Bosun's pipe : Petty Officer D Turner, Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve

Place North & Central America: Canada, British Columbia, Vancouver
Accession Number REL38202
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Personal Equipment
Physical description Nickel-plated steel, Silver-plated metal
Maker Unknown
Date made c 1914-1917
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Silver bosun's pipe (also known as a call or whistle) suspended from a long silver link chain. The sides of the end of the pipe, called a buoy, bear a crown over a fouled anchor. A decorative silver plate bearing scroll work and flowers, extends half way along the side of the gun (or tube through which the pipe is blown) and bears a ring to which the chain is attached.

History / Summary

David L Turner was born in Britain and served in the London Metropolitan Police Force, in V Division (Wandsworth). Sometime before 1914 Turner emigrated to Canada. It is not known whether he had met and married his Australian born wife, Annie, before he emigrated, or whether they were married in Canada. Turner enlisted in the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve (RNCVR) on the outbreak of the First World War and was assigned the service number VR/1138, attaining the rank of Petty Officer. He served in HMCS Shearwater, a sloop transferred from the Royal Navy. Shearwater's guns were removed at the beginning of the war, when she was located in British Columbia, and her crew were sent to man HMCS Niobe at Halifax. Shearwater was subsequently reconfigured as a submarine tender and largely remanned by her original crew who transferred to the Canadian west coast once more. Shearwater escorted two submarines, HMCS CC-1 and CC-2, in 1917, down the west coast of America, through the Panama Canal to Halifax. Turner, however, died before the start of the voyage, while Shearwater was still in British Columbia. He is buried at Vancouver (Mountain View) Cemetery. His widow returned to Sydney to live with her family, together with her infant daughter, taking his bosun's pipe with her as a reminder of his service.