Herbert Stone's Disappearance and George Stewart's Obituary from Archive Newspapers.

Rob Lawes

Rob Lawes

Member
I haven't been able to find any more RN service information based on that posted within the link but will keep looking.

HMS Egmont was the Royal Naval Garrison within Fort St Angelo in Valetta Harbour which is the location mentioned in the link where George Stewart was promoted as temporary Lieutenant.

Nothing much more coming up at the moment.
 
Rob Lawes

Rob Lawes

Member
Further to my last, attached to this post are copies of the Medal Issue Record Card for George Frederick Stewart and his very brief entery in to the Royal Naval Reserve, Officers service records. Both of these were held in the national archives.

The only other referene to George Stewart in the archives that I have been able to locate shows him as Master of the Leyland line ship SS Alexandrian in 1915 which, according to the obituary in the news paper clipping on the first page of this thread, ties in with his being a Merchant Navy Captain for 26 years before 1940 and suggests that Aexandrian was his first command.

As I previously noted, HMS Egmont was the "stone frigate" name for the Royal Navy Garrison based at Fort St Angelo in Malta. It seems Stewart was "activated" as a temporary Lieutenant here and then transferred to the staff of the Principle Naval Transport Officer based in Taranto, Italy. Taranto harbour was used to provide docking, boiler clearning and repair facillities for vessels used in the Allied Naval blockade of the Otranto Straits.

The Principle Naval Transprt Officer ran the Naval Transport Department which in 1917, while under the control of the Admiralty, came under the responsibility of the Ministry of Shipping and was responsible for all of the Naval Transport requirements such as the delivery of spares, cargo, men and supplies.

Hopefully that provides a bit more information.

Rob.
 

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Rob Lawes

Rob Lawes

Member
And finally, the next of kin information on the service documents, the information given in your link Julian and the information given on the Commonwealth War Graves commision entry for George Stewart all match up.

Stewart's name is commemorated on the Merchant Seaman memorial in Tower Hill London (panel 13) if anyone is in the area and wishes to see it.

It would therefore seem the entry in the Malta War Museum is the same George Frederick Stewart of the Californian.
 
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Julian Atkins

Julian Atkins

Member
Hello Rob,

Very well done! Excellent! Extremely interesting! The SS Alexandrian reference is fascinating - do you have a source please?

How on earth did you get access to Stewart's records in the National Archives on all this?!

Anyone care to comment on why Stewart's medals were donated to the Museum at Malta?

Cheers,

Julian
 
Rob Lawes

Rob Lawes

Member
Hi Julian.

Thanks.

A lot of the service records in the national archives are digitised now which makes searching a lot easier. With my Royal Navy background I have a reasonable idea what to look for and the rest is down to keyboard and mouse work.

Attached is a screenshot of the crew list for Alexandrian, one of several held in the archives that sadly haven't yet been digitised however the crew has been listed on the front page. So there is the reference. Stewart seems to have remained with the Leyland Line after 1912 and been promoted into a command.

Screenshot 20200612 230706


As for why his medals are in Malta. I would guess its because he served, however briefly, as a Royal Naval Reserve Officer during World War One, based in Malta before transferring to Taranto in Italy.
 
Rob Lawes

Rob Lawes

Member
Regarding the Stewart's career, I've found an entry in the London Gazette number 30683 that HM Ships Myosotis, an Arabis Class Sloop and Bluebell, a Flower Class Sloop along with three armed trawlers, INA Williams, Reindeer II and Lucinda, received salvage money for the recovery of SS Alexandrian between the 9th and 11th Jan 1917. It sounds like quite a complex salvage operation to commend the attention of 5 ships.

The newspaper article on page one says that Stewart survived two torpedo attacks, perhaps this was one of them.
 
Julian Atkins

Julian Atkins

Member
Rob,

That's wonderful research!

Very little comes up on my own searches of the SS Alexandrian of the Leyland Line except it was scrapped in 1927, so presumably got a reprieve, and nearly another 10 year's use?

The Leyland Line did tend to keep Captains to a particular ship; Captain Japha had The Californian till he was taken ill, then had The Antillian for quite a few years, and Captain Masters (who succeeded Captain Lord on The Californian) was still in charge when The Californian went to Gallipolli in WW1, and was still in charge when The Californian was sunk in WW1.

Fascinating stuff!

Cheers,

Julian
 
H

Harland Duzen

Member
Regarding the Stewart's career, I've found an entry in the London Gazette number 30683 that HM Ships Myosotis, an Arabis Class Sloop and Bluebell, a Flower Class Sloop along with three armed trawlers, INA Williams, Reindeer II and Lucinda, received salvage money for the recovery of SS Alexandrian between the 9th and 11th Jan 1917. It sounds like quite a complex salvage operation to commend the attention of 5 ships.

The newspaper article on page one says that Stewart survived two torpedo attacks, perhaps this was one of them.

Not to interrupt, but Duncan Haws Merchant Fleets Book appears to confirm this stating for the Alexandrian: "Jan 1917: Torpedoed and Beached. Salvaged." (Page 127).

Congratulations for discovering this Rob and Julian! :)
 
Rob Lawes

Rob Lawes

Member
Great find @Harland Duzen that would certainly explain the number of ships involved in the recovery operations.

Edit:

A tiny little bit more information can be found at this link.

 
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