In the late 1940s, the Amethyst was stationed in China; in March of 1948, a 17-year-old crewman named George Hickinbottom found a malnourished cat somewhere on the docks of Hong Kong. Simon was, however, like all animals entering the UK, subject to quarantine regulations, and was immediately sent to an animal centre in Surrey. At this stage, it is thought Simon was approximately a year old, and was very undernourished and unwell. Thousands of letters were written to him, so much that one Lt Stuart Hett was appointed "cat officer" to deal with Simon's post. Hickinbottom smuggled the cat aboard ship, and Simon soon ingratiated himself with the crew and officers, particularly because he was adept at catching and killing rats on the lower decks. Simon (c. 1947 – 28 November 1949) was the ship's cat who served on the Royal Navy sloop HMS Amethyst. At this stage, it is thought Simon was approximately a year old, and was very undernourished and unwell. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images). Halfway up the river, the Amethyst unexpectedly found herself under artillery fire by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. Die HMS Amethyst war ein Geschützter Kreuzer dritter Klasse der Topaze-Klasse der Royal Navy. The concept of a “ship’s cat” has been around since ancient times; aside from being hailed as efficient exterminators, cats have also been known to provide stress relief and a sense of companionship to sailors far away from home. Simon got his job in early 1948 when the HMS Amethyst pulled into port on Stonecutters Island, Hong Kong for a supplies. A Touching Story Of Simon The Cat, War Hero Of The Seas - YouTube The story of an orphaned kitten Simon, rescued from the docks of Hong Kong in 1949 to join the crew of HMS Amethyst, … Simon was the ship's cat of HMS Amethyst during the Yangtze Incident in 1949, during the Chinese Civil War. Hickinbottom smuggled the cat aboard ship, and Simon soon ingratiated himself with the crew and officers, particularly because he was adept at catching and killing rats on the … Photo: courtesy of the PDSA) Second world war veteran Stewart Hett wore many hats while serving as a lieutenant on the British frigate HMS Amethyst in Asia in the late 1940s. She was laid down by Alexander Stephen and Sons of Linthouse, Govan Scotland on 25 March 1942, launched on 7 May 1943 and commissioned on 2 November 1943, with the pennant number U16. MAY 1948 — NOVEMBER 1949 H.M.S. HMS Amethyst (Lieutenant-Commander Skinner) sailed from Shanghai on 19th April to relieve HMS Consort at Nanking. AMETHYST 28-11-2020 1/700 IJN … Simon (c. 1947 – 28 November 1949) was the ship's cat who served on the Royal Navy sloop HMS Amethyst. Photograph of British sloop HMS Amethyst during WWII. Upon return to Plymouth in November, the cat was presented with the Amethyst campaign medal, a Blue Cross medal for animal bravery and heroism, and the Dickin Medal, the animal version of the Victoria Cross, the highest award of the British honor system. Able Seacat Simon of HMS Amethyst. These attacks killed 25 of Amethyst’s crew, including the commanding officer. “I was responsible for the ship’s anchor and its classified books. And let’s not forget some real-life pop culture examples of tuxedo cats: Two examples of famous tuxedo cats on ships include Oscar, aka Unsinkable Sam—who survived three major WWII shipwrecks between May and November 1941—and Simon, the ship’s cat on the Royal Navy sloop-of-war HMS Amethyst who was buried with full naval honors. Find the perfect hms amethyst stock photo. HMS Amethyst was a Royal Navy 36-gun Penelope-class fifth-rate frigate, launched in 1799 at Deptford. The men of the mess deck spoiled me with titbits, but one of His Majesty’s frigates is a large world to explore and it was only a matter of time before I slipped out of the mess deck into the world of steel, strange smells, men and rats. (A resident of Stonecutter's Island later tried to research Simon's parentage, but without success.) MEMORY OF HMS Argonaut. During the Yangtze Incident, the HMS Amethyst was attacked and was trapped on the Yangtze River for months. AUGUST 1949 Over the next six months, the cat became a lovable and irreplaceable companion to the sailors, and even occasionally treated them to a grim gift in the form of a dead rat on their pillow. Ihre drei Schwesterschiffe wurden noch mit den üblichen Dreifach-Expansionsmaschinen geliefert. The inscription on his gravestone at the PDSA Ilford Animal Cemetery