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Lt H.M. Day RMLI - Albert Medal

Updated: Nov 28, 2023

On 9th November 1918 H.M.S. Britannia which had been patrolling on the routes west of Gibraltar when passing Cape Trafalgar was torpedoed by a submarine and sunk.

Lieutenant H. M. A. Day, Royal Marines Light Infantry, 1918 Walter J. Goldsmith (Major) (active 1968–1978) Royal Marines Museum

Lieutenant H. M. Day, R.M.L.I. displayed great gallantry and was awarded the Albert Medal; after the ship was hit there was an ammunition explosion and fires were started, resulting in the spread of fumes and smoke.

Lieutenant Day went down to the wardroom to look for wounded, he heard groans coming from forward of the wardroom but found the heavy wooden door leading forward was jambed and immovable.

He then burst open the trap hatch to the wardroom pantry and climbed through ; he here found Engineer-Lieutenant S. F. Weir and a wardroom steward alive and conscious but unable to move.

He climbed back into the wardroom and up to the quarter deck, where he got hold of two or three stokers and returning to the wardroom carried the dying officer and man on deck to the forecastle.

HMS Britannia sinking

During his first visit to the wardroom Lieutenant Day was alone in the dark, the ship had a decided list and the fire was close to the 12-inch magazine; whilst carrying out the rescue work he inspected all scuttles and deadlights in the wardroom and cabins before it, and ascertained that they were properly closed before leaving; the cordite fumes were very strong and his life in danger throughout; his courage and resource were beyond praise.

More related Royal Marines 'Dits':

References/ Further Reading:

  1. Britain's sea soldiers : a record of the Royal Marines during the war 1914-1919 / compiled by Sir H.E. Blumberg

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