The spectacular Great War Dardanelles and Gallipoli Submarine Service ‘E14’ First Sea of Marmora Patrol Victoria Cross action Distinguished Service Medal and Royal Fleet Reserve long service group awarded to Able Seaman later Petty Officer A. Kerridge, Royal Navy, later Royal Fleet Reserve, who was a pre-war submariner, who was aboard the submarine ‘E7’ with the Second Heligoland Bight Patrol in August 1914, and having joined the submarine ‘E14’ under Lieutenant Commander Edward C. Boyle was with her for all three of her successful patrols in the Sea of Marmora after having passed through the Dardanelles. It was E14’s first patrol of 27th April to 18th May 1915 which saw her go into the history books, during which she sank one gunboat and damage one steamer. In doing so, she had to thread her way through minefields and was then sprinted past Turkish forts near Chanak on the surface as they fired on her, in addition to having to flee when men in a boat tried to grapple with her periscope! Believed to have been over zealous Turkish fishermen! This patrol, the first by a British submarine into the Sea of Marmora, resulted in her commanding officer being awarded the Victoria Cross, and the remainder of crew being decorated, namely with two Distinguished Service Crosses and the remainder, the Distinguished Service Medal, this including Kerridge, whose award was gazetted on 13th September 1915. Post-war, Kerridge sailed out via the Suez Canal to the China Station, where her joined the China Submarine Flotilla, otherwise known as the Fourth Submarine Flotilla. On this station he maintained a spectacular photograph album, with a good portion of original images taken and annotated by Kerridge himself. The album has in all nearly 500 pasted in images, and incorporating some amazing unpublished photographs taken of China and its people during the early 1920’s, and a truly unique visual archive of his Submarine service in this period!
Group of 6: Distinguished Service Medal, GVR Adm. bust; (J.5396. A. KERRIDGE, A.B. H.M.S. SUBMARINE. E14.); 1914-1915 Star; (J.5396. A. KERRIDGE. D.S.M., A.B., R.N.); British War Medal and Victory Medal; (J.5396. A. KERRIDGE. L.S. R.N.); Defence Medal 1939-1945; Royal Fleet Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, GVR Adm. bust; (J.5396. PO.B.14281 A. KERRIDGE. P.O. R.F.R), mounted swing style for display on old ribbons.
Condition: score mark on first to right of bust from the star, otherwise light contact wear, Good Very Fine.
Sold together with the most spectacular photograph album of the recipient’s service, with numerous photographs from his journey around the world, many photographs being annotated. In all some 483 images, nearly all original photographs, the majority clearly taken by the recipient, and mostly concerning the recipient’s time spent sailing out to the Far East, service spent on the China Station, submarines identified, people and places visited including Japan. Some amazing unpublished photographs taken of China and its people during the early 1920’s, and a truly unique visual archive of his service. Only a small number of images appear to mass produced photographs as done for the tourist trade of the time, the majority as his own, and the majority are annotated. This is a spectacular album of some significance to both naval service in the Far East, specifically China, and also the Submarine Service as a whole, with some excellent images of the inner workings of a 1920’s submarine and the activities of her crew, being usefully annotated in places.
Alfred Kerridge was born on 3rd August 1892 in Chelmsford, Essex, and having worked as a labourer, then joined the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class (Portsmouth No.J.5396) with Ganges II from 17th September 1909, being advanced to Boy 1st Class on 21st December 1909, and then rated as an Ordinary Seaman whilst aboard Grafton on 2nd August 1910, followed by Able Seaman whilst with Victory I on 2nd April 1912.
Kerridge volunteered for transfer to the Submarine Service and was posted to Dolphin from 1st October 1913, and was then posted to Maidstone, the submarine depot ship at Harwich from 7th December 1913 where he joined the crew of the submarine E7, being part of her early crew, she having only been launched the month before, and serving as part of the 8th Submarine Flotilla, being commanded by Lieutenant Commander Ferdinand E.B. Feilmann.
