Great War 1917 'K Class' Submarine Service Distinguished Service Medal and long service group awarded to Petty Officer (Torpedo Gunners Mate) F.L. Hulance
A fine and rare Great War 1917 'K Class' Submarine Service Distinguished Service Medal and long service group awarded to Petty Officer (Torpedo Gunners Mate) F.L. Hulance, Royal Navy, a qualfied diver, who served with submarine's for ten years from 1909 through to 1919, and right through the Great War, operating in the North Sea aboard the submarine D7 from 1914 to 1915, D8 from 1915 to 1916, K2 from 1917, and F3 from 1918-1919.
Group of 5: Distinguished Service Medal, GVR bust; (220771 F.L. HULANCE. P.O. SUBMARINE SERVICE 1917); 1914-1915 Star; (220771. F.L. HULANCE, L.S. R.N.); British War Medal and Victory Medal; (220771 F.L. HULANCE. P.O. R.N.); Royal Navy Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, GVR Adm. bust; (220771 F.L. HULANCE. P.O. H.M.S. DOLPHIN), mounted loose style as worn.
Condition: Good Very Fine.
Frederick Lewin Hulance was born in Brompton, London, on 4th March 1885, and worked as a footman before joining the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class (Portsmouth No.220771) aboard the Boy's Training Ship H.M.S. Northampton from 12th May 1902, and was then advanced to Boy 1st Class on 11th August 1902, being then posted aboard the screw crovette H.M.S. Cleopatra from 26th September 1902, before being posted to Victory from 21st December 1902, and then posted aboard the battleship H.M.S. Albion from 24th January 1903 and saw service on the China Station, being rated as Ordinary Seaman on 4th March 1903, and then advanced to Able Seaman on 1st May 1904, before being posted to the battleship H.M.S. Ocean from 24th April 1905, and returning with her from the China Station, having departed Hong Kong, he then returned to Albion at Singapore, and sailed home with her. Hulance was posted at Portsmouth to Victory I from 6th June 1905, and then to posted to the destoyer depot ship H.M.S. Sapphire II from 3rd April 1906, before joing the torpedo school H.M.S. Vernon from 8th June 1907 and then the gunnery school H.M.S. Excellent from 5th January 1908, and whilst there qualified as a Diver on 16th March 1908. Posted back to Victory I from 5th April 1908, followed by the battlecruiser H.M.S. Invincible from 19th March 1909.
Hulance then opted for the subamarine service, the trade within the trade, and was then posted to the submarine depot ship H.M.S. Mercury from 17th October 1909, followed by a move to the submarine depot ship H.M.S. Arrogant from 1st July 1911, and the submarine depot ship H.M.S. Bonaventure from 15th December 1911, being then posted to Pembroke I from 21st August 1912, and then to the submarine depot ship H.M.S. Maidstone from 15th January 1913, being promoted to Leading Seaman on 15th January 1914, and was serving with Maidstone at the outbreak of the war, seeing operational service out of Harwich, he was a crew member of the sumarine 'D7' during the early period the war, he then transferred to the submarine depot ship Bonaventure from 17th November 1915, which operated from the mouth of the Tyne, and saw service with the 6th Submarine Flotilla aboard the submarine 'D8' operating in the North Sea.
Hulance was posted with D8 to the control of the depot ship at Portsmouth, H.M.S. Dolphin from 17th June 1916, and then transferred back to the Harwich based depot ship Maidstone from 25th September 1916, being promoted to Petty Officer (Torpedo Gunners Mate) on 1st October 1916, being then posted back to Dolphin from 11th December 1916, and would have been one of the crew who commissioned the K Class submarine 'K2' - though the records do not indicate this exactly - she was not given a name till nearing the end of her trials and would have solely come under the listing of Dolphin, and as such he was most likely aboard her when she was damaged by an explosion and fire during her first diving trials in January 1917. The boat was nearing completion and as such he then received a posting to the Barrow based submarine depot ship H.M.S. Fearless from 10th March 1917, and was officially posted aboard the new 'K' Class submarine, the 'K2' from that date, with the submarine not coming fully operational till May 1917, he would have served as her first Torpedo Gunners Mate.
The K class submarines were a class of steam-propelled submarines of the Royal Navy designed in 1913. Intended as large, fast vessels which had the endurance and speed to operate with the battle fleet, they gained notoriety, and the nickname of Kalamity class, for being involved in many accidents. Of the 18 built, none was lost through enemy action but six sank in accidents. Only one ever engaged an enemy vessel, hitting a U-boat amidships though the torpedo failed to explode.
It was almost certainly for his services aboard the new K Class submarine 'K2' and obviously with his previous wartime service having been brought into account, that Hulance was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for 'submarine service 1917' in the London Gazette for 2nd November 1917.
Hulance was posted back to Dolphin from 8th October 1917, being awarded his Royal Navy Long Service and Good Conduct Medal on 14th March 1918, and then posted aboard the F Class submarine 'F3' from 9th April 1918, and then saw further service in the North Sea aboard her till the end of the war, being posted back to Dolphin from 1st January 1919, and then to the depot ship Lucia from 22nd February 1919, followed by Dolphin again from 25th November 1919.
Hulance transferred out of the submarine service when he was posted to Victory I from 11th December 1919, being then posted back to Vernon from 10th January 1920, and then to the destroyer depot ship H.M.S. Dido from 11th January 1921, and aboard the destroyer H.M.S. Rosalind, followed by a posting aboard the destroyer H.M.S. Tourmaline from 1st April 1922, and the following destroyers, H.M.S. Sturdy from 1st July 1922, H.M.S. Ursula from 1st October 1922, H.M.S. Saladin from 1st January 1923, H.M.S. Toreador from 1st April 1923, H.M.S. Stronghold from 1st July 1923, H.M.S. Torbay from 1st January 1924, H.M.S. Sturdy again from 1st April 1924, Toreador again from 1st July 1924, H.M.S. Tyrian from 1st October 1924, and finally H.M.S. Turquoise from 17th January 1925. Hulance was pensioned ashore on 3rd March 1925, and then joined the Portsmouth Division of the Royal Fleet Reserve on 4th March 1925.