Henry Peel Ritchie

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Captain (retired) Henry Peel Ritchie, V.C., R.N. (29 January, 1876 – 9 December, 1958) served in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Born in Edinburgh.

Ritchie was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 30 June, 1898.

In 1909, Ritchie invented a Wind Component Calculator that was perhaps similar to a Wind Dumaresq.

Ritchie was promoted to the rank of Commander on 31 December, 1911.

Ritchie was appointed to the battleship Goliath on 14 March 1914, having recently received the following evaluation from Vice-Admiral Burney: "At recent insp. this officer did not impress me. He appeared generally ignorant and slow."

Ritchie was seriously wounded with bullet wounds in his right leg and both arms during a raid on the German port of Dar es Salaam on 28 November 1914. He would received the first Victoria Cross awarded to a member of the Royal Navy in the Great War for this operation. He recovered rapidly at Plymouth Hospital after being sent back to England in Llandovery Castle.

Rictchie was appointed in command of the armed boarding steamer Suva from 21 April, 1916 to 14 October, 1916. He then spent six weeks in temporary command of the second class protected cruiser Fox, after which he was sent back to Suva, though not in command. He did not last long there, as he was invalided on 6 January, 1917.

Ritchie was placed on the Retired List as unfit on 4 March, 1917 after having spent some time at Yarmouth Hospital. He was promoted to the rank of Captain (retired) on 29 January, 1921.

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Lewis G. E. Crabbe
Captain of H.M.S. Lyra
8 Jan, 1912 – 1 Mar, 1912
Succeeded by
Edward A. D. Masterman
Preceded by
Charles B. Miller
Captain of H.M.S. Edgar
19 Mar, 1912[1] – 31 Dec, 1912
Succeeded by
Octavius H. Daniel
Preceded by
William H. D. Boyle
Captain of H.M.S. Fox
14 Oct, 1916[2] – Dec, 1916
Succeeded by
William H. D. Boyle


  1. The Navy List. (August, 1912). p. 306.
  2. The Navy List. (December, 1916). p. 394n.