The "Lady Evelyn" WW1 minesweeper and the 9th Earl De La Warr

Discussion in 'History' started by Johnnybach, Sep 21, 2013.

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  1. I am researching Herbrand Edward Dundonald BrasseySackville, 9th Earl De La Warr, and his service in WW1, on board a minesweeper.

    Theminesweeper was the “Lady Evelyn”, originally a passenger paddlesteamer, builtin Kinghorn, in Fife, by J. Scott and Company, in 1900, and requisitionedby the Admiralty, in WW1, for service as a minesweeper. This is not to be confusedwith the “HMCS Lady Evelyn”, which patrolled off the coast of Canada.

    On the “UK, Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972”,, Ifound an “Ed Sackville”, listed as a Deck Hand but no ship/boat was mentioned –nor, unfortunately, any date! Later, he apparently became an officer but I haveno proof of that, at the moment.

    This must be,however, the same man as to the right of his name is written, “See De La Warr,Earl”. His father was KIA in late 1915, so he had inherited the title at theage of 15. He didn’t join the RNR, on the minesweeper, until 1918, when he was18, and the 9th Earl De La Warr.

    I have assumedthat this was the “Lady Evelyn” but have nothing to connect the two together and that's where I could do with some help..

    While he appearsas “Ed Sackville”, he was, also, so I believe, known as Lord Buck (because hewas also the Baron Buckhurst), and, possibly, variations of this, including “Bucky”– especially by his friends.

    I am hoping thatsomeone on this forum can answer the following questions, please -

    1 I’dlike to prove he was on board the “Lady Evelyn”, so does a list of the crewexist anywhere?

    2 Is there any way to find out where the boatoperated – I assume around the coast of Britain - but is that so?

    3. Can anyone help with discovering when he wasmade an officer, what the rank was, and what ship he was on?

    4 Can anyone give me any information about himor any other ships he may have served on?

    This is all for a local Museum exhibition concerning WW1, so I'd be grateful for any help.

    Sorry about thelong question but I wanted to give as much detail as I could – I hope I’vesucceeded!


  2. Brilliant! I was told that they existed - just two sheets or pages, but I couldn't find them.

    Thanks very much, I'm very grateful.

  3. Yes, you're absolutely right - there were two Lady Evelyns - one patrol boat, off the coast of Canada (HMCS Lady Evelyn) and the one I'm interested in - the paddle steamer/minesweeper. Thank you very much - I'm very grateful!

  4. I've tidied up your text a bit.

    According to Swept Channels - Being an Account of the Work of the Minesweepers in the Great War by 'Taffrail' aka Captain Taprell Dorling DSO FRHistS RN, Lady Evelyn was one of the Belfast paddlers hired by the Admiralty for minesweeping duties in 1917, the others being Her Majesty, Princess Beatrice, St Trillo, Belle, Melcombe Regis and Lady Clare. She served between 25 April 1917 and 6 June 1919 and was based at Larne under the Command of Lt F S Duncan RNR.

    To find out the ships and other units in which Earl De La Warr served, you could follow Soleil's suggestion and obtain a copy of his service record from the National Archives. Alternatively, provided he was an officer at some time, you could call Naval Historical Branch or the Royal Naval Museum Library and ask them to look him up in the Navy Lists for the relevant year(s). Contact details are available here.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
  5. John

    I happened to be in a position to consult the Navy List for the relevant period this afternoon and was perplexed when I couldn't find Earl De La Warr, having read what you had said.

    This prompted me to do some more research and I found this:

    Ottawa Citizen - Google News Archive Search
  6. Re the Lady Evelyn, Lloyds Register has this:

    LR 1918/1919

    Name: Lady Evelyn
    Material: SteelPad
    Official Number: 99943
    Code Letters: HQTL
    Master: D Hill - 11
    No of Decks: 2
    Tonnage: 320
    Built: 1900
    : J Scott, Kinghorn
    Owners: Furness Railway Co.
    Port of Registry: Barrow, British

    The entry in the 1919-1920 edition is identical except for a change of ownership to W H Tucker and Co Ltd.

