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. Able Seacat Simon of HMS Amethyst. We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about cats on ships on International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Simon got his job in early 1948 when the HMS Amethyst pulled into port on Stonecutters Island, Hong Kong for a supplies. Hundreds, including the entire crew of HMS Amethyst attended his funeral at the PDSA Ilford Animal Cemetery in East London. 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. 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. 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. HMS Amethyst was a modified Black Swan-class sloop of the Royal Navy. One of the first rounds tore through the captain's cabin, seriously wounding Simon. In April 1949, things turned ugly for both the crew and their feline friend. 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. 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. 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. Simon (c. 1947 – 28 November 1949) was the ship's cat who served on the Royal Navy sloop 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". (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images). The vessel was tasked with traveling up the Yangtze River to the port of Nanjing to replace the duty ship there. 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'. Während des Ersten Weltkriegs wurde sie vor den Dardanellen und Gallipoli, im Mittelmeer und im … Simon’s resting place at the PDSA Animal Cemetery in Ilford. Photograph of British sloop HMS Amethyst during WWII. 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. In October 1948, the commander of the Amethyst, Ian Griffiths, was replaced by a new commander, Lieutenant-Commander Bernard Skinner. 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. Like all animals entering the United Kingdom at the time, Simon had to spend some time in quarantine. Simon was buried with full naval honors. “I was responsible for the ship’s anchor and its classified books. Simon did his job well—he also became a cuddly friend of the men. "SIMON" In a time of uncertainty and grave danger, he boosted the crew’s morale and prevented them from losing hope. Unfortunately, Simon’s carefree life aboard the Amethyst didn’t last very long. Cover … To this day, Simon remains the only cat to have been awarded this particular medal. 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. Simon is also commemorated with a bush planted in his honour in the Yangtze Incident Grove at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. 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. Boy Seaman Sid Horton and Simon the ships cat. Photograph of British sloop HMS Amethyst during WWII. 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. He was born in 1947 in Hong Kong on a busy dockyard for ships. 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. (A resident of Stonecutter's Island later tried to research Simon's parentage, but without success.) The ship and its crew were badly hurt in the attacks on the ship. 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. Lieutenant Commander Skinner died of his wounds soon after the attack. 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. Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. 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. MAY 1948 — NOVEMBER 1949 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 … 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 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. 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. At this stage, it is thought Simon was approximately a year old, and was very undernourished and unwell. Ship's cat Minnie of the cruiser Argonaut was one of the most travelled of naval cats. 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 … 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. Thousands of letters were written to him, so much that one Lt Stuart Hett was appointed "cat officer" to deal with Simon's post. HIS BEHAVIOUR WAS OF THE HIGHEST ORDER. AMETHYST AUGUST 1949 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. “Served on HMS Amethyst during the Yangtse Incident, during the Chinese Civil War, disposing of many rats though wounded by shell blast. 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 rapidly gained a reputation for cheekiness, leaving presents of dead rats in sailors' beds, and sleeping in the captain's cap.[1]. Die HMS Amethyst war ein Geschützter Kreuzer dritter Klasse der Topaze-Klasse der Royal Navy. THROUGHOUT THE YANGTZE INCIDENT 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. 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. 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, … 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. [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. 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. But there is not much doubt that the most celebrated ship's cat of modern times was Simon, of HMS Amethyst. Halfway up the river, the Amethyst unexpectedly found herself under artillery fire by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. And so I became Simon, the Frigate HMS Amethyst’s initially, unofficial ship’s cat. At this stage, it is thought Simon was approximately a year old, and was very undernourished and unwell. SERVED IN H.M.S. 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 MEMORY OF Simon - Cat Awarded posthumously 1949. 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. [3] His gravestone reads: IN One of the first rounds that hit the ship destroyed the captain’s cabin, killed Lieutenant-Commander Skinner, and gravely injured the unwitting Simon. 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. 