When my Nan told me that her Father John Stroud, a Petty Officer in the Navy had been killed in action while on a "secret" mission in Russia during 1919 it sparked my imagination.
It was 1919 and World War One was over...or so I'd thought.
Information was initially not easy to find and I'm not surprised that the whole campaign in the Baltic has often been referred to as "forgotten" overshadowed as it was by the scale of the events of World War One with the General Public mostly unaware that it was taking place at all.
Records from the National Archives and other records now available online have helped me to better understand the situation in 1919 , why the British Navy and the cruiser HMS Dragon were sent to the Baltic and the historical significance of the events that resulted in not only the deaths of 9 of the crew of HMS Dragon but many more during the post war period 1918-1920.
I hope that by providing this site that I can raise awareness of the campaign, the Memorial Plaques in the UK, Riga (Latvia) and Tallinn (Estonia) and the very special Remembrance events that take place in Latvia each year thanks to the Latvian Navy and the British and French Embassies.
The Memorial Plaques in Portsmouth, Riga and Tallinn exist due to the work of the Earl of Carlisle who has a special interest in the campaign and has done so much to ensure that the men who were killed are not forgotten.
Although the website mainly has information about HMS Dragon I would like to also remember the wider campaign and plan to include in the future information about the crew of the other Light Cruisers HMS Cassandra and HMS Curacoa,
The Destroyers HMS Vittoria and HMS Verulam,
The Minesweepers HMS Myrtle and HMS Gentian
The Coastal Motorboats CMB 62BD,CMB 67A, CMB 79A and CMB 88BD
and The Submarine L55
Thank you to everyone who has made contact so far through the feedback page. Thank you for all your kind comments, feedback and corrections!! I am always keen to have some more feedback and would like to encourage anyone with a similar family connection to make contact.
I have been fortunate to make contact (and in some cases meet) with several relatives and descendants recently. Some like me are related to seamen who were killed, others are related to those who were wounded (but who survived) or were present when the shells exploded or in another case had direct involvent in preparing the bodies for burial at sea.
I would still like to re-establish contact with relatives or descendants of:
James William Sleath SS/8121 born 1900 in Hackney, London.
and to make some contact with relatives of
George William Lowe J/38578 born 1899 in Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
I hope that you find something of interest on this website or my new blog which is now online and has little snippets of information that I haven't yet been able to explore in depth or haven't thought of a way to incorporate into this website.