Lot Archive


№ 394


12 February 1997

Hammer Price:

China 1900, no clasp (Lieut. W. S. Gillett, R.N., H.M.S. Linnet) very fine

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


Walter Scott Gillett was born at Hawley, Southampton, on 12 October 1875, and entered the service as a Cadet aboard the Training Ship BRITANNIA on 15 July 1899 aged 14 years. He gained 5 month's seniority on passing out of BRITANNIA and joined his first ship H.M.S. DREADNOUGHT in July 1891. Promoted Midshipman in February 1892, he next served aboard WARSPITE (May 1894) and VOLAGE (September 1894) being promoted to Acting Sub Lieutenant on 14 August 1895 and later confirmed in this rank with seniority of the same date. He next joined VICTORY (July 1896) for command of Torpedo Boat 76, WILDFIRE (September 1896), HALCYON (December 1897) being promoted to Lieutenant on 31 December 1897, SHELDRAKE (February 1899), SEAGULL (November 1899), and LINNETT (November 1899). He served aboard LINNET in Chinese waters in 1900 and was awarded of the China War medal without clasp. He subsequently served aboard MERSEY (July 1901), Greenwich Naval College ‘for Compass Course’ (September 1901), PEMBROKE (October 1901) ‘Additional for FEARLESS’, MERSEY (November 1901), MELAMPUS (May 1902), and DUKE OF WELLINGTON (June 1903) ‘Additional for JUNO’. He was retired medically unfit on the 11 January 1905 after 15 years service and died on 9 February 1907.

During his relatively short Naval career he incurred their Lordship's disapproval and displeasure on four separate occasions. Firstly in November 1899 he was found guilty of discreditable and unofficer-like conduct (drunk and disorderly on shore, arrested and convicted by civil powers) and removed to another ship; secondly, in November 1901, he was cautioned to be more careful following the grounding of LINNET in the Tsing Ming Channel; thirdly, in February 1903, he was reprimanded for non-payment of a debt to a Shanghai club and in punishment he was sent to sea; and fourthly, in July 1903, for unofficer-like and discreditable conduct in connection with a wine bill debt due to the Mess.