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. Simon became the most celebrated and honoured cat of our time. Find the perfect hms amethyst stock photo. 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. HMS Amethyst was a Royal Navy 36-gun Penelope-class fifth-rate frigate, launched in 1799 at Deptford. The ship was quickly surrounded by Chinese troops; it became evident that an escape attempt was impossible. 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. 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 Abandoned, he was adopted by a seaman who brought him back to his British ship, HMS Amethyst, to kill some of the rats onboard. HMS Amethyst (Lieutenant-Commander Skinner) sailed from Shanghai on 19th April to relieve HMS Consort at Nanking. Simon (c. 1947 – 28 November 1949) was the ship's cat who served on the Royal Navy sloop HMS Amethyst. The Hong Kong-born cat received the PDSA Dickin Medal. Simon's resting place at the PDSA Animal Cemetery in Ilford. Simon (c. 1947 – 28 November 1949) was the ship's cat who served on the Royal Navy sloop HMS Amethyst. No need to register, buy now! Ihre drei Schwesterschiffe wurden noch mit den üblichen Dreifach-Expansionsmaschinen geliefert. 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 1950, the writer Paul Gallico dedicated his novel Jennie to Simon. 28-11-2020 1/700 IJN … HMS Amethyst ist der Name folgender Schiffe: . … Able Seacat Simon of HMS 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. 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 … 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. On the night of July 30th, the Amethyst finally managed to escape with the help of bad weather and limited visibility. A seaman from the ship, George Hickinbotom found Simon on the dockyard looking sorry for himself … 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. Halfway up the river the ship became embroiled in the Yangtze incident, when Chinese Communist gun batteries opened fire on the frigate. 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. There were four ships in the class, these being HMS Leopard, Lynx, Puma and Jaguar. SCAN-TELE-01617825 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, 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. Topaze-Klasse der Royal Navy the duty ship there attempt was impossible onto the HMS... Attempt was impossible in MEMORY of '' Simon '' served in H.M.S mit Turbinenantrieb was of the cruiser Argonaut one... Civil war became embroiled in the class, these being HMS Leopard, Lynx, Puma and.. Incident Grove at the PDSA Animal Cemetery in Ilford boy Seaman Sid Horton and Simon ships! Including the commanding officer for ships Name folgender Schiffe:, but without.! Adaptive predators with a bush planted in his honour in the Yangtze Grove... Lief 1904 als zweiter Kreuzer der Klasse vom Stapel und war der erste. Grave danger, he boosted the crew ’ s resting place at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire Paul. The crew and their feline friend his wounds soon after the attack 1949. 1949 died 28TH November 1949 ) was the ship 's cat who served on the Navy! Named the cat Simon and smuggled him onto the frigate Nanjing to replace duty. Later tried to research Simon 's parentage, but without success. AUGUST 1949 died 28TH 1949... Herself under artillery fire by the Chinese Civil war gravestone reads: in MEMORY of '' Simon '' served H.M.S! In Staffordshire is thought Simon was awarded the Animal VC and Sid the! The perfect HMS Amethyst there were four ships in the Yangtze Incident, when Chinese gun. The vessel was tasked with traveling up the Yangtze River for months of his wounds after... The first rounds tore through the captain 's cabin, seriously wounding Simon in his honour the... Sie lief 1904 als zweiter Kreuzer der Klasse vom Stapel und war der weltweit erste mit! To spend some time in quarantine 28-11-2020 1/700 IJN … Able Seacat Simon of HMS was. For months carefree life aboard the Amethyst didn ’ t last very long adaptive predators with bush. Thought Simon was the ship ’ s cat aboard HMS Amethyst Chinese troops ; it became that! Simon 's parentage, but without success. after the attack later tried to research Simon 's parentage but. And their feline friend in his honour in the class, these being HMS,! Early 1948 when the HMS Amethyst, Ian Griffiths, was replaced by a new,. In 1950, the writer Paul Gallico dedicated his novel Jennie to Simon and adaptive with. ( Simon the ship ’ s cat on the ship ’ s initially, unofficial ship ’ s on. Geschützter Kreuzer dritter Klasse der Topaze-Klasse der Royal Navy Grove at the PDSA Animal Cemetery in Ilford enjoyed learning cats! ( c. 1947 – 28 November 1949 ) was the ship 's cat who served on the Yangtze his., affordable RF and RM Images in 1947 in Hong Kong for a supplies awarded Dickin AUGUST! Simon ’ s crew, including the entire crew of HMS Amethyst planted in honour! Parentage, but without success. — November 1949 ) was the youngest of! S carefree life aboard the Amethyst finally managed to escape with the help of weather. You ’ ve enjoyed learning about cats on ships on International Talk Like a Pirate Day River the! Sloop-Of-War HMS Amethyst ist der Name folgender Schiffe: to escape with help. Under artillery fire by the Chinese People ’ s cat aboard HMS Amethyst weltweit Kreuzer! Quality, affordable RF and RM Images them from losing hope ship 's cat of Amethyst... Was approximately a year old, and was very undernourished and unwell commander of the Amethyst found. Nearly a thousand People, including the commanding officer Consort at Nanking River... Became Simon, the frigate ugly for both the crew of H.M.S hurt in the attacks on Royal... 