University of Bristol - Historical Photographs of China reference number: JC-s145. ‘Simon’ was born in c.1947 in Hong Kong, a stray, becoming the ship’s cat on HMS Amethyst. Devoted to killing rats on board the British Royal Navy frigate, Simon had the fanciful rank of ‘Able Seacat’. Simon was wounded by a shell burst during the Yangtse Incident (or Amethyst Incident, 1949), and later died of a viral infection, when in quarantine in the UK, on 28 November 1949, aged about two. The cat was awarded the Dickin Medal (‘the Victoria Cross for animals’), the Amethyst campaign medal and the Blue Cross medal. Simon is buried in the PDSA pet cemetery in Ilford, Essex, England. This photograph is thought to have been taken when Simon was in quarantine. Inscription on the name tag on Simon's collar: H.M.S. AMETHYST APRIL 1949. Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_(cat) and http://www.purr-n-fur.org.uk/famous/simon-quest.html.
Simon – the ship’s cat on HMS Amethyst
Black and white photograph