Africa General Service Medal 1899, clasp Somaliland 1908-10 to Able Seaman W.C. Patton, Royal Navy, killed in action aboard HMS Albacore when she struck a mine off Scapa Flow on 9th March 1917.
An Africa General Service Medal 1899-1956, clasp: Somaliland 1908-10, awarded to Able Seaman W.C. Patton, Royal Navy, who saw service during the Somaliland operations aboard the cruiser H.M.S Hyacinth, also took part in the Persian Gulf anti-gun smuggling operations, and was subsequently killed in action during the Great War when the destroyer H.M.S Albacore struck a mine off Scapa Flow on 9th March 1917.
Africa General Service Medal 1899, clasp: Somaliland 1908-10; (200320 W.C. PATTON, A.B. H.M.S. HYACINTH:)
William Campbell Patton was born on 18th May 1883 in Fulwood, Lancashire, and having worked as a clerk, then joined the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class (Chatham No.200320) with Caledonia from 30th June 1898. Advanced to Boy 1st Class on 15th June 1899, he was rated as an Ordinary Seaman on 18th May 1901, and as an Able Seaman on 1st June 1902.
Having service aboard various warships as a qualified gunner, Patton joined the cruiser H.M.S Hyacinth on 27th March 1909, and then saw service aboard her during the operations on and off the coast of Somaliland against the Mad Mullan, during the operations which lasted through to 31st January 1910, and then took part in the anti-gun smuggling operations in the Persian Gulf which began on 19th October 1909, and which he remained a part of till he left Hyacinth on 2nd June 1911.
Patton transferred to the Royal Naval Reserve on 7th June 1913, but was recalled on the outbreak of the Great War with Pembroke I on 5th August 1914, and then joined the destroyer depot ship H.M.S Tyne on 12th August 1914, being posted to the destroyer H.M.S Albacore.
Albacore was sent to Scapa Flow to join the local patrol flotilla protecting the anchorage of the Grand Fleet. Albacore was heavily damaged on 9 March 1917 when she struck a mine laid by the German submarine UC-44 off Kirkwall, her bow being blown off and 17 of her crew being killed.
Patton was one of those 17 men killed when Albacore struck the mine on 9th March 1917, and having no known grave, he is commemorated by name on the Chatham Naval Memorial. Aged 33 at the time of his death, he was the son of William Campbell Patton and Joanna Patton (nee Blevins) of Preston, Lancashire.