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: £350 - £400

Four: Seaman J. Thomas, Royal Naval Reserve, who was lost when H.M.S. Goliath was torpedoed off Cape Helles on 13 May 1915

1914-15 Star (D. 2104 Smn., R.N.R.); British War and Victory Medals (2104 D. Smn., R.N.R.); Royal Naval Reserve L.S., G.V.R., 1st issue (D. 2104 Sean., R.N.R.), with related Memorial Plaque (James Thomas), nearly extremely fine and a scarce combination to a Great War casualty (5) £350-400

Footnote

James Thomas, a Cornishman, was lost aboard the battleship H.M.S. Goliath on 13 May 1915, when she was torpedoed off Cape Helles by a Turkish destroyer.

The Goliath had earlier served off the East African coast in pursuit of the German light cruiser Konigsberg, and it was here in November 1914 that Commander Ritchie of the Goliath gained the first Naval V.C. of the Great War at the capital of German East Africa, Dar-es-Salaam.

After the destruction of the Konigsberg the Goliath received orders to proceed to the Dardanelles, where she arrived in the middle of April 1915, but in the early hours of the morning of 13 May following, she was struck in quick succession by three torpedoes fired from the Turkish destroyer Mouavenet-Millieh, with the result that she sank so quickly that many of those below were drowned before they could reach the upper deck. Of her complement of some 750 men, about 570, including her Captain, were drowned.

Thomas, who left a widow who was resident at Marazion, Cornwall, is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial.