A Collection of Medals to Second World War Casualties

Date of Auction: 18th July 2018

Sold for £320

Estimate: £200 - £240

Three: Lieutenant J. C. Paige, Royal Naval Reserve, who was killed in action when his submarine H.M.S. Sterlet was depth charged by the German anti-submarine trawlers UJ-125, UJ-126, and UJ-128 and sank off Larvik, Norway, 18 April 1940

1939-45 Star; Atlantic Star; War Medal 1939-45, with named Admiralty enclosure, in card box of issue, addressed to ‘Mrs. P. M. Jacob, “Vivary”, Hallen Road, Henbury, Bristol’, extremely fine (3) £200-240

Footnote

Jack Collings Paige was born at Plymouth, Devon, on 23 February 1913, and joined H.M.S. Conway as a Cadet in January 1929, just prior to his 16th birthday. He excelled, and was ultimately appointed Chief Cadet Captain (effectively the Head Boy). On leaving H.M.S. Conway he found employment with the Harrison Line, and on 1 October 1936 was commissioned Sub Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve. In early 1938 Paige left the Merchant Navy in order to attend peacetime training with the Royal Navy. Selected for the Submarine Service, he was posted to H.M.S. Dolphin on 14 May 1938.

Paige transferred to the S-class submarine H.M.S. Sterlet, based in the Tay at Dundee, on 28 August 1939, and served in her during the Second World War, spending the first six months of the War employed on patrols in the North Sea, from the coast of Norway down to the Netherlands. On 21 September 1939 he married Miss Patricia Mary Parry at the St. Paul’s Cathedral, Dundee. He was promoted Lieutenant, Royal Naval Reserve, on 11 January 1940. On 8 April 1940 Sterlet left for a patrol in the Skagerrak, off the coast of Norway. The following day Germany invaded Norway. On 12 April she spotted enemy ships and unsuccessfully attacked a convoy of three merchant ships and a destroyer. The following day she was assigned a new patrol area, and on 14 April she torpedoed and sunk the German Gunnery Training Ship Brummer.

On 18 April 1940, the German anti-submarine trawlers UJ-125, UJ-126, and UJ-128 launched several depth charge attacks and claimed the sinking of a Royal Navy submarine. In all probability this was the Sterlet. In any case she failed to return to port on 27 April 1940, and was declared overdue on that date, having either been sunk in the above attack or, possibly, having struck a mine.

Paige was amongst those killed, aged 27. He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, and his official date of death is recorded as 27 April 1940, the day Sterlet was declared overdue. His medals were sent to his widow Patricia Mary Paige, who had subsequently remarried Second Lieutenant Howard Jacob, Gloucestershire Regiment.

Sold with the recipient’s Commission appointing him a Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve, dated 1 October 1936; the recipient’s Continuous Certificate of Discharge; Certificate of Competency as Second Mate, dated 27 September 1934; National Health and Pension Insurance Cards; the recipient’s wife’s University of London School of Medicine for Women First Examination certificate, dated 12 February 1940; and various copied research.