HC Deb 15 July 1931 vol 255 cc434-5
11. Captain W. G. HALL

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he is now able to state what awards and/or promotions have been recommended for grant to Petty-officer Willis and other survivors of His Majesty's submarine "Poseidon"?


I am informed by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Homo Department that His Majesty the King has been pleased to award to Chief Petty Officer Patrick Henry Willis, the Albert Medal in Gold. The King has also been pleased to award the Medal of the Order of the British Empire, Military Division, for Meritorious Service, to Able Seaman Vincent Nagle, and to Able Seaman Edmund G. Holt. Petty Officer Willis was offered promotion to the rank of Warrant Officer. He prefers however, to be rated as Chief Petty Officer, and his promotion accordingly has been confirmed as from 9th June. From the same date promotions have been approved of

Leading Seaman Reginald T. Clarke to be Petty Officer, and

Able Seaman Vincent Nagle and Able Seaman G. Holt to be Leading Seamen.

Captain HALL

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether there is any chance of getting these men home early in order that the King might confer these decorations at Cowes?


I think the arrangements are in course of being carried out, and that the men either sailed from Shanghai yesterday, or are sailing to-day; but I do not see any possibility at present of getting them home by the date indicated.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Is Petty Officer Willis outside the age zone for a commission as mate?


I would like notice of that question, but I am almost certain that he would be outside the mate scheme. He has been offered a warrant officership, but, as my hon. and gallant Friend knows, men do not always want to stay the length of time in the service which is required in the ease of warrant officers. He has taken his choice.


Is the right hon. Gentleman recommending any recognition of the inventor of the apparatus by which these men were saved?


That does not arise out of the question.