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Remembered Today:

HMS President III


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#1 Deleted_Kieron Hill_*

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Posted 02 April 2005 - 07:10 PM

Hi all,

I am hoping that someone out there maybe
able to help me. This post spanes both WW1
& WW2 due to lenght of my Grandads service.

When I first started researching his service
my Dad told me that his Dads WW1 medals
went down on ship, when it was sunk during
WW2. Well looking at his service record for
this period he was always based at shore
establishments. So there was this question
hanging over my head...was this an old
sea dogs tale...or was it the truth. I had
nothing to go by, unitil now.

Going throuh his papers I found a ships
boarding pass for SS Aguila for passage to Madeira.
The dates on the pass are for August 1940.
Well going by his service record he was
based at HMS President III...so whats
going on here, am I missing something?
I am totally confused now, I know that
HMS President III was a shore base in
London, so what's he doing going to
Madeira?

He was based at HMS President III
for nearly 3 years during WW2, so
could it have been true about his
WW1 medals going down with a
ship, seeing that I've found this
boarding pass for SS Aguila.

SS Aguia was subsequently sunk
I think in 41.

Any help with this would be great.
I've even thought was he some
sort of secret agent seeing that
the picture on the pass he's dressed
in civiy clothing and the trade
description is deck hand.

What do you all think?

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#2 KONDOA

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Posted 02 April 2005 - 08:26 PM

Keiron,

I am not sure of the role of President in WW2 but in world war 1 it was dealing with torpedo and submarine stuff so far as I am aware. Perhaps Madeira was a sub fueling & victualing station??.

Roop

#3 per ardua per mare per terram

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Posted 02 April 2005 - 08:42 PM

Lt Cdr. Warlow ‘Shore Establishments of the Royal Navy’ President III was an accounting base, initially in Bristol and then Windsor, it was the HQ for the personnel on Defensively Armed Merchant Ships, it does not mean he served there, but that his pay was worked out there . Royal Marines served aboard DAMS in both wars, this would have qualified him for the Atlantic Star.

#4 Deleted_Kieron Hill_*

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Posted 02 April 2005 - 08:52 PM

So if this is the case how would
I find out what merchant ships
he served on? When I contacted
the Royal Marines they told me to
go to Kew, which I did but what
I got from there I had already.

Regards
Kieron

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Posted 02 April 2005 - 09:29 PM

I don’t know for sure, but I’d expect that they used a card index to record the ships on which he served and that index was destroyed.

#6 kin47

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Posted 02 April 2005 - 10:59 PM

Hello

PRESIDENT III was the accounting base for the naval gunners on Defensively Armed Merchant Ships (DEMS). These were the naval seamen et al that manned the guns on merchant ships.

He certainly could have served any number of merchant ships in the course of the war.

don

#7 swireland

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 05:08 PM

Hi all, I am new to the forum but, have a similar circumstance to the original post. My grandad was also listed as serving on or with President 111 on his certificate. His loss was reported as August 8th 1942. I have also been confused by information as to the identity of H.M.S. President 111 but, am now grateful for your explanations. It is sad really that records cannot give us the answers to our enquiries as there are a few voids I would dearly like to fill. Was he actually KIA at sea? if so, was it in the Atlantic? what ship was he actually on? and so on! I would be very interested if anyone has any suggestions to look elsewhere or, any information to offer?

Many thanks Steve.

#8 horatio2

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 05:33 PM

If both men discussed in this thread were Royal Marines (Plymouth or Chatham Divisions) it is possible that their papers at the Fleet Air Arm Museum will contain a list of all the WW2 DEMS in which they sailed. I think this is the only place that will list the ships because their service records (and CWGC details - if any) usually just state "PRESIDENT III". Sadly, lists of WW1 DAMS do not appear to have survived. Many WW1 marines were recalled for WW2 and these men (usually in their 40s) were often sent to DEMS - and many were lost at sea.

Could you post their RM Register (Service) Numbers, please?

#9 swireland

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 05:58 PM

QUOTE (horatio2 @ Sep 23 2007, 06:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If both men discussed in this thread were Royal Marines (Plymouth or Chatham Divisions) it is possible that their papers at the Fleet Air Arm Museum will contain a list of all the WW2 DEMS in which they sailed. I think this is the only place that will list the ships because their service records (and CWGC details - if any) usually just state "PRESIDENT III". Sadly, lists of WW1 DAMS do not appear to have survived. Many WW1 marines were recalled for WW2 and these men (usually in their 40s) were often sent to DEMS - and many were lost at sea.

Could you post their RM Register (Service) Numbers, please?

