Eric Sydney Brand

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Captain Eric Sydney Brand, O.B.E., R.N., Retired (14 May, 1896 – ?) was an officer in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

A Conway cadet, Brand was in Greynvile Term at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth which commenced on 12 January, 1911. A term mate was Prince Albert, and his Term Lieutenant was Henry Spencer-Cooper. He entered the College 69th and passed out 12th.

Brand was appointed first to Dominion on 15 September, 1913.

Great War

Brand left Dominion on 1 December, 1915 to take up an appointment in the new battleship Valiant, which was being worked up for her commissioning.

Battle of Jutland

Brand was in Valiant for the Battle of Jutland, acting as Rate Officer during the battle. His account of the battle contains excellent detail.[1] Brand was recommended for promotion, as he "was of the very greatest assistance to the gunnery officer throughout the action."[2]

On 18 August, 1916, Brand was appointed out of Valiant to the Grand Fleet's flagship, Iron Duke. His designation as an Acting Lieutenant would come on 15 September, but it was retroactively made official on that same date. He was still working in gunnery, as Captain Dreyer would record that Brand was a "zealous & capable turret officer".[3] Brand could easily have received a negative evaluation, as at some point he had inadvertently besmirched the Dreyer Fire Control Table to its inventor, as he would later relate;

Meanwhile Captain Dreyer was trying to get his money's worth out of me. One day he sent for me and showed me a picture of an instrument asking "Did you use one of these in "Valiant" to which I replied "Oh, yes Sir. "And did you find it useful?" Oh, Yes, Sir, we took it apart and used the gear wheels to make an "Aid to Spotter" "Good Heavens, boy, Are you aware that I invented it?" Rather an unfortunate 'brick' but he never afterwards held it against me.[4]

Of Brand, Spencer-Cooper wrote:

A first rate lad, apt to be overlooked, as he is quiet, retiring & modest. Has plenty of go, is an excellent swimmer, and good at his work being most persevering. I expect to hear a good deal of him in the future, and that he will get on very quickly.

In his reminiscences of the Great War at sea, Brand wrote of one unusual incident;

Then on the afternoon of 27th. August a strange thing happened. The entire fleet was steaming quietly somewhere in the middle of the North Sea on a perfect day, flat calm and sunny when Iron Duke hoisted the "Disregard Admiral's Motions"(Blue Burgee) "Marlborough and Dominion close Iron Duke Flag Officers repair on board" So we duly sent our Admiral over to Tea in the seaboat and I suppose we all three were stopped for about 30-40 minutes, while the fleet was wandering along at 7 knots. I am pretty sure of my date because I think the Admiral met to be told of the impending advance into the Heligoland Bight next morning.[5]

Post-war

Brand was gunnery officer in Cumberland from 27 January, 1919 and then in Castor on 28 April, 1920. He was superseded in Castor on 10 January, 1921, as he had applied to take a Navigation course in mid-October. He proved excellent in the new discipline, obtaining the highest scores seen in the entire year, 880/1000 and 2236/2500 at Greenwich Navigation School, completing in December, 1921.

Brand served as Navigating Officer in Pegasus in 1922 and then in the minesweeper Forres from January, 1924 and in Hunt Class minesweeper Carstairs later that year, being promoted to Lieutenant-Commander on 15 September. In March, 1926 he spent a week in Haslar for influenza.[6]

He served as navigator in Caradoc, Renown and Barham in the mid- to late-1920s. On 13 December, 1929 he was promoted to the rank of Commander[7]

World War II

Brand was advanced to the rank of Captain on the Retired List on 14 May, 1946.[8]

Brand moved to Canada following secondment there in the Second World War.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. RNMN/BRAND in the Liddle Collection in the University of Leeds Library Special Collections, pp. 10-13.
  2. Brand Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/118. f. 79.
  3. Brand Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/118. f. 79.
  4. Random Experience. World War I, p. 16.
  5. Brand, p. 5. Paper in the possession of the Liddle Collection, University of Leeds.
  6. Brand Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/118. f. 79.
  7. Brand Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/118. f. 79.
  8. Brand Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/118. f. 79.