In late July 1914, with war looming, the fledgling Dover Patrol was born which, from its early beginnings as a modest and poorly equipped command, became one of the most important Royal Navy commands of the First World War. The Dover Patrol assembled cruisers, monitors, destroyers, armed trawlers and drifters, paddle mine-sweepers, tugs, armed yachts, motor launches and coastal motor boats, submarines, seaplanes, aeroplanes and airships. With these resources it performed several duties simultaneously in the Southern North Sea and the Dover Straits: carrying out anti-submarine patrols; escorting merchantmen, hospital and troop ships; laying sea-mines and even constructing mine barrages; sweeping up German mines; bombarding German military positions on the Belgian coast; and sinking the ever present U-boats.
On the 28th of November 1917 vessels of the Ramsgate Armed Drifter Squadron (above) engaged a German submarine which was caught recharging its batteries. The Drifters drove the submarine onto the Goodwin Sands where it was wrecked. It's thought that the tug Java was involved in salvaging the submarine's gun which was displayed at Nelson Crescent until the 1960's.
Karl Edeling Commander of U.48
Born 25 Apr 1886
Died 24 Nov 1917 Goodwind Sands
30th January 1918 - Drifters under Lt. Commander Williams salved the periscope of U.48. The submarine dissapeared in the sands.