Pilot Vessel No.4 - sunk 28/11/1940

Enquiries relating to individual men and women who served with HM Light Coastal Forces; help with interpreting service records, or with tracing former comrades
sidseymour
Able Seaman
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:15 am

Re: Pilot Vessel No.4 - sunk 28/11/1940

Postby sidseymour » Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:39 pm

Doreen,
I am glad that someone else is getting some benefit from the digging that is going on regarding Pilot Vessel No.4. You will see that I have been frustrated in my efforts to date, especially regarding the information I have sent to the RN and Merchant Navy. It could well be that I am asking the wrong questions to the wrong organisations. I do find it incredulious that both orgaisations send me back to the other one whenever I ask a question (it was a RN vessel - when asked off the MN and vice versa when asked of the RN).

If you do come across and further information, please post it on these pages
Sid Seymour

Doreen
Seaman
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Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:53 pm

Re: Pilot Vessel No.4 - sunk 28/11/1940

Postby Doreen » Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:25 pm

Hello, my efforts were thwarted just like yours - the only place I found any information was from Greenwich a super lady there found the death notice for my father and forwarded it to me, it is an almost exact copy of the one already shown on this site, even to" not to be entered on the ROH per Mr. Prater" This was what incensed me and made me determined to find out more, which I have only done through this forum. I have the letters from Commander Hastings, informing my mother my father was missing, and another one saying must be assumed now lost at sea. These letters originated from the Naval Base Headquarters then. situated in Poole High Street. As a spooky detail, I read the ships bell from HMS Javelin ended up in the --British Legion 29-- Burin Newfoundland. My fathers family ran a business out of Poole and Newfoundland and owned properties and a shipyard in Burin, until the 1840/50's. My father left home to go to war from 29 green Road Poole !

Would there not be a Ships Log from the Captain of HMS Javelin about the rescue of survivors ? The ship and the Captain survived - I wonder if my dad survived the first attack and was killed on HMS Javelin ? I went to school with Yvonne Shannon. I believe it could have been her father on board PV No.4 if you could trace her she may have information. Sorry if I ramble on but having successfully found the story of PV N0.4 and having my dad recognised at long last as a participant in ww2 I am amazed.

Laurent Rizzotti
Seaman
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Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:02 am

Re: Pilot Vessel No.4 - sunk 28/11/1940

Postby Laurent Rizzotti » Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:08 pm

Hello,

In the Admiralty War Diaries, available on fold3.com, there is the following on this boat:

"Pilot Boat No 4 abandoned in 49° 49' N;, 4° 49' W., on fire forward. Have rescued all survivors. Consider salvage possible."
(Message from HMS Jackal to CinC Western Approaches, 1047 hrs, 29 November 1940)
https://www.fold3.com/image/302070399

"...
4. Other vessels known to have been involved are tug AID and barge C.B.X. 110 sunk, pilot vessel No. 4 and tug ABEILLE No 14 being towed in by trawlers."
(Message from CinC Western Approaches to Admiralty, 2114 hrs, 29 November 1940)
https://www.fold3.com/image/302070409

Sadly there is nothing more on 30 November. If the pilot boat was effectively towed, it may have sunk on tow.

I checked the WWII Dutch war dead database and found no name linked to this boat for 28 or 29 November 1940. There is one sailor on the 28th, lost with the British ship St Elwyn.

Pioneer
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Re: Pilot Vessel No.4 - sunk 28/11/1940

Postby Pioneer » Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:46 pm

Be aware that fold3.com is a subscription website that will automatically bill you after the free trial ends.

sidseymour
Able Seaman
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:15 am

Re: Pilot Vessel No.4 - sunk 28/11/1940

Postby sidseymour » Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:47 pm

Many thanks for the alternative web site but, sadly, it was another blank . We are not finished yet....

Admin
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Re: Pilot Vessel No.4 - sunk 28/11/1940

Postby Admin » Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:44 pm

I have managed to acquire a copy of the Admiralty file on Patrol Vessel 4 (ADM 358/3797). The pages of most interest are these two which are the last ones in the folder. It would be interesting to learn what an Eng.6 agreement was. A copy of the complete file is available on request.

