Michael Joyce AM

b. ?   d. ?

DATE OF AM ACTION: 08/11/1916 St Margaret’s Bay, Dover, Kent.

Little is known about Michael Joyce AM other than his Albert Medal action aboard HMS Zulu.



H.M.S. “Zulu” was mined on the 8th November, 1916. As a result of the explosion the bottom of the after part of the engine room was blown out, and the whole compartment reduced to a mass of debris and broken steam and water pipes. Immediately after the explosion Joyce and Kimber proceeded to the engine room, the former having just come off watch. The latter had just left the boiler room, after he had seen that the oil-burners were shut off and everything was in order, and had sent his hands on deck. Hearing the sound of moans coming from inside the engine room, they both attempted to enter it by the foremost hatch and ladder. As the heat in the engine room was intense and volumes of steam were coming up forward, they then lifted one of the square ventilating hatches further aft on the top of the engine room casing (port side) and climbed into the rapidly flooding compartment over the steam pipes, which were extremely hot. Scrambling over the debris, they discovered well over on the starboard side Stoker Petty Officer Smith, with his head just out of the water. A rope was lowered from the upper deck, and with great difficulty Smith, who was tangled in fractured pipes and other wreckage, was hauled up alive. At the same time Stoker Petty Officer Powell was found floating, in the water on the port side of the engine room. The rope was lowered again and passed around Powell, who, however, was found to be dead on reaching the deck. The water was so high that further efforts to discover the remaining Artificer left in the engine room would have been useless, and the attempt had to be abandoned.