1914-15 STAR ‘LT. COMMR. C. H. A. CARTWRIGHT. R.N.’; BRITISH WAR AND VICTORY MEDALS, WITH M.I.D. OAK LEAVES ‘COMMER C. H. A. CARTWRIGHT. R.N.’ MOUNTED AS WORN CONTAINED IN J. R. GAUNT & SON LTD, LEATHER CASE.
M.I.D. London Gazette 15 August 1917. For having: ‘been brought to notice by Lieut.-General Sir Stanley Maude, K.C.B., Commander-in-Chief, Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force, as deserving of special mention’
M.I.D. London Gazette 21 September 1917. Operations of H.M. Gunboats in Mesopotamia from December 1916, to March, 1917: “..There were casualties in all three ships, "Moth," which was magnificently handled by Lieutenant Commander Charles H. A. Cartwright, who was himself wounded, had three officers wounded - all severely - out of four, and two men killed and eighteen wounded, which is about 50 per cent, of her complement.”
‘I have the honour to submit the following for special mention, promotion, honours or awards’: “..Lieutenant-Commander Charles H. A. Cartwright, R.N. For excellent handling of his ship and gallant conduct on all occasions under fire, and particularly on 26th February 1917. I submit that this officer is fully worthy of special promotion.”
Naval Gallantry Awards London Gazette 28 September 1917:"The promotion of Commander Charles Henry Aubrey Cartwright, R.N., has been antedated to the 26th February, 1917, in recognition of his services as described in the Despatch published in London Gazette of the 21st September, 1917.”
His recommendation reads: “Handled "Moth" magnificently on the 26th February, 1917, when rounding a bend of the Tigris under heavy fire at short range, and for his gallant conduct on all occasions.”
Charles Henry Aubrey Cartwright, the Son of Aubrey Cartwright, Esq., JP, was born in London on 18 September 1882. Joining the Royal Navy aboard Britannia as a Cadet on 15 January 1897, he was advanced to Midshipman aboard H.M.S. Caesar on 15 June 1898. Promoted Lieutenant, 31 March 1904, he served on numerous ships over the following 10 years and at the outbreak of the Great War, was serving aboard the armoured cruiser, H.M.S. Suffolk, which he had joined in February 1913. He was commended for his services rendered during the wreck of the ammunition transport; S.S. Pollokshields, off Bermuda on 7 September 1915. He is listed as departing Suffolk on 30 September 1915 but seems he stayed on in Bermuda before returning to England via New York. Promoted Lieutenant-Commander and to Valiant on 14 December 1914 appointed, on 5 January 1916 he was given command of H.M.S. Moth, an Insect-class ‘Tigris’ Gunboat.
With a compliment of 55 Officers and men, Moth was armed with 2 BL 6-inch Mark VII guns, 2 12-pounders and Maxim machine guns. Shortly after, Moth was sent to the Persian Gulf to join the Tigris River flotilla, taking a most active part in the Mesopotamian campaign, in particular the recapture of Kut and the advance on Baghdad.
On 26 February 1917, following the recapture of Kut, three Royal Navy gunboats; Tarantula, Mantis and Moth………………………….
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Four DSO’s and nine DSC’s were awarded to Officers specifically mentioned in despatches for this action. Each of the Gunboats commanders and other officers particularly mentioned being awarded one of other, bar Lieutenant-Commander Cartwright but including both one of his Lieutenants and his Surgeon. Cartwright, who’s recommendation seems to be better than any of the others and certainly better than the other commanders was the only Officer to be awarded a “Special Promotion for Service in Action”, this being specifically recommended in the despatch. This may seem at odds with the thought that a gallantry award is the greater award and in today’s terms; as far as value of medal groups, an award will almost certainly increase the value of a medal group. However it must be noted that at the time of his award, Cartwright’s Special Promotion was of greater significance. He would not have been up for promotion for some years and his promotion would have brought a more prestigious rank, an increase of pay and critically, the rank to command a higher rated ship if such a position became available. The award of a DSO or DSC added none of these.
Condition GVF. Mounted as worn contained in J. R. Gaunt & Son Ltd, leather case. Sold with digital research.