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Royal Navy Chevalier of the Order of the Star of Roumania


Merriman is one of the only 10 Naval Officers conferred Chevalier of the Order of the Star of Roumania.

Educated at Winchester College, later Bursar of Winchester College

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The Fine and Rare Roumanian Chevalier Royal Navy medal group of Lt Commander Claud Anthony Merriman. He joined the Royal Navy 1905 as a 16 year old and later saw service in the Great War surviving the sinking of H.M.S. Falmouth 1916 and serving in the Adriatic from where he was decorated with the Order of the Star of Roumania and also received a Mention in Despatches. He was Lt Commander H.M.S Warspite immediately post WW1. Returning to service in the Second World War he served mainly as Commanding Officer at H.M.S. Lanka, Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Post hostilities he returned to his Alma Mater and served as Bursar at Winchester College.

Chevalier of the Order of the Star of Roumania, as recorded on his service papers and gazetted London Gazette, 17th March 1919 pp 3593. Decoration conferred by His Majesty The King Of Roumania. Merriman is one of the only 10 Naval Officers conferred Chevalier of the Order of the Star of Roumania.

Mention in Despatches, for services on the Mediterranean Staff, Adriatic Theatre – London Gazette 11th December 1918 (pp 14646). Lt Cmd of H.M.S. Lowestoft. Recommended by C-in-C Adriatic Force for services as Navigating Officer of the Flag HMS Weymouth and Lowestoft.

Born February 1889 he joined the Royal Navy in May 1905 and by 1910 he had qualified as a Navigator promoted to Lieutenant. He served initially on submarine depot ships.

Service papers reveal that he was Lt (Navigator) on H.M.S. Falmouth when sunk by U-63 on the 19th August 1916. Falmouth had been put to sea with the Grand Fleet in response to intelligence that the German High Seas Fleet would be leaving harbour with the objective of shelling Sunderland. Falmouth was torpedoed by U-66. H.M.S. Falmouth was able to continue to head home with the crew having been taken off by the armed trawler Cooksin.  Having steamed through the night the Falmouth crossed the path of U-63 which put another 2 torpedoes into her despite the presence of 8 escorting destroyers. 8 hours later the Falmouth sank off Flamborough Head.

1920 sees Merriman promoted to Lieutenant Commander of H.M.S. Warspite.

Period 1938 to 1945

28.09.1938 – 07.10.1938 HMS Victory (RN base, Portsmouth) (additional; for miscellaneous services: as Extended Defence Officer for Portsmouth). 26.08.1939 – 09.11.1941, HMS Victory (RN base, Portsmouth) (additional; for miscellaneous services: as Extended Defence Officer & Naval Liaison Officer Portsmouth West). 10.11.1941 – 29.01.1942 Commanding Officer, HMS Lanka (RN base, Colombo, Ceylon) & as Naval Officer-in-Charge & Maintenance Captain, Ceylon. 30.01.1942 – 29.01.1943 Commanding Officer, HMS Lanka (RN base, Colombo, Ceylon) & as Maintenance Captain, Colombo. 30.01.1943 – 12.1943 Chief of Staff to Flag Officer and Admiral Superintendent Ceylon [HMS Lanka (RN base, Colombo, Ceylon). 02.1944 – 06.1944 no appointment listed. 08.1944 – 06.1945 Chief of Staff to Flag Officer-in-Charge, Liverpool [HMS Eaglet (RN base, Liverpool). 07.1945 no appointment listed.

Rank progress – Midshipman. 30.05.1905, S.Lt. 30.07.1908, Lt. 30.01.1910, Lt.Cdr. 30.01.1918, Cdr. 31.12.1922 (retd 25.05.1935; own request), Capt. (retd) 25.05.1935 (reverted to retd 14.09.1945).

Claud Anthony Merriman was born 5th April 1889 in Knutsford, Cheshire. Younger son of Frank Merriman J.P. and Mariquita Boyd. He married Alice Joyce Gaskell at Kineton, Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire 1928. He died at Longparish, Andover, Hampshire, 12th May 1952.

Education – Winchester College (1901-1903), H.M.S. Britannia (1904). As an alumnus of Winchester College he returned to the College in civilian life as Assistant Bursar, Winchester College, 1938. Bursar and Secretary, Winchester College, 04.06.1938-25.08.1939 & 15.09.1945-12.05.1952 (on his death).

Medals, mounted as worn, 1914/15 Star ( LIEUT. C.A. MERRIMAN R.N. ), British War Medal and Victory Medal (with emblem) pair ( LT. CMDR. A.C. MERRIMAN. R.N. ), Defence Medal, War Medal, Jubilee Medal 1935, Order of the Star of Romania with Swords. (7). There appears to be self correcting on the rank on the BWM, slight damage to enamelling on the Star of Romania.

Service papers are available on-line.

Selection of ships served on – Forth (Sea-going depot for Submarines) – Lieutenant (N) – 9th August 1913. Lurcher (Torpedo boat Destroyer) – Lieutenant – August 1914. Weymouth (Light Cruiser) – Lieutenant (N) – 14th September 1916. Lowestoft (Light Cruiser) – Lieut. Com (N) – 3rd March 1918. Danae – Lieut-Com (N) – 26th October 1919. Warspite (Battleship) – Lt. Commander – 22nd September 1920. Shotley Training Establishment – Commander – 3rd February 1923

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