Admin
patrol-vessel-no-4-adm-358-3797-1.jpg
Detail from the Admiralty Report on Patrol Vessel No 4 (Crown copyright)
patrol-vessel-no-4-adm-358-3797-2.jpg
Detail from the Admiralty Report on Patrol Vessel No 4 (Crown copyright)

sidseymour
Able Seaman
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:15 am

Re: Pilot Vessel No.4 - sunk 28/11/1940

Postby sidseymour » Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:28 am

Many thanks for your continued support to this particular project. The information keeps coming in and I can continue to provide some succour to an old soldier about his Uncle.

Geoff 1949
Seaman
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:28 am

Re: Pilot Vessel No.4 - sunk 28/11/1940

Postby Geoff 1949 » Sun Jul 12, 2020 3:24 am

I am a newcomer to this interesting thread about "Pilot Boat 4"
My family is from a very long line of Poole Dorset fishing families. Our family is related to many others in the old town of Poole fishing families including Toms and Mitchell.
I have only just discovered that my grandfather was the Albert Edward Cartridge of Pilot boat 4 (Mate) and as I found out today through an "Ancestry" message was the author of a letter dated December 2nd 1940 to Commander Lyons commending two Lewis gunners, Les Toms and J Mitchell (Able seamen) for "great bravery". "I am of the opinion that they deserve some recognition and would appreciate if you would put this through to the proper authorities". It was written from the private address of 210 Blandford rd, Poole Dorset, which I remember well as a teenager.

I had only a sketchy oral account of this incident as passed to me by my father. My grandfather was very reticent to communicate, and certainly kept a lot to himself in his later years. All I knew of substance that in WWI he was on HMS King George and then finished his WWI service in 1919 on a ship called HMS White Oak.

In WWII, I was given to understand that my grandfather served on fireboats in Poole Harbour and I have several photos of him as a crew member. The crew was called upon to the clean up operation after the Slapton Sands, Devon incident and that apparently upset him greatly. My father said that the many hundreds of greatly disfigured young mens bodies reminded him too much of his own sons.
The following written account was passed on to me by a cousin and he and I had erroneously assumed that it took place in WWI;
"Pop didn’t say much about his war memories, as some haunted him for years, but mum did remember one or two. She found Pop in the garden sitting very still and smoking, a far off look in his eyes. I don’t know which ship he was on but it was hit and sinking, a direct hit on the bridge had killed all the officers, a second hit killed most of the crew, so Pop was the only ranking officer left. He told mum the ship was burning and he went round looking for anyone alive, at that point a Royal Navy ship came alongside, a voice called out “Do you wish to abandon ship?” After the survivors were taken aboard, Pop was summoned to the see some officer to give an account of the sinking. This officer started ranting on about being pulled off patrol just to pick up a few men, Pop was not very pleased and removed his cap from his pocket, and put it on, so now Pop outranked this person and called him “a bloody fool.” He then quoted the rules of the sea and told him to return to naval school where he belonged. Later we found out that officer was Lord Louis Mountbatten, Prince Charles' uncle, who was later assassinated by the IRA"
A photo of Lord and Lady Mountbatten on board ship was among the photos passed on to me and came from my grandparents.
I hope this is useful for someone.

Admin
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Re: Pilot Vessel No.4 - sunk 28/11/1940

Postby Admin » Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:41 pm

Hello Geoff

Thank you for adding to the story which adds more detail to the events of that night. It would appear HMS Javelin would have been the destroyer which took took off survivors. Do you have a copy of the letter your grandfather wrote to Commander Lyons? Also do you know anything more of the status of Patrol Vessel 4 and its original Dutch owners, and do you have any information on your grandfather’s status with the boat, whether as a Mate he was classed as a civilian or something else?

Regards
Admin

Geoff 1949
Seaman
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:28 am

Re: Pilot Vessel No.4 - sunk 28/11/1940

Postby Geoff 1949 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:39 am

Hello Geoff

Thank you for adding to the story which adds more detail to the events of that night. It would appear HMS Javelin would have been the destroyer which took took off survivors. Do you have a copy of the letter your grandfather wrote to Commander Lyons? Also do you know anything more of the status of Patrol Vessel 4 and its original Dutch owners, and do you have any information on your grandfather’s status with the boat, whether as a Mate he was classed as a civilian or something else?

