Served on: HMS Torch (RN Barracks, Wellington), HMS Victory and Excellent (Portsmouth), HMS Attentive (Myrmidon) of the 6th Destroyer Flotilla; Victory, and Sandhurst (Trenchant) of the 15th Destroyer Flotilla
Royal Navy as boy cadet 10 May 1900- 22 October 1902: Ordinary Seaman 28 October 1902 - 31 March 1904: Able Seaman 1 April 1904- 6 January 1909 (deserted in Auckland from HMS Powerful)
Campaigns: Dover Patrol (HMS Myrmidon, sunk 1917),
and Grand Fleet (HMS Trenchant) 1917-1919
ADAMS, Bernard Joseph, b.Warwickshire, 28 October 1884; the 7th of 13 children, - second son of Edward and Elizabeth Adams. He began his schooling at the village school in Pailton, but may have transferred to Monks Kirby convent school when his older brother went away to a preparatory school
Bernard joined the Royal Naval School in Portsmouth, 10 May 1900, as a Boy Cadet. .He trained aboard a wooden square rigged sailing ship, a steel sailing and steam ship, and a sea-going brig, before being drafted in 1901 to HMS Juno, serving in the South Atlantic.
In 1902, he was commissioned as Ordinary Seaman to HMS Bacchante, a newly-built first class cruiser, and was rated Able Seaman in 1903 before being sent to Portsmouth to qualify in Gunnery.
Drafted to HMS Good Hope in 1905, he was in the crew that won the 1907 Jamestown Exposition International Gigs Race.
The rating as Leading Seaman 1 April, 1904 is not signed and was crossed: Passed for Leading Seaman 13 June 1907 - this rating was deferred without explanation, despite ‘very good’ assessments of ‘character’ and ‘ability’ throughout his service record, and despite attending a private Navigation School while in Portsmouth – and discharge was denied.
He sought a draft to HMS Powerful based in Sydney: arrived there 14 August 1908; and ‘jumped ship’ in Auckland, 4 January 1909.
As ‘James Duffy’, he worked some months in the timber yards in Putaruru, then, from August 1909, as head of rabbit poisoning gangs for the Department of Agriculture covering an area from Lake Taupo to Mokau.
He first went to Aria 14th August 1909, and was welcomed by the Joseph and Annie Dollimore (whose eldest daughter Bernard married 14 February, 1920)
Great Britain declared war on Germany at 11pm, 4th August 1914:Bernard went by coach to Te Kuiti, Monday 10th August, and by train overnight to Wellington, to rejoin the Royal Navy.
He was aboard SS Moeraki, and ‘took’ German Samoa on 29 August; returned to Wellington, and sailed to Portsmouth via Egypt with the first contingent of troops.
He served as a gunner on HMS Myrmidon, 6th Destroyer Flotilla on the Dover Patrol - in the English Channel and North Sea. The Myrmidon sank March 26 1917, off Dungeness, and Bernard was transferred to HMS Trenchant with the 15th Destroyer Flotilla, based at Scapa Flow and operating in the Arctic Ocean and the North Sea as far as the German coast.
Discharged 5 March 1919, Bernard returned to Aria to work on the Dollimore family farm in Paraheka, Aria district.
Ellen Dollimore was nursing in Auckland, and Bernard and Ellen married there in 1920; then bought the Dollimore farm, where they raised six children. Their eldest son, Bernard Jnr, took the farm over around 1949.
Ellen and Bernard retired to a small holding at Aria and Bernard was secretary at the Aria Cosmopolitan Club for some years.
They were a hospitable couple, and Bernard loved telling stories to family, friends and neighbours: - children especially enjoyed them.
Ellen died in 1961 aged 65; Bernard in 1979 aged 95. They are buried together in the Aria cemetery. (Source:family source) AWMM