Fred Ernest Ayers

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Lieutenant-Commander Fred Ernest Ayers (14 August, 1883 – 6 December, 1921) served in the Royal Naval Reserve before joining the Royal Navy in 1913.

Life & Career

Ayers was promoted to the rank of Sub-Lieutenant R.N.R. on 1 January, 1910.[1]

As Acting Lieutenant, Ayers participated in the annual manoeuvres in the armoured cruiser Hogue from 9 July to 19 August, 1910. Following this, he was appointed to the Lord Nelson in December 1910, to the Superb in mid-May 1911 and then to the Viking from 2 August to 3 November, 1911.[2]

Ayers was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant R.N.R. on 1 January, 1912. On 1 April, 1913, he moved over to the Supplementary List as a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy.[3]

During the Great War, Ayers was first in Patrol, having been appointed there in January, 1914. On 14 December 1915, he was appointedf to the destroyer Nymphe. He was next appointed, perhaps, to Larne, and this may have been intended as a command appointment, but it appears that Charles G. Naylor was given that role (Ayer's Service Record is blurry). While in Larne, she collided with an armed French drifter L'Amonette [?] and he was cautioned to be more careful in future. He left Larne in mid June 1916 when he was appointed in command of Leven for four and a half months, followed by a ten days in Acheron before being appointed in command of Pincher on 15 November, 1916 and lastly Welland of the Fifth Destroyer Flotilla, serving in the Mediterranean and the Aegean, from 20 January, 1917 through 10 August, 1918. On 11 September, he was diagnosed with influenza and pleurisy and sent to Portsmouth to recover his health.[4]

Around this time, Ayers was removed from command by the Commander-in-Chief pursuant to the contents of a letter. He had received an unsatisfactory report from Captain (D), Fifth Destroyer Flotilla Chetwode, who'd faulted Ayers on his command abilities and his drinking habits. The Admiralty predictably offered their displeasure and demanded quarterly reports on his conduct and sobriety. Ayers passed the first nicely and further reports were cancelled.[5]

He was admitted to Shotley in April, 1920 with illegible complaints, he was soon discharged fit.

On 1 April, 1921, Ayers was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on the Supplementary List.[6]

In December, 1921 he was admitted to Chatham Hospital with nephritis. Given one month there, he died on 6 December 1921 from delirium tremens.[7]

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Henry Forrester
Captain of H.M.S. Leven
13 Jun, 1916[8][9] – 30 Oct, 1916[10]
Succeeded by
Arthur P. Melsom
Preceded by
Herbert W. Wyld
Captain of H.M.S. Pincher
15 Nov, 1916[11][12] – 20 Jan, 1917[13][14]
Succeeded by
Philip A. Heyder
Preceded by
Philip A. Heyder
Captain of H.M.S. Welland
20 Jan, 1917[15][16] – 10 Aug, 1918[17]
Succeeded by
George H. Newman

Footnotes

  1. Ayers Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 240/55/178. f. 178.
  2. Ayers Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 240/55/178. f. 178.
  3. Ayers Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 240/55/178. f. 178.
  4. Ayers Service Record. In our PDF for Colin Rose St. George Tucker's The National Archives. ADM 196/96/166. f. 207.
  5. Ayers Service Record. In our PDF for Colin Rose St. George Tucker's The National Archives. ADM 196/96/166. f. 207.
  6. Ayers Service Record. In our PDF for Colin Rose St. George Tucker's The National Archives. ADM 196/96/166. f. 207.
  7. Ayers Service Record. In our PDF for Colin Rose St. George Tucker's The National Archives. ADM 196/96/166. f. 207.
  8. Ayers Service Record. In our PDF for Colin Rose St. George Tucker's The National Archives. ADM 196/96/166. f. 207.
  9. The Navy List. (October, 1916). p. 395uu.
  10. Ayers Service Record. In our PDF for Colin Rose St. George Tucker's The National Archives. ADM 196/96/166. f. 207.
  11. Ayers Service Record. In our PDF for Colin Rose St. George Tucker's The National Archives. ADM 196/96/166. f. 207.
  12. The Navy List. (December, 1916). p. 396o.
  13. The Navy List. (November, 1917). pp. 396m, 399f.
  14. Ayers Service Record. In our PDF for Colin Rose St. George Tucker's The National Archives. ADM 196/96/166. f. 207.
  15. Ayers Service Record. In our PDF for Colin Rose St. George Tucker's The National Archives. ADM 196/96/166. f. 207.
  16. The Navy List. (November, 1917). p. 399f.
  17. Ayers Service Record. In our PDF for Colin Rose St. George Tucker's The National Archives. ADM 196/96/166. f. 207.