A First War Submarine Medal Bar to H.M.S. R 3
A First War Submarine Medal Bar to H.M.S. R 3 - 1914-15 Star (J. 34949, G.W. TOLSON, BOY., 1, R.N.); British War Medal (J. 34949 G.W. TOLSON. A.B. R.N.); and Victory Medal (J. 34949 G.W. TOLSON. A.B. R.N.). Naming is officially impressed. Un-mounted, pitting on the BWM, light contact, near extremely fine. Accompanied by a duotang folder with his military biography, a copy of his Service Records, First World War Medal Roll and thirteen black and white ship photographs. Footnote: George William Tolson was born in 1898 joined the Royal Navy as a Boy Seaman in 1914, just in time for the First World War. He was drafted to the 23,000 ton Battleship H.M.S. Canada, under Captain William C.M. Nicholson, a battleship that was purchased from Chile and commissioned into the Royal Navy on September 9, 1914, attached to the 4th Battleship Squadron of the Grand Fleet based at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands, effective October 15, 1915. Aboard H.M.S. Canada, Tolson participated at the Battle of Jutland, from May 31 to June 1, 1916, in the rear of the Third Division of the Battle Fleet. He was posted to H.M.S. Vernon, the torpedo training school at Portsmouth, for a "Seaman Torpedoman Training Course", where he became a Seaman Torpedoman. His next posting was to the Special Torpedo Vessel H.M.S. Hecla, the Depot Ship for the 4th Destroyer Squadron stationed at Scapa Flow, where he was named to the rank of Able Seaman, on October 1, 1917. He was later posted to the 975 ton Beagle Class Destroyer H.M.S. Pincher and served on her until July 24, 1918, when she was wrecked and ran aground on the Seven Stones Reef, off the west coast near Cornwall. H.M.S. Pincher was part of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla based at Devonport and was escorting the Standard Tanker War Hostage through the Western Approaches with another Beagle Class Destroyer, H.M.S. Scorpion, when she took a course that brought her dangerously close to the Seven Stones Reef, between Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Errors in navigation due to fog compounded the error and she struck the reef at high speed. The impact tore open her hull and she sank at 03:33 hours. After the accident, her commander, Lieutenant Patrick W.R. Weir, was subjected to a court-martial, at which he was sentenced to be reprimanded for steering an unsafe course. After surviving the sinking of H.M.S. Pincher, Tolson volunteered for submarine duty on September 7, 1918, then was drafted to H.M.S. Dolphin "for Submarine Training". He was subsequently drafted to H.M.S. Platypus, a Depot Ship for Submarines at Campbeltown, Scotland on October 29, 1918 and posted to H.M.S. R 3, a class of submarine with a streamlined hull built at the Royal Dockyard in Chatham, used to hunt for enemy submarines. R 3 was laid down on February 4, 1917, launched on June 8, 1918 and commissioned on March 17, 1919, with Tolson probably having had time to go on one or two patrols. Post-War, he was drafted to the Submarine Depot Ship H.M.S. Forth, until April 17, 1919, when he was posted to the Submarine H.M.S. L 15 on June 27, 1919, attached to the Depot Ship H.M.S. Ambrose, as part of the 4th Submarine Flotilla, based at China Station, and served there until the end of 1921, before returning home to the United Kingdom. He was posted for one year to the Submarine Depot Ship H.M.S. Dolphin for K Class Submarines at Gosport, Hampshire, on January 26, 1922, then transferred to the Depot Ship H.M.S. Vulcan on February 12, 1923, for service with the submarine H 49, the first of four submarines he would see service with while with H.M.S. Vulcan. After two months with H 49, he was admitted "sick" to hospital at Portland, Dorset on April 20th and after three weeks, was discharged on May 14th and returned to H 49. In the Fall, he was posted to the submarine R 4 on October 17, 1923, the R 4 used as a fast underwater target in "Anti Submarine" exercises in what came to be known as "clockwork mousing". It was fitted with high tech listening and tracking devices and worked with the surface fleet, while they used their new sonar sets, in a game of "catch me if you can". Early in the new year, he was re-admitted "sick" to hospital at Portland on January 5, 1926 but it is unclear as to how long he was hospitalized. He was posted to the submarine H.M.S. 32 on June 2, 1926, followed by a posting on October 22nd to the submarine H.M.S. 47, where he served for only four days, before he re-entered hospital at Portland for a third time on October 26th. After one week, he was "invalided out" to shore on November 3, 1926, his Continuous Service with the Royal Naval ending on March 22, 1928. No death date is noted.