Danae (D) Class Light Cruiser
Royal Marine Light Infantry
Service No: Ply 17148
5 Sept 1914 - 20 Mar 1920
In December 2018 we received the following message from the Grandson of Thomas Barlow.
Doug has provided our website with wonderful information and photos of Tom’s time in the Royal Navy and the ships on which he served.
In so doing he has shone some additional light on the Royal Navy and the early years of H.M.S. Dauntless.
We express our thanks to him and his family for sharing this contribution.
The photos may be enlarged by clicking on each one.
In keeping with our usual practice, we have restored the enlargements.
From: Doug Barlow
Sent: Sunday, December 9, 2018
Subject: H.M.S. Dauntless
until 17 Feb 1920. I have some photos of the ship and crew, some taken in the Baltic.
They are a bit faded now but are you interested in
them for the website?
Royal Marine Light Infantry 1914 – 1920
By Doug Barlow, Jan 2019
My Grandfather, Tom Barlow, served as a Royal Marine during the Great War, and on H.M.S. Dauntless between 1918 and 1920.
I inherited an old photograph album which includes several Post Cards / Photos from his time as a Royal Marine, some of which I have identified as being associated with his time on H.M.S. Dauntless, which are included here.
Tom was born in Wigan, Lancashire in March 1896, the son of Ernest Barlow, a Railway Engine Driver. On leaving school, aged 12, he worked for a grocery chain before following his father into the Railways, starting as a ‘Knocking Up’ lad. Tom’s elder brother, Edward, was a Regular Soldier with the 1st East Lancashire Regiment and, on outbreak of the Great War, was sent to France on 22nd August 1914 as part of the British Expeditionary Force.
Aged 18½ when war was declared, Tom quickly enlisted in the Royal Marines Light Infantry arriving at Deal recruitment depot on 5th September 1914, Register No.17148. Two of Tom’s sisters, Bertha and Florrie, supported the war effort by joining the Red Cross and his younger brother, Ernest, joined the Royal Marines, aged 17½, in June 1918.
Tom prior to joining up.
After completing his basic training at Deal, Tom was assigned to Plymouth Division, arriving 14th Jan 1915. While based at Plymouth he spent 2 months on H.M.S. Jupiter. (March – May 1915) H.M.S. Jupiter was a Majestic class battleship commissioned in 1897.
Operations off North Russia
THE VOYAGES OF HMS JUPITER
5 February 15
Royal Navy Log Books of the World War 1 Era
Edited by Howard Stagg, Naval Enthusiast, Canberra, Australia
On 5 February 1915, Jupiter was detached from her guard ship duty to serve temporarily as an icebreaker at Arkhangelsk in the White Sea, North Russia, while the regular icebreaker there was under refit. In this duty, Jupiter made history by becoming the first ship ever to get through the ice into Arkhangelsk during the winter. Her February arrival was the earliest in history there.
By the 12th February, eight days into the voyage, the ship was steaming through solid ice at 1.00 am and by 3.40 pm became stuck. They finally managed to break the ship free by 7.14 pm and the carpenters shored up forward. That was just the start of their troubles.
H.M.S. Jupiter did not reach Archangelsk until 27th March, 55 days out from England.
Tsar Nicholas II authorised the striking and issue of medals commemorating the feat to all officers, petty officers and seamen (class 1, 2 and 3 respectively). Source: https://en
Between October 1915 and February1916 Tom was at H.M.S. Victory which, was a shore base at Portsmouth now known as H.M.S. Nelson.
In May 1916 Tom embarked on H.M.S. Colleen where he served until November 1918. H.M.S. Colleen was a shore establishment ship at Queenstown (now Cobh), located on Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour. She acted as depot ship for the Auxiliary Patrol Service operating in that area (Patrol Area XX1). H.M.S. Colleen was an old wooden walled hulk used as base offices but with no accommodation. Office based staff were accommodated in barracks on the Island. The Island also had a RN Hospital.
Tom Barlow (standing in middle) and three other ‘Bootnecks’ striking a pose.
On 26 Nov 1918, soon after the armistice, Tom embarked the newly commissioned H.M.S. Dauntless, a Danae Class Light Cruiser. Included in the ship’s company of 415 were 42 Royal Marines. From the ships log it appears they carried out commissioning and training, based at Harwich, until 10th Feb 1919 when the ship sailed for Plymouth.
H.M.S. Dauntless sailed for the Caribbean on 14th Feb 1919, via Bermuda, and returned to Plymouth 6th May 1919.
H.M.S. Dauntless – Operations in the Caribbean February 1919
This photo from Tom’s album would have been taken in the Caribbean as most of the group are wearing pith helmets.
Tom is sitting at the front, in the middle.
The album includes picture post cards from a number of the places they called at in the Caribbean.
For more on the buried house card see:
House of Sand in the Western North Atlantic
This photo from Tom’s album shows Matelots at work on the deck of H.M.S. Dauntless.
