James Sutherland AM

b. ?  d. ?

DATE OF AM ACTION: 02/12/1901 Portsmouth, Hampshire.

James Sutherland AM

Little is known about Leading Stoker James Sutherland AM other than the action in Portsmouth Harbour on 2nd December 1901.



On the night of December the 2nd, 1901, His Majesty’s torpedo boat destroyer ” Salmon” was entering the port of Harwich in company with the Chatham Instructional Flotilla, when a collison took place between her and the steamship ” Cambridge.” It appeared that the ” Salmon” was sinking from the injuries she had sustained, and the order was given for the men to go forward and leave the ship by means of ropes which had been passed over the bows of the ” Cambridge.”At the moment of the collison James Sutherland Leading Stoker, was in the mess deck asleep. He went on deck immediately but remained behind when the order was given, and went to the stokehold to open the hatches. He opened one and was in the act of opening the other when it blew open in his face and a stoker named Scholfield way seen coming up. Sutherland assisted him out. Soholfield tried to go back for Bartlett, a stoker who was afterwards discovered to have been killed by the steam which the shock of the collision had caused to escape in great quantities from the pipes. He was prevented, however, by Sutherland, who sent him on board the ” Cambridge” and said he would look after Bartlett. Sutherland then by the aid of a light lowered from the “Cambridge” went down into the stokehold. When he got down there was much steam, although the full force of it had gone. The chief danger, however, was from drowning, as it was full of water, and the ship was in great danger of sinking. Sutherland found a Chief Stoker named Church in the far end of the stokehold, got behind him and floated him along. A rope was passed down the hatchway, and Church, who was nearly unconscious, was got out. Sutherland, after looking round to see if anyone else was there, went on deck, searched the forward mess deck and stokers’ mess deck, and then went on board the “Cambridge.”