Honiton war veteran’s son seeks reason for his mention in despatches

PUBLISHED: 16:20 19 May 2016 | UPDATED: 08:54 06 June 2016

Naval officer Alfred Carslake, who received a mention in despatches.

Naval officer Alfred Carslake, who received a mention in despatches.


Fred Carslake, who lives in Bristol, is trying to find out why his father, petty officer Alfred Ernest Carslake, received praise for his wartime efforts.

The son of a military veteran who lived in Honiton is trying to figure out how and why he came to be praised for his wartime actions.

Fred Carslake, who lives in Bristol, is on the hunt for any information about his father, petty officer Alfred Ernest Carslake, who died in 1964.

Alfred was mentioned in despatches for his active service alongside lieutenant commander Herbert Vaughan Jones on the submarine E9, which operated in the Baltic sea during the first world war.

“My father kept these details to himself and I never got to find out about them until years after his death,” Fred said. “Even then, I only got to see a one line entry in the London Gazette.

“What I really would like to see is a write-up about what they did to achieve this award. I believe it was to do with their work in submarines.”

Fred is appealing to anyone with information about why Alfred received his award get in touch with him.

Alfred was born to bricklayer Pharaoh Thomas Carslake and self-employed lacemaker Ellen Louisa Truman in 1892.

His parents were both from Honiton - Pharaoh was born on May 12, 1856 in Bansfield Way, while Ellen, who was known as Queenie, was born on July 19, 1853 in Silver Street. The third youngest of 11 children (nine boys and two girls), Alfred first served in the Royal Navy from July 10, 1910 to April 16, 1932.

He was then recalled for the Second World War eight years later, serving from September 7, 1940 to September 14, 1945.

During his naval career, Alfred worked his way up the ranks - holding the position of Able Seaman in 1910, Leading Seaman in 1916, Petty Officer in 1917, and Chief Petty Officer in 1921.

His final discharge was on September 14, 1945 while he was working on HMS Bee.

Alfred married Dorothy Smith and then partnered Helana Dankester.

Anyone with any information about Alfred’s wartime efforts are asked to call Fred on 01454 317112 or email him on fred.carslake@sky.com

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