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SS Dalewood torpedoed - loss of 2 RMLI crew

26th February 1918

SS Dalewood, Admiralty-hired collier, torpedoed and sunk by U.105 in Irish Sea off the Isle of Man whilst transfering coal from Cardiff to the Fleet in Scapa Flow.

2 RMLI DEMS (Defensively Equiped Merchant Ship) gunners were killed in this action:



John E. Brown AM, had been awarded the Albert Medal:-

"On the 31st Jan., 1917, while the Steamship" Rhydwen "of Cardiff was lying at Genoa, a fire broke out in the ship's magazine.

A fire signal was immediately hoisted, but before assistance arrived Bulmer and Brown went below, unlocked the door of the magazine and got the hose at the seat of the fire.

Water was then played on the magazine and the ammunition was taken out on

deck and, owing to the prompt action of the ship's crew, the fire was


Considerable risk was incurred by Bulmer and Brown in rendering

the service."

John Brown survived when the S.S. "Rhydwen" carrying wheat from Galveston to Cardiff was torpedoed by the German submarine U-67 in the Atlantic Ocean 170 miles from Fastnet Ireland.

Edwin at the Palace with his Fathers medal

On the 6th April 1918 Just 5 weeks after the sinking of the Dalewood, Lilian, his widow along with his 4 year old son, Edwin, went to Buckingham Palace to receive his award of the Albert Medal from King George V.

Below the Albert Medal (second class) and Mercantile Marine War Medal, awarded to John David Bulmer.

Inscribed verso; "Presented by His Majesty to John David Bulmer, boatswain of the S.S. Rhydwer of Cardiff, for gallantry at a fire, on board the vessel at, Genoa, 31st January 1917".

John Bulmer (1881 - 1939) was born in Selby, Yorkshire, he married Florence Gray of Hull in 1904.

The Rhydwen was a steam powered cargo ship built in 1914; she was torpedoed and sunk on the 18th March 1917 by U67.

His wife's brother was Lt. Commander F.W. Gray.

References/ Further reading

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