Harold Thomas Coulthard Walker

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Admiral SIR Harold Thomas Coulthard Walker, K.C.B., Royal Navy, Retired (18 March, 1891 – ) was an officer in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Walker was appointed to Bulldog on 16 August, 1911. She damaged a French sailing vessel Yvonne later that year and the Admiralty chastised Walker for the mishap on account of "not acting with sufficient promptitude."[1]

Walker was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 30 April, 1913.[2]

He was appointed to the battleship Bellerophon on 18 August, 1913 and would serve in her through most of the Great War. He participated in the blocking operations at Zeebrugge and Ostend on 22-23 April, 1918 and was wounded in head, chest and arm, requiring him to be admitted to Chatham Hospital on the 23rd.[3]

On 20 September, 1918, he was detailed to travel to the United States to present a photographic naval exhibition. This proved popular and the lecture tour continued, post-war, to Canada, in January, 1919. He returned to England in March in the troopship Olympic, to have an arm fitted.

He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 30 April, 1921.[4]

He was promoted to the rank of Commander on 30 June, 1926.[5]

Walker married Olive Knowles on 3 October, 1931 was promoted to the rank of Captain on 31 December, 1931, becoming the first officer from Osborne, educated under the Selborne Scheme, to be promoted to Captain.[6][7]

In January 1932, he was appointed to the light cruiser Canterbury, to assume command upon her commissioning.[8]

Walker was appointed in command of the battlecruiser Hood on 20 May, 1938.[9] He grounded Hood in Gibraltar on 20 September and chastised for an error in judgment. On 31 January, 1939 Walker was appointed in command of Barham and he struck the Mole at Gibraltar with her. The Rock had it in for him, apparently.[10]

World War II

Walker was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 8 July, 1941.[11]

Walker was promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral on 12 December, 1944. He was awarded the C.B. when destroyers of the Twenty-Sixth flotilla destroyed the Japanese heavy cruiser Haguro in 1945. After giving up command of the Third Battle Squadron on 18 November, 1945, he was briefly unemployed before being appointed as Vice-Admiral Commanding British Naval Forces in Germany and Chief British Naval Representative on the Allied Control Committee, in succession to Admiral H. M. Burrough. He would be superseded on 1 February, 1947.[12]

Walker place on the Retired List on 10 September, 1947 and advanced to the rank of Admiral on the Retired List on 2 September, 1948.[13]

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Graham F. W. Wilson
Captain of H.M.S. Canterbury
Jan, 1932[14] – 2 Jan, 1933[15]
Succeeded by
Donal S. McGrath
Preceded by
A. Francis Pridham
Captain of H.M.S. Hood
20 May, 1938[16][17] – 31 Jan, 1939[18]
Succeeded by
Irvine G. Glennie
Preceded by
Algernon U. Willis
Captain of H.M.S. Barham
31 Jan, 1939[19]
Succeeded by
Geoffrey C. Cooke
Preceded by
William E. C. Tait
Commodore-in-Command, Royal Naval Barracks, Portsmouth
15 Apr, 1940[20] – 1 Aug, 1941[21]
Succeeded by
Ernest R. Archer
Preceded by
Arthur J. L. Murray
Rear-Admiral Commanding, Fifth Cruiser Squadron
1 May, 1944[22] – 4 Dec, 1944[23]
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
William E. C. Tait
Vice-Admiral Commanding, Third Battle Squadron
4 Dec, 1944[24] – 10 Aug, 1945[25]
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
?
Second in Command, East Indies Fleet
10 Aug, 1945[26] – 18 Nov, 1945[27]
Succeeded by
?

Footnotes

  1. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  2. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  3. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  4. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  5. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  6. "Royal Navy" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Friday, 1 January, 1932. Issue 46019, col B, p. 16.
  7. "Royal Navy" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Thursday, 14 January, 1932. Issue 46030, col G, p. 6.
  8. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  9. Taylor. The Battlecruiser Hood. p. 230.
  10. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  11. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  12. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  13. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  14. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  15. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  16. Taylor. The Battlecruiser Hood. p. 230.
  17. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  18. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  19. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  20. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  21. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  22. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  23. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  24. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  25. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  26. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  27. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.