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

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Date of Auction: 2nd April 2004

Sold for £880

Estimate: £500 - £600

Four: Ship’s Corporal 1 W. G. Triggs, Royal Navy, who was lost when H.M.S. Aboukir was torpedoed in the North Sea on 22 September 1914

China 1900 (P.O. 1 Cl., H.M.S. Daphne); 1914-15 Star (163287 Sh. Cpl. 1, R.N.); British War and Victory Medals (163287 Sh. Cpl. 1, R.N.), with related Memorial Plaque (Woodman George Triggs), the first with edge bruising, very fine, the remainder extremely fine (5) £500-600

Footnote

Woodman George Triggs was born at Lanlivery, Cornwall in February 1876 and entered the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class in February 1894. Advanced to Petty Officer 1st Class aboard H.M.S. Daphne in October 1899, he served in the same ship off China during the Boxer Rebelllion, and was discharged ashore “time expired” in February 1906. As a member of the R.F.R., however, he was recalled to the Royal Navy in early August 1914.

Triggs died on 22 September 1914, when his ship, the cruiser H.M.S. Aboukir, together with the Cressy and Hogue, was famously sunk by Lieutenant Otto Weddigen in the U-9, about 30 miles from Ymuiden - the total loss of life in this triple disaster was over 1400 officers and men. The Aboukir was the first to be hit:

‘At 6.30 a.m. came the first intimation of danger when a torpedo exploded under the Aboukir’s starboard side, causing that ship to take a list of 20 degrees. The order to “abandon ship” was given after a very short time, but only one boat, the cutter, was got away, and those in the water had to avail themselves of anything which would float. The first idea in the mind of Captain Drummond was that his ship had struck a mine as no submarine was visible. The Aboukir remained afloat for some 25 minutes, after which she capsized and lay for a time with her keel above water ...’ (A Dictionary of Disasters at Sea refers).

Woodman, who left a widow resident at Wimbledon, is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial.