The Cross of Saint George.

Associated with the Order of Saint George, but for enlisted men and NCO's, the Cross of Saint George came in 4 classes. Like the Order of St. George, the St. George cross was awarded for acts of distinction under arms. An enlisted man or NCO would be awarded the 4th class cross for his first brave act. A second notable act could then bring him the 3rd class cross, etc. The first class and second class were in gold, the first class with a bow on the ribbon. The third and fourth classes were in silver, the third class marked by a bow. The ribbon was the same as for the order of Saint George.

Over two million Saint George Crosses were distributed during the Great War and before the abdication of the Tsar., going to soldiers, nurses and members of the Red Cross. Commanders in the field could award the St. George Cross on the spot. Russia

 

 


Sergeant 10938 Ernest Davison 

 

Silver Cross of St George 4th Class (Russia)  

2nd Bn, Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby).

Killed in Action 5th October 1915, Aged 26.

Buried Potijze Buriel Ground Ieper. DI. 3. 

 

Ernest was the son of Owen & Ellen Davison of 38 Paget Street Loughborough. Sergt. Davison, was decorated by the Tsar with the Cross of St. George 1V Class. He was an old Sunday school boy at Swann Street. Sergeant Green of the same battalion as the deceased writes that he was "one of the coolest and bravest men ever in the fighting line, and worthy of the V.C. if ever a solider was. You do not know how much he will be mourned by his comrades, as he really was so modest and unassuming, and everybody liked him to a man. He met his death during a heavy bombardment from a fragment of a shell, which burst only a few yards from him.

 

Ordinary Signalman J/26716(PO) Herbert Goulden

 

Silver Cross of St George 4th Class (Russia) 

H.M. Submarine E. 13. Royal Navy.

Killed in Action Saltholm 19th August 1915, Aged 18.

Buried Loughborough Cemetery 42-256 

 

 

 

Carillon Collection.

 

Herbert Goulden was born on the 24thJune 1897, at 38 Blackwell Street, Stockport.The son of Joseph and Florence Goulden, the family later moved to 33 Station Street Loughborough.

In 1913, at the age of sixteen, he enlisted in the Royal Navy, and on the 23rdof August 1913, he joined H.M.S. Ganges. On his eighteenth birthday he signed on for a further twelve years service. He joined the crew of the submarine E.13 on the 11thJanuary 1915.

 Officer and crew of HMS/m 'E13' (E-class) April 1915

Front row, Left to Right:Stoker PO. ERA Staples. ERA Lukey, Lt Eddis, Lt Layton, Lt Armstrong RNR, ERA Abrams(?)ERA Varcoe(?), PO LTO Bowden(?) or Lincoln.Middle row:Includes Ord Sig Goulden, Ord Tel Holt(?).Back row:Includs Stoker Yeardsley, stoker Wilson.

On the 13thAugust 1915, after 3 days leave at Loughborough, Ordinary Signalman Goulden, returned to Harwich to resume his duties.On the 15thAugust E13 sailed from Harwich at 1800 with E8 for the Baltic.On August 18that 2300, due to compass failure, E13 ran aground on Saltholm Island, Denmark. Saltholm an Island about five miles long, is in the sound, six miles E.S.E. of Copenhagen and W.N.W. of Malmoe in Sweden. 

A Danish Torpedo boat appeared on the scene and communicated to E13, that she would be allowed a day to get herself refloted. At the same time a German Torpedo Destroyer arrived and remained close to E13, until two more Danish boats came close. The German boat then withdrew. While three Danish Torpedo boats were anchored close to E13, two German Torpedo boats Destroyers approached from the south. When about half a mile away one of these destroyers hoisted a commercial flag signal, but before the commanding officer Layton had time to read it the German Destroyer fired a Torpedo at her from a distance of about 300 yards, which exploded on hitting the bottom close to her.

At the same moment the German Destroyer fired with all her guns, and Lieutenant Commander Layton seeing that his Submarine was on fire, and unable to defend himself owing to being aground, gave orders for the crew to abandon her. While the men were in the water they were fired on by machine guns, and with shrapnel. One of the Danish torpedo boats immediately lowered her boats and steamed between the submarine and the German Destroyers, who therefore had to cease-fire and withdraw. 

Casualties:

Discharged Dead from E13 on 19 August 1915

PO. WG Warren Sto.     WA Yearsley       Ord Sig. H Goulden      Ord Tel. BSC Holt (aka E S Holt)

AB. H Joyner                   AB. AJ Payne      AB. RT Smart                 LS. HT Pedder

ERA. H staples                C Sto. B Pink       Sto. TC Greenwood      Sto. A Long

L Stc. WH Thomas         Sto. WT Wilcox  Sto. F Wilson

 

 
E13 being towed into Copenhagen.
 

 E13 alongside at Copenhagen, damaged.

