Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (23 June 2021)
Date of Auction: 23rd June 2021
Sold for £4,600
Estimate: £4,000 - £5,000
Distinguished Service Medal, G.VI.R. (J.107537 R. Nott. A/C.P.O. H.M.S. Triumph.) officially impressed naming; 1939-45 Star; Atlantic Star; Africa Star; War Medal 1939-45; Royal Navy L.S. & G.C., G.VI.R., 1st issue ((J.107537 R. Nott. P.O. H.M.S. Forth.) mounted as worn, extremely fine (6) £4,000-£5,000
FootnoteD.S.M. London Gazette 20 January 1942:
‘For courage, skill and resolution in successful Submarine patrols.’
Seedies Submarine List states: ‘Five Mediterranean War Patrols from February to July 1941. Sank the Italian Submarine Salpa off Mersa Matruh on 27 June 1941.’
D.S.M. Second Award Bar London Gazette 5 May 1942:
‘For daring, enterprise and devotion to duty in successful patrols in H.M. Submarines.’
Seedies Submarine List states: ‘Three Mediterranean War Patrols in Autumn 1941. Landed a party which demolished a railway bridge near Caronia, on the north coast of Sicily on 28 August 1941.’
The recommendation for the Bar to his D.S.M. states: ‘For courage and devotion to duty as Coxswain of H.M.S. Triumph during three patrols since previously being recommended. Nott’s cool and efficient handling of the after hydroplanes contributed materially to successful attacks on an Italian cruiser and four supply ships. He also set a fine example of coolness on four occasions of being depth charged.’
The following comments were made by the Honours and Awards Committee:
‘In her 6th, 7th and 8th Mediterranean War Patrols H.M.S. Triumph performed the following exploits. On 26 August 1941 she attacked part of the Italian Fleet, and torpedoed the cruiser Bolzano. She attacked two tankers and two supply ships. She destroyed a viaduct. She was employed on three special missions, and she sank two schooners by gunfire. In all these actions Commander W. J. W. Woods, D.S.O., R.N. showed notable powers of leadership.
Most sympathetic consideration was given to the Commander-in-Chief’s recommendation of the V.C. for Commander Woods for the attack of 26 August, but in the Committee’s opinion this action did not quite come up to the very high standard required for the V.C. [award downgraded to a Bar to his D.S.O.].
The loss of H.M.S. Triumph was announced on 5 February 1942. The recommendations herein considered are dated 8th November 1941 so that no question arises of the awards being posthumous.’
Reginald Nott was born at South Stoneham, Southampton, on 7 December 1907, and entered the Royal Navy aboard H.M.S. Impregnable as a Boy 2nd Class on 26 June 1923. He joined H.M.S. Tiger on 17 June 1924, and was rated Ordinary Seaman in this ship on 7 December 1925. He was rated Able Seaman in H.M.S. Lowestoft on 8 June 1926, and joined Dolphin for submarine training on 16 May 1930. He joined his first submarine ‘H30’ on 1 October 1930 and served in this boat until February 1933. Thereafter his record of service gives just the submarine depots Dolphin and Medway for submarine service until February 1937 when he is assigned to ‘H33’. He was advanced to Acting Petty Officer aboard this boat on 8 July 1937. After further service aboard H.M. Submarines Oxley and Unity, he was made Acting Chief Petty Officer on 22 October 1940, and joined H.M. Submarine Triumph on 17 November 1940. On 20 March 1941, he received his Naval L.S. & G.C. medal which was named to his Depot ship H.M.S. Forth.
Triumph carried out North Sea patrols off Norway until December 1939 when she was badly damaged by a mine which blew off eighteen feet of her fore-end. After repair lasting six months, she resumed patrol duties off Norway in August before being transferred to the Mediterranean in January 1941 for the interception of supply traffic to and from North Africa. During February 1941 she landed commandos for a raid on the Apulian coast. Whilst on patrol in May that year she sank two ships off Calabria as well as the Italian Auxiliary Ramb 3 off Benghazi. Her successes continued in June when she sank the Italian submarine Salpa off Mersa Matruh by torpedo after a surface gun action, whilst on patrol in July, she attacked and sank a 500-ton freighter being escorted by the Italian gunboat Dante de Lutti which was then sunk in a surface action. Some damage requiring repair was subsequently carried out in Malta. On return to duty in August, she attacked and damaged the Italian cruiser Bolzano. During an Adriatic patrol in September she sank another mercantile and damaged two others in surface gun attacks. The next month she sank a transport in the Aegean and on return to deployment off North Africa she carried out an attack on a coastal convoy sinking one of its ships.
Lieutenant John Symons Huddart, R.N., took over command of Triumph from Commander Woods and sailed from Alexandria on 26 December 1941, to land a party near the Greek capital Athens before making a patrol in the Aegean Sea. She reported making the landing on the 30th, but did not show up on 9 January 1942, when she was scheduled to pick the party up again. She was declared overdue on 14 January 1942, probably lost to Italian mines off Milo Island, south east of Greece.
Reginald Nott was aged 35, the son of Charles and Annie Nott, and husband of Grace Nott, of Itchen, Hampshire. He is commemorated by name on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
Sold with original Certificate of Service; several photographs including H.M. Submarines H.30 and Phoenix; letter of condolence from Commander Woods to his widow; and an Admiralty letter advising his widow of the award of the Bar to his D.S.M. which states:
‘In her last three War Patrols, H.M.S. Triumph carried out many torpedo attacks and fought two gun actions in which valuable enemy ships wee sunk or damaged. As Coxswain, Chief Petty Officer Nott took a vital part in these and other operations, and his outstanding skill and courage contributed much to their success.’