Herbert Chatterton

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Admiral Herbert Chatterton, until 1906 Herbert Orpen, Royal Navy, Retired (22 June, 1863 – 19 November, 1932) was an officer of the Royal Navy during the First World War. He served most notably in command of trade warfare during that conflict.

Early Life & Career

Born as Herbert Orpen on 22 June, 1863, he entered the training ship H.M.S. Britannia in 1876, and attained sufficient distinction to become a Midshipman in the ironclad Iron Duke, flagship on the China Station upon leaving the training ship in 1878. In 1880 he joined the corvette Comus in the Pacific. Promoted Sub-Lieutenant he was appointed to the Royal Yacht in 1885 and promoted to Lieutenant with seniority dated 30 August of that year.[1]

He specialised in torpedoes, and as Lieutenant he served from 1892 in the cruiser Orlando in Australian waters, and in the Centurion and Endymion on the China Station.

Chatterton was promoted to the rank of Commander on 31 December, 1898.[2]

He served as Commander in the first class protected cruiser Europa, then took command of the depôt ship Tamar at Hong Kong. He commanded the boys' training ship Lion at Devonport, then the third class protected cruiser Pandora in the reserve at Portsmouth. He was then appointed for service at the Admiralty, and on 31 December, 1905 he was promoted to the rank of Captain.[3]

Captain

On 1 February, 1907, the Dublin Gazette published a story indicating Orpen had assumed the surname of Chatterton.[4]

In September 1909, the Admiralty expressed "dissatisfaction at the manner in which Captain Chatterton conducted the examination of witnesses at a Court of Enquiry held on 1st June at Sheerness to investigate causes of loss of a torpedo."[5] By the following year, however, he was being thanked for the efficiency with which he was organizing the minelaying service.

He retired on 1 July, 1911, but this was cancelled in December of that year.[6]

Chatterton was appointed to command the battleship Bulwark on 4 June, 1912.[7] In October, 1913, the Admiralty chose to prematurely supersede Chatterton following a Court of Enquiry involving complaints by Royal Marine Captain Herbert C. Morton. Though the individual complaints seemed small, Their Lordships determined that their collective weight constituted "a very grave reflection on Capt. Chatterton's administration as C.O.S. Officer" and thus mandated his removal from this office. In a final review, Rear Admiral Tupper noted that the "unpleasantness" between Chatterton and his officers had not adversely impacted the ship's standing as an efficient ship that paired good inspections with good gunnery scores.[8]

Morton stayed long enough in Bulwark to die when she exploded in November, 1914. For Chatterton, it is possible that this disharmony proved life