer off the convoy for 24 minutes.

    The Captains reccomendation was supported by a number of photographs taken from Scheer, of Jervis Bay attempting to close down the range to Scheer to get under her 11" guns , to enable her 7" Guns to engage the behemoth.

    Sadly, not much is said about the even smaller vessel HMS Beaverford ,(Captain H. Pettigrew) which also turned to engage Scheer after she sank Jervis Bay , and was lost with all hands , though incredibly, because of the sheer aggression and skill of her attack, she held Scheer at bay for another 5 hours
  6. I would like to suggest LEUT - Colonel A C NEWMAN on the St Nazaire raid involving HMS Campbelltown
  7. You are in the right ball park good logical think Vesper have a Gold Star. May I say again it was a Soldier not a naval or crab person. Lt Colonel Newman VC awarded for the St Nazaire shore side raid not a naval gun battle at sea. How many clues do you lot need I thought the history buffs would be on this in one.

  8. It was SGt Thomas Frank Durrant of the Royal Corps of engineers.Sergeant Durrant was in charge of a Lewis gun on HM Motor Launch 306 which came under heavy fire during the raid. Although he had no protection and was wounded in several places he continued firing until the launch was boarded and those who were still alive were taken prisoner. He died of his wounds the next day.St Nazaire raid.

  9. Yes Andyman go to the top of the class except the battle took place after the raid.

    Such an incredible story like most VC's, which I only came across the other day. The missing fact in you version is that ML 306 had safetly left St Nazaire after the raid and was making her way back to Falmouth when she was intercepted by a German Destroyer who closed her and demanded she surrender. ML306 refused which then started a 1 hour gun battle during which Sgt Durrant played a most active part. The Destroyer again closed ML 306 and again demanded her surrender. Again this option was refused and the Destroyer opened out and renewed fire until no response came from ML306 the Destroyer then closed the ML and took off 1 Sub Lt un-injured and various injured Seaman and soliders. 33 men on the ML were dead among them Sgt Durrant. Who was later recoommended by the Destroyer Captain for a gallantary award.

  10. ML 306 after being captured was repaired and recommissioned into the
    German Navy as RA 9.

    R boats were the equivalent to our Motor Launches and the A denoted that it wasn't an original German Navy vessel.

    It was bombed and sunk by allied aircraft in 1944.
  11. This letter was from Capt Richard Tyrell aboard the Buckingham in 1758 to Commodore Moore.I love the off hand way he describes the action and the use of language to the French.The Weazle was only a 16 Gun Sloop,the Buckingham was a 3rd Rate ship of the Line with 70 Guns.In November Capt. Tyrell distinguished himself in an encounter with the French Florissant,74, and two large French frigates.It was stated by Smollet that the number of slain on board Florissant was greater than 180, and that her wounded exceeded 300. She was so disabled in her hull that she only just reached Martinique, the largest frigate lost 40 men and was so damaged as to be uncervicable for some time.
    He returned to England in March 1759 with dispatches from Commodore Moore containing an account of the attack on Martinique in January and the more successful one on Guadaloupe. He was appointed to Foudroyant,80, in August (Rear Ad. Richard Tyrell died aged 50 on board his flagship, Princess Louisa, on 2 June 1766 and his body, at his own desire was thrown into the sea. There is a magnificent memorial in Westminster Abbey.)