Regards
Admin
Thank you for your reply. My Grandfather Albert Edward Cartridge was in the RNVR in WWII and as I have now discovered served as Mate on board Pilot Vessel number 4. He served on the fireboats as a fireman in Poole Harbour and I guess the status of all firemen would be similar.
I have photo images of official papers which indicate that Seaman Leo Toms was a RNR, and Ordinary Seaman John C Mitchell was RNVR. There were at least 14 crew. The firemen were listed as being paid at Devonport.
S Masters and J Goldring were listed as Firemen and survivors and J. Randall as Steward. I am unclear as to how many survivors there were. I was led to believe that my grandfather and just a few survived. Why he did not receive recognition I dont know. He was certainly not a man to seek recognition.
I have just worked out how to send the images . They were images posted to Ancestry.com pages and then forwarded to me. If they are not readable then please contact me immediately and I will try to find a work around.
Geoff,
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Geoff 1949
Seaman
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:28 am

Re: Pilot Vessel No.4 - sunk 28/11/1940

Postby Geoff 1949 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:01 am

I have found some photos which might be relevant to this thread. My grandfather "Prince" Albert Edward Cartridge is seated on the bollard and in the centre of the three seated men. The other two men are unknown but these photos were kept carefully by my Grandparents. The fireboat photos were probably not taken on Poole Quay.
Geoff
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HannahD
Seaman
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:51 pm

Re: Pilot Vessel No.4 - sunk 28/11/1940

Postby HannahD » Tue Jul 14, 2020 1:20 pm

Hi,

I'm Hannah and have been in touch with Geoff on Ancestry, and would like to thank him again for his help. The letters regarding the awards originally came from the niece of Edgar Leo Toms. I've been doing some research on behalf of a family friend who is a relative of John Caleb Mitchell. I thought I'd share my response regarding the Mountbatten story:
Thank you for your response. It's entirely possible that the incident with Mountbatten did occur during WW1. Perhaps astonishingly, given his age, Mountbatten did serve as a Midshipman aboard the HMS Lion and HMS Queen Elizabeth from 1916 onwards:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Mou ... rly_career

[NB: It may fit with him being younger and more arrogant at that earlier point in his career.]

Your Grandfather seems to have tried to enlist in 1915 but was rejected as being underage, and would later successfully sign up towards the end of 1916:

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.u ... r/D8513961

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.u ... r/D8521697

It's incredible to think of the confrontation as they would have both been pretty much literally boys at the time. Your Grandfather would have been 20 at Armistice Day and Mountbatten, 18.

It may just be an interesting symmetry that Mountbatten came to be tangentially involved in the Pilot Boat iv incident.

It seems like your Grandfather would have felt the incident very deeply, particularly as he was moved to write that letter on the 2nd of December, which must have been very soon after he returned to Poole, certainly it was dated the same day as the telegram on the cfv forum.


Albert Edward Cartridge was registered as a Yacht Skipper (unemployed) on the 1939 Register, and judging from the telegrams upthread seems to have come to have been on Pilot Boat iv via a civilian route, although he did have military naval experience in WW1. I've also attached his naval records. I don't know if anyone with more expertise than me can spot anything on there that would line up with the Mountbatten incident, or whether this is more likely to have been from the Pilot Boat iv incident.
tna_r39_6929_6929c_010.jpg
BT-377-7-52905-1.jpg
BT-377-7-60650 copy-2.jpg
BT-377-7-60650 copy-3.jpg

Admin
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Re: Pilot Vessel No.4 - sunk 28/11/1940

Postby Admin » Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:55 am

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the contributors to this thread to date. Although the subject was off-topic for this forum, which is dedicated solely to the personnel and boats of Coastal Forces, it has nonetheless proved valuable in bringing an historical oversight to wider attention. The thread has fulfilled something of its original intent by uncovering certain information about casualties Leonard Gould Shannon and Albert Edward Spurrier, and will now close to further contributions. The subject would doubtless benefit from the kind of dedicated research a local history group might lend it, to unearth further details and complete the story.

A copy of the dossier on the Patrol Vessel No 4 held by the Public Record Office at Kew may be viewed here: Patrol Vessel No. 4 ADM 358/3797 (15.4MB)

To all the men lost on Pilot/Patrol Vessel No. 4, and all other seamen who may have died without formal recognition of their death being granted by the authorities while serving alongside the Royal Navy during the Second World War.

Lest we forget

J Dick (Poole)
Lieutenant (E) George Percival Harding
Ordinary Seaman John Caleb Mitchell (MiD) D/BD/X 1750
A Moore (Poole)
Leonard Gould Shannon
Albert Edward Spurrier
Lieutenant Reginald Henry Whiteley


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