  7. John, Movements and casualties were dropped from Lloyd's List in 1917 for the remainder of the war and printed separately for restricted circulation as the Overseas Shipping Intelligence, so that is where I would
  8. Hi Soleil,

    Absolutely brilliant! That proves that he was a deck hand and seems to prove that he was never made an officer!

    Thank you very much for your help - and just in case I miss anyone, thank you to all!
  9. Thanks yet again, Soleil!,

    I've got much more information than I thought I would get.


  10. Conscientious Objector

    A WW1 Conscientious Objector ordered by the Court to undertake Non-Combatant RNR Trawler duties. That he did
  11. Hi S43A,

    You sound as though you have seen the report of a Military Service Tribunal, not a court. If so, could you tell me where you saw it, which newspaper it was in and the date, please?

    Wikipedia says that he was a Conscientious Objector but gives no proof and, so far I haven't been able to find any.

    Thanks for you input!


  12. John, You'll need to visit the National Archives at Kew The details are there but give yourself a full day to plod through them
  13. Hi S43A,

    You've obviously seen the details - could you save me some time by giving a clue as to what you searched for and what to look for, please?

    I've searched the National Archives, on the web, checking for what they might have on him, both digital for downloading and in hard copy that measn a visit to Kwe but have found nothing - except his father's service records, which I thought were his!

    If you can give me more information. I'd be very pleased, as it would save a great deal of time. If you can't, no matter,but thought that I'd ask!

    All the best

  14. Hi, again, S43A,

    Just to say that I've found his service records (finally!) - he joined up a month before his 18th birthday, so didn't need to attend a tribunal or go before a court or any such thong!.His records mention nothing about his being a non-combatant or his religious beliefs so he was, probably, a pacifist and not a true conscientious objector. He served on 4 ships, in total.

    Thanks as it was you who gave me the push to search again - and out it dropped, from the National Archives! It just goes to show how little you can trust Wikipedia!

  15. The WW1 Conscientious Objector records at National Archives are a rag bag. You must remember the vast majority of objectors were middle and upper-class. Few from the council estates and, for that reason ,the records were kept hidden.
    They are poorly catalogued, but the details you seek are there --given persistence of endeavour.
  16. Which ships, John?

    BTW, you can post what you have downloaded by clicking on the icon between the globe with a red cross and the little film strip.
  17. Hi Soleil,

    Ah! I’ve just had a look at the sheet again and there seems, actually, to be six boats/ships - Kingfisher, Lady Evelyn, S.S. Queen Empress, Vigorous, Island Prince, and Acteon.

    There are two columns, on the service sheet, with different ship's names in each, but I don't understand what they are telling me. I'll have a look and try to understand what the two columns mean.

    In the meantime, the first column is headed "Commencement of Service" and, then, sub-headed "Arrival" and "Destination". In this column the ships/boats "Kingfisher" (listed twice), "Lady Evelyn" (listed twice), "Island Prince" and "S.S. Queen Empress" (listed twice).

    The second column is headed "Depot or Ship from which discharged" and this lists "Kingfisher", "Vigorous", Island Prince", and "Acteon".

    This doesn't make a lot of sense to me, at the moment.

    I tried to upload a copy of the image but I get the message, "This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it" But it's just a "jpeg" so I don't know what the problem is. If I have to reduce the size to about 97.7 Kb, however, the image becomes unreadable.

    I must be doing something wrong (which is not unusual) but I can't see what.

  18. HMS Kingfisher was the RN Auxiliary Patrol Base at Great Yarmouth between 23 Aug 1915 and 30 Nov 1919.

    I referenced the Belfast Paddler HM Paddle Minesweeper Lady Evelyn in post #6.

    HM Paddle Minesweeper Queen Empress was another Paddler hired by the Admiralty. Her service between 25 Oct 1915 and 30 Jun 1920 included minesweeping off the Tyne.

    HMS Vigorous was the Auxiliary Patrol Depot Ship at Larne between 5 Jan 1918 and 4 Jun 1919.

    HMT Island Prince was a trawler requisitoned by the Admiralty at North Shields in Aug 1914 and converted into a minesweeper. She was based on the Tyne.

    HMS Actaeon was the torpedo school at Sheerness which also taught minesweeping.

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