Robert Amherst Walder DSM was on priracy patrols along the Yangtze during the 1920's and Malta convoys aboad HMS Wishart

January 03, 2009

Yangtze Patrol


I read this account (Philatelic History of The Yangtze Patrol) with interest, mainly because my late father served in the Royal Navy.

He was on priracy patrols along the Yangtze during the 1920's, the tour of duty in them days was five years on station!

The ship he served on was HMS Sirdar during that period, I have his account of blowing up villages for drug smuggling.

This is documented in a copy of the Canton News which I have of the period as well.

More interesting is a ships log he was given that of a US Navy ship, also caught up in the war like the Sirdar.

There hand been hand to hand fighting, and the US ship thought it would not escape hence he was handed these log details.

I know little of the outcome, other than the Sirdar made good her escape. He also told me of the daily duties of sinking many bodies that had been thrown into the Yangtze (shot). The bloated bodies where sunk with a boat hook, because of the stench.

As I have just read this article, I will  locate his old documents if you are interested.

Kind Regards
Mick Walder 


Thank you for that, I would be interested in having copies of those historic documents to add to AHOY, they were interesting times for GUN BOAT diplomacy.



Contact message fine, I will search out the items over the next few weeks.

It has also crossed my mind researches into US Navy matters would be very keen to see them.

Will contact you again soon, the old dad never had much of a filing system! for the record his name was Robert Amherst Walder DSM. The decoration was won on the Malta convoys aboad HMS Wishart, a ship he had joined after a lucky transfer from HMS Hood.


Amongst your Dad's medals does he have the Malta National Commemorative Medal? 

I believe he would have qualified for it for his service in Wishart, it is quite a handsome medal, well suited to grace his DSM.

In 1940 whilst a Midshipman in HMAS Australia, as part of Force H we supported a Malta convoy and I was awarded it.

Malta George Cross - Next of kin can also apply for this medal which will only be issued on receipt of completed application form and proof of service in Malta between dates of 10th June 1940 and 8th September 1943

Malta National Commemorative Medal
Malta National Commemorative Medal

Letter from the High Commissioner, The Republic of Malta

Letter from the High Commissioner, The Republic of Malta

The Republic of Malta struck the National Commemmorative Medal to mark the Fiftieth Anniversary of the award of the George Cross to Malta.

In 1994, I received this letter confering this Medal on me, it was for my service in HMAS Australia in 1940, when as part of Force H based on Gibraltar we had supported a convoy to relieve beleagured Malta.


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