Personal info

  • Name: Gordon CAMPBELL
  • D.O.B: 6th January, 1886
  • D.O.A: 17th February, 1917
  • D.O.D: 3rd October, 1853
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Commander, HMS Farnborough, Royal Navy
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North Atlantic, off Ireland 17 February 1917

17 February 1917

More details about:
The First World War 1917 

In response to the German submarine campaign in the Atlantic the British navy deployed Q-ships, highly armed decoys posing as merchantmen which, if torpedoed, had ‘panic parties’ ready to abandon ship. U-boats, lured to the surface to monitor their supposed kill, could then be attacked. At 9.45am on 17 February 1917 off the West of Ireland, Q5 (HMS Farnborough), commanded by Commander G Campbell, was hit by a torpedo from U83, and gave the appearance of the crew abandoning ship. U83 surfaced and was sunk by fire from Q5. Only two of its crew were rescued. Q5 itself seemed likely to sink but was taken in tow and beached. Campbell was awarded the VC, and his First Lieutenant R N Stuart (later VC) the DSO. Seaman W Williams (later VC) was awarded the DSM and Petty Officer E H Pitcher (later VC) was Mentioned in Despatches.


 In recognition of his conspicous gallantry, consummate coolness, and skill in command of one of H.M. ships in action. 

Supplement to The London Gazette of 20 April 1917. 21 April 1917, Numb. 30029, p. 3819

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