For sale is a Rare WW1 Victory Medal To Pte F E Gyde Who Drowned After RMS Leinster was Torpedoed German submarine UB-123.
This victory medal is engraved on the rim “71980 Pte F E Gyde Notts & Derby R”.
Frank Ernest Gyde was born in 1898 in Forest Gate, Essex to Edward George Gyde and Emily Frances Harris. He was the youngest of their seven children, five of whom were alive in 1911. Edward Gyde was a Blacksmith as was his father before him and he had been working at that trade from at least the age of sixteen. The family lived in east London and moved to Southend-on-Sea before 1911. Edward died in 1914 at the age of forty-nine.
Frank Gyde enlisted at Forest Gate, initially in the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment, (known as the Sherwood Foresters) where he was a Private, Service Number
71980. He transferred to the 45th Training Reserve Battalion, Service Number TR/9/24658 and then to the Royal Defence Corps. In October 1918 he was with the 468th Protection Company in Ireland. He was entitled to a British war medal and victory medal but unfortunately only the victory medal is present. He would also have been awarded a death plaque posthumously which is also missing.
He was presumably returning home on leave when he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October. He did not survive the sinking nor was his body recovered. His name is recorded on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton.
About RMS Leinster:
RMS Leinster was an Irish ship operated by the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company. She served as the Kingstown-Holyhead mailboat until she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine UB-123, which was under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Robert Ramm, on 10 October 1918, while bound for Holyhead. She sank just outside Dublin Bay at a point 4 nautical miles (7.4 km) east of the Kish light.
The exact number of dead is unknown but researchers from the National Maritime Museum believe it was at least 564, which would make it the largest single loss of life in the Irish Sea.
The ship's log states that she carried 77 crew and 694 passengers on her final voyage. The ship had previously been attacked in the Irish Sea but the torpedoes missed their target. Those on board included more than 100 British civilians, 22 postal sorters (working in the mail room) and almost 500 military personnel from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force. Also aboard were nurses from Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States.
Just before 10 a.m. as she was sailing east of the Kish Bank in a heavy swell, passengers saw a torpedo approach from the port side and pass in front of the bow. A second torpedo followed shortly afterwards, and struck the ship forward on the port side, in the vicinity of the mail room. The ship made a U-turn in an attempt to return to Kingstown as it began to settle slowly by the bow, but sank rapidly after a third torpedo struck, causing a huge explosion.
Despite the heavy seas, the crew managed to launch several lifeboats and some passengers clung to life-rafts. The survivors were rescued by HMS Lively, HMS Mallard and HMS Seal. Among the civilian passengers lost in the sinking were socially prominent people, such as Lady Phyllis Hamilton, daughter of the Duke of Abercorn, Robert Jocelyn Alexander, son of Irish poet and hymn writer, Cecil Frances Alexander, Rev. John Bartley, the Presbyterian minister of Tralee, who was travelling to visit his mortally wounded son in hospital, Thomas Foley and his wife Charlotte Foley (née Barrett), who was the brother-in-law of the world-famous Irish tenor John McCormack, who adopted their eldest son, and Richard Moore, only son of British architect Temple Moore. The first member of the Women's Royal Naval Service to die on active duty, Josephine Carr, was among those who died, as were two prominent officials of the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union, James McCarron and Patrick Lynch.
Several of the military personnel who died are buried in Grangegorman Military Cemetery.
Survivors were brought to Kingstown harbour. Among them were Michael Joyce, an Irish Parliamentary Party MP for Limerick City, and Captain Hutchinson Ingham Cone of the United States Navy, the former commander of the USS Dale (DD-4).
One of the rescue ships was the armed yacht, and former fishery protection vessel, HMY Helga. Stationed in Kingstown harbour at the time of the sinking, she had shelled Dublin during the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin two years earlier. She was later bought and renamed the Muirchú by the Irish Free State government as one of its first fishery protection vessels.
On October 18, 1918 at 9.10 a.m. UB-125, outbound from Germany under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Werner Vater, picked up a radio message requesting advice on the best way to get through the North Sea minefield. The sender was Oberleutnant zur See Robert Ramm, aboard UB-123. Extra mines had been added to the minefield since UB-123 had made her outward voyage from Germany. As UB-125 had just come through the minefield, Vater radioed back with a suggested route. UB-123 acknowledged the message and was never heard from again.
The following day, ten days after the sinking of the RMS Leinster, UB-123 detonated a mine while trying to cross the North Sea and return to base in Imperial Germany. There were no survivors.
Accompanying this medal is 15 scans of his service records. Upon payment please let me know if you would prefer digital scans or printed copies. There is still plenty of research to be done on this medal!
This was the largest single loss of life in the Irish Sea, in which this medal has an incredibly interesting piece of history attached to it. There has been one other sale of ww1 set of medals that belonged to a soldier that drowned whilst onboard RMS Leinster in which they sold for just over £1000 with auction fees!
This will be sent via royal mail special delivery and dispatched within one working days.