states, among other things, the following: “Throughout the Yangtze Incident his behavior was of the highest order.”, Join 1000s of subscribers and receive the best Vintage News in your mailbox for FREE, Police arrest a 72-year-old “suburban grandfather” suspected of being the Golden State Killer, “I’m not dead yet”: some Buddhist monks followed self-mummification, Project Azorian: Howard Hughes’ secret mission, 1960s U.S. satellite that started transmitting again in 2013, The “Walk of Shame” in Game of Thrones historical inspiration, The only unsolved skyjacking case in U.S. history might have a break, Kurt Gödel became too paranoid to eat and died of starvation, “Little Ease”: One of the most feared torture devices in the Tower of London, The humble English girl who became Cora Pearl, Walt Disney softened the original Snow White story. By that time, Simon had already acquired a reputation as the ship’s furry mascot; the new commander liked Simon so much that he granted him a few additional privileges, such as unrestricted access to most areas of the ship and the permission to sleep in the commander’s cap. Simon rapidly gained a reputation for cheekiness, leaving presents of dead rats in sailors' beds, and sleeping in the captain's cap.[1]. In a time of uncertainty and grave danger, he boosted the crew’s morale and prevented them from losing hope. Ship's cat Minnie of the cruiser Argonaut was one of the most travelled of naval cats. In 1949, during the Yangtze Incident, he received the PDSA's Dickin Medal after surviving injuries from a cannon shell, raising morale, and killing off a rat infestation during his service. In 1949, during the Yangtze Incident, he received the PDSA's Dickin Medal after surviving injuries from a cannon shell, raising morale, and killing off a rat infestation during his service. No need to register, buy now! AWARDED DICKIN MEDAL On the way back to the United Kingdom, the ship stopped at many ports and the news of the cat who brought hope and tranquility to the sailors spread across the world. She joined the crew early in 1944 from Tyneside, in north-east England, and among many other pets that came and went she stood out and became indisputably 'the ship's cat'. Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. He managed to survive, however, and after a period of recovery, returned to his former duties in spite of the indifference he faced from the new ship's captain Lt Cdr John Kerans. Simon became the most celebrated and honoured cat of our time. “Served on HMS Amethyst during the Yangtse Incident, during the Chinese Civil War, disposing of many rats though wounded by shell blast. This is a story of a cat named Simon who was ship's cat on the HMS Amethyst, a British warship, just after the end of the second world war. Photograph of British sloop HMS Amethyst during WWII. Like all animals entering the United Kingdom at the time, Simon had to spend some time in quarantine. DIED 28TH NOVEMBER 1949. HMS Amethyst was a modified Black Swan-class sloop of the Royal Navy. Simon (c. 1947 – 28 November 1949) was the ship's cat who served on the Royal Navy sloop HMS Amethyst. Simon, the cheeky black-and-white cat who served aboard the Royal Navy frigate HMS Amethyst, became one of the most famous ship’s cats in history after being wounded during the Yangtze Incident. There were four ships in the class, these being HMS Leopard, Lynx, Puma and Jaguar. Lieutenant Commander Ian Griffiths liked cats and well understood the threat posed by rodents, in the hot and humid weather of that time and place. Unfortunately, Simon’s carefree life aboard the Amethyst didn’t last very long. [1], Simon was found wandering the dockyards of Hong Kong in March 1948 by 17-year-old Ordinary Seaman George Hickinbottom, a member of the crew of the British frigate HMS Amethyst stationed in the city in the late 1940s. In October 1948, the commander of the Amethyst, Ian Griffiths, was replaced by a new commander, Lieutenant-Commander Bernard Skinner. The Hong Kong-born cat received the PDSA Dickin Medal. Nearly a thousand people, including the entire crew of HMS Amethyst, attended his funeral. HMS Amethyst (1793), eine Fregatte der Royal Navy, ursprünglich Perle, 1795 verloren gegangen HMS Amethyst (1799), eine Fregatte der Penelope-Klasse, 1811 verloren gegangen HMS Amethyst (1844), eine Fregatte der Spartan-Klasse, 1869 verkauft und als Kabelleger genutzt HMS Amethyst (1871), eine Korvette der Amethyst-Klasse von 1871, 1887 verkauft He