Seven: Distinguished Service Cross, G.V.R., with Second Award Bar; 1914-15 Star Trio, M.I.D. (Lieut. W. S. Harrison, R.N.R.); 1939-45 Star; Atlantic Star; War Medal, these three privately named (Lt. Cmd., D.S.C., R.N.) generally good very fine (7)
D.S.C. London Gazette 23 May 1917 "The King has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Distinguished Service Cross to the under mentioned officers".
Bar to D.S.C. London Gazette 29 August 1917 "The King has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Distinguished Service Cross for services in action with enemy submarines".
M.I.D. London Gazette 2 November 1917.
William Strickland Harrison was Navigating Officer of the ‘Q’ ship PENSHURST, one of the most celebrated ‘Q’ ships operating during the Great War. He received both awards for service in the ‘Q’ ship PENSHURST when the German Minelaying Submarines UB19 (Noodt) and UB37 (Gunther) were sunk respectively on 30 November 1916 and 14 January 1917. Commander (later Captain) F. H. Grenfell, the Commanding Officer of the PENSHURST received the D.S.O. for these actions. Both actions are extensively written up in numerous books on ‘Q’ ships, or Mystery Ships as they were frequently called.
Harrison joined the Royal Navy Reserve as a Temporary Sub Lieutenant for General Duties on 16 February 1915 and was appointed to H.M.S. ALSATIAN, Armed Merchant Cruiser flying the flag of Rear Admiral de Chair, C.B., M.V.O., on 22 March 1915. Having previously served as an officer in the Mercantile Marine he was promoted to Temporary Acting Lieutenant in June 1915. He volunteered for Special Service ('Q' ships) his service in these vessels including the PENSHURST (Q7) under Commander H. F. Grenfell, R.N. Following nearly three years service in 'Q' ships he was next appointed on 2 February 1918 to H.M.S. RHODODENDRON for escort duties in the North Atlantic. On 5 June 1918 he joined H.M.S. PRESIDENT III for services with defensively armed merchant ships and returned to the Merchant Service after being demobilised in 1919.
On the outbreak of World War II he again volunteered for service in the Royal Naval Reserve and was appointed a Temporary Lieutenant with seniority of 1 May 1940. He joined H.M.S. BARNWELL, a Boom Defence Vessel in May 1940, continuing to serve in this ship until November 1941. Because of his previous R.N.R. war time experience he was promoted to Acting Lieutenant Commander in 1941, and given Command of H.M.S. ATALANTA, on 7 November 1941. He was next appointed in December 1941 to H.M.S. FORWARD, Parent Ship Newhaven, for Minesweeping Duties. On 26 May 1944 he was appointed to the Boom Defence Depot at Portsmouth for Miscellaneous Duties and continued to serve at this establishment until released from Naval Service in November 1945.