Godfrey Francis William Grayson

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Commander Godfrey Francis William Grayson (6 April, 1879 – 13 April, 1922) was an officer in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Grayson was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 15 March, 1901.[1]

Having compiled and delivered a helpful report on mines used in the Greek Navy in October, Grayson was promoted to the rank of Commander on 31 December, 1913.[2]

Great War

Grayson was appointed in command of the destroyer Matchless on 12 October, 1914.[3] After Matchless collided with Manly on 13 March, 1915, blame was attributed to Grayson for failing to notify his next astern that he had stopped his engines.[4]

On 5 May, 1915, Grayson was appointed to the armoured cruiser Duke of Edinburgh.[5]

In May 1916, Grayson received a scathing S.206 report from Captain Henry Blackett of Duke of Edinburgh which described him as "[s]low, lazy and inexperienced & does not pay sufficient attention to orders verbal or written; does not exercise sufficient control [illegible] the officers nor interest himself in the welfare of the ship's company", comments diametrically opposed to previous appraisals Grayson had received, such as one from Loxley which described him as "zealous & capable" and having "V.G. manner with men". The Admiralty took this latest review at face value, however, and expressed their displeasure with Grayson in his service record over the situation.

This review did not make for an improved professional relationship between the two men. On 11 August, a Court Martial was convened to investigate a charge that Grayson had displayed contempt for his captain. The Court was determined that Grayson had acted under "considerable provocation" in the incident, for Blackett had threatened to have him placed in irons! The consequences of this seemed to fall more heavily on Blackett than on his beleaguered commander. Both men were dismissed from Duke of Edinburgh, Grayson being appointed to Berwick and Blackett receiving a Board recommendation that suggests that it should be carefully considered that Blackett might really not be suitable for further command.[6]

Grayson's time in Berwick was short — appendicitis caused him to be sent to hospital in Bermuda, and he was invalided out via Halifax on 9 September. It would take him until year's end before he would again be found fit for service. On 6 January, 1917 he was appointed to Shannon. On 4 March, 1918, the Admiralty expressed their approval on the "promptitude & decision with which he acted in the performance of a delicate duty" when he "proceeded alone & unarmed on board [the Russian patrol boat] Rassvet during a mutiny on board her & conferred with C.O. , summoned a party of Marines on board and effected the arrest of the greater part of the crew. Similar action was taken in regard to Poryv."[7]

This feat seems to resoundingly indicate he had none of the defects of character that Henry Blackett had alleged in mid-1916. It would, however, be Grayson's last hurrah. On 20 March, 1918 he was appointed to President for service with the Naval Adviser Appointments Department, involving work with the Ministry of Labour, London District.[8]

Post-War

Grayson was placed on the Retired List on 13 April, 1922. He died in Salisbury on 30 September, 1925 after a two year battle with tuberculosis.[9]

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Brien M. Money
Captain of H.M.S. Vesuvius
31 Mar, 1914[10] – 1 Aug, 1914[11]
Succeeded by
Charles H. E. Head
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Matchless
12 Oct, 1914[12][13] – 27 Apr, 1915[14]
Succeeded by
George L. D. Gibbs

Footnotes

  1. Grayson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 62.
  2. Grayson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 62.
  3. The Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 356.
  4. Grayson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 62.
  5. Grayson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 62.
  6. Grayson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 62. Blackett Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 479.
  7. Grayson Service Records. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 62, The National Archives. ADM 196/125. f. 276. The ships referred to were identified by Harry Gibbon, "Navalis" and "Gwryosydd" at World Naval Ships.
  8. Grayson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 62.
  9. Grayson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 62.
  10. Grayson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 62. Day of month taken from predecessor's date of discharge.
  11. Grayson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 62.
  12. The Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 356.
  13. Grayson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 62.
  14. Grayson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 62.