A Collection of Awards to the Q-Ship H.M.S. Penshurst

Date of Auction: 4th March 2020

Sold for £800

Estimate: £1,000 - £1,400

The Great War D.S.M. awarded to Leading Seaman S. J. Goodman, Royal Navy, who was decorated for his bravery in anti-submarine operations aboard the Q-ship Penshurst, one of the most famous and highly decorated Q-ships of the War, in which ship he was still serving on the occasion of her loss in the Irish Sea in December 1917. He had previously seen considerable action in H.M.S. Cornwall and later also served in the Q-Ship H.M.S. Fresh Hope

Distinguished Service Medal, G.V.R. (186186. S. J. Goodman, Lg. Sea. Anti-Submarine Opns. 1917) slight edge bruise, very fine £1,000-£1,400


D.S.M. London Gazette 22 February 1918:
‘For services in action with enemy submarines’

Sidney John Goodman was born in Stonehouse, Devon in January 1878. He joined the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class on 18 October 1895. Rapidly promoted Ordinary Seaman in April 1896, he saw his first seagoing service aboard H.M.S. Calypso from 27 September 1896. He was promoted Able Seaman while aboard H.M.S. Amphion on 21 April 1898 and Leading Seaman while serving in H.M.S. Bulwark on 1 January 1905. Joining the armoured cruiser, H.M.S. Cornwall on 11 January 1912, he was still serving in her at the outbreak of the Great War and remained with her until 7 March 1917, seeing much service in that time. Cornwall captured a German merchant ship days after the beginning of World War I in August 1914 and was then sent to the Atlantic to search for German commerce raiders. Later that year she was assigned to the squadron that destroyed the German East Asia Squadron at the Battle of the Falklands, where she helped to sink a German light cruiser. Cornwall briefly blockaded a German cruiser in East Africa in early 1915 before she was sent to participate in the Dardanelles Campaign a month later. The ship was then transferred to the China Station late in the year and remained there until the end of 1916.

Goodman joined the Q-ship, H.M.S. Penshurst (a.k.a. Q.7) under Lieutenant Commander C. Naylor on 1 May 1917. He would have been present at four of the Penshurst’s U-boat engagements including Naylor’s first action as captain on 2 July, in the Western Approaches, when his gunners scored 16 hits on an unidentified U-Boat before it fled the scene just as three Royal Navy destroyers arrived. He was also present on 19 August. On this occasion Penshurst was torpedoed and badly damaged by gunfire, exposing her hidden guns. Despite this, the submarine surfaced and Penshurst pretended to “run away” according to plan. She then opened fire with her 3-pounder gun in an attempt to entice the submarine closer before opening up with her heavier guns. Hits were scored against the submarine and eventually Penshurst used her 12-pounder with good effect and hit the submarine four times, causing it to break off the action and dive. Penshurst, badly damaged, was unable to follow up with depth charges, and so set course for Plymouth and much needed repairs.

remained with Penshurst right up to her last action on 24 December 1917 in the Irish Sea when she was torpedoed by U-110. Penshurst scored some hits on this occasion but was unable to bring all her guns to bear as she was down by the stern. She was again torpedoed, this time fatally - with two exceptions, however, all the crew were subsequently rescued. Two months later Captain Naylor’s second bar to his D.S.O. and Goodman’s D.S.M. were both published in the same edition of the London Gazette.

Goodman’s service in Q-Ships was not quite over however and on 1 April 1918, after a short period ashore, he joined the 900 ton, three-masted schooner H.M.S. Fresh Hope which had recently been requisitioned for service as a Q-sailing ship by the Royal Navy. He served in her until 31 August 1918, and was invalided out of the service on 2 May 1919 with defective vision.

Sold with copied research.