A Second World War D.S.M. group of seven to Chief Engine Room Artificer S.J.L.Evans, Royal Navy,
Lot 187
A Second World War D.S.M. group of seven to Chief Engine Room Artificer S.J.L.Evans, Royal Navy,
Sold for £ 2,280 (US$ 3,203) inc. premium

Lot Details
A Second World War D.S.M. group of seven to Chief Engine Room Artificer S.J.L.Evans, Royal Navy,
Distinguished Service Medal, G.VI.R. (C.E.R.A. S.J.L.Evans. P/MX.46521); 1939-1945 Star; Atlantic Star; Africa Star with N.Africa 1943-43 bar; Italy Star; War Medal; Royal Naval Long Service and Godd Conduct, G.VI.R. (MX.46521 S.J.L.Evans. C.E.R.A. H.M.S. Unshaken.). The (7)


  • D.S.M. London Gazette 18.4.1944.

    For gallantry, skill and devotion to duty in successful patrols in H.M. Submarines.

    He was decorated for his gallant deeds in Unshaken of the famous "Fighting Tenth": in addition to sinking an impressive array of enemy shipping, Unshaken several times embarked Major "Apple" Appleyard's S.A.S "Small-Scale Raiding Force" and captured the Italian submarine Menotti, Evans's skipper being handed a unique receipt from his Flotilla C.O.on bringing the latter prize into Grand Harbour Valetta on 11 September 1943 'Received from Lieutenant J.Whtton, R.N., one Italian submarine named Menotti and sixty-one crew'.

    The original recommendation states:

    'During 12 Mediteranean patrols Unshaken has sunk by torpedo one destroyer, three merchantmen and two schooners. By gun action, one schooner destroyed, one 4,000-ton merchantman damaged and a suspension bridge on the Tunisian coast shelled. Other incidents include three special operations with military personnel on Pantellaria, the machine-gunning of German troops evacuating from Castia, and enforcing the surrender of the Italian submarine Menotti, deliberately contravening the armstice regulations.
    For outstanding efficiency and devotion to duty as C.E.R.A.in charge of the Engine Room Department of Unshaken during the above patrols and showing coolness and determination under difficult condtions'.

    Samuel Joseph Lindop Evans, a native of Weymouth, Dorset, was decorated for his gallant deeds in Unshaken during successful war patrols in the Mediterranean in the period March to September 1943.

    The Unshaken arrived at the fighting Tenth's base Lazaretto, Malta in March 1943, in the middle of a "Sprite" alert, intelligence having reported the high risk of an Italian human-torpedo attack, but was quickly out on patrol. The definitive history of the Flotilla, The Fighting Tenth, by John Wingate, S.S.C. takes up the story:
    Unshaken, begin the newcomer, sailed for her first patrol to the ostensibly quieter area east of Tunisia... First she shelled a schooner hauled up on a beach, but was warned off by spirited action from shore batteries. Then off Sousse on 8 April, Jack Whitton sank the 1,245-ton Foggia with one of his three torpedoes. Lingering off Kelibia in the hope of catching a reported convoy, Unshaken continued south to beat up an important road bridge until shore batteries again forced her to desist'.
    In Common with other submarines of the Fighting Tenth, Unshaken's operational agenda extended to clandestine operations, Wingate describing a series of intelligence gathering patrols in the lead-up up to operation "Husky"J.G."Apple" Appleyard, D.S.O., M.C.* and the fellow members of the 2nd S.A.S. being embarked:

    Then on the 18th (May 1943), Appleyard and his 'No.1 Small-Scale Raiding Force' sailed in Unshaken (Lieutenant Whitton) to make a periscope observation of the island's beaches where assault troops could be landed. The recce proving satisfactory, on 20 May Unshaken turned for home. Halfway back to Malta she was met by an M.T.B. with an aerial escort which Jack Whitton describes as 'an impressive and lively umbrella of three Spitfires, each clearing the periscope standard by inches'. The M.T.B. had come to collect Appleyard, to save time. He was safely transfered and soon disappeared with his escort. Unshaken returned to Lazaretto the following day.
    The second attempt at the 'snatch job' began on the 24th, when Unshaken again sailed with the S.A.S. party.
    The conditions begin good, the inflatable dinghies paddled off into the darkness. After scaling the vertical and crumblng cliff, they eventually pounced on a sentry whose terrified yells alerted the defenders. Reinforcements were immediately on the spot, a burst of automatic fire killing Sergeant Herstall, a policeman from Bristol. The raiders escaped down the cliff by sliding down it from top to bottom. Whitton and Unshaken were waiting for them and they reached Lazaretto on 30 May'.
    And of operation in June Wingate continues:
    'Immediately to the south of Inison was Unshaken (Leutenant Jack Whitton), released from her expeditions with Major Appleyard and now patrolling off Syracuse and Augusta. Close inshore, on the afternoon of 22 June, she hit a laden schooner, Giovanni G.(69tons), with two torpedoes at the range of 2,400 yards. The schooner disintegrated. This was a historic moment. Small though she was, this schooner earned a place in the history of the Fighting Tenth, for she had been sunk by the one thousandth torpedo to have been fired by a U-class submarine of the Tenth Flotilla.'

