Bernard St. George Collard

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Vice-Admiral Bernard St. George Collard, C.B.D.S.O., R.N., Retired (27 February, 1876 – 12 April, 1962) was an officer of the Royal Navy.

Early Life & Career

Whilst in his second term at Britannia Collard and a fellow cadet named Colin MacLean were wandering in the countryside and pursued a snake in the belief that it was a harmless grass-snake when it was in actual fact an adder. Collard caught it but it bit him. MacLean sucked the poison out the wound and carried him back to the ship. He nearly died but survived.[1]

He was rated Midshipman on 15 November, 1892.

He was appointed Acting Sub-Lieutenant on 15 May, 1896.

He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 15 November, 1897.

On 30 June, 1909, he was promoted to the rank of Commander.[2]

Great War

Collard remained in Intelligence Division until 3 April, 1915, when he was appointed to Queen Elizabeth for disembarkation duties at the Dardanelles, and to Lord Nelson for the same duty on 15 May. He ceased this duty on 23 June. On 30 June, 1915, he was promoted to the rank of Captain, and on 10 August he was appointed to President to assist the Director of Intelligence Division, where he remained until 16 November, when he was appointed in command of the monitor Lord Clive.

He remained in command of Lord Clive until January, 1918, when he was appointed Deputy Director of Operations Division (H) at the Admiralty. For operations on the Belgian coast he was appointed a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.) on 26 April.[3]

Post-War

Collard was superseded in the Operations Division on 5 February, 1920, having been surveyed by the Medical Director-General and found unfit on 26 January. He was found fit on 26 April, then went on half pay.

At the beginning of 1921 he was appointed to the Senior Officers' Technical Course and then to the Senior Officers' War Course. On 6 September he was appointed to Vivid for command of Colossus and the Boys' Training Establishment, Portland.

He was superseded on 31 March, 1922, and appointed to President for duty at the Admiralty. On 18 April he assumed duty as Director of the Gunnery Division of the Naval Staff.

Superseded in the Gunnery Division on 25 April, 1924, Collard was appointed in command of Royal Sovereign on the same day. He was superseded on 14 September, 1925.

Flag Rank

He was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 8 July, 1926. From October onwards he took both parts of the Senior Officers' Technical Course and then the Senior Officers' War Course once again.

On 1 October, 1927, he was appointed Rear-Admiral in the First Battle Squadron of the Mediterranean Fleet, and assumed command on 7 November, flying his flag in the battleship Royal Oak, with Kenneth Dewar as his Flag Captain.

Royal Oak Affair

The Board decided on 16 April that the blame for the Royal Oak affair was chiefly attributable to Collard, and that he should be retired upon the termination of his foreign service leave. He was accordingly placed on the Retired List on 22 April, under the provisions of the Order in Council of 21 April, 1922. He was advanced to the rank of Vice-Admiral on the Retired List on 1 April, 1931.[4]

Bibliography

  • "Vice-Adml. B. St. G. Collard" (Obituaries). The Times. Friday, 13 April, 1962. Issue 55365, col B, p. 15.
  • Smith, Vice-Admiral Humphrey Hugh, D.S.O. (1936). An Admiral Never Forgets: Reminiscences of thirty-seven years on the active list of the Royal Navy. London: Seeley, Service & Co. Limited.

Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
George R. B. Blount
Captain of H.M.S. Lord Clive
16 Nov, 1915[5] – Jan, 1918[6]
Succeeded by
Reginald J. N. Watson
Preceded by
Francis A. Clutterbuck
Captain of H.M.S. Colossus
6 Sep, 1921[7] – 31 Mar, 1922[8]
Succeeded by
Harold A. Knight
Preceded by
Frederic C. Dreyer
Director of the Gunnery Division
18 Apr, 1922[Citation needed] – 25 Apr, 1924[Citation needed]
Succeeded by
Humphrey T. Walwyn
Preceded by
William R. Napier
Captain of H.M.S. Royal Sovereign
25 Apr, 1924[9] – 14 Sep, 1925[Citation needed]
Succeeded by
Barry E. Domvile
Preceded by
David T. Norris
Rear-Admiral in the First Battle Squadron
1 Oct, 1927[10]
Succeeded by
William M. Kerr

Footnotes

  1. Smith. p. 24.
  2. The Navy List. (March, 1913). p. 16.
  3. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30654. p. 5058. 26 April, 1918.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 33706. p. 2332. 10 April, 1931.
  5. The Navy List. (November, 1917). p. 395f.
  6. Collard Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 277.
  7. Collard Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 277.
  8. Collard Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 277.
  9. The Navy List. (July, 1924). p. 266.
  10. "Naval and Military" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Wednesday, 17 August, 1927. Issue 44662, col B, p. 19.