George Ernest Stapleton Petch
Life & Career
Petch was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in September, 1889.
He gained a first class gunnery certifcate on 8 December 1893.
Petch was promoted to the rank of Commander on 31 December, 1902.
Petch was appointed to the battleship Montagu as executive officer on 28 July, 1903. Following a fatal accident when a hatch fell on Midshipman Ronald Megaw in November 1904, in January 1905 he received Their Lordships' severe displeasure or failing to carry out the Commander-in-Chief's orders to carefully inspect armoured hatches and raising and lowering gear. Petch left the ship when she paid off after being grounded on 20 August, 1906, receiving a highly cautionary evaluation from Captain Adair, that indicated Petch "in times of stress displays no great readiness or foresight & not able to stand severe strain or worry." It might be illuminating to explore the Court Martial proceedings to see to what extent Petch was blamed for the loss – Adair certainly was dismissed the ship by the Court's findings.
After instruction in signals, gunnery and torpedoes and some time at Dryad, Petch was briefly appointed in command of Royal Arthur before being being sent to the destroyer depot ship Tenedos for two years.
Petch served in the Coast Guard at Wrighton and Southsea from 1911 until he was placed on the Retired List at his own request with the rank of Captain on 21 July, 1919.
Norman C. Palmer
|Captain of H.M.S. Royal Arthur
4 May, 1907 – 11 Jun, 1907
Robert E. R. Benson
Carlton V. de M. Cowper
|Captain of H.M.S. Empress of India
1 Apr, 1910 – 4 Feb, 1911
John D. Kelly
- The Navy List. (April, 1891). p. 202.
- The Navy List. (April, 1910). p. 309.