Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of Bridgnorth, Shropshire, who died during the two World Wars.
SURG'N R. M. R. THURSFIELD -------------------------- Born: Q4 1885 Bridgnorth RD Richard Mortimer R Thursfield [GRO] Richard M R Thursfield BA, Royal Navy Surgeon Lieutenant. Son of Dr William Thursfield and Leila his wife of 39 High Street, Bridgnorth. Age 15 in 1901 census so born 1885/6 in Bridgnorth. 1912: Acting Surgeon under instruction at Royal Hospital, Haslar. Seniority from 3 Apr 1912. 22 Apr 1913: Surgeon on HMS Astraea, light cruiser. 28 Aug 1916: Surgeon, Royal Marine Artillery Infirmary, Portsmouth. 24 Aug 1918: Surgeon-Lieutenant, HMS Vivid (Royal Naval Barracks, Devonport). Died 25 Aug 1919 age 33, buried Semenovka (Bereznik) cemetery extension, HMS Glowworm commemorated by Special Memorial B132 Archangel Allied Cemetery. From BMJ (Br Med J. Sep 13, 1919; 2(3063): 366.): H.M.S. Glowworm was blown up accidentally on the Dvina river, North Russia, on August 27th, when three officers and eighteen men were killed, and a large number wounded. Among the former was Surgeon Lieutenant Richard Mortimer Rowland Thursfield, R.N. He was educated at St Bartholomew's Hospital, and at Cambridge, where he graduated as M.B. and B.C. in 1911, having previously taken the M.R.C.S. and L.R.C.P. Lond. in 1909. After filling the post of house-physician of Chesterfield Hospital, he entered the navy as surgeon on April 3rd, 1912. [www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=379519.0] 25th August 1919 An ammunition barge accidentally blew up alongside HMS Glowworm in Bereznili, Archangel-Obozerskaya area of North Russia. Twenty men were killed ... I'm looking to see if there is a casualty list .... can you give us a name ? Monday, 25 August 1919 RUSSIAN INTERVENTION Fox, Glowworm explosion WAGANOFF, Walter G, Lieutenant (Russian Interpreter), killed Glowworm, explosion of ammunition barge, River Dvina, North Russia AYRES, Joseph, Officer's Steward 2c, L 6251 CASEY, Patrick, Yeoman of Signals, 227466 CLEVELAND, Robert G, Leading Seaman, J 16266 COASE, Edward H, Able Seaman, J 16309 DAWES, George, Leading Seaman, J 12434 FARMER, Thomas W, Signalman, J 33401 GLANVILLE, Leonard, Able Seaman, J 90427 HILL, Sidney, Able Seaman, SS 8798 KEITH, Alexander, Leading Seaman, 195605 LEADBETTER, William G, Able Seaman, J 20444 MACFARLANE, Thomas L, Lieutenant, RNVR MCCRAE, John, Stoker 1c, K 22922 MURRAY, Frederick, Able Seaman, J 44493 (Ch) SMITH, Lancelot W H, Able Seaman, J 14515 SNELLGROVE, Ernest, Able Seaman, J 43244 SYKES, Harold, Armourers Crew, J 55280 THURSFIELD, Richard M R, Surgeon Lieutenant WRIGHT, Henry, Able Seaman, J 25323 Served in Lowestoft before being sent to Northern Russia in September 1918. Damaged after a barge exploded alongside her on 24th August 1919. Sold for scrap in September 1928. http://www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk/r_n_gunboats.htm [http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Insect_class_gunboat]The Insect class patrol boats (or Large China Gunboats ) were a class of small, but well-armed Royal Navy ships designed for use in shallow rivers or inshore. They were intended for use on the Danube (the name was to disguise their function). The first four ships - Gnat, Mantis, Moth and Tarantula - were actually first employed during the World War I Mesopotamian Campaign on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. The ships were designed to operate in shallow fast-flowing rivers, with a shallow draught and a good turn of speed to counter river flow. They were fitted with two reciprocating (VTE) engines operating two propeller shafts to offer some redundancy. The propellers were housed in tunnels to minimise the operating draught. Deployment In 1919, during the Russian Civil War, HMS Glowworm, Cicala, Cockchafer , Cricket, Moth and Mantis served on the Dvina River (northern Russia, in Arkhangelsk Oblast), fighting in support of White Russian forces. Glowworms captain and some other crew members were killed when a nearby ammunition barge exploded. The crew of Cicala mutinied, as part of a wider wave of unrest in the Royal Navy, and five "ringleaders" were sentenced to death, later commuted to five years imprisonment. [Probate] THURSFIELD Richard Mortimer Rowland of Wester Holme llminster Somersetshire died 29 August 1919 on board H.M. monitor Glow Worm at Ernsk Russia Administration (with Will limited) London 19 May to William James Pitt solicitor attorney of John Browne Thursfield. Effects £839 3s. 4d. BJ: 14 Sep 1918: Will mentioned of late Dr William Thursfield of Jamaica. Practised in Bridgnorth for 50 years, left Bridgnorth in 1911. BJ: 14 Dec 1918: Married in Hong Kong. W Reginald Proud Thursfield, eldest son of late Dr Thursfield of Bridgnorth to Georgina Shearer Ritchie of Hong Kong. BJ: 11 Jan 1919: Report of wedding reported 14/12/1918. BJ: 27 Sep 1919: Died in Russia. Surgeon Lieut R M R Thursfield, son of the late Dr. Thursfield of Bridgnorth and Mrs Thursfield of Jamaica. HMS Glowworm: River gunboat, Insect-class. Ordered 2.15 as "China Gunboat" for service on Danube. Served elsewhere, P.94 (1.16), P.93 (1.18). Launched 5.2.16 Barclay Curle. 645 tons, 237(oa), 230(pp)x36x4ft. TE 2000ihp,14kts, twin screws in tunnels. Armament: 2-6in, 2-12pdr. Crew: 53. North Sea 1916-18, then White Sea. Sold 9.28 at Malta. (British Warships 1914-1919} Photo of sister ship HMS Aphis filed as PhotoWW1-11rgbAphisMQ.JPG from Marine Quest. http://www.naval-history.net/OWShips-WW1-11-HMS_Glowworm.htm has a log book of HMS Glowworm but it ends 1 Jan 1919.
This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg. For news of updates follow @BridgnorthHeros on Twitter.