The Collection of Medals to Great War Casualties formed by Tim Parsons

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Date of Auction: 2nd April 2004

Sold for £1,350

Estimate: £700 - £800

Five: Acting Leading Stoker J. E. Row, Royal Navy, who was lost when H.M.S. Pathfinder was torpedoed in the North Sea on 5 September 1914

Africa General Service 1902-56, 1 clasp, Somaliland 1908-10 (K. 1012 Sto. 1 Cl., H.M.S. Hyacinth); Naval General Service 1915-62, 1 clasp, Persian Gulf 1909-1914 (K. 1012 Sto. 1 Cl., H.M.S. Hyacinth); 1914-15 Star (K. 1012 Act. L. Sto., R.N.); British War and Victory Medals (K. 1012 Act. L. Sto., R.N.), together with related Memorial Plaque (James Edward Row), the reverse of the plaque scratched, otherwise generally good very fine or better (6) £700-800


James Edward Row, who was born at Bethnal Green in London in November 1885, entered the Royal Navy as a Stoker 2nd Class in July 1908. Advanced to Stoker 1st Class aboard H.M.S. Hyacinth in March 1909, he participated in the ‘Somaliland 1908-10’ and ‘Persian Gulf 1909-14’ operations, and was an Acting Leading Stoker aboard the light cruiser Pathfinder by the outbreak of hostilities. He was subsequently among those lost in her when she was torpedoed by the U-21 in the North Sea:

‘This same day [5 September 1914] we suffered our first naval loss from submarine attack. The victim was the flotilla leader Pathfinder (Captain Martin Leake, commanding the Forth Destroyer Patrol), lost with nearly all hands off St. Abb’s Head. She went down in four minutes, and at first it was reported to be a mine. But Captain Leake, who though wounded was saved, made it clear that it must have been a torpedo from a submarine which probably exploded the magazine ...’

Sold with an old picture postcard depicting the Pathfinder.