Thanks Horatio, I can inform you my grandad was listed as Able Seaman. I have pasted the certificate details I have to this thread. Hope it helps with your evaluation? Name: COWELL, BURGOYNE
Initials: B
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Able Seaman
Regiment/Service: Royal Navy
Unit Text: H.M.S. President III
Age: 36
Date of Death: 05/08/1942
Service No: D/JX 333010
Additional information: Son of Burgoyne and Alice Cowell, of Fleetwood, Lancashire; husband of Annie Cowell, of Fleetwood.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 64, Column 3.
Memorial

#10 horatio2

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 06:00 PM

The FAAM cannot help with WW2 papers, which have not been released by MOD.

#11 historydavid

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 10:27 PM

Steve, this is the Admiralty death record for Cowell:

COWELL, BURGOYNE, A/A.B., D/JX 333010, S.S. ARLETTA, 05/08/1942, M.P.K., O/P PRESIDENT III.

I don't know the circumstances of his death, but I can state that the ARLETTA was not sunk on this date, nor was anyone else lost. Judging by the comment of missing presumed killed, it is possible he was lost overboard, perhaps in a storm.

Best wishes
David

#12 swireland

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 10:28 PM

QUOTE (horatio2 @ Sep 25 2007, 07:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The FAAM cannot help with WW2 papers, which have not been released by MOD.
Thank you Horatio, I appreciate your efforts and realise there are many unknown issues related to the circumstances and administration of events during this time but, maybe someone may link the dates with shipping logs or similar manoevers and post some information or answers? I am pleased to learn of what role my grandfather took in his Royal Naval post and, very proud of his courage and committment. It would just be a respectful closure to learn of how and where he served his final day?

Regards Steve.

#13 swireland

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 10:42 PM

QUOTE (swireland @ Sep 25 2007, 11:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thank you Horatio, I appreciate your efforts and realise there are many unknown issues related to the circumstances and administration of events during this time but, maybe someone may link the dates with shipping logs or similar manoevers and post some information or answers? I am pleased to learn of what role my grandfather took in his Royal Naval post and, very proud of his courage and committment. It would just be a respectful closure to learn of how and where he served his final day?

Regards Steve.

David, My apologies, I failed to pick up your reply. Many thanks indeed for that information. That is very interesting you offered the comment about no other losses or reported casualties personnel or shipping. I did search the date myself and found no reported incident. There will of course be plentiful options to consider as to how my grandfather actually died? I may of course never find out? I would like to thank you all who have been kind enough to reply to my enquiries, and assure you that you have contributed a great deal to help me get as far as I have with my quest. Thank you.

Regard Steve.

#14 swireland

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 08:14 PM

QUOTE (swireland @ Sep 25 2007, 11:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
David, My apologies, I failed to pick up your reply. Many thanks indeed for that information. That is very interesting you offered the comment about no other losses or reported casualties personnel or shipping. I did search the date myself and found no reported incident. There will of course be plentiful options to consider as to how my grandfather actually died? I may of course never find out? I would like to thank you all who have been kind enough to reply to my enquiries, and assure you that you have contributed a great deal to help me get as far as I have with my quest. Thank you.

Regard Steve.

Hi All, Just a follow up in relationship with the SS Arletta. I was directed to the Merchant Mariners site where I picked up a memorial for crew members of the SS Arletta which was identified as sunk on the 5/8/1942. I,m sure you will be surprised David because, I certainly was. I have pasted the passage to this thread.

John Milne Deans Middleton

2nd Engineer Officer on S S Arletta, a steamer of the Ellerman Line, lost 5.8.1942 when attacked by U-458. John was 22 years old when lost. CWGC gives no family details.

Also killed on this ship was one of the fourteen boys aged fourteen, the youngest of those lost serving with the Merchant Navy during the Second World War. This was Mess Room Boy John Watson of S.S. Arletta, the son of James and Agnes Watson, of Larbert, Stirlingshire

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 08:50 PM

it looks like no one claimed his WW2 medal entitlement:
Medal listing of Middleton, John Robert Discharge number: R 145927 27 February 1909
Medal listing of Middleton, John Gray Discharge number: R235104 01 December 1925
Medal listing of Middleton, John George Discharge number: R305197 21 December 1927
Medal listing of Middleton, John 01 August 1873
Medal listing of Middleton, John Discharge number: R151211 18 December 1919
Medal listing of Middleton, Cecil John Discharge number: R40809 23 August 1906

He was an officer in the Merchant not Royal Navy, some of their records for the period are available. http://www.nationala...?sLeafletID=131

#16 historydavid

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 11:24 PM

Steve, my profound apologies for misleading you regarding the Arletta.

This was caused because the Admiralty death record for Cowell does not indicate a ships loss.

Having now looked at my merchant records I can confirm that the Arletta was torpedoed and sunk on 5.8.1942.

