An article entitled "HONOURS WON OFF SCARBOROUGH - MINE SWEEPERS' COURAGE RECOGNISED - DSC FOR LIEUT. BOOTHBY - TWO VESSELS MINED UNDER HIM" in the Scarborough Pictorial 2nd February, 1915
After the bombardment of Scarborough, when it was discovered that mines had been sown off the port in great numbers by "baby killers," acts of magnificent heroism were performed by the crews of mine-sweepers who quickly arrived to clear the dangerous zone.
Not until several vessels were mined and a number lost, was a safe channel for traffic provided, and by the time it was possible to announce this the mine sweepers had on countless occasions been in peril of their lives.
Apart from the bombardment itself, nothing brought home to the residents of Scarborough more terribly than the LANDING OF WOUNDED MINE SWEEPERS and men injured on other vessels.
In this connection Scarborough ambulance men performed splendid service, and the Scarborough Hospital staff responded most effectively to the strain put upon it. Many local gentlemen lent motor cars, and the scenes when these were conveying the injured men from the beach to the institutions will long be remembered as war incidents at Scarborough.
It is not surprising, having regard to the fact that one of the worst mine fields laid by the Germans was that off Scarborough, as is shown in the official messages, that the dangerous work carried on by this auxiliary of our Navy should attract special attention here, and it is worthy of note that a number of Scarborough men, probably about forty, are serving on mine sweepers.
At least three local men are masters - skippers Hartley, Coultas and Cappleman. Nowhere was the news that recognition of the gallantry displayed off Scarborough had been made by the conferring of honours received with more gratification than at Scarborough. Amongst those who have achieved distinction is Lieutenant Boothby, who was formerly captain of the fishing cruiser St Quintin. Later he was given an important maritime appointment.
On the outbreak of war, he was called upon to undertake difficult mine sweeping operations, which brought him to Scarborough again. "D'ye know me?" he asked a Scarborough fisherman on arriving here in December. "No," said the person interrogated, "then you ought to," replied the breezy officer "I'VE CHASED YOU MANY A TIME." And no doubt he had in his capacity of fishery officer. "Never mind," he added.
"That's all over now, and you can wish me success." This the fisherman could heartily do, for Lieutenant Boothby, who once caught local fishermen poaching in the inshore waters, was then engaged in putting a spoke into the wheel of the Germans, a process which met with the "potter's" keen approval, Lieutenant Boothby was twice blown up during the mine sweeping operations, once on No. 99 (Orlanda) an again on No 450 (The Banyers). For his conspicuous courage on these occasions he was AWARDED THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE ORDER.
He is now serving on H.M.S. Pekin and we hope the belief of his shipmates, that he is not to be killed in an explosion, proves correct. Lieutenant Boothby, whose photo we reproduce, is a cousin of Mr Boothby, jeweller, Scarborough.
Others who have been honoured include the master of the trawler Passing (which was brought into Scarborough Harbour on being mined), and the skippers of several drifters which have been berthed here.
Lieutenant C.E. Crossley, who was also honoured, resided in Bridlington, and was an apprentice printer in the town. Lieut. Parsons, another recipient, is well known at Scarborough.