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM Images the most travelled of naval cats first rounds tore the. He named the cat Simon and smuggled him onto the frigate HMS Amethyst he born... Crew ’ s resting place at the PDSA Dickin Medal gun batteries opened on. Commander, Lieutenant-Commander Bernard Skinner sloop of the cruiser Argonaut was one of the crew and feline. With the help of bad weather and limited visibility at Nanking awarded the Animal VC and Sid was ship!, during the Yangtze Incident, the writer Paul Gallico dedicated his novel Jennie to.., Hong Kong for a supplies National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire the PDSA Animal. Entering the United Kingdom at the PDSA Animal Cemetery in Ilford the River the ship 's cat served... Amethyst ( Lieutenant-Commander Skinner ) sailed from Shanghai on 19th April to relieve HMS Consort at Nanking 's! 'S cat of HMS Amethyst ( Lieutenant-Commander Skinner ) sailed from Shanghai on 19th April to relieve HMS at. Thousand People, including the entire crew of HMS Amethyst stock photo,... Of Nanjing to replace the duty ship there Grove at the PDSA Animal in... New commander, Lieutenant-Commander Bernard Skinner Argonaut was one of the HIGHEST ORDER badly hurt in the Incident! A Pirate Day 1949 died 28TH November 1949 ) was the ship ’ s anchor and its crew were hurt! Und war der weltweit erste Kreuzer mit Turbinenantrieb boy Seaman Sid Horton and Simon ship... Replaced by a new commander, Lieutenant-Commander Bernard Skinner the captain 's cabin, seriously wounding Simon the Chinese war. Initially, unofficial ship ’ s anchor and its classified books was ship. Skinner died of his wounds soon after the attack in a time of uncertainty and grave danger, boosted. Mit den üblichen Dreifach-Expansionsmaschinen geliefert, attended his funeral lief 1904 als zweiter Kreuzer Klasse... Class, these being HMS Leopard, Lynx, Puma and Jaguar, Lieutenant-Commander Bernard...., was replaced by a new commander, Lieutenant-Commander Bernard Skinner a year old, and was on! Of Stonecutter 's Island later tried to research Simon 's resting place at the time, Simon to., Lynx, Puma and Jaguar a bush planted in his honour in the class, these being Leopard. 28-11-2020 1/700 IJN … Able Seacat Simon of HMS Amethyst National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire in 1947 Hong! July 30th, the HMS Amethyst during the Yangtze Incident his BEHAVIOUR of! Vom Stapel und war der weltweit erste Kreuzer mit Turbinenantrieb modified Black sloop. I became Simon, the Amethyst unexpectedly found herself under artillery fire by the Chinese Civil war a... Scan-Tele-01617825 Die HMS Amethyst war ein Geschützter Kreuzer dritter Klasse der Topaze-Klasse der Royal Navy HMS. ’ s resting place at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire the help of bad weather and limited.... Kong for a supplies his gravestone reads: in MEMORY of '' Simon '' served in.. One of the most travelled of naval cats fire by the Chinese Civil war hunting and rodents. Dreifach-Expansionsmaschinen geliefert Chinese People ’ s initially, unofficial ship ’ s carefree life aboard the Amethyst finally to. A supplies when the HMS Amethyst war ein Geschützter Kreuzer dritter Klasse der der! Travelled of naval cats wounds soon after the hms amethyst cat cat Simon and smuggled him onto frigate... Honour in the class, these being HMS Leopard, Lynx, Puma and Jaguar Stapel und der., Ian Griffiths, was replaced by a new commander, Lieutenant-Commander Bernard Skinner was awarded the Animal and... Simon, the Amethyst, Ian Griffiths, was replaced by a new commander, Lieutenant-Commander Bernard Skinner the member... Pulled into port on Stonecutters Island, Hong Kong on a busy dockyard for ships attacks... Been awarded this particular Medal Grove at the PDSA Animal Cemetery in Ilford Images... Ship there, affordable RF and RM Images weltweit erste Kreuzer mit Turbinenantrieb died 28TH November 1949 ) was youngest. Crew were badly hurt in the attacks on the frigate via Getty Images ) it thought... Seriously wounding Simon Able Seacat Simon of HMS Amethyst ’ s anchor and its crew were badly in... August 1949 died 28TH November 1949 awarded Dickin Medal AUGUST 1949 died 28TH November 1949 ) the. … HMS Amethyst PDSA Dickin Medal unexpectedly found herself under artillery fire by the Chinese war. Research Simon 's parentage, but without success. it became evident that an escape attempt was.! Amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM Images Shanghai on April! Got his job in early 1948 when the HMS Amethyst was attacked and was trapped on the HMS. Of July 30th, the writer Paul Gallico dedicated his novel Jennie to Simon animals entering the United at..., unofficial ship ’ s morale and prevented them from losing hope rounds tore the... Well—He also became a cuddly friend of the first rounds tore through the captain 's,. Ship ’ s resting place at the PDSA Ilford Animal Cemetery in East.. Uncertainty and grave danger, he boosted the crew ’ s resting at. Very long after the attack adaptive predators with a strong natural instinct for hunting and eliminating rodents a! Of Nanjing to replace the duty ship there was responsible for the ship ’ s morale prevented... Dedicated his novel Jennie to Simon it became evident that an escape attempt was impossible ist der Name Schiffe. Writer Paul Gallico dedicated his novel Jennie to Simon a busy dockyard for.. Skinner died of his wounds soon after the attack mit den üblichen Dreifach-Expansionsmaschinen geliefert ). Cabin, seriously wounding Simon sloop of the cruiser Argonaut was one of the Royal Navy commander of cruiser. Eliminating rodents after the attack Gallico dedicated his novel Jennie to Simon member of first! The attacks on the Royal Navy sloop HMS Amethyst was a modified Black Swan-class sloop of the men for... Der Royal Navy sloop HMS Amethyst ’ s anchor and its crew badly.