Rank: Leading Cook’s Mate 347354
Regiment: Royal Navy HMS Columbine HMS Wolfhound
HMS Wolfhound © IWM (Q 75643)
Samuel Mountstephen was born in Bradninch on 14 December 1883. He was the son of Elizabeth Mountstephen, and the brother of Charles, who joined the Devonshire Regiment.
Samuel joined the Royal Navy as a Cook’s Mate on 13 December 1905 at Devonport (HMS Vivid). In September 1906 he joined HMS Theseus, an Edgar Class cruiser which was part of the 10th Cruiser Squadron, operating in the North Atlantic.
At the outbreak of war in 1914 Samuel was serving on board HMS Leander, an obsolete ship which was being used as a depot ship for destroyers in the Mediterranean. As Leander appears on his Royal Navy record, it may mean that he was actually serving on a destroyer at this point, with Leander as his parent unit.
Samuel left HMS Leander in November 1914 and his RN record lists a number of shore establishments which were the accounting base for the crews of destroyers and patrol boats, so it is likely that Samuel was serving on vessels like of those types, but which are simply not named on his record.
He joined the brand new destroyer HMS Wolfhound on the day of her commissioning at Woolwich in April 1918. From July that year Wolfhound was based at a newly-established destroyer base at Port Edgar in Scotland, which was given the title HMS Columbine. This base was designed to accommodate 66 destroyers. Compare this with the total number of surface ships of all types in the Royal Navy of 2014, which is 79!
Samuel married Ellen Fowler in 1918 and remained in the Royal Navy after the war. In the Absent Voters List for 1919 he gave his address as 5 Belmont Terrace, Beer.
Samuel died in 1965, aged 81.
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