The two brothers who joined the Navy

Edward and Jethro Green were in the thick of action on the high seas

Reprinted from The Packet, May 22, 2018
by Lester Green

Seaman Edward John Green (Photo courtesy of Pauline Peddle)

Charles and Rachael Green raised two sons that served with the Royal Naval Reserve. Edward John was the first to enlist in March 1912. Edward John travelled to St. John’s with his friend, Leander Green to get a berth on a sealing vessel but was unable to do so. Both decided that they would enlist with the Royal Naval Reserve. He completed 28 days of navy training and returned in January of 1913 and 1914 completing another 56 days of training, giving him a total of 84 days of Naval training.

On August 6, 1914, he received orders by Royal Proclamation to report to HMS Calpso  at St. John’s. He was transported overseas on November 6 onboard the SS Franconia with other sailors from the Random area. He was assigned to the Vivid I, a navy barracks at Devonport, where he spent a month. Drafted to HMS Hilary, he joined  his friend Leander and several other sailors from the Southwest Arm area. He witnessed Able Seaman Green’s heroic deed of jumping into the cold Atlantic on January 31, 1915 to secure a rope to a sinking vessel that helped save several people. Months later John would find himself in a similar situation onboard the sinking vessel Laurentic. He helped save three men and secured the bodies of others by strapping them to thwarts of the boat to prevent them from washing away in the rough seas that kept swamping the lifeboat. He returned home to HMS Briton on April 12, 1919 where he received shore demobilization on May 24, 1919.

John returned to St. Jones Without and his young bride, Martha Jane, daughter of George and Mary Jane Pitcher, who had married on December 1, 1913. He moved his family to Heart’s Content prior to 1935 and passed away on November 3, 1963. He is buried alongside his wife at Heart’s Content.

Seaman Jethro Green (Photo courtesy of Marg Jacobs)

John’s younger brother, Jethro, enlisted with Royal Naval Reserve on November 14, 1917. A written notation list his older brother, Edward John, as being enlisted with the Navy. He spent six months at the HMS Briton before receiving orders that he was going overseas. On May 20, 1918, he was assigned to HMS Hearty, a hired drifter, where he spent the next 10 months. The ship was responsible for laying driftnets and patrolling these nets that were deployed to block submarine from entering inlets. He was then assigned to HMS Vivid III, a shore based naval station at Devonport, Plymouth. An article entitled Returning On The Cedric appeared in the St. John’s Daily and identified Jethro as one of sailors onboard that arrived at Halifax. From there they were transported to St. John’s.  He spent the next month attached to the HMS Briton and was demobilized on July 2, 1919. He returned home and married Jessie, daughter of Mark and Caroline (Dodge) Green, of St. Jones Without on December 24, 1925. He remained at St. Jones and raised his family there until resettling to Hickman’s Harbour in 1950s. He passed away in 1972 and is buried next to his wife, Jessie who passed away in 1986.

HMS Laurentic, the troop transport ship that Seaman Edward John Green was aboard during the tragic night of January 25, 1917.

HMS Hearty – One of the Naval vessels where Seaman Jethro Green served.

St. Jones Without

St. Jones Without (Photo courtesy of Annie Green)

St. Jones Without, an abandon community located on Southside of Trinity Bay, can be best described as a long, narrow fiord-like inlet that offered safe haven from the winds in the open bay waters. Individuals from the other side of bay, mainly Winterton and New Perlican, harvested its wood and fish resources long before people permanently settled in the 1870’s.

St. Jones Without contributed greatly to the Great War with eight of its young men stepping forward to join the war effort. One joined the Royal  Newfoundland Regiment while the other seven sailed the high seas. Leander Green was the most notable and decorated sailor from his community. His story will appear in a future Remembrance Day issue. Another lesser known hero was John Edward Green who helped save the lives of unconscious sailors in a lifeboat from the ill-fated Laurentic, while another 36 died of exposure around him in the lifeboat during the stormy night of January 25, 1917 off the coast of Ireland.

However, stories of other sailors from St. Jones Without are not as well known.