 

E13 alongside at Copenhagen, August 1915,Note damage caused by German gunfire.

Herbert Goulden was awarded the Silver Cross Of St George 4thClass (Russia), for bravery in the face of the enemy. 

The British government accepted the offer of the Danish Admiralty to carry the fourteen bodies back to England. The mail steamer Vidar had been specially fitted out for this purpose. The Vidar's Salon was transformed into a temporary chapel, and before the departure a funeral service was held, alongside the Maritime Wharf. There was an affecting scene when the British sailors arrived, and many were moved to tears. The ceremony which was short, but impressive, the coffins were covered with hundreds of wreaths in Danish and British colours. Flags were flying at half-mast over the whole of Copenhagen. 

The Vidar left for Hull, escorted by the Danish Torpedo boats, Springeren and Storen. Only fourteen bodies left Copenhagen on board SS Vidar (1 victim missing later recovered and brought to England). SS Vidar arrived at Riverside Quay at 7.pm on August 27th.   On Saturday morning at 10.00am, the fourteen coffins were transferred to fourteen horse drawn hearses, which were drawn to the Paragon Station. On entering the large gateway to the Station yard, the coffins were arranged in a row. A shooting party fired a volley over the bodies and the "Last Post" was sounded.

 

Reception of E13 victims in Hull

 

Reception of E13 victim in Hull, Floral tributes.

Funeral procession in Hull of submarine E13 heroes.

The coffins of Herbert Goulden and his fellow blue jackets, where placed on a train, and sent to the following places: Severn to Gosport, one each to York, Pembroke, Loughborough, Wimbourne, London and Verwood. Herbert Goulden's body enclosed in a massive coffin on which was a plate bearing the name of the young blue jacket, arrived in Loughborough by the Great Central Railway, on Saturday and was removed to the lad's home in Station Street. With the remains also came no less than 72 floral tributes, including the beautiful wreath inscribed "In memory of the brave blue jackets who gave up their lives for King and Country from Alexandra". There were tributes from Russia, Belgium, Denmark, France, and the members of the Hull exchange. Another wreath bore the inscription "We salute you Crew of E13, your immortal example can but encourage Briton's sons to deeds of similar valour for the honour of old England".  

Ordinary Signalman Herbert Goulden's funeral took place on Monday 30thAugust 1915. A strong detachment of the 3/5th Leicestershire Regiment attended the funeral. The Parade lined up in Station Street, as a bodyguard and escorted the funeral party to St. Peters Church. The coffin was covered with the Navel Ensign, on which were two wreaths, and the deceased Sailors cap. A service was held at the church; afterwards the body was conveyed to Loughborough cemetery for interment in plot 42, section 256. Sailors on leave followed the coffin to the graveside. The 3/5thLeicester's provided the bearers and a detachment of the same battalion fired volleys over the grave after the interment. 

On the 26thMay 1916 Mrs. Henshaw (formerly Goulden) 33 Station Street Loughborough, received her sons award of the silver Cross of St George, enclosed with the order was a diploma from the Chapter of the Russian Imperial and Royal Orders, printed in the Russian language.

'E13's' bell is currently on display at the RN Submarine Museum, Gosport. A section of HP airline from 'E13', pierced by German machine-gun bullets when she was stranded on Saltholm Island, is currently on display at the RN Submarine Museum. It was presented to the museum by Admiral Layton, her CO at the time. Lt Cdr Layton later rose to become Vice Admiral Sir Geoffrey Layton. Lt Cdr Eddis was i/c L24 when she was sunk with all hands after collision with the battleship "Resolution" on 10 Jan 1924. 

 

Sergeant  Ernest Neal M.M

 

Silver Cross of St George 4th Class (Russia) 

Machine Gun Corps                                                                   

London Gazette 1610 of 1.2.1918  

 

 

Mr. And Mrs. A. Neal of 14 Station Street, Loughborough, have had the pleasure of hearing from their son, Sergeant Ernest Neal, of the Machine Gun Corps informing them that he has been awarded the Military Medal for his conduct in the field. He is 21 years of age and has been in the army four years. He has done well, and has been several times mentioned by officers. 

In September 1915, he was awarded by the Tsar of Russia the Cross of St, George, 4thclass. In May this year Sergeant, Neal received from his divisional commander a card stating he had been commended by his officers for consistent good work done in the trenches during January February March and April. 

His father is an old regular, and when he left the army joined the Police Force and served 26 years in the Leicestershire Constabulary before retiring on pension. He went through the Egyptian campaign when a regular, and has two decorations for the 1884 and 1885 campaign, with a bar for Suakin. He has two other sons. The eldest in a church army Captain and at present is working with the Army recreation huts in this country. The youngest son, Herbert, joined the army after the war broke out, and had his last Christmas dinner in the trenches. Since then he has been discharged for he was sixteen years old only last April and has gone back to civilian life till of age.