Alfred Charles Dewar

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Captain Alfred Charles Dewar, C.B.E., B.Litt. (OXON), Royal Navy, Retired (29 July, 1876 – 23 April, 1969) was an officer of the Royal Navy. Something of a failed naval officer, he achieved a certain notoriety for being the co-author (with his brother Kenneth) of the Naval Staff Appreciation of Jutland — an account so pointed and contentious that copies were recalled to be destroyed after distribution.

Another still younger brother, James, also served in the navy, but succumbed to strain and alcohol late in the war.

Early Life & Career

Dewar was appointed to the destroyer Hardy on 1 February, 1897.[1]

He was promoted to Lieutenant on 15 July, 1897.[2]

He was promoted to Lieutenant-Commander on 15 July, 1905.[3]

After his retirement on 22 July, 1910, Dewar was appointed to the battleship Hannibal for the 1912 manoeuvres on 2 July.[4]

Great War

On 29 July, 1914, Dewar was appointed to the torpedo gunboat Harrier for the Downs Boarding Flotilla, and as an interpreter in German. On 16 November he was reappointed as Assistant to the Senior Naval Officer of the flotilla. He served in that capacity until 9 June, 1916, when he was appointed to Cyclops as an examination officer at Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands. He was given the rank of Acting Commander on 14 June, and on 29 July he was promoted to the rank of Commander on the Retired List upon reaching the age of forty.[5]

He was appointed to President on 4 August, 1917, for service in the Intelligence Division of the Naval Staff. On 8 May, 1918, he was appointed to the Training and Staff Duties Division. The A.D.N.I.(E) stated that Dewar was "not considered for sea service , no relief required for him in N.I.D." On 11 November he was promoted to the rank of Captain on the Retired List.[6]

Post-War

He is credited with proposing on 23 November, 1918, the creation of a Historical Section of the staff to "prepare monographs and historical papers on the war and provide a training ground for naval officers in research work." The First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, Sir Rosslyn E. Wemyss, approved the section's creation as part of the Training and Staff Duties Division on 6 December and Dewar was placed in charge of the preparation of historical monographs from March, 1919, onwards.[7] On 11 August he was appointed an Officer of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) for "valuable service in the blockade examination service in the Downs and at Kirkwall."[8]

In February, 1926, Dewar succeeded Instructor Captain Oswald Tuck as Officer in Charge of the Historical Section. He would remain in the position until 30 April, 1948. On 10 April of that year he was appointed a Commander of the Military Division of the Order of the British Empire (C.B.E.) in the King's Birthday Honours.[9]

Dewar died in a nursing home on 23 April, 1969, aged ninety-three.[10]

Bibliography

  • Marder, Arthur (November 1972). "The Influence of History on Sea Power: The Royal Navy and the Lessons of 1914-1918". The Pacific Historical Review 41 (4): pp. 413–443.

Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Winstanley R. C. Moorsom
Captain of H.M.S. Harrier
29 Jul, 1914[11] – 6 Mar, 1915[12]
Succeeded by
James S. Parker
 

Footnotes

  1. The Navy List. (April, 1897). p. 227.
  2. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 243.
  3. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 243.
  4. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 243.
  5. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 243.
  6. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 243.
  7. Marder. "The Influence of History on Sea Power." pp. 440-441.
  8. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 243.
  9. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 243.
  10. "Deaths" (Deaths). The Times. Friday, 25 April, 1969. Issue 57544, col B, p. 22.
  11. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 243.
  12. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 243.