• Simon Biggs

Royal Marines in Action around Aqaba


HMS Minerva was an Eclipse-class protected cruiser built for the Royal Navy in the mid-1890s.

During December 1914 Minerva was stationed off of Aqaba conducting various operations against the Turks, during this period Captain John W Snepp was wounded and Private Frank Ward RMLI killed.

29 December 1914

Akabah

Lat 29.5, Long 35.0

6.00am: Course & speed as requisite hoisting out seaplane and approaching Akaba

8.45am: Hoisted in seaplane.

10.43am: Stopped. Came to port bower in 20 fathoms

11.00am: Landed armed party of marines. Shelled Turks in hills eastward of town

Noon: Marines returned

2.00pm: Hoisted out seaplane

2.50pm: Hoisted in seaplane engine trouble.

5.00pm: Weighed & proceeded

3 on sick list

30 December 1914

Akabah

Lat 29.5, Long 35.0

6.00am: Course & speed as requisite anchoring at head of Gulf of Akaba

9.00am: Divisions. Prayers

1.00pm: Hoisted out seaplane for trial flight unsatisfactory

4.30pm: Proceeded

3 on sick list

31 December 1914

Akabah

Lat 29.5, Long 35.0

5.00am: Course & speed as requisite approaching Akaba & anchoring at head of gulf

7.00am: Hauled in Patent Log

9.45am: Hoisted out seaplane which started for reconnaissance up Wadi Akaba

9.50am: Capt Snepp RMLI & escort landed NW corner of gulf to examine beach. Turks concealed in sand hills opened fire. Landed marine detachment to rescue opened fire with shrapnel and cannon. Marines returned, enemy driven off. 1 private RM killed. Capt Snepp seriously wounded (Captain John W Snepp had, according to the Navy List, joined Minerva on 2nd August 1914, though this is not recorded in the log)

1.00pm: Seaplane not returned, due noon

2.00pm: Hands employedd as requisite

3.30pm: Shelled Turks in hills to NW

4.00pm: Weighed & proceeded. Course & speed as requisite

5.00pm: Stopped. Read burial service. Buried Private Frank Ward RMLI

5.30pm: Course & speed as requisite lying off

8.00pm: Returned to head of gulf, embarked Capt Sterling (Seaplane observer) Seaplane wrecked 20 miles away, pilot left 15 miles slightly injured unable to walk

8.30pm: Proceeded as requisite down gulf in order to return at daylight

3 on sick list

1 January 1915

Akabah

Lat 29.5, Long 35.0

6.45am: Arrived head of gulf

6.50am: Stopped. Came to port bow in 19 fms veered 2.5 shackles

8.00am: Landed armed party 150 rifies and 2 marines to search for missing pilot, party penetrated about 6 miles no sign of pilot

1.20pm: Landing party returned

2.30pm: Hands make and mend clothes

5.30pm: Weighed & proceeded Course & speed as requisite down gulf

Water expended: 4.0; remaining: 17.0

Coal expended for all purposes: 28; remaining: 520

5 on sick list

2 January 1915

Akabah to Tor

Lat 27.7, Long 34.0

Northbrook

12.30am: Returned to head of gulf, found the pilot Grall on beach & embarked him uninjured but exhausted.

8.20am: Co as reqts passing thro Tiran St

3.00pm: Course & speed as requisite anchoring at Tor.

3.40pm: Stopped. Came to port lower in 10fms. Northbrook present

5.25pm: Nour-el-Bahr arrived (the private yacht of the Sultan of Maskat)

2 on sick list

3 January 1915

Tor & Ras Abu Zenima

(No position given – lying off Ras Abu Zenima which is Lat 29.1, Long 33.1)

4.15am: Weighed & proceeded

6.55am: Ras Gharib Lt abeam 7'

9.50am: Course & speed as requisite lying off Abu Zamina, communicated with shore

11.00am: Divisions. Divine Service

5.30pm: Stopped port engine. Course & speed as requisite entering Suez Bay & anchoring

6.30pm: Capt Snepp RMLI discharged to hospital (John Wansey Snepp obviously recovered and returned to duty as he was awarded the OBE in 1919 for valuable services during the war, by which time he was a Major.)

3 on sick list

https://www.naval-history.net/OWShips-WW1-05-HMS_Minerva.htm


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