Francis Hugh Sandford

From The Dreadnought Project
Jump to: navigation, search

Captain Francis Hugh Sandford, D.S.O., Royal Navy (10 October, 1887 – 15 February, 1926) served in the Royal Navy as an inventive torpedo officer.

Life & Career

Sandford was born in the Vicarage in Carnwood, the son of the Archdeacon of Exeter, Reverend E. G. Sandford.[1]

Sandford was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 30 March, 1908. He was hospitalised in Chatham Hospital on 15 April, 1910 for appendicitis and emerged fit on the 26th, though his appendectomy took place around July and his final return to duty came on 5 August. He was appointed to Vernon to qualify for torpedo duties on 6 August, 1910, but heart disease afflicted him in mid-1911. He was granted a month's sick leave to regain his health. He received his torpedo qualification on 25 August, 1911, passing with 1612 of 2000 marks, but ill health continued throughout the rest of 1911, permitting him a trip to Mannheim for treatment.[2]

Sandford made his mark as a thinker in the field of torpedoes, being credited with helping perfect an oscillating mine, and, in 1913, creating the Royal Navy's first "gyro control", pattern-running torpedoes, testing two oval-running "Type A" torpedoes in the battleship H.M.S. Orion.[3]

Great War

Sandford was seriously wounded in the right eye in early June, 1915 when working from Albion in mine sweeping, though the injury was actually from a mine which detonated prematurely while being sown in the Gulf of Smyrna. Sandford was sent back to England, arriving on the 19th. He was given ample time to recover his health and made productive use of it, designing an air-driven gyro mechanism and being awarded the D.S.O. in August for his sterling service in attacking the Turkish minefields and demolishing Fort Sedd el Bahr. He was declared fit in September, 1915 and appointed to Vernon on the 19th.[4]

Sandford was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 30 March, 1916. He would continue this work in Vernon until being appointed to Arrogant for torpedo duties with the Dover Patrol on 18 February, 1918.[5]

Sandford was specially promoted to the rank of Commander on 23 April, 1918 for his services along the Belgian coast. He was mentioned in despatches for his work in the Ostend blocking operations of 9-10 May, 1918.[6]

Post-War

Sandford was appointed to Birkenhead as her executive officer on 11 January, 1919, but left at the end of February when appointed to the Committee of War Operations. On 8 August, 1922 he was sent to Hood as Squadron Torpedo Officer and for War Staff duties on the staff of Rear Admiral Cowan. He was superseded in this role on 15 May, 1923. On 20 July, 1923 he began what was to be his last sea-going appointment, as executive officer in Repulse.[7]

Sandford was promoted to the rank of Captain on 31 December, 1924, his final evaluation from Repulse's Captain Parker praising his good leadership and influence with fellow officers and noting his reserved manner. Sandford was appointed to the Admiralty and made Assistant Director of Plans on 27 April, 1925. It was to be his last assignment.[8]

Sandford succumbed to blood poisoning in the Region Hotel in Wengen, Switzerland on 15 February, 1926, aged just 38 years.[9]

See Also

Bibliography

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Arthur M. Longmore
Captain of H.M. T.B. 076
19 Oct, 1909[10][11] – 7 May, 1910[12]
Succeeded by
Charles L. M. M. Crichton
Preceded by
George H. D'O. Lyon
Assistant Director of Plans
27 Apr, 1925[13] – 15 Feb, 1926[14]
Succeeded by
G. Frederick B. Edward-Collins

Footnotes

  1. Sandford Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/66. f. 72.
  2. Sandford Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/66. f. 72.
  3. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1913. pp. 23-4.
  4. Sandford Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/66. f. 72.
  5. Sandford Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/66. f. 72.
  6. Sandford Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/66. f. 72.
  7. Sandford Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/66. f. 72.
  8. Sandford Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/66. f. 72.
  9. Sandford Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/66. f. 72.
  10. The Navy List. (January, 1910). p. 399.
  11. Sandford Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/66. f. 72.
  12. Sandford Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/66. f. 72.
  13. Sandford Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/66. f. 72.
  14. Sandford Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/66. f. 72.