    SIR, - Agreeable to your orders I sailed on Thursday night from St. Johns road; the next morning I got between Guadeloupe and Montserrat, and gave chace to a sail we espied in the N.W. which proved to be his Majesty's ship Weazle; upon enquiry, having found that he had not met his Majesty's ship Bristol, I ordered captain Boles come on board for directions as to his farther proceedings.
    While his orders were writing out, we discovered a fleet of thirteen sail W.S.W. standing to the S.S.W. upon which we immediately gave chace with all the sail we could possibly crowd. About two o'clock we discovered that they were convoyed by a French man of war of seventy-four guns and two large frigates. About half an hour after two the Weazle got to close as to receive whole broadside from the seventy four gun ship, which did herlittle or no damage. I then made the signal to call the Weazle off, and gave her lieutenant orders not to to go near the seventy-four gun ship, or the frigates, as the smallest of the latter was vastly superior to him in force. By following this advice he could not come to fire a shot during the whole action, neither, indeed, could he have been of any fervice. WhiIe I made all the sail I could, they were jogging on under their foresails and topsails, and when we came up within half gun-shot, they made a running fight during their stern-chace. The frigates, sometime raking fore. and aft, annoyed me very much, but also so retarded tbeir own way, that I got up with my bowsprit almosi over the Florissant's stern. finding I could not bring the enemy to a general action, I gave the Buckingham a yaw under his lee, and threw into him a noble dose of great guns and small arms, at about the distance of half musket- shot, which he soon after returned, and damaged my rigging, masts and sails considerably. The largest frigate being very troublesome, I gave him a few of my lower-deck pills, and sent him running like a lusty fellow, so that he never returned into action again. The Florissant likewise bore away, by which means he got under my lee and exchanged three or four broadsides (endeavouring still to keep at a distance from me) which killed and wounded some of my men. I presume however we did him as much damage, as our men were very cool, took good aim, were under good discipline, and fought with a true English spirit.
    An unlucky broadside from the French made some slaughter on my quarter-deck, at the same time I myself was wounded, losing three fingers of my right hand, and receiving a small wound over my right eye, which, by the effusion of blood, blinded me some a little while: I also had several contusions from splinters; but recovering immediately I would not go off the deck till the loss of bIood began to weaken me. The master and lieutenant of marines were dangerously wounded at the same time. I calIed to my peop1e to stand by, and do their duty, which they promised with the greatest cheerfulness. I then went down and got the blood stopped, but returned upon deck again; till finding the strain made my wounds bleed afresh, I sent for the first lieutenant, and told him to take the command of the deck for a time. He answered me that he would run alongside the Florrisant yard-arm and yard-arm, and fight to the last gasp. Upon which I made a speech to the men exhorting them to do their utmost, which they chearfully promised, and gave three cheers.
    I went down a second time much more easy than before. Poor Mr. Marshall was as good as his word, he got board and board with the FIorissant and received a broadside from her, which killed him as he was encouraging the men; thus he died an honour to his country and the service. The second lieutenant then came upon deck and fought the ship bravely, yardarm to yardarm. We silenced the Florissant for some time and she hauled down her colours, but after that, fired about eleven of her lower tier, and gave us a a volley of small arms, which our people returned with great fury, giving her three broadsides, she not returning a single gun. Captain Troy at the same time, at the head of his marines, performed the service of a brave and sallant officer, clearing the Florissant's poop and quarter deck, and driving her men like sheep down their main deck. Our top-men were not idle, they plied their hand grenades and swivels to excellent purpose. It is imposible to describe the uproar and confusion the French were in.
    It being now dark and we having all the rigging in the ship shot away, the enemy seeing our condition, took the opportunity, set her fore sail and top-gallant sails, and ran away. We endeavoured to pursue her with what rags of sails we had left, but to no purpose. Thus we lost one of the finest two-deck ships my eyes have ever beheld.
    IO cannot bestow encominiums to great on the people and officers behaviour, and I hope you will strenuously recommend the latter to the lords of the Admiralty, as they richly deserve their favour. Notwithstanding the great fatigue the ship's company had experienced during the day, they cheerfully continued up all night knotting and splicing the rigging and bending the sails.
    I flatter myself, when you reflect that one of the ships of your squadron, with no more than sixty-five guns (as you know some of them were disabled last January and not supplied) and 472 well men at quarters, should ber three French men of war, one of 74 guns and 700 men; another of 38 guns, 350 men; and one of 26 guns and 250 men; you will not think we have been deficient in our duty. If we had had the good luck to join the Bristol it would have crowned all.
    Capt. Boles being on board the Buckingham I gave him directions to go down and superintend the lower deck, which he performed with great alacrity.
    As we have been so greatly damaged in our masts, yards, sails and rigging, particularly our rigging, I have thought proper to send the carpenter of the Buckingham, as he can better give you an account, by word of mouth of what fishes we shall want, than I can in many words of writing.
    Before I conclude I cannot help representing to you the inhuman, ungenerous and barbarous behaviour of the French during the action; no rascally piccaroon , or pirate, would have fired worse shot into us than they did; such as square bits of iron, old rusty nails, and in short, everything that could tend to the destruction of men; a specimen of which, please God, I shall produce to you upon my arrival.
    I send you inclosed a list of the slain and wounded.
    I am Sir, etc.
    To Commodore Moore.
    Killed:- one officer, Mr George Marshall, 1st. lieutenant; 5 seamen, 1 marine.
    Wounded:- three officers, Capt. Tyrrel, Mr Matthew Winterborne, master, Mr Harris, lieutenant of marines; 2 midshipmen, 26 seamen, 3 marines.
    Died of their wounds:- One midshipman 1 seaman.

    Now this bloke deserved a VC,shame it was too early.

Share This Page