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Where Once They Sailed — Sailor marries best friend's widow


Silas Boone sailed overseas with his best buddy, Alexander Peddle to defend King and Country. Alexander lost his life on the HMS Dirk leaving behind a wife and young child to defend for themselves on the home front. When Seaman Boone returned from the war, he married the widow Julia Peddle.

Prologue 

Over the next several weeks these stories will focus on sailors from Hodge's Cove and Gooseberry Cove who served but, to date, have not been discussed in any detail in this column.

Their stories of bravery, service and duty must also be recorded to complete our history of those who valiantly served their King and Country from the Southwest Arm area. In total 113 men served during the First World Wat with 87 sailing in the Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve and 26 enlisting with Royal Newfoundland Regiment.

There were 13 of our boys that made the supreme sacrifice by the signing of the Armistice on Nov. 11, 1918. They now lay buried on foreign soil or lost to the sea. We will remember them.

Sailor marries best friend's widow     

Silas Boone was born at Hodge's Cove to Isaac and Georgina (Drover) Boone on Feb.  20, 1894. He was one of six siblings and the second-born son.

He first enlisted with the Newfoundland Royal Naval  Reservist in January, 1912, and served the required 28 days.

Records indicate that he returned in the fall of 1912 to complete an additional 28 days. Sailors usually returned the following year but because he had completed an additional 28 days in 1912, he did not return in 1913.

During January 1914, he completed 28 more days for a total of 84 days of naval training before the war was declared in the summer of 1914.

Silas was called to active duty in August, 1914, when the government issued a Royal Proclamation requiring all trained Reservist to report to St. John's. He was among the first deployment of sailors from St. John's to leave on the SS Franconia on Nov.  6. Of the sailors onboard, 33 were from the Southwest Arm area.

Upon arrival at Bristol, England, he was assigned to HMS Pembroke, a shore-based naval facility. He was assigned to the HMS Fiona, an armed boarding steamers, five days later. The ship served under the command of the 10th cruiser squadron and carried out boarding duties at sea until December, 1915.

Boone was assigned to the HMS Pembroke I for the next 16 months during which time he was assigned to various merchant ships. He was then transferred to HMS President III at Bristol where he remained until he was granted furlough to the HMS Briton, St. John's, on Aug.  2, 1917.

Seaman Boone visited his family and returned to the HMS Briton on Nov.  13. He was again deployed overseas and assigned to the Royal Naval Division Trawler Section at HMS Vivid III, Devonport, and served on different trawlers while he remained attached to this shore-based structure.

On Jan.  11, 1919, he received his final overseas naval orders to return home to the HMS Briton.  His final three months with Royal Naval Reserve was spent at HMS Briton, St. John's. He was demobilized on April 2, 1919 and returned to Hodge's Cove.

On Oct. 27, 1920, he married the widow Julia Ann Peddle (Bishop), in a ceremony at Hodge's Cove. She was formerly married to Alexander Peddle, a friend and fellow sailor from Hodge's Cove.

Alexander lost his life when the HMS Dirk was torpedoed and sank on May 28, 1918. At the wedding Archer Peddle, brother of Alexander, stood as a witness to their marriage.

Together Silas and Julia raised two children; Ralph, the son of Alexande and Julia, and their own daughter, Annie Maria.

However, Seaman Boone was not finished with war overseas.

When Germany declared war against Britain on Sept.  1, 1939, Silas volunteered and became one of few individuals from the area to serve in both world wars. He was 45 years old and became a camp foreman for the Newfoundland Overseas Forestry Unit (NOFU).

Silas passed away at his home in Hodge's Cove in 1969.

He is buried next to his wife at St. Mary's Anglican Cemetery, Hodge's Cove.


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