Alan Montagu Yeats-Brown

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Captain (retired) Alan Montagu Yeats-Brown, D.S.O., R.N. (1 May, 1877 – ) was an officer in the Royal Navy.

He was an inventive torpedo officer who helped the Royal Navy develop wireless communications. He was also a proponent of Deflection Plotting for torpedo attack.

Life & Career

Yeats-Brown was born in Genoa, Italy, the son of the British Consul still working there at the time of his son's joining the Navy. This seems to underlie the rather awkward first comment in his service record: "14 Jan 1893. This officer appears to have been living at Genoa at time of his appt to Inflexible. The Captain of Invincible ordered by telegram to instruct officer when he should join his ship."[1]

On 14 May, 1894 he was declared invalid for reasons beyond his control -- a fever for which he was treated at Haslar Hospital.

Yeats-Brown was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 15 July, 1898.[2]

After commanding T.B. 109 for the manoeuvres of 1903, Yeats-Brown was sent to Vernon for a course in wireless telegraphy. He was thanks for inventing a "deflection carrier" in 1904 and in June was sent to America with Mr. Marconi for wireless experiments. Upon his return, he was loaned on 18 July to Exmouth for tactical exercises to see how radio might be used in action. His work in Vernon ended on 16 January, 1905 and he was appointed briefly to the battleship Hannibal and soon thereafter to Hindustan as torpedo officer.[3]

In May 1906, he conducted W/T experiments as the Atlantic Fleet traveled to Madeira. On 22 June, Their Lordships conveyed their thanks for the valuable results his work delivered. On 8 November, 1906, the Admiralty further thanked Yeats-Brown for his work in improving their wireless systems. His inventions were not confined to wireless, however, as he was also thanked for inventing "and automatic corrector of the [geometric] range to the gun range." Yeats-Brown asked for a temporary appointment by which he might further develop this gunnery device, but it was refused. He kept busy, however. In November 1907, the Admiralty thanked him for inventing a device to measure the flight of projectiles, but (as was almost always the case in such situations) it did not adopt the idea. He was permitted to travel to Italy for Christmas, 1907 "till wanted".[4]

In 1908, he invented a "new type of range clock corrector" and in 1909 developed improvements in plotting instruments. In November, Admiral Fanshawe, then Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth Station, personally recommended the clever Lieutenant. He then offered a new means by which bearings could be taken. Fanshawe reiterated his recommendation in April, 1910 even as Yeats-Brown invented a means of eliminating the use of chronograph screens when calibrating guns at the proving ground. Although this invention was also not adopted, Yeats-Brown was promoted to the rank of Commander on 30 June, 1910 and sent to work with the Inspector of Target Practice on 1 August, 1910.[5]

On 21 November, 1911, Yeats-Brown was appointed executive officer in the armoured cruiser Hogue. He was superseded on 22 April, 1912 and appointed in command of the destroyer Exe on 21 May.[6]

Great War

Though departing Captain (D) Lowther-Crofton of Fifth Destroyer Flotilla opined that he lacked a "gd command of men", Yeats-Brown remained in command of Exe until 1 March, 1916. He would move to command Liffey, Exe again on 2 June 1916 and then Badger before being sent ashore on 10 January, 1917 to perform Special Service with the Anti-Submarine Division. He was awarded the D.S.O. for his "excellent services in command of escort flotillas", gazetted 23 May, 1917.[7]

Post-War

Yeats-Brown retired at his own request on 9 July, 1920. He was promoted to the rank of Captain on the Retired List on 1 May, 1922.[8]

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Stephen H. Radcliffe
Captain of H.M. T.B. 65
15 Jun, 1897[9] – 15 Jan, 1898[10]
Succeeded by
The Hon. Arthur Stopford
Preceded by
?
Captain of H.M. T.B. 109
21 Jul, 1903[11] – 20 Aug, 1903[12]
Succeeded by
Geoffrey S. F. Nash
Preceded by
Edgar R. Morant
Captain of H.M.S. Exe
21 May, 1912[13][14] – 1 Mar, 1916[15]
Succeeded by
Alan M. Yeats-Brown
Preceded by
Cuthbert P. Blake
Captain of H.M.S. Liffey
1 Mar, 1916[16] – 2 Jun, 1916[17]
Succeeded by
John M. Porter
Preceded by
Alan M. Yeats-Brown
Captain of H.M.S. Exe
2 Jun, 1916[18][19] – 7 Nov, 1916[20]
Succeeded by
William H. Sandford
Preceded by
Theodore E. J. Bigg
Captain of H.M.S. Badger
7 Nov, 1916[21][22] – 10 Jan, 1917[23]
Succeeded by
Walter B. Compton

Footnotes

  1. Yeats-Brown Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/265. f. 300.
  2. Yeats-Brown Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/265. f. 300.
  3. Yeats-Brown Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/265. f. 300.
  4. Yeats-Brown Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/265. f. 300.
  5. Yeats-Brown Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/265. f. 300.
  6. Yeats-Brown Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/265. f. 300.
  7. Yeats-Brown Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/265. f. 300.
  8. Yeats-Brown Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/265. f. 300.
  9. Yeats-Brown Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/265. f. 300.
  10. Yeats-Brown Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/265. f. 300.
  11. Yeats-Brown Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/265. f. 300.
  12. Yeats-Brown Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/265. f. 300.
  13. Yeats-Brown Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/265. f. 300.
  14. The Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 394c.
  15. Yeats-Brown Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/265. f. 300.
  16. Yeats-Brown Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/265. f. 300.
  17. Yeats-Brown Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/265. f. 300.
  18. Yeats-Brown Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/265. f. 300.
  19. The Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 394c.
  20. Yeats-Brown Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/265. f. 300.
  21. Yeats-Brown Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/265. f. 300.
  22. The Navy List. (December, 1916). p. 392i.
  23. Yeats-Brown Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/265. f. 300.