Hewitt, Gerard

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connah's Quay

Name / Enw: Hewitt, Gerard

Regiment/Catrawd: ‘HMS Sandhurst’ / ‘HMS Salmon’

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Stoker 1C, K44243

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory and British War medals

Date of Death: 22nd August 2015

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

Possibly 1923, missing the cut-off point for being on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database, which was 31st August 1921.

The 1901 census records the Hewitt family living at 14 Swan Street, Flint. The head of the household was Thomas 38, a General Labourer who had been born in Northop, Flintshire. His wife Ruth 36 hailed from Flint. The listed children were Dorothy 9, William S 7, Tom 4, Gerard 2 and Gilbert 1. All had been born in Northop.

The 1911 census sees the family living at 8 Rock Cottages Connah’s Quay. Thomas 47 was still labouring and Ruth, his wife of 19 years was 45. She had given birth to 6 children but one had died. The children present in the household were Dorothy 19, a bottle washer at the Mineral Water Works, William Samuel 17, worked at the iron works, Tom 14 was a Stores Helper at the iron works, Gerard 12 and Gilbert 11 were both at school.

There is an WW1 Index Card (Connah’s Quay L161) for Gerard Hewitt in The Flinshire Roll of Honour at the County Record Office in Hawarden. this card was a “Living” card, because he survived the war and these cards were signed in 1919/20 but not by him or his family, it was signed by William Michael Fitzpatrick who had been a Custom’s Officer and was now a Councillor in the Connah’s Quay Council, and it was his task to give out and collect the card. This source tells us that he served on HMS Sandhurst and HMS Salmon. It gives us the Naval number k44243. ‘Patrol work’ is written lightly in pencil on the card.

A Gerard Hewitt aged 24 died in Flintshire in 1923 (District Holywell Vol 11b page 262). If this is him, then he died after the war but is commemorated on the cenotaph because of his war service. He does not have a Commonwealth War Grave Certificate because he died after 1921, their cut-off point.

Which means that he may have died from his War service and therefore his name was put on the Cenotaph as he died before the Cenotaph was erected and unveiled in 1927.

So I wrote to World Naval Ships Forum at : –http://www.worldnavalships.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1728494#post1728494 (Please click on the link to find out more about the ships where Gerrard was a crew member – many thanks to this forum) to ask about the HMS Sandhurst and HMS Salmon and where Gerard might have been or been wounded.

From the replies it seems that HMS “Salmon” was in WW1 as a HM Motor Boat and probably on shore patrols (his Index card mentioned Patrol work) off Lowestoft or Dove.   It is believed the boat was instrumental in sinking a U-boat 1916.

HMS Sandhurst was a submarine depot ship in the 1930’s in Malta.

(http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C1523383) – The LOG Books for the ships are in PRO/NA under the file numbers ADM 53 / ????? ;
Salmon 58987 December 1916 to 59008 December 1920
Sandhurst 59046 August 1916 to 59097 December 1920
Logs are mostly for navigation etc. but do sometimes give other info re crew, along with names (joining ship / injured etc.) also the Captain & officers.
Gerard Hewitt in the UK, Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 tells us about his Victory Medal and British War Medal also his service number of K44243.
Gerard Hewitt in the UK, Royal Navy Registers of Seamen’s Services, 1900-1928 tell us that his first ship was “Vivid II” sevice date of 17th July 1917 and then his last service ship as “Sandhurst” on the 6th March 1919.

Gerard Hewitt in the UK, Royal Navy Registers of Seamen’s Services, 1900-1928 gives us a description and tells us his date of birth was 5th August 1898, he was born in Flint, Flintshire. He was a Steel Works Assistant. He was 18 years old.
Height – 5 feet 4 and ½ inches
Chest – 40 and 1/2 inches
Hair – Dark Brown
Eyes – Brown
Complexion – Fresh
Wound, scars or marks – Scar on left jaw.
Ship served in – Vivid 11 – Stoker 11 from 17th July 1917 to 5th October 1917
Ship served in – Sandhurst (Salmon) Stoker 11 from 6th October 1917
Ship served in – Sandhurst (Salmon) Stoker 1 from 1st September 1918 to 6th Mar 1919.
Character & Ability – V.G.
Paid War Gratuity (Traced War Gratuity by No. 134)
Dispersed 7th February 1919 – Sandhurst.

Would be very grateful for any further help with this sailor.