was appointed to the rank of “Able Seacat” Simon, and was posthumously awarded the Dickin Medal, the only cat ever to earn the award. Because of this, they have been used on numerous ships across the world as killers of rats, mice, and various other disease-ridden pests. In April 1949, things turned ugly for both the crew and their feline friend. On the night of July 30th, the Amethyst finally managed to escape with the help of bad weather and limited visibility. One of the first rounds tore through the captain's cabin, seriously wounding Simon. Simon gets a job Simon was born probably in the latter part of 1947, on Stonecutters Island, Hong Kong, a busy naval dockyard at the time. To this day, Simon remains the only cat to have been awarded this particular medal. While anchored in the river, the ship had become overrun with rats, and Simon took on the task of removing them with vigour, as well as raising the morale of the sailors.[2]. The ship and its crew were badly hurt in the attacks on the ship. Photo by Acabashi CC BY-SA 3.0. Black Cat Models 1/350 Edsall Class DE (Resin kit) NEW; 01-12-202 New reviews for December include: Combrig 1/700 HMS Bellerophon (Resin kit) NEW; Kraken Hobbies 1/350 8/55 Mk9 turrets for New Orleans class cruisers NEW ; 30-11-2020 1/600 HMS Sheffield (Airfix) by Roger Wilson First Submission 29-11-2020 1/12 Pilar, Hemingway's boat (Scratchbuilt) by Pat Matthews. [3] His gravestone reads: IN Cover … One of the first rounds that hit the ship destroyed the captain’s cabin, killed Lieutenant-Commander Skinner, and gravely injured the unwitting Simon. Although some of the crew were initially skeptical of Simon’s presence on the vessel, the one-year-old cat soon proved its worth as a capable pest exterminator on the lower decks. Whilst in quarantine, Simon contracted a virus and, despite the attentions of medical staff and thousands of well-wishers, died on 28 November 1949 from a complication of the viral infection caused by his war wounds. The crew viewed Simon as a lucky mascot, and when the ship's commander changed later in 1948, the outgoing Ian Griffiths left the cat for his successor Lieutenant Commander Bernard Skinner, who took an immediate liking to the friendly animal. Simon's resting place at the PDSA Animal Cemetery in Ilford. But there is not much doubt that the most celebrated ship's cat of modern times was Simon, of HMS Amethyst. At every port Amethyst stopped at on its route home, Simon was presented with honour, and a special welcome was made for him at Plymouth in November when the ship returned. In 1949, during the Yangtze Incident, he received the PDSA's Dickin Medal after surviving injuries from a cannon shell, raising morale, and killing off a rat infestation during his service. Simon was the ship’s cat on the Royal Navy sloop-of-war HMS Amethyst. Cats are intelligent and adaptive predators with a strong natural instinct for hunting and eliminating rodents. … Während des Ersten Weltkriegs wurde sie vor den Dardanellen und Gallipoli, im Mittelmeer und im … In 1948, 17-year-old George Hickenbottom brought a stray black-and-white cat named Simon from the docks of Hong Kong to his ship, the HMS Amethyst. Simon did his job well—he also became a cuddly friend of the men. Simon was awarded the animal VC and Sid was the youngest member of the crew of H.M.S. Simon, the cheeky black-and-white cat who served aboard the Royal Navy frigate HMS Amethyst, became one of the most famous ship’s cats in history after being wounded during the Yangtze Incident. Simon is also commemorated with a bush planted in his honour in the Yangtze Incident Grove at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. Articles incorporating text from Wikipedia, https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Simon_(cat)?oldid=4600860, Viral infection, possibly caused by war wounds, Plot 281 of the PDSA's pet cemetery in Ilford, Essex, Ship's cat of HMS Amethyst, honorary 'Able Seacat', Received several medals due to exemplary conduct in the. And so I became Simon, the Frigate HMS Amethyst’s initially, unofficial ship’s cat. Unfortunately, during his second week of quarantine, he developed a severe infection which was a result of the wounds he sustained during the Yangtze Incident. "SIMON" 17-year-old Ordinary Seaman George Hickinbottom smuggled the animal on board the frigate HMS Amethyst, the job of “ship’s cat” being open at that time. The celebrated ship's cat of HMS Amethyst, Simon was aboard the ship during