First World War Poetry Digital Archive

HMS Formidable

The heroic conduct of William Pillar (skipper) and the crew of the Brixham trawler Provident, which rescued 71 survivors of HMS Formidable, after her lamentable loss on January 1 (which action will long live in the memory of the nation) after being torpedoed by a German U-Boat, was rewarded by the Committee, who presented the Society’s Gold Medal to the skipper, with a purse of £5, and the Silver Medal and a purse of £3 to each of the other members of the crew, viz., W Carter (2nd hand), J Clarke (3rd hand), and Dan
Taylor (boy), these awards being publicly presented at Brixham on February 13. It may be remarked that the Gold Medal is only given in exceptional cases of bravery, and the remarkable courage shown on this occasion was widely recognised, the men receiving several very substantial rewards, including medals personally presented to them at Buckingham Palace by the King. (Only 199 men were saved out of a complement of 750).

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