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Royal Navy Service Record
Sidney Charles Thorne
Understanding the record.
Good conduct badges: G = Granted, D = Deprived, R = Restored
Rating "SG" - Seaman Gunner.
Run - Either AWOL or Desertion.
Run Removal - Removal of 'RUN' was an administrative procedure and depended upon the circumstances of the man's recovery (or not) from desertion.
The name of a vessel on which someone served was often put in brackets after the shore station or depot ship to which it was attached for administrative purposes (usually happened with smaller craft, motor launches, gunboats etc.)
R I M S = Royal Indian Marine Ship.
"A.G.9" is Branch 9 of the department of the Accountant General of the Navy. R.P./1333/19 almost certainly refers to official correspondence in 1919 on some matter.
Traced Pension = Done full time (12yrs) and/or paid war gratuity.
CP = confined to port.
8ds = 8 days.
Cells = "in clink".
vide = refer to.
WWI - Whereabouts & Activities of HMS Mantis.
Ref. 'Official History of the Mesopotamia Campaign. Vol. III'
24th Feb. 1917: Capt. Nunn, the Senior Naval Officer, proposed to General Maude that his gunboat flotilla (Mantis, Tarantula, Moth, Butterfly, Gadfly and Snakefly) should move up the Tigris. This was agreed to and the gunboats proceeded upstream, encountering some floating mines which they easily avoided, and anchored off Kut about 9.30 pm.
25th Feb.917: The naval flotilla (S.N.O.) Mantis, Moth, Gadfly and Butterfly, having passed through the Shumran Bridge about 8 am, had also arrived and were co-operating with their guns in the 38th Brigade attack.
26th Feb.1917: Capt. Nunn at once proceeded upstream at full speed, Tarantula (S.N.O.), leading, then Mantis and Moth, with Gadfly and Butterfly following. Just after passing Bughaila, with white flags flying over it, at 2 pm, the gunboats began to overtake numbers of enemy stragglers on the left bank, and these, holding up their hands as a sign of surrender, were sent back to be taken by the troops.... as his ship approached the Nahr al Kalek bend, Capt. Nunn observed a large body of enemy on which he ordered all guns to fire. This was the enemy rearguard entrenched at the apex of the complete hairpin turn which the river makes here, the ships would be under gun, machine gun and rifle fire.... Capt. Nunn did not hesitate but steamed on... the Moth which was last in line suffered most severely. Finally handled by her commander Lt-Com. C.H.A. Cartwright, she was hit 8 times by shell which pierced one of her boilers and holed her below the water line, while 4 our of her 5 officers and half her remaining complement were killed or wounded. But she managed to keep going.
27th Feb 1917: The Moth and Firefly were sent to Basra for repairs.
Mons, Anzac & Kut, by Aubrey Herbert - Extracts from the third diary, which deals with the fall of Kut, was written on the Fly boats of the River Tigris.
Information on the vessels.
Ganges II - 1905 - 1972. Training Establishment for Boys. In Shotley.
Various images of HMS Ganges (c.1905 to 1915) are located at the end of this page.
Pembroke I - Was a shore based establishment.
HMS Vulcan - Was a Submarine Depot Ship. Vulcan built at Portsmouth Dockyard and launched 13th June 1889. Her main purpose was to launch smaller torpedo boats against enemy shipping. Scrapped 1955.
I've been told that at the time Sidney Thorne was stationed on HMS Vulcan, that the ship was up in Leith, Scotland.
Dalhousie - Was a troopship owned by the Imperial Indian Government. Built by Caird at Greenock, launched 5 June 1886. 1960 tons, 239ft x 36ft.
She was employed on trooping duties until 1918 when she was sent to Basra to be used as an accommodation / depot ship for the use of British forces in Iraq. She was returned to the control of the Royal Indian Marine in July 1919.
Alert & Dalhousie were depot ships at Basra at the time of Sidney Charles Thorne's service. The gunboat Mantis is the vessel listed in the brackets next to them. So he would have served on the Mantis.
Mantis - HMS Mantis was a Insect Class River Gunboat.
Launched 14/9/15 and sold in China 20/1/40.
645 tons, 230ft long x 36 ft wide and carried 2x6" and 1x3" guns.
These insect class gunboats were used extensively on the rivers in what was known as Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq).
In 1916 Gnat, Mantis, Moth and Tarantula were towed out to the Persian Gulf to join the Tigris Flotilla. Over the next two years they, together with the rest of the expeditionary force, fought their way all the way to Baghdad.
Bughaila Feb 1917, The Tigris River Flotilla (HMS Mantis, Tarantula, Moth, Butterfly, Gadfly and Snakefly) assists in the advance on Baghdad. They encounter the Turkish river Navy and sink two of their boats,Basra and Pioneer. The Firefly in Turkish service is run aground and recaptured.
Carnarvon - HMS Carnarvon was a Devonshire-class armoured cruiser (10,850 tons displacement), of the Royal Navy. In 1919 she served as a cadets' training ship until sold in March 1921 and broken up on 8 November 1921.
HMS Raleigh - Was a Hawkins-class heavy cruiser of the Royal Navy. Ran aground in 1922.
• Some photos of HMS Ganges, Shotley •