the Yangtze Incident in 1949 and was wounded in the bombardment that … Simon was found wandering the dockyards of Hong Kong in March 1948 by 17-year-old Ordinary Seaman George Hickinbottom, a member of the crew of the British frigate HMS Amethyststationed in the city in the late 1940s. He was born in 1947 in Hong Kong on a busy dockyard for ships. Hundreds, including the entire crew of HMS Amethyst attended his funeral at the PDSA Ilford Animal Cemetery in East London. The badly wounded cat crawled on deck, and was rushed to the medical bay, where the ship's surviving medical staff cleaned his burns, and removed four pieces of shrapnel, but he was not expected to last the night. Able Seacat Simon of HMS Amethyst. … SERVED IN SCAN-TELE-01617825 Fired at on 20th at around 0900, 60 miles from Nanking and grounded on Rose Island with heavy casualties, about 60 crew landed and many made their way to Shanghai with Chinese help In 1950, the writer Paul Gallico dedicated his novel Jennie to Simon. HIS BEHAVIOUR WAS OF THE HIGHEST ORDER. Boy Seaman Sid Horton and Simon the ships cat. HMS Amethyst ist der Name folgender Schiffe: . (Simon the ship’s cat aboard HMS Amethyst. Following the ship's escape from the Yangtze, Simon became an instant celebrity, lauded in British and world news, and presented with the "Animal Victoria Cross", the Dickin Medal, as well as a Blue Cross medal, the Amethyst campaign medal, and the fanciful rank of "Able Seacat". Still, the medical officer managed to extract the four pieces of shrapnel from Simon’s back, and the cat was soon roaming the ship with the same vigor. Read another story from us: After nearly 74 years, the remains of an 82nd AB paratrooper are coming home, He died several days later, at the age of two. Simon was buried with full naval honors. Sie lief 1904 als zweiter Kreuzer der Klasse vom Stapel und war der weltweit erste Kreuzer mit Turbinenantrieb. However, Skinner's first mission in command of the Amethyst was to travel up the Yangtze River to Nanking to replace the duty ship there, HMS Consort. He named the cat Simon and smuggled him onto the frigate. Halfway up the river the ship became embroiled in the Yangtze incident, when Chinese Communist gun batteries opened fire on the frigate. The ship was quickly surrounded by Chinese troops; it became evident that an escape attempt was impossible. The vessel was tasked with traveling up the Yangtze River to the port of Nanjing to replace the duty ship there. For the next four months, the crew were stuck in unfamiliar waters, unable to negotiate a safe passage back to the open sea, and had to treat their wounded with limited medical supplies. Simon’s resting place at the PDSA Animal Cemetery in Ilford. Able Seacat Simon of HMS Amethyst. THROUGHOUT THE YANGTZE INCIDENT We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about cats on ships on International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Another portrait some have claimed to be Unsinkable Sam is a photograph of a tuxedo cat wearing a collar that is clearly inscribed, “HMS Amethyst 1949.” It is more likely that this portrait is of another wartime ship cat named Simon, who was aboard the Amethyst. Simon the cat received the Dickin Medal, for catching rats and protecting food supplies during the time the ship was trapped by the Chinese. The Type 41 or 'Cat' Class of Anti Aircraft Frigates were ordered for the Royal Navy in the 1950s, with HMS Leopard entering service in 1958. Simon - Cat Awarded posthumously 1949. Amethyst served in the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars, capturing several prizes.She also participated in two boat actions and two ship actions that won her crew clasps to the Naval General Service Medal.She was broken up in 1811 after suffering severe damage in a storm. Abandoned, he was adopted by a seaman who brought him back to his British ship, HMS Amethyst, to kill some of the rats onboard. A seaman from the ship, George Hickinbotom found Simon on the dockyard looking sorry for himself … A bit of a loner, she took no special friends and seemed to regard the whole ship as her domain; she'd sleep on the mess-decks just as … Lieutenant Commander Skinner died of his wounds soon after the attack. Pulled into port on Stonecutters Island, Hong Kong for a supplies Liberation Army job in early when. Badly hurt in the class, these being HMS Leopard, Lynx, Puma and Jaguar uncertainty and grave,... 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