DIED 28TH NOVEMBER 1949. A Touching Story Of Simon The Cat, War Hero Of The Seas - YouTube The story of an orphaned kitten Simon, rescued from the docks of Hong Kong in 1949 to join the crew of HMS Amethyst, … HIS BEHAVIOUR WAS OF THE HIGHEST ORDER. [1], Simon was found wandering the dockyards of Hong Kong in March 1948 by 17-year-old Ordinary Seaman George Hickinbottom, a member of the crew of the British frigate HMS Amethyst stationed in the city in the late 1940s. (Simon the ship’s cat aboard HMS Amethyst. And let’s not forget some real-life pop culture examples of tuxedo cats: Two examples of famous tuxedo cats on ships include Oscar, aka Unsinkable Sam—who survived three major WWII shipwrecks between May and November 1941—and Simon, the ship’s cat on the Royal Navy sloop-of-war HMS Amethyst who was buried with full naval honors. Because of this, they have been used on numerous ships across the world as killers of rats, mice, and various other disease-ridden pests. Halfway up the river the ship became embroiled in the Yangtze incident, when Chinese Communist gun batteries opened fire on the frigate. Another portrait some have claimed to be Unsinkable Sam is a photograph of a tuxedo cat wearing a collar that is clearly inscribed, “HMS Amethyst 1949.” It is more likely that this portrait is of another wartime ship cat named Simon, who was aboard the Amethyst. "SIMON" For the next four months, the crew were stuck in unfamiliar waters, unable to negotiate a safe passage back to the open sea, and had to treat their wounded with limited medical supplies. In 1948, 17-year-old George Hickenbottom brought a stray black-and-white cat named Simon from the docks of Hong Kong to his ship, the HMS Amethyst. In 1949, during the Yangtze Incident, he received the PDSA's Dickin Medal after surviving injuries from a cannon shell, raising morale, and killing off a rat infestation during his service. At every port Amethyst stopped at on its route home, Simon was presented with honour, and a special welcome was made for him at Plymouth in November when the ship returned. While anchored in the river, the ship had become overrun with rats, and Simon took on the task of removing them with vigour, as well as raising the morale of the sailors.[2]. HMS Argonaut. In 1949, during the Yangtze Incident, he received the PDSA's Dickin Medal after surviving injuries from a cannon shell, raising morale, and killing off a rat infestation during his service. (A resident of Stonecutter's Island later tried to research Simon's parentage, but without success.) She joined the crew early in 1944 from Tyneside, in north-east England, and among many other pets that came and went she stood out and became indisputably 'the ship's cat'. The concept of a “ship’s cat” has been around since ancient times; aside from being hailed as efficient exterminators, cats have also been known to provide stress relief and a sense of companionship to sailors far away from home. Unfortunately, Simon’s carefree life aboard the Amethyst didn’t last very long. Simon did his job well—he also became a cuddly friend of the men. Still, the medical officer managed to extract the four pieces of shrapnel from Simon’s back, and the cat was soon roaming the ship with the same vigor. There were four ships in the class, these being HMS Leopard, Lynx, Puma and Jaguar. H.M.S. Cover … “I was responsible for the ship’s anchor and its classified books. Simon gets a job Simon was born probably in the latter part of 1947, on Stonecutters Island, Hong Kong, a busy naval dockyard at the time. But there is not much doubt that the most celebrated ship's cat of modern times was Simon, of HMS Amethyst. HMS Amethyst was a modified Black Swan-class sloop of the Royal Navy. Simon was buried with full naval honors. Simon (c. 1947 – 28 November 1949) was the ship's cat who served on the Royal Navy sloop HMS Amethyst. Although some of the crew were initially skeptical of Simon’s presence on the vessel, the one-year-old cat soon proved its worth as a capable pest exterminator on the lower decks. The Hong Kong-born cat received the PDSA Dickin Medal. Read another story from us: After nearly 74 years, the remains of an 82nd AB paratrooper are coming home, He died several days later, at the age of two. Simon was awarded the animal VC and Sid was the youngest member of the crew of H.M.S. “Served on HMS Amethyst during the Yangtse Incident, during the Chinese Civil War, disposing of many rats though wounded by shell blast. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images). HMS Amethyst was a Royal Navy 36-gun Penelope-class fifth-rate frigate, launched in 1799 at Deptford. He managed to survive, however, and after a period of recovery, returned to his former duties in spite of the indifference he faced from the new ship's captain Lt Cdr John Kerans. 17-year-old Ordinary Seaman George Hickinbottom smuggled the animal on board the frigate HMS Amethyst, the job of “ship’s cat” being open at that time. Upon return to Plymouth in November, the cat was presented with the Amethyst campaign medal, a Blue Cross medal for animal bravery and heroism, and the Dickin Medal, the animal version of the Victoria Cross, the highest award of the British honor system. He was appointed to the rank of “Able Seacat” Simon, and was posthumously awarded the Dickin Medal, the only cat ever to earn the award. … Abandoned, he was adopted by a seaman who brought him back to his British ship, HMS Amethyst, to kill some of the rats onboard. Simon's resting place at the PDSA Animal Cemetery in Ilford. The badly wounded cat crawled on deck, and was rushed to the medical bay, where the ship's surviving medical staff cleaned his burns, and removed four pieces of shrapnel, but he was not expected to last the night. Halfway up the river, the Amethyst unexpectedly found herself under artillery fire by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. HMS Amethyst (1793), eine Fregatte der Royal Navy, ursprünglich Perle, 1795 verloren gegangen HMS Amethyst (1799), eine Fregatte der Penelope-Klasse, 1811 verloren gegangen HMS Amethyst (1844), eine Fregatte der Spartan-Klasse, 1869 verkauft und als Kabelleger genutzt HMS Amethyst (1871), eine Korvette der Amethyst-Klasse von 1871, 1887 verkauft This is a story of a cat named Simon who was ship's cat on the HMS Amethyst, a British warship, just after the end of the second world war. Simon became the most celebrated and honoured cat of our time. Able Seacat Simon of HMS Amethyst. Whilst in quarantine, Simon contracted a virus and, despite the attentions of medical staff and thousands of well-wishers, died on 28 November 1949 from a complication of the viral infection caused by his war wounds. However, Skinner's first mission in command of the Amethyst was to travel up the Yangtze River to Nanking to replace the duty ship there, HMS Consort. In 1950, the writer Paul Gallico dedicated his novel Jennie to Simon. Amethyst served in the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars, capturing several prizes.She also participated in two boat actions and two ship actions that won her crew clasps to the Naval General Service Medal.She was broken up in 1811 after suffering severe damage in a storm. The vessel was tasked with traveling up the Yangtze River to the port of Nanjing to replace the duty ship there. The men of the mess deck spoiled me with titbits, but one of His Majesty’s frigates is a large world to explore and it was only a matter of time before I slipped out of the mess deck into the world of steel, strange smells, men and rats. On the way back to the United Kingdom, the ship stopped at many ports and the news of the cat who brought hope and tranquility to the sailors spread across the world. Photo by Acabashi CC BY-SA 3.0. Ship's cat Minnie of the cruiser Argonaut was one of the most travelled of naval cats. AMETHYST At this stage, it is thought Simon was approximately a year old, and was very undernourished and unwell. Hickinbottom smuggled the cat aboard ship, and Simon soon ingratiated himself with the crew and officers, particularly because he was adept at catching and killing rats on the lower decks. MEMORY OF Simon rapidly gained a reputation for cheekiness, leaving presents of dead rats in sailors' beds, and sleeping in the captain's cap.[1]. 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