Lot Archive


№ 663


16 October 1996

Hammer Price:

Distinguished Service Medal, G.V.R. (234659 L. Pettis, A.B. H.M.S. Scorpion); 1914-15 Star (D.S.M., A.B. R.N.); British War and Victory Medals (A.B. R.N.) some corrosion, possibly through fire damage, otherwise nearly very fine (4)

This lot was sold as part of a special collection, The Douglas-Morris Collection of Naval Medals.

View The Douglas-Morris Collection of Naval Medals


D.S.M. London Gazette 16 August1915 “For services on the night of 4-5 March as the crew of armed whaler from HMS SCORPION” [which twice went into the shore between Kum Kale and Yeni Shehr, bringing off two officers and five men, two of them wounded, exposed to rifle fire on both occasions.] The additional detail in brackets is taken from Gunner Thorrowgood’s D.S.C. citation.

The following narrative is taken from the report by Lt. Cdr. A.B. Cunningham (later of Admiral of the Fleet fame in WWII), Commanding H.M.S. SCORPION:

“On 4 March under cover of the WOLVERINE, SCORPION and one battleship, about 300 marines were put ashore on Kum Kale, on the Asiatic shore at the entrance to the Dardanelles, to cover a demoliition party of sailors who were to make certain that all the guns in Orkanie Fort were destroyed. This they succeeded in doing. The Turks, however, had been reinforced and the landing party became involved in stiff fighting, in which they were outnumbered and incurred heavy casualties. During this battle we closed the mouth of the Mendere River, just to the east of Kum Kale, located and shelled a battery that was firing shrapnel at our men ashore, and attended also to the Turkish snipers. Most of our landing party got back; but some were cut off from the landing place, and in the evening we saw them coming back along the shore, being badly shot up. After dark the SCORPION was ordered to send in her whaler to bring off any survivors. Our whaler went in, in charge of Mr W. W. Thorowgood, Gunner (T), who had spent several hours sharpening a service cutlass to a razor edge, and was further armed with two revolvers. When they reached the beach they found a nasty little sea, which made things rather difficult. The Gunner ordered the crew over the side into the water to hold the boat off the shore. One weak individual demurred, whereupon Thorrowgood seized and flung him into the sea, which clinched the argument! Our boat pulled twice into the shore under heavy rifle fire and brought off two officers and eleven men, of whom two were wounded. She searched the beach for two hours. It was a gallant piece of work which won Thorrowgood the Distinguished Service Cross and his eight seamen Distinguished Service Medals.