HC Deb 23 February 1920 vol 125 cc1312-3W
Commander RELLAIRS

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that when the Grand Fleet encountered the mine field which sank H.M.S. "Audacious" the "Olympic," with women and children on board, lowered 14 boats and rescued nearly the whole of the crew of H.M.S. "Audacious"; and whether any medals, rewards, or public expression of thanks were given to the crew of the "Olympic"; and, if so, when and in what form?


I have been asked to reply to this question. The following expression of thanks was addressed to the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, Limited, on 2nd December, 1918:—

"I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to state that, now that the loss of H.M.S. 'Audacious' has been announced, they are desirous of officially recognising the great assistance rendered on that occasion by the White Star Liner R.M.S. 'Olympic' under the command of Commodore Herbert, T. Haddock, C.B., R.D., R.N.R. In response to distress signals the ship closed and attempted on several occasions to take the 'Audacious' in tow, at great risk to herself from mines and possible submarine attacks. She was handled with the greatest skill and enterprise, and remained until it was found that the 'Audacious' could not be towed. The Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleets, reported in high terms on the valuable services rendered, and my Lords now desire to express their appreciation to the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, Limited, and to Commodore Haddock and all concerned."

The Company in acknowledging the Admiralty letter stated that a copy of the letter would be sent to Commodore Haddock, and also to the present captain of the "Olympic," in order that it might be publicly read on board the ship.