    Capture of the italian submarine "Menotti"
    Having then had two close encounters with enemy submarines, one of which tailed Unshaken back to Malta in mid-July, but was attacked by the Polish submarine Dzik, thereby saving her from almost certain destruction, and sunk the naval transport Asmara, Unshaken achieved her greatest success-the capture of the Italian submarine Menotti on 9 September 1943, at the time Italy's capitulation.
    Wingate continues:
    'On the morning of 9 September she (Unshaken) was making her way south around the heel of Italy when the Hydrophone operator reported: 'High Speed revs'. Suspecting an enemy submarine, Whitton ordered Diving Stations. The problem was whether this was a German U-boat or an Italian one.
    Through the periscope it was hard to tell: the enemy submarine was hull-down, the conning tower glinting in the bright morning sun. Whitton takes up the tale:
    'At about 1500 yards range, and with but a few minute to go before firing torpedoes, I had a long and careful look at the target: the submarine was Italian. She was also flying her ensign and had an unusually large number of chaps an her bridge, whom I could clearly see were gazing north-west and, no doubt, at their beloved contry a few miles away. With that bunch on the bridge, she was hardly in a position to do quick dive....We vould try to stop her, then board her.'
    By chance, Whitton's great friend and the flotilla's C.O.,Lieutenant "Shaver" Swanston, happened to be along for the ride. Whitton now appointed him commander of the boarding party, with orders to take over the Italian submarine.
    Unshaken surfaced and fired a warning shot across the U-boat's bows:
    'There were even more chaps on the bridge than before; I suppose they had come up to see what the hell was coming next. By this time Unshaken was alongside, stopped, with ourbows against the Italian's bow. The boarding party, led by Shaven brandishing a 45 were juming across. They raced along the forward casing and climbed up the enemy's conning tower. The objective: to secure the conning tower hatch and so stop him diving, then subdue any further resistance.'
    But there was no resistance. The enemy C.O. wanted to go to Brindisi; Whitton wanted to go back to Malta 'A somewhat heated exchange followed,' Whitton writes,as the two COs, each on his own bridge, side by side, voiced their intentions:
    'Brindisi', he shouted. 'Malta' I yelled.
    Percy Westmacott, the Number One, passed up Whitton's uniform cap,'to give proceedings a little more dignity'.
    I put it on. Also the 3-inch gun, still manned, and ready for action, was ordered:Load one round HE.'
    The loading number, a seaman with considerable initiative ,held up the 3-inch high explosive shell; he displayed it, rather like a music hall conjuror, to a very impressed Italian audience. He then slipped the round home into the gun, slamming the breech shut. The muzzle of the gun was trained on the Italian captain's stomach, at the range of about thirteen feet. Shaver,who was standing close to him, was requested to stand aside. With a shrug of his shoulder and hands in the air,the Italian agreed:

    We were both now singing from the same song sheet-and I dont think my cap did the trick'.
    With Shaver Swanston and the boardng party in control, the Italian boat, Menotti, would sail for Malta. Four Italian hostage were kept in Unshaken to encourage their shipmates to behave.
    Now began the two-day passage for Malta, mainly on the surface so that Unshaken could keep an eye on her charge. Each evening the two submarine closed while Whitton made sure all was well.
    Swanstone complained at the dirt and lack of discipline, but he evidently had no problems with the officers who roundly expressed 'their loathing of the Germans in particlar and the war in general'.
    Menotti's captain later told Whitton:
    'He had no order to proceed to an Allied port, except a signal which he considered false, the Allies having made use of captured Italian cyphers. He was upset at being defeated; he loathed the Germans but did not mind surrendering to the British.'
    Unshaken, with her prize, arrived back at Malta on 11 September, as Whitton says,'to pass through an impressive collection of Italian naval ship anchored off the Grand Harbour'.
    That afternoon Unshaken's CO was handed what must be one of he most unusual receipts noted in history, typed on HMSO crown-embossed paper by the Lazaretto type-writer, it was addressed to His Majesty's Submarine Unshaken and dated Saturday 11 September 1943. Signed by George Phillips as Captan(S)10, it read:
    'Received from Lieutenant J. Whitton,R.N., one Italian submarine named Menotti and sixty-one crew'.
    As result of this, and other actions, Whitton and his "Jimmy the One" Westmacott, were awarded D.S.Cs, three ratings D.S.Ms and several crew members mentioned in despatches. Evans received his D.S.M. at a Buckingham Place investiture held on 31 October 1944.

    Sold with Photocopy recommendaton,L.G.and roll pages.
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