Rank: Seaman A4341
Regiment: Royal Naval Reserve, HMS Albion, Russian Govt Trawler T33, Defensively Armed Merchant Ships
William ‘Bill’ Blackmore was born in Beer on 18 March 1892, the son of Jacob Blackmore, a fisherman, and his wife Sarah.
Bill joined the Royal Naval Reserve on 3 August 1912, at which time he was fishing out of Beer on a boat called ‘Violet’ (E204). His RNR record describes him as 5ft 7¼ ins tall, with brown eyes and a dark complexion.
He was called up on 3 August 1914, and posted to HMS Albion. From 16 August to 2nd October 1915 his RNR record states that he was detached from HMS Albion to ‘Beach Duties’. As Albion at this time was in the Dardanelles supporting the Allied landings, it seems likely that Bill was working ashore on the Gallipoli peninsula during this period.
This may have involved the unloading of supplies or the loading of wounded into boats. His RNR record also states that he was Mentioned in Despatches, but does not show whether this was for his work at Gallipoli or for something else. This means that he was mentioned at least once in reports written by a commander in the field.
Bill remained on Albion until May 1916, when he spent a short spell at HMS Vivid in Plymouth before an intriguing posting referred to on his RNR record as ‘Russian Govt. Trawler T33’ (also called Tres) during November 1916 and again in the summer of 1917. This vessel was one of several trawlers sold to the Russian government at Archangel (or Arkhangelsk) by an Argentinian firm. It was later handed over to the British by the ‘White Russian’ (i.e. non-Bolshevik) government, and converted into a minesweeper.
From early 1917 until January 1919 Bill served on ‘Defensively Armed Merchant Ships’, and was finally demobilised from active service on 31 January 1919. He remained in the RNR long after the war, and was still a member in 1932. He returned to fishing from Beer on the ‘Violet’.
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Very interesting article. This gent is in my family tree. My great great grandfather was William James Blackmore born 1847.