Gerald Aylmer Garnons-Williams

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Captain Gerald Aylmer Garnons-Williams, D.S.O., D.S.C., R.N., Retired (24 January, 1893 – ) was an officer in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Upon passing out of the training establishment in mid-January 1911, Garnons-Williams was appointed to the battleship Queen in the Atlantic. He served in Zealandia and Druid from mid-May 1912 through 13 January, 1914 when he underwent examinations, obtaining a first-class certificate in gunnery, and second-class in torpedoes and engineering.

On 6 February, 1914, he was appointed to the dreadnought Vanguard.

Garnons-Williams was granted his watchkeeping certificate and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 30 July, 1915 and re-appointed in Vanguard.

On 17 February, 1915, he was appointed to Canada. He would be in her at the Battle of Jutland, his appointment ending on 31 May 1917. Having applied for service in submarines in mid-April and on 11 June, he was appointed to Dolphin for instruction in submarines. From here out, he would primarily serve in submarines. On 14 September 1917 he was appointed to his first submarine, E 51.

Garnons-Williams was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for services in Minelaying Submarines from 1 July and 11 November, 1918. The award was gazetted to him 20 February, 1919.

Garnons-Williams was appointed in command of the submarine L 71 on 9 August, 1920.[1]

Garnons-Williams was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 39 July, 1923. Also that year, he was awarded the sum of 400 guineas for inventing an instrument to measure the speed of ships and other craft.

On 19 January, 1926, Garnons-Williams was lent to the Chilean Navy, his appointment expected to last two years.

Garnons-Williams was promoted to the rank of Commander on 30 June, 1927 and he was re-appointed to Chile until January, 1928. He was granted permission to study Spanish in his own time in 1928.

In 1929, he was faulted for an accident Template:UK-K29 experienced in surfacing after conducting an inclining experiments at Malta, as it was deemed that

On 1 May 1934, he was faulted when the submarine Swordfish was damaged because, as Commander (S), he had not chosen a suitable area for the exercise. However, it appears that after some consideration, the blame was shifted to Captain (S), Fifth Submarine Flotilla F. H. Taylor.

World War II

On 10 October 1940, he entered the basement of No. 21 Carlton House Terrace after it had been bombed and was in a "very precarious and perilous state" and was instrumental in the rescue of women who were trapped in the debris.

On 25 August 1942, Garnons-Williams received a D.S.O. for "bravery and enterprise in the successful operations which lef to the surrender of the important base of Diego Suarez."

Garnons-Williams was placed on the Retired List on account of age with the rank of Captain on 24 January, 1943 and on 23 February, he received a mention in despatches for bravery and resource in operations in Madagascar.

Reverted to Retired List as medically unfit on 7 July, 1946. On 13 August, the President of the United States bestowed upon Garnons-Williams the Legion of Merit, Degree of Officer for distinguished services to the Allied Cause during the War, and the Royal Navy granted him unrestricted permission to wear it.

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. H 34
16 Jun, 1919 – 10 Oct, 1919
Succeeded by
James L. Boyd
Preceded by
Eric R. Reed
Captain of H.M.S. H 43
10 Oct, 1919 – Dec, 1919
Succeeded by
George C. P. Menzies
Preceded by
Captain of H.M.S. H 22
1 Feb, 1920[2] – 8 Jul, 1920
Succeeded by
Edward M. Loly
Preceded by
Hugh R. Marrack
Captain of H.M.S. L 71
9 Aug, 1920[3] – 10 Oct, 1921
Succeeded by
Paul L. Eddis
Preceded by
John G. H. Steedman
Captain of H.M.S. H 32
10 Oct, 1921 – 23 Sep, 1922
Succeeded by
Lancelot V. Donne
Preceded by
Allan Poland
Captain of H.M.S. Ambrose
25 Jun, 1928 – 1 Aug, 1928
Succeeded by
Alan G. D. Twigg
Preceded by
Claud B. Barry
Captain of H.M.S. K 26
6 Aug, 1928[4] – 25 Aug, 1930
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Philip Ruck-Keene
Captain of H.M.S. Alecto
22 Feb, 1933[5] – 23 Aug, 1935
Succeeded by
Arthur S. Lindsell
Preceded by
Ivan W. Whitehorn
Captain of H.M.S. Cormorant
24 Jul, 1936[6]
Succeeded by
Alfred G. Hine


  1. The Navy List. (January, 1921). p. 799.
  2. The Navy List. (June, 1920). p. 782a.
  3. The Navy List. (January, 1921). p. 799.
  4. The Navy List. (February, 1929). p. 247.
  5. The Navy List. (July, 1934). p. 214.
  6. The Navy List. (July, 1937). p. 224.