Best wishes
David

#17 swireland

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 06:55 PM

QUOTE (historydavid @ Sep 29 2007, 12:24 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Steve, my profound apologies for misleading you regarding the Arletta.

This was caused because the Admiralty death record for Cowell does not indicate a ships loss.

Having now looked at my merchant records I can confirm that the Arletta was torpedoed and sunk on 5.8.1942.

Best wishes
David
David, no apology needed my friend. I am very grateful for the information you offered, it was very useful to guide me to the next level of my search for information. I am extremely pleased to learn what I have, more so for my mother to give her the closure she never had. Again many thanks for your time and help.

Regards Steve.

#18 Silent Warrior

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 07:57 PM

Hi Steve

Just a bit more info for you:
The SS ARLETTA was a 4,870-ton steam tanker that was built and completed as Yard No.363 in May 1925, but launched as the VANDUARA (Official No.148856) on 9 April 1925 by R. Duncan & Co., Ltd., Port Glasgow for Vanduara S.S. Co., Ltd., Glasgow with Gow, Harrison & Co. the manager. She was powered by an aft positioned 3-cyl triple expansion steam engine that gave 11-knots. Dimensions measured: 375.1 x 51.7
In 1937 she was renamed ARLETTA by new owners Arlon S.S. Co., Ltd., London with James German & Co., Ltd., the managers
She was torpedoed and sunk by U 458 at 1613hrs (German time) on 5 August 1942, in position 44.44N-55.22W, while voyaging in ballast from Grangemouth & Loch Ewe to Halifax, in ballast; 34 of her crew of 39 were lost.

Cheers Ron
PS
Note the shippingt Company

#19 swireland

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 06:44 PM

QUOTE (Silent Warrior @ Sep 30 2007, 08:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Steve

Just a bit more info for you:
The SS ARLETTA was a 4,870-ton steam tanker that was built and completed as Yard No.363 in May 1925, but launched as the VANDUARA (Official No.148856) on 9 April 1925 by R. Duncan & Co., Ltd., Port Glasgow for Vanduara S.S. Co., Ltd., Glasgow with Gow, Harrison & Co. the manager. She was powered by an aft positioned 3-cyl triple expansion steam engine that gave 11-knots. Dimensions measured: 375.1 x 51.7
In 1937 she was renamed ARLETTA by new owners Arlon S.S. Co., Ltd., London with James German & Co., Ltd., the managers
She was torpedoed and sunk by U 458 at 1613hrs (German time) on 5 August 1942, in position 44.44N-55.22W, while voyaging in ballast from Grangemouth & Loch Ewe to Halifax, in ballast; 34 of her crew of 39 were lost.

Cheers Ron
PS
Note the shippingt Company
Hi there Ron, That is really good of you to post that information. I am preparing a passage of rememberence for my mother to digest the information I have received, and this passage you have posted fills the final chaptor very well. I have been very fortunate through this forum to get answers to many questions and to discover the type of ship, crew numbers, port to port route stats, ship owners ( very unusual British name ) has made this research complete. Many thanks to you all.

Regards Steve.

#20 carol f

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 01:50 PM

QUOTE (Kieron Hill @ Apr 2 2005, 07:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi all,

I am hoping that someone out there maybe
able to help me. This post spanes both WW1
& WW2 due to lenght of my Grandads service.

When I first started researching his service
my Dad told me that his Dads WW1 medals
went down on ship, when it was sunk during
WW2. Well looking at his service record for
this period he was always based at shore
establishments. So there was this question
hanging over my head...was this an old
sea dogs tale...or was it the truth. I had
nothing to go by, unitil now.

Going throuh his papers I found a ships
boarding pass for SS Aguila for passage to Madeira.
The dates on the pass are for August 1940.
Well going by his service record he was
based at HMS President III...so whats
going on here, am I missing something?
I am totally confused now, I know that
HMS President III was a shore base in
London, so what's he doing going to
Madeira?

He was based at HMS President III
for nearly 3 years during WW2, so
could it have been true about his
WW1 medals going down with a
ship, seeing that I've found this
boarding pass for SS Aguila.

SS Aguia was subsequently sunk
I think in 41.

Any help with this would be great.
I've even thought was he some
sort of secret agent seeing that
the picture on the pass he's dressed
in civiy clothing and the trade
description is deck hand.

What do you all think?


#21 carol f

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 01:53 PM

I have a book listing all the ships and submarines of WW2 together with lots of hand written notes (in green ink)detailing what happened to each ship. What day and time they were sunk etc.
A fascinating diary of the war. The name on the book is Ernest Hill, HMS President III.
Does anyone know of him.?

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 02:03 PM

That sounds a very helpful diary. Unfortunately the Royal Navy service records for WW2 have yet to be released. There are several men from WW1 who could have gone on to serve later.