1. Memorial:Portsmouth Naval Memorial27 Hampshire
2. Book:The (1921) Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918Pg.134

Awards & Titles:

Distinguished Service Cross and Bar

Military :


Unit :HMS Q20 
Attached : 
Action :Naval Accident 

Detail :

SCOTT, Walter Larmond, Lieutenant, HMS BAYARD (Q-SHIP Q-20) The Q ships were something of a scandal, and their existence and purpose was not acknowledged at the time. They were disguised as ordinary civilian vessels, with concealed armament. Their purpose was to attract U-boats, which would, in accordance with the rules of international law relating to merchant ships, approach on the surface, hail them, and require the crew to abandon ship. The disguised Q-Ship would then uncover its guns, and sink the U-boat. The ulterior motive was to induce the Germans to go over to a policy of sinking without warning, which would embroil them with the Americans. It worked. Walter SCOTT is recorded as being involved in a clash with two German U-Boats on 11 March 1917. The two U-Boats were U85 and UC 66 that on March 11, at 4.45 a.m., off Newhaven, i.e. in about 50?40'N-00?08'E, opened fire on the small Q ship, the Bayard (Q.20), a lugger fitted with a motor and armed with one 13-pdr. and one 3-pdr. Q.20 was on a course S.E. when a submarine on the starboard quarter opened fire. A few minutes later another on the port beam opened fire. The wind seems to have been about S.W., and bringing the ship round to N.W., Lieutenant Walter SCOTT, R.N.R., sighted a submarine close on the port quarter. The order was given to get the guns out. The submarine was brought on the port beam, and at a range of only about 75 to 100 yards, Q.20 opened fire. The submarine returned the fire immediately, and a shell struck the ship, wounding two men. The submarine submerged, but the Q-ship fired four rounds from each gun. Two explosions were seen (note: second and third shot of the 13-pdr.) in the submarine, which was about 200 - 250 feet long. H.M.S. Forester came steaming up and cruised round about while Q.20, which was badly holed, made for land.

For this action £200 was awarded to the ship; Lieutenant Walter L. SCOTT, D.S.C., R.N.R., was awarded a bar to his D.S.C.; Skipper Joseph Cowley received the D.S.C. and two seamen a D.S.M. Lieutenant SCOTT never received his in person, for Q.20 was sunk in collision on March 29 (note: C-in-C Portsmouth, Telegram 580 of March 29, 1917. The date June 26, 1917, in Navy Losses is an error); her captain and twelve men were drowned and the bar to his decoration had to be presented to his widow. The correct date for the loss of the BAYARD is 29 March 1917 - the wrong month (June) was cited in the official compilation of losses in 1919, and has been copied by others. The book 'Q-Ships' by Carson Richie describes how the Bayard (Q-20) was lost; The Q-20, as BAYARD was also known, was run down in the dark by s.s.TAINUI ON 29th March 1917. On 29 March 1915, commanded by Lieutenant Walter Larmond Scott RNR she was 'loitering' in the Engish Channel, hoping to attract German U-Boats, but as the weather worsened, steered for shelter under the Isle of Wight. Under sail, she was close hauled on the port tack, steering north west. At 8pm she encountered a southbound convoy heading for France. She steered to pass astern of the leading escort, P-19, and ahead of the convoy. Unfortunately, the leading ship of the convoy, the Tainui, did not see the lugger in the gloom until the last minute. Uncertain of her course, the Tainui altered to port, which actually took her into the lugger. The resulting collision cut the Bayard in half. Fourteen men were lost, including Lieutenant Scott. The senior survivor, Sub-Lieutenant Keith Morris, survived by grabbing a rope trailing from the Tainui's anchor chain.

The Court of Enquiry papers may be found in the National Archives, ref: ADM.137/3168 Because The SS TAINUI was a civilian ship and because it was found to be at fault by a court of enquiry, claims for compensation were allowed. The claim put forward by the family of Lieutenant SCOTT give not only an indication of a typical officer's kit but also an insight into his masonic connection. 3 suits of private clothes; 4 suits of underclothes; 3 pairs boots; 1 pair thigh boots; 1 pair knee boots; 1 half dozen flannel shirts; 1 half dozen white shirts; 1 dressing gown; 1 bridge coat; 1 overcoat; 1 oilskin coat; 2pairs shoes; 3 white sweaters; 1 dozen pair of socks; 2pair of stockings; 3 dozen hankerchiefs; 2 dozen collars; 1 wrist watch; 1 diamond ring; 1 suit case; 1 pair cufflinks' 1 sextant; 1 pair binoculars; 1 Masonic apron; 1 silver mounted walking stick (presentation); 1 velours hat. Clearly Lieutenant SCOTT kept his Masonic apron ready for any summons or invitation. The value of the late lieutenant's kit amounted to £102 6s 6d Sources Q-Ships - Ritchie

During the war there were a number of Naval Accidents which we have isolated because of their shocking caualties and the corresponding impact on members of the craft. There were a number of vessels destroyed in port by explosions which we would today categorise as 'Health & Safety' failures.

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : Saint Margaret's No. 1452 E.C.Suffolk

13th November 1916
11th December 1916
8th January 1917

Lieutenant, Royal Naval Reserve resident at Lowestoft upon initiation. He "Drowned at Sea 28/3/17."

Source :

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Last Updated: 2019-11-06 15:56:11