1ST DESTROYER FLOTILLA

Royal Navy Grand Fleet

HMS Fearless: Capt Charles Donnison Roper

HMS Defender: Lt Cdr Laurence Reynolds Palmer

HMS Acheron: Cdr Charles Gordon Ramsey

HMS Ariel: Lt Cdr Arthur Grendon Tippet

HMS Attack: Lt Cdr Charles Herbert Neill James

HMS Hydra: Lt Francis George Glossop

HMS Badger: Cdr Charles Albert Fremantle

HMS Lizard: Lt Cdr Edward Brooke

HMS Goshawk: Cdr Dashwood Fowler Moir

HMS Lapwing: Lt Cdr Alexander Hugh Gye

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HMS BADGER

213551 H. C. BOLT. L.S. R.N.

Henry Congress Bolt, born 14th September 1884 in Portsea, Hants was a "Van Boy" before enlisting with the Royal Navy in 1901. He enlisted at a young age, initially as a B2Cl (Boy 2nd Class) - a rank for boys between the age of 15 and 17. His parents, or guardians, would have signed a declaration enlisting him for a minimum 12 year service. 

While still on shore service, Bolt was promoted to B1Cl (Boy 1st Class) and further progressed to Ordinary Seaman while aboard H.M.S St. George. His next promotion came shortly after to Able Seaman while serving with H.M.S Good Hope.

Bolt was stationed at more than a dozen Royal Navy ships and shore establishments before serving aboard H.M.S Badger which saw action at the Battle of Jutland as part of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla.

 

H.M.S Badger was an Archeron-class destroyer, one of eighteen of her class. Built by William Denny & Brothers, Dunbarton, she was a part of the "1910-11 Programme" of ships which were built between 1911 and 1912. 

As part of the 1st Destoyer Flotilla, under the command of Commander Charles A. Freemantle, the formation's task was to screen the Fifth Battle Squadron. However, as the battle unfolded, it became H.M.S Badger's distressing duty to search for survivors from H.M.S Invincible.

 

H.M.S Invincible was hit five times by Derfflinger and Lutzow. The last hit blew the roof off "Q" turret and ignited the cordite propellant held within. This flash travelled down into the magazine and tore the ship in two pieces. H.M.S Badger rescued two officers and four crew members from a contingent of 1026 officers and men, Rear-Admiral Hood among them. 

 

 

 

 

H.M.S Badger can be seen attending the wreckage of H.M.S Invincible searching for survivors. This photograph was taken from H.M.S Benbow. 

Henry Congress Bolt's records are held at the National Archives: ADM-188-374-123551. His surname is incorrectly catalogued as "Boli". 

Courtesy of IWM SP 2470