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Sailor Boy

A cache by Espargosas Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 03/08/2009
Difficulty:
2 out of 5
Terrain:
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: small (small)

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Geocache Description:

This is a two-stage cache that commemorates a seaman of the British Royal Navy who was drowned in early 1918 and whose body lies buried in plot 499, Portimão cemetery which is open between 08.00 and 17.00 hours throughout the year. Do not attempt this cache if visiting a cemetery upsets you.

William Thomas Boyle was born in London in 1897.
He enlisted in the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class aged 16 and was posted firstly to H.M.S. Powerful, a Boys Training Ship. In July 1914 he joined the training cruiser, H.M.S. Crescent as a Boy 1st Class and thence to H.M.S. Victory at the Naval Barracks, Portsmouth at the outbreak of WWI. Next he joined a pre-Dreadnought battleship in October 1914 and began his 12-year continuous service engagement on 23rd September 1915. His ‘Man’s Time’ as Ordinary Seaman thus began early, before his 18th birthday, in recognition of his good behaviour and aptitude in training and he was advanced to Able Seaman within six months on 2nd March 1916, just 9 weeks after he turned 18.
He was next drafted to H.M.S. Vernon, the Torpedo and Mining School in October 1916 and qualified for the Seaman Torpedo-man sub-rating in December 1916. In February 1917 he was drafted to H.M.S. Cormorant, Torpedo Boat Depot Ship at Gibralter for service with H.M. Torpedo Boat (MTB) Number 92, a unit of the Gibralter area local defence flotilla.
William Boyle had brown hair and hazel eyes with a fresh complexion and was above average height at over 5’ 10”. His character assessments during his short career were ‘very good, satisfactory or superior’. So, if he had survived the war he would likely have advanced far in the navy. Sadly, he drowned at Portimão in early 1918.

MTB Nº 92 set out from her base at Gibralter on routine anti-submarine patrol and escort duties and anchored in Lagos Bay at 07.30 hours in the morning and, after routine shipboard duties, she weighed anchor and sailed for Portimão where she anchored at 14.30 hours, close to where the final cache is set. In the evening, at about 20.30 hours, the stern of the MTB swung foul of the moorings of a sailing lighter. In seeking to clear the moorings William Boyle was knocked overboard by a spar of the sailing lighter and was either killed outright or knocked unconscious and subsequently drowned. A search for his body continued until 23.30 hours when it was abandoned. The following day MTB Nº 92 left for her home base at Gibralter. Subsequently the body of Able Seaman William Boyle was washed up in Portimão harbour and he was buried in the town cemetery where his body now remains for evermore. A Court of Enquiry recorded that “he accidentally drowned and that no blame was attributable to anyone for the accident.”

First visit Portimão cemetery at the given coordinates and note the inscription on William Boyle’s gravestone, maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Note the date that the stone was “erected by his shipmates’ and convert this to Julian Day format, using the website 'converter'. This should give you an 8 digit number including the first figure after the decimal which is not zero. Relate each digit to a letter in the alphabet so that the first digit is A and the last is H. Using this format calculate the last 3 digits for northing and westing to give the location of the final cache which is at N 37º 07.(H+A) D G; W 008º 31. (E+F) (C+D) (B+D). The cache is an oblong container.

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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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