Albert Medal in Gold For Gallantry in Saving Life at Sea & Albert Medal of the First Class For Gallantry in Saving Life at Sea & AM
medal, ribbon and fitted case of issue
obverse design: VA cypher, overlaid and interlaced with an anchor, all in gold relief over a dark blue oval enamel ground, surrounded by a garter in dark bronze bearing in raised letters of gold, the text FOR.GALLANTRY.IN.SAVING.LIFE.AT.SEA. The whole surmounted by the Prince Consort's crown. reverse design: plain gold with the unique engraved inscription as transcribed above. The whole piece suspended from a circular gold ring. Ribbon is dark blue and white. One narrow verticle stripe of blue at either edge, then alternative verticle stripes of white, blue, white, blue, white blue and white, all of equal width. The whole contained in a red leather fitted case bearing on its lid, embossed in gold, the cypher of King George V surmounted by a crown.
Commander Francis Herbert Heaveningham Goodhart DSO AM RN (1884-1917), son of the Revd. C A Goodhart and his wife Catherine Elizabeth (nee Warner) was born in 1884. Goodhart served in submarines off Heligoland and in the North Sea from August - September 1914, and took part in the Battle of the Heligoland Bight; From August 1915-December 1916, he commanded HM Submarine E8 attached to the Imperial Russian Navy. On 29 January 1917, Goodhart was in HM Submarine K13 during her final dive on acceptance trials in Gareloch. K13 was carrying 80 personnel (crew, civilians from the builders and the captain designate of K.14), when she ran into problems. At a depth of some 20 feet the boiler room reported that the compartment was flooding. Main ballast tanks were blown and the forward keel was dropped, she continued out of control to the seabed. Although the depth was only some 50 feet more, aft of the torpedo room was completely flooded and 31 men were drowned. Later at an Admiralty Inquiry, divers reported finding four thirty seven inch ventilators over the boiler room open, Indicators in the boiler room were set open and the engine-room hatch was undone. The official citation for the award of the Albert Medal in Gold to Goodhart (Gazetted on 23 April 1918) provides a graphic account of what happened. "Owing to an accident, one of H.M. submarines sank and became fast on the bottom in 38 feet of water, parts of the vessel becoming flooded. After several hours the only prospect of saving those remaining on board appeared to be for someone to escape from the submarine in order to concert measures with the rescuers, who were by this time present on the surface. Commander Goodhart, after consultation with the Commanding Officer, volunteered to make the attempt. Accordingly, after placing in his belt a small tin cylinder with instructions for the rescuers, Commander Goodhart went into the conning tower with the Commanding Officer. The conning tower was flooded up to their waists, and the high-pressure air was turned on; the clips of the conning tower were knocked off and the conning tower lid was soon wide open. Commander Goodhart then stood up in the dome, took a deep breath, and made his escape, but, unfortunately, was blown by the pressure of air against part of the super-structure, and was killed by the force of the blow. The Commanding Officer, whose intention it had been to return inside the submarine after Commander Goodhart's escape, was involuntarily forced to the surface by the air pressure, and it was thus rendered possible for the plans for rescuing those still inside the submarine to be carried out. Commander Goodhart displayed extreme and heroic daring in attempting to escape from the submarine in order to save the lives of those remaining on board, and thoroughly realised the forlorn nature of his act. His last remark to the Commanding Officer was: 'If I don't get up, the tin cylinder will'." Goodhart died, aged 31, leaving a widow and two daughters. He is buried at Faslane. The cemetery contains 33 First World War Graves, of which 31 are connected with the sinking of H.M. Submarine K13. K13 was subsequently raised, repaired and re-designated as K22. She was scrapped in 1926.
The Dept of Exhibits and Firearms holds Goodhart's Albert Medal, DSO; two Imperial Russian Orders and his Legion d' Honneur (Ref: OMD 3680-3684) as well as the Next of Kin Plaque (Ref: EPH 1054) sent to his widow following his death. The Documents Archive holds two very detailed ms diaries, each with ts transcript (269pp in all) kept during his command of the submarine HMS E8 describing her passage from Harwich to Revel in Estonia for attachment to the Imperial Russian Navy and her subsequent employment on patrols in the Baltic (August - November 1915 and May - November 1916). The papers contain interesting entries on technical problems in the maintenance of E8, the professional qualities and personalities of the other British submariners in the Baltic, notably Commander (later Admiral Sir Noel) Laurence, Commander (later Admiral Sir Max) Horton and Commander (later Captain) F N A Cromie RN, and the disagreements between Laurence and Horton, factors affecting the morale of the officers and men of the British submarines in the Baltic, visits by Rear Admiral (later Admiral Sir Richard) Phillimore, the British liaison officer at Imperial Russian HQ, the loss of E18 in the Baltic (May 1916), the attitudes of the Russian Navy and its officers, the Tsar Nicholas II's visit to Revel (November 1915), trips by Goodhart and other British submariners to Petrograd, Moscow and, in February - March 1916, to the Russian Black Sea Fleet and SW (Caucasus) Army, and his observations on civilian conditions and political opinion in Russia. There are also a number of letters and the warrants accompanying his orders and decorations and his Next of Kin Memorial scroll. (Ref: 92/53/1)
Engraved (on reverse)
AWARDED BY HIS MAJESTY TO COMMANDER FRANCIS H. H. GOODHART D.S.O., R.N. FOR GALLANTRY IN ATTEMPTING TO SAVE LIFE FROM A SUBMARINE AT THE COST OF HIS OWN LIFE ON THE 29TH JANUARY. 1917.