Henry Taprell Dorling

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Captain Henry Taprell Dorling, D.S.O, R.N., Retired (8 September, 1883 – 1 July, 1968) was an officer in the Royal Navy with a flair for writing and for altering his name.

Life & Career

Taprell Henry Dorling was born in Berwick, the second son of Colonel Francis Dorling. He changed the order of his names on 31 December 1908. In November, 1910, he further changed his name to H. Taprell Dorling.[1]

Dorling was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 31 December, 1904.[2]

His first command, of the "A" Class destroyer Lynx, was marred by a grounding for which Dorling received a caution directly from the C-in-C and a collision with a schooner Mary in which both ships were judged to be at fault.[3]

Dorling married Evelyn MacDonald on 1 September, 1909.

In February 1912, Dorling asked that it be recognized that he invented a Recognition Signal Disc then in use with destroyers and was informed that this was not being overlooked.[4]

Dorling was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 31 December, 1912.[5]

On January, 1914, Dorling was appointed to Patrol as First officer and for War Staff Duties. He was in this post when the war broke out.

Dorling was appointed in command of the destroyer Murray on 3 November, 1914,[6] commissioning her and bringing her into the new Tenth Destroyer Flotilla, which was part of the Harwich Force.

Dorling was promoted to the rank of Commander on 31 December, 1916 and was reappointed in command of Murray. He would quit her after two and a half years in command on 30 May, 1917. He was sent to work up the new destroyer Telemachus for service, being then appointed her first commander upon commissioning. This was interrupted by a brief stint in the Plans Division commencing on 5 August, 1918.[7]

Dorling was placed on the Retired List by his own request with the rank of Captain on 8 September, 1929.[8]

World War II

In 1939, Dorling was brought back into service to help with the Ministry of Information and the Press Bureau, being assigned to Allied Force North Africa Headquarters in 1942.

In 1943, Dorling was granted the rank of Acting Captain. He was gazetted on 24 October 1944 and appointed Officer of Legion of Merit for Distinguished Service in the Allied Cause in North Africa.

He reverted to the Retired List on 30 August, 1946.[9]

Writing

He wrote several books documenting his service, some in a fictionalized form, under the pen name of "Taffrail".

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
John G. Neligan
Captain of H.M.S. Lynx
1 Dec, 1908[10][11] – Nov, 1909
Succeeded by
Arthur F. Crutchley
Preceded by
John H. Bainbridge
Captain of H.M.S. Fairy
16 Jun, 1909[12]
Succeeded by
John Fawcett
Preceded by
George W. McO. Campbell
Captain of H.M.S. Leven
19 Oct, 1909[13][14] – 31 Oct, 1911
Succeeded by
Kenneth A. Beattie
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Murray
3 Nov, 1914[15] – 30 May, 1917[Inference]
Succeeded by
Montague R. Bernard
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Telemachus
30 May, 1917[16]
Succeeded by
Richard Harter
Preceded by
Edward Eastwick-Field
Captain of H.M.S. Telemachus
Jun, 1921[17]
Succeeded by
Charles H. Knox-Little

Footnotes

  1. Dorling Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48. f. 5?.
  2. The Navy List. (March, 1913). p. 22.
  3. Dorling Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48. f. 5?.
  4. Dorling Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48. f. 5?.
  5. Dorling Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48. f. 5?.
  6. The Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 359.
  7. Dorling Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48. ff. 5?, 452.
  8. Dorling Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48. f. 5?.
  9. Dorling Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48. f. 5?.
  10. Dorling Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48. f. 452.
  11. The Navy List. (July, 1909). p. 342.
  12. Dorling Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48. f. 452.
  13. The Navy List. (January, 1910). p. 340.
  14. Dorling Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48. f. 452.
  15. The Navy List. (December, 1916). p. 396dd.
  16. The Navy List. (November, 1917). p. 395f.
  17. Dorling Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48. f. 452.