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Item Reference: DM35620


DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL, George V, 1st type (S. S. 3572. T. Mc. Mullin, A. B. Anti-Submarine Opns. 1917) edge impressed.

Able Seaman Thomas McMullin was awarded the DSM for services aboard the Q-Ship Penshurst. Coming ashore to Vivid I in early 1917, he next joined the Q-Ship Penshurst (aka Q.7) that February, aboard which vessel he served right up until her loss in December, 1917.

The ‘Splendid Penshurst’ was one of the most famous and highly decorated of Q-Ships, her two captains, Francis Grenfell and Cedric Naylor, both receiving multiple decorations – the latter ended up as the most highly decorated Naval officer in the Great War, with three DSOs and two DSCs to his name, the whole for services in the Penshurst.

On the 14th of January, 1917, Penshurst sighted the UB-37, under Kapitain Lieutenant Günther. The U-Boat opened fire immediately and Penshurst’s captain, Grenfell, ordered the usual ‘abandon ship’ tactics to be carried out. Slowly, UB-37 closed in until she was 700 yards off the Q-Ships starboard bow, and twice in succession Penshurst was hit by shell fire and several members of her crew, who were waiting in concealment for the order to ‘Open Fire’, were killed or wounded.