In late July 1914, with war looming, the fledgling Dover Patrol was born which, from
its early beginnings as a modest and poorly equipped command, became one of the most
important Royal Navy commands of the First World War. The Dover Patrol assembled
cruisers, monitors, destroyers, armed trawlers and drifters, paddle mine-
In Feb 1915, adapted fishing vessels based at Ramsgate were "Arcady", "Lord Charles Beresford", "Paramount", "Loyal Star", "Acceptable", "Try Again", "Campanula", "Lord Cromer", "Rooke", "Majesty", "Frons Olivae", "Dewey", "Joe Chamberlain", "City of Glasgow", "Buckler", "Lord Claud Hamilton", " City of Liverpool", "Reaper" and "City of Edinburgh"
On the 15th March 1915 ten additional Drifters arrive: -
Little Java (pictured above) was a Thames Steam Tug built in 1905 by Cochrane & Sons of Selby and owned by W.Watkins Ltd. In 1915 she was transferred to Ramsgate and operated under Royal Naval Command as H.M.S. Carcass in the Dover Patrol’s Downs Boarding Flotilla. Java was involved in a number of ship rescue incidents, including one in connection with the destroyer H.M.S. Cossack. She was also involved in towing at least two other ships out of dangerous minefields.
On the 28th of November 1917 vessels of the Ramsgate Armed Drifter Squadron (above)
engaged a German submarine which was caught recharging its batteries. The Drifters drove
the submarine onto the Goodwin Sands where it was wrecked. It's thought that the
tug Java was involved in salvaging the submarine's gun which was displayed at Nelson
Crescent until the 1960's. The notice reads: 88mm gun salved from German submarine
which vessel was engaged on the morning of Nov 28th 1917 by vessels of the Ramsgate
Armed Drifter Squadron, driven on the Goodwin Sands and wrecked
A report of the event:
24th November 1917 -
Karl Edeling was Commander of U.48
Born 25 Apr 1886
Died 24 Nov 1917 Goodwind Sands
30th January 1918 -
Click HERE to see a 1920 video clip of captured German submarine Deutchland being towed into Ramsgate. It's thought that the tug at the rear is Java.
Java was also operating out of Ramsgate during World War 2 and was the first tug to be involved in the Dunkirk evacuation. She was sold for scrap in May 1965
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