H.M.S. Dauntless then departed for the Baltic on 17th June 1919, returning to Plymouth 16th July 1919.
Baltic Sailors – H.M.S. Dauntless
On 2nd August 1919 H.M.S. Dauntless departed for Canada. She was sent across the Atlantic to check for icebergs
3 days ahead of H.M.S. Renown, which was conveying the Prince of Wales to Canada on a Royal Tour.
H.M.S. Renown was a Battlecruiser. She frequently carried members of the Royal Family on trips abroad.
There are three different photos of icebergs in Tom’s album,
H.M.S. Dauntless – Operations off Canada
News Clippings regarding The Prince of Wales trip to Canada
H.M.S. Dauntless arrived at Conception Bay on the morning of 11th August 1919, joining company with H.M.S. Renown and H.M.S. Dragon prior to anchoring off Bell Island. (H.M.S. Dragon was also a Danae class cruiser). H.M.S. Dauntless log recorded that the crew were ‘preparing’ illuminating circuits.
On 12th August H.M.S. Renown struck the Royal Standard as they sailed into St Johns. H.M.S. Dauntless was then dressed ready for when the Prince of Wales went ashore to a 21- gun salute. The ship was undressed in the evening and illuminated at 21:30. Dressing, or dressing overall, is where a line of pennants is hung from mast to mast across the ‘dressing line’ and the Naval Ensign is flown on each of the middle masts and the Ensign Staff with the National Flag flown on the Jack Staff.
This photo from Tom’s album and shows H.M.S. Dauntless (or H.M.S. Dragon) dressed.
On 13th August H.M.S. Dauntless put to sea and was dressed ready for the Prince of Wales to visit the ship.
He walked round the ship and inspected the ship’s company.
This photo from Tom’s album shows HRH Prince of Wales visiting H.M.S. Dauntless.
The two people in front are Brigadier General Joseph Landry (Left) and the Captain F.P. Loder-Symonds.
HRH is the first of the two people just stepping out onto the deck.
Also, the 1919 log includes the following in the log for 2nd Aug 1919 [Dauntless was being sent across the Atlantic 3 days ahead of H.M.S. Renown (conveying the Prince of Wales on a Royal Tour of Canada) to check for icebergs. W. Douglas Newton author of Westward with the Prince of Wales travelled on board Dauntless and in his preface to the book describes the journey and is very complementary about Dauntless and her officers.]
Click on the link above.
On the morning of 14th August H.M.S. Dauntless ‘went fishing’ – dropping depth charges and then turning back to the position of the explosion, stopping and lowering boats to pick up the fish stunned or killed.
On 17th August H.M.S. Dauntless arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia, still sailing in company of H.M.S. Renown with HRH Prince of Wales on board. The ship was illuminated between 21:30 and 23:00.
This photo from Tom’s album shows one of the ships (Probably H.M.S. Renown) illuminated in the foreground
with a second ship illuminated in the distance, to the right.
H.M.S. Dauntless left Halifax on 18th August arriving at Charlottetown on the 19th, again in company with H.M.S. Renown & H.M.S. Dragon.
On the 20th August H.M.S. Dauntless sailed from Charlottetown, calling at Murray Bay (La Malbaie) before arriving at Quebec on 21st where she joined company with H.M.S. Dragon & H.M.S. Renown and acted as guide of fleet during the passage along the St Lawrence Estuary. At 18.30 the ship was dressed and fired a Royal Salute on HRH landing, and then the ship was undressed.
At 15:00 on 24th H.M.S. Dauntless fired a 21- gun salute on HRH leaving Quebec on his Canadian tour, after which a quarter of the ship’s crew were allowed on a short visit to Niagara Falls as guests of the Canadian Government.
This photo from Tom’s album shows H.M.S. Dauntless (or Dragon) firing the Salute.
On the 26th August the illuminations were unrigged prior to sailing back to England, arriving at Devonport on 12th Sept.
H.M.S. Dauntless then departed 24th Sept 1919 for the Baltic, returning to Plymouth 17th Feb 1920
H.M.S. Dauntless – Operations in the Baltic Sea. (24 Sep 1919 to 17 Feb 1920)
Terms used in the log. Indicator Nets were light steel nets normally anchored at various depths to the sea bed around Allied naval bases, intended to entangle U- boat traffic of the enemy. Individual nets were sometimes as much as 100 metres in length. After a submarine became entangled in the net, a marker buoy attached to the net drifted along the water's surface indicating an enemy below.
Paravanes were a form of towed underwater ‘glider’ used to destroy naval mines, being strung out and streamed alongside the towing ship, normally from the bow. The wings of the paravane force the body away from the towing ship, placing a lateral tension on the towing wire. If the tow cable snags the cable anchoring a mine then the anchoring cable would be cut, allowing the mine to float to the surface where it could be destroyed by gunfire. If the anchor cable would not part, the mine and the paravane would be brought together and the mine would explode harmlessly against the paravane.
For more information regarding Paravanes see:
On 7th October H.M.S. Dauntless was at Biorko Sound and landed a party to work on Indicator Nets.
