"The protection of our trade from air attack, submarine attack and the mine, necessitates not only the co-operation of the Air Force, which is so readily given, but also the employment of an auxiliary fleet composed of a vast number of small craft, which on the outbreak of war must be taken from their peace time duties and adapted to war – a matter of considerable time.

To man these additional vessels we have to supplement the active service personnel of the Fleet by Naval Pensioners, men of the Royal Naval Reserve, the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, the Royal Naval Volunteer (Wireless) Reserve and the Royal Naval Volunteer Supplementary Reserve, all of whom are doing admirable work in the Fleet today."

The First Sea Lord Of The Fleet


This is an individual website dedicated to my grandfather, Skipper Lieutenant John Wilson DSC RD RNR and to those other fishermen and trawlermen, once described as "Seaman Extra Ordinary".

My grandfather died in 1967 when I was 10, so my memories of him are extremely vague. Intrigued by his Distinguished Service Cross and keen to understand why a trawler Skipper received a naval decoration usually awarded to naval Officers of the rank of Commander or below for "….. the performance of meritorious or distinguished services before the enemy…..", the past several years have seen me researching his Royal Naval Reserve service record and specifically that period in 1940 when he was the Chief Skipper of the Grimsby registered trawler Rutlandshire.

From My Research, I believe now I know the man and that group of fisherman, affectionately referred to as Harry Tates Navy a little better now.

For me personally, this has been a fulfilling and satisfying experience and I'd encourage others to embark on a similar undertaking. With this in mind, I hope you find My Research page useful.

I hope you enjoy perusing the following pages and if you can fill in some of the missing names, furnish any answers, improve on any of the detail or can provide any relevant photographs or personal stories, please e mail me - I'd welcome any feedback.


Web site last updated: 16th January 2007

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