Family gives submariner’s medals to Gosport museum

DONATION Lt Com Frederick Williams-Freeman
DONATION Lt Com Frederick Williams-Freeman
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BRAVERY medals awarded to a submariner have been donated to a museum.

Relatives of Lieutenant Commander Frederick Williams-Freeman donated his Distinguished Service Order, the Bar to the DSO and the French Croix de Guerre to the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport.

He was awarded the medals for his heroic actions – including dislodging a mine with a boat hook.

He was the First Lieutenant in the submarine E6, where he was awarded his DSO for action in the Heligoland Bight in the North Sea.

The submarine surfaced in an effort to draw the enemy west but a mine was caught between the boat’s hydroplane and its guard.

Lt Cdr Williams-Frederick and an Able Seaman spent half an hour using a boat hook to dislodge the mine.

Between June 1915 and May 1917 he commanded the submarine H9 and patrolled the eastern approaches during a German fleet incursion in 1916.

Afterwards, now in command of submarine E12 he offered to attack Goeben, which had run aground off the Narrows in the Dardanelles, despite only having one engine – he was told to hold off from doing so.

In March 1919 he and his men on motor launches were captured but later escaped from a Bolshevik Red Guard boarding party in Budapest.

The medals are on display at the museum, in Haslar Road, Gosport. Call the museum on (023) 9251 0354.