Kerridge was aboard E7 on the outbreak of the Great War. E7 took part in the Second Heligoland Bight Patrol along with E5, D2, and D3. She and the other submarines returned from the patrol on 18th August 1914. Kerridge who qualified as a Seaman Torpedo-man in February 1915, was posted off E7 when he transferred to the submarine depot ship Arrogant at Dover from 1st April 1915 where he joined the submarine E14 as part of the Fourth Submarine Flotilla, and then immediately transferred with this vessel to the Dardanelles.
E14 was under the command of Lieutenant Commander Edward C. Boyle, and on her arrival that month off the Dardanelles, she immediately began operations, by threading her way into the Sea of Marmora. On 27th April, 1915, she threaded her way through minefields and sprinted past Turkish forts near Chanak on the surface as they fired on her. On 1st May 1915 she attacked the torpedo gunboat Nurel Bahr, sinking this vessel of 200 tons, but had to flee when men in a boat tried to grapple his periscope. Gunfire damaged one periscope and Boyle was forced to remain submerged an uncomfortable proportion of his time. She then went on to damage the minelayer Peik I Shevket of 1014 tons in a separate torpedo attack. On 3rd May she torpedoed the transport-ship Gun Diemal with 4,000 soldiers on board.
On the 9th May, Boyle saw three destroyers escorting a pair of troop ships. He fired and was forced to dive, but an explosion and later visual observation indicated one troop ship was sent scurrying for shore, pouring out smoke. E14 met an Australian submarine (AE 2) but was vigorously hunted and could not maintain contact. E14’s first war patrol in the Sea of Mamora came to an end on 18th May 1915, and she therefore became the first British submarine to complete a war patrol there.
Boyle was awarded the Victoria Cross for his efforts to obstruct enemy traffic in the Sea of Marmora, whilst his two officers, Lieutenant Edward Geldard Stanley and Acting Lieutenant Reginald Wilfred Lawrence were both awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, and all the ratings including Kerridge were awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. Kerridge’s award of the Distinguished Service Medal was announced in the London Gazette for 13th September 1915 ‘for service in submarines in the Sea of Marmora’.
Kerridge then remained aboard E14 whilst she proceeded to be based at Madros and would have conducted to further patrols aboard her in the Sea of Marmora, one from 10th June to 3rd July 1915 when she sank three large sailing vessels and 7 dhows; and another one from 21st July to 12th August 1915 when she sank one steamer, two large sailing vessels, and 19 dhows.
Kerridge was still aboard E14 and based at Madros when having transferred to Adamant, now located at Brindisi, she then took part in operations in the Adriatic and participated in an attack on a transport vessel on 20th March 1916, which target had to be abandoned to avoid running aground. Kerridge then transferred off her to the depot ship Europe I from 1st April 1916, and then back to Adamant at Dover from 1st December 1916, being advanced to Leading Seaman on 20th May 1917. Kerridge was posted to Dolphin from 29th October 1917 and then saw service aboard the submarine M1 from 26th April 1918, before being posted back to Dolphin from 4th May 1918 and back to Maidstone from 25th September 1918. With the end of the Great War he rejoined Dolphin from 13th March 1919.
Kerridge was posted out to the Far East to the China Station to join the submarine depot ship Titania at Hong Kong from 22nd January 1920, she being the flagship of the China Submarine Flotilla, where Kerridge saw service aboard the submarine L33. Kerridge was serving with Titania when he was promoted to Petty Officer on 5th April 1921, and then transferred to the submarine depot ship Ambrose for service with the Fourth Submarine Flotilla based at both Hong Kong and Wei-Hei-Wei, and as on transfer he joined the submarine L19 from 1st June 1921, alternating with this submarine back to Titania from 1st August 1921, before being posted back to Ambrose again from 26th November 1921 for service aboard the submarine L5, and being posted home to Dolphin from 20th December 1921, where he left the Submarine Service, being then posted to Victory I from 7th March 1922 and discharged ashore ‘time expired’ on 4th August 1922, and enrolling into the Royal Fleet Reserve (No.PO.B.14281) on the very next day, being subsequently awarded the Royal Fleet Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. Kerridge appears to have service in the Civil Defence during the Second World War.