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Author Topic: Crew of HMS Redbreast  (Read 12618 times)

David Kipling

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Crew of HMS Redbreast
« on: 02 July 2012 06:49:47 PM »


A great-uncle of mine served on the HMS Redbreast in the Mediterranean, and perhaps in the Suez Canal and Red Sea.  This photo, no date and no location, shows the crew painting their ship's name on a rocky cliff.
I suspect this was a common practice and therefore may have been at a spot where other ships had done the same thing?
« Last Edit: 02 July 2012 08:44:24 PM by spooks1959 »
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spooks1959

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Re: Crew of HMS Redbreast
« Reply #1 on: 03 July 2012 11:35:27 AM »

One possibility:- Built as the Ss REDBREAST, a passenger cargo vessel by A & J Inglis Pointhouse Glasgow, Yard No 285, she was launched on Saturday, April 18th 1908.
Operated by G & J Burns Ltd Glasgow until requisitioned by the Admiralty for use as a fleet messenger in 1915.

While operating as a 'Q' ship in 1917 she rescued survivors from HM Troopship "Arcadian" on 15 April 1917, 411/2 kilometres north east from the island of Milo (Melos), which was torpedoed at 17:45 hours and sunk in only 6 minutes. She was carrying reinforcements for Egypt. REDBREAST picked up survivors in the early hours of the 18th.

Q-ships, also known as Q-boats, Decoy Vessels, Special Service Ships, or Mystery Ships, were heavily armed merchant ships with concealed weaponry, designed to lure submarines into making surface attacks. This gave Q-ships the chance to open fire and sink them. The basic ethos of every Q-ship was to be a wolf in sheep's clothing. Their codename referred to the vessels' home port, Queenstown, in Ireland.

She was torpedoed by UC38 on passage Skyros/Doro Channel in the Aegean Sunday, July 15th 1917.

Source & photo credit see: http://www.clydesite.co.uk/clydebuilt/viewship.asp?id=1953



Casualty list:
BARKER, Edward, Able Seaman, J 8604 (Ch)
 BEATTIE, Edward, Gunner, RMA, RMA 13385
 BROOKER, Arthur, Stoker 1c, K 23558 (Po)
 BROWNE, Edward K, Wireless Telegraph Operator, RNR, WTS 432
 CAMERON, John, Able Seaman, MMR, 782142
 CAVE, William G, Able Seaman, J 16647 (Ch)
 CHARLES, Richard P, Stoker, RNR, S 9048
 CLAPP, Frank, Petty Officer, 185661 (Dev)
 COATES, William H, Commander, RNR (ret)
 DODDS, James, Stoker Petty Officer, 278667 (Dev)
 DURBIN, John D, Stoker 2c, K 37648 (Ch)
 FRY, James A, Able Seaman, J 23714 (Dev)
 GOODWIN, Frederick S, Stoker 1c (RFR B 5585), SS 100513 (Ch)
 GRUPPETTA, Lorenzo, Stoker, RNR (Maltese), F 704
 HENTY, George, Petty Officer, 183130 (Ch)
 HORROCKS, Frank, Ty/Assistant Paymaster, RNR
 JOHNSTONE, Thomas, Officers' Cook 2c, L 9560 (Ch)
 JONES, Henry, Stoker 1c (RFR B 3879), SS 103550 (Dev)
 LINEHAM, Daniel, Stoker, RNR, S 7679
 MACLEAN, Archibald, Ty/Sub Lieutenant, RNR
 MAYBREY, James W, Private, RMLI, 16055 (Ch)
 MCCLEAVE, George, Act/Stoker Petty Officer (RFR B 808), 143175 (Ch)
 MCGILLVRAY, Angus, Able Seaman, MMR, 705510
 MCKECHNIE, Archibald, Able Seaman, MMR, 908175
 MCKENZIE, John, Able Seaman, MMR, 908153
 MCPHEE, Hugh, Able Seaman, MMR, 710370
 MONTGOMERY, Richard T, Ty/Lieutenant, RNR
 NOLAN, Michael, Stoker 1c, SS 115511 (Po)
 O’CONNOR, Michael, Chief Steward, MMR, (no service number listed)
 O’SULLIVAN, Patrick J, Act/Leading Stoker, K 9476 (Dev)
 RICHARDS, Albert, Act/Stoker Petty Officer, 219671 (Po)
 ROBINSON, Charles W, Able Seaman, J 36752 (Dev)
 SHIELDS, Austin L, Engine Room Artificer, RNR, EA 1470
 SIMPSON, Harold, Ordinary Seaman, J 61445 (Po)
 SMITH, Edward A, Stoker 1c (RFR B 4638), 296005 (Dev)
 SMITH, Thomas L, Engine Room Artificer 4c, M 19401 (Ch)
 TAYLOR, George, Able Seaman, J 29376 (Dev)
 TURNER, William H, Chief Stoker (RFR A 2879), 141312 (Po)
 VELLENDER, George, Lance Corporal, RMLI, 10212 (Ch)
 WILKES, Frank J, Able Seaman, J 31036 (Po)
 WILSON, Alfred J, Leading Seaman, 230912 (Ch)
 WOOD, Harry H, Stoker 1c, K 6285 (Ch)

Source: World War 1 - Casualty Lists of the Royal Navy and Dominion Navies - 1st - 31st JULY 1917 http://www.naval-history.net/xDKCas1917-07Jul.htm

An earlier vessel named REDBREAST is pictured below:
« Last Edit: 17 December 2012 10:14:07 AM by spooks1959 »
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Odin2

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Re: Crew of HMS Redbreast
« Reply #2 on: 17 December 2012 08:36:16 AM »

Sorry Spooks I think you have the wrong Redbreast - I believe this is some of the crew from the 805 ton composite gunboat HMS Redbreast launched in 1889 (shown in your second photo).

The place is probably Muscat and the ship was one of several used to try to stop gun running in the Persian Gulf between 1909 and 1914.

Attached is a picture of an armed launch HMS Harold at (probably) the same location.  Most of the vessels involved in that campaign have left their mark!

(Added Note:  If you look very careful HMS Redbreast's name can just be identified on the left hand side of the photo above the names Mashona and Odin)
« Last Edit: 17 December 2012 02:47:42 PM by Odin2 »
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Odin2

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Re: Crew of HMS Redbreast
« Reply #3 on: 17 December 2012 08:55:51 AM »

I have just found this photo of HMS Philomel (also in the same campaign) and it is possible to read the completed name HMS Redbreast in the background
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spooks1959

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Re: Crew of HMS Redbreast
« Reply #4 on: 17 December 2012 10:10:11 AM »

I have just found this photo of HMS Philomel (also in the same campaign) and it is possible to read the completed name HMS Redbreast in the background

Hi Odin, welcome aboard!

Thanks for identifying the correct REDBREAST for us, the photos you have unearthed speak volumes...  8)

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spooks1959

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Re: Crew of HMS Redbreast
« Reply #5 on: 07 May 2017 09:59:02 AM »

A journal has surfaced written by a member of the crew during her 1908-10 commission in the Persian Gulf.

Kept by Able Seaman (Gunner) William Judson it follows him as part of the crew draft of the REDBREAST from RN Barracks Plymouth (H.M.S. VIVID) to Bombay and anti-smuggling patrols in the Persian Gulf from April 1908 until paying off in March 1910 and his subsequent return to H.M.S. VIVID.    

The journal is available in acrobat format from the link below.
http://www.royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk/Judson_journal.htm
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