Arthur Richard Shaw Warden AM

b. 28/10/1866 Kamptee, East Indies.  d. 28/02/1949 Totnes, Devon.

DATE OF AM ACTION: 26/10/1915 Boulogne, France.

Arthur R S Warden AM

Arthur was born in Kamptee, East Indies, the son of Captain James Hall and Mary Ophelia Warden. His father was in the Royal Indian Marine. Arthur was trained on TS Conway and was indentured into the Merchant Navy on 18th January 1884, joining the Shaw Savill Line. On 11th July 1894 he married Annie Husband at St Stephens, Paddington. He was presented with his AM on 16th April 1916 by King George V. He was also mentioned in despatches. Following his long naval career, he retired to Paignton, Devon.



On the morning of the 26th October 1915, the Orderly Officer on duty at the Bassin Loubet. Boulogne, was informed that a fire had broken out in the after hold of the S.S. ” Maine ” Ammunition Ship, in which a quantity of high explosives was stowed, and he at once reported the fact to Lieutenant – Commander Warden at the Office of the Naval Transport Officer. In the meantime the ship was abandoned by her officers and crew, and steps were taken by the local fire brigade to rig the shore fire hoses. Lieutenant-Commander Warden immediately proceeded on board, and on arrival at the after hold found smoke issuing from between the high explosive cases in the centre of the hatch. He went down into the hold, lifted up one of the cases, and called for the fire hose, which was passed to him by Private Edward Gimble. 1st Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, who had followed him on board. This case, and the one next to it, were alight on their adjacent sides. Lieutenant-Commander Warden played the hose on them and extinguished the fire. Subsequent investigation showed that the fire was in all probability due to the ignition by friction or spontaneous combustion of amorphous phosphorus, which had leaked from boxes containing that substance stowed above the cases containing the high explosives. There is little doubt that the prompt and gallant action of Lieutenant – Commander Warden prevented an explosion which would have had serious and possibly disastrous results with almost certain loss of life. The Albert Medal of the Second Class has been awarded to Private Gimble.