This was repeated most days so clearly, they were wary of submarines in the area.
This strange photo from Tom’s Album has the comment ‘Captured in Biorko’ in the top right corner.
His Majesty’s sailors liked to dress-up. They would put on shows – like those from “It ain’t half hot Mum”.
They had regular concert party items in which many crew members would participate. This photo looks like a shot of one of those.
Good for morale and part of keeping yourself entertained as a sailor.
On 13th October H.M.S. Delhi, Dauntless and 5 other boats carried out exercises and 6” gun practice, with Paravanes out.
On 14th November all ships in harbour opened fire on German positions in support of the Latvian troops who had been driven back.
For further Reading on North Russia.
The following references are from our friends at www.naval-history.net
These are the Royal Navy and Army Despatches regarding the North Russian Expeditionary Force and Baltic Operations.
These records came about through the efforts of Gordon Smith, the Creator of www.naval-history.net.
The first two references relate to the scrapbook/diary kept by Chief Yeoman of Signals George Smith, DSM. and his service record.
George Smith was Gordon’s Grandfather and the website is dedicated to him and Gordon’s Father - George Charles William Smith.
NORTH RUSSIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 1919, Scrapbook Diary, Photographs, Mementos
In Memory of CHIEF YEOMAN OF SIGNALS GEORGE SMITH, DSM, Royal Navy and RN Shore Signal Service 1904-48 (Part 1 of 7)
by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.net
31906 - 18 MAY 1920
NORTH RUSSIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE
NAVAL DESPATCH Admiralty, 1st January, 1920.
31970 - 6 JULY 1920
NORTH RUSSIA in 1918
NAVAL DESPATCH Admiralty, April 29th, 1920.
31856 - 6 APRIL 1920
NAVAL DESPATCH "Delhi" at Devonport, 9th February, 1920.
31850 - 2 APRIL 1920
NORTH RUSSIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE
ARMY DESPATCHES dated 5 October 1918 to 1 November 1919 War Office, 6th April, 1920.
H.M.S. Dauntless left Biorko Sound on 5th and arrived Tallinn 6th December, remaining there till 10th December when she left for Liepaja, Latvia. (Libau)
A postcard from Tom’s album.
It would have been produced for either Christmas 1918 or 1919 for the crew to send home to relatives and friends.
Libau - Latvia
We understand that the Marines manned the guns which is possibly why they are photographed next to them.
The first photo on the left is possibly Tom.
On 2nd February 1920, the Republic of Estonia and Bolshevist Russia signed the Peace Treaty of Tartu which recognised Estonian independence.
This resulted in the withdrawal of the Royal Navy from the Baltic. H.M.S. Dauntless arrived back at Plymouth 17th Feb 1920.
Tom was demobilised from the Royal Marines on 20th March 1920 and returned to work on the railways where he progressed to Engine Driver,
moving to Leyland, Lancashire in 1935.
Princess Mary Gift
In October 1914 Princess Mary, the 17- year old daughter of King George V, started a national collection to give each Soldier and Sailor a small gift at Christmas. The standard gift, in a small presentation box, consisted of One ounce of Tobacco, Twenty monogrammed Cigarettes, Christmas card from the King & Queen and a Photo of Princess Mary.
Tom must have received this gift because a photocard of the King & Queen is in the Album and the photo of Princess Mary is glued onto the first page of his Album, so he must have been proud to have received it. I suspect that, due to this photo, Princess Mary became the first ‘forces pinup’.
The following note appears in the Log from H.M.S. Jupiter dated 26th April 1915 at Alexandrovsk, North Russia
and this is probably when Tom received the gift.
9.30am: Hands mustered by open list.
Princess Mary’s gifts.
Note: ‘Princess Mary’s gifts’ (actually Christmas gifts) were noted in the logs of several ships during 1915,
for example: HMS Chatham (in Bombay) and HMS Hyacinth (near Zanzibar).
Princess Mary Photo Reverse of King and Queen’s Postcard Contents of the present
who were also on holiday and came from Edgehill, Liverpool. Nell’s brother, Danny, played football for Liverpool.
This photo was taken during that holiday,
Tom and Nell married in Liverpool in 1924, and started their married life in Wigan where they had two children:
Daniel Shone Barlow (Dan) b.1925
Ernest Barlow (Ernie) b.1926
Tom was promoted to Engine Driver in 1936, the family moving to Farington, Leyland, where Tom bought a newly built house costing £365.
Tom retired from the Railways in 1961 and died in Leyland in 1977, Nell died in 1982.
Dan Barlow followed his father into the Royal Marines during WW2, becoming a Landing Craft Coxswain, taking part in the D-Day invasion, landing American troops on Omaha Beach. Then sailed for the Far East where he took part in several troop landings. He arrived back in England at the end of April 1946 and married Winifred (Win) Mayor 5 days later on 4th May. Win and Dan had 5 children
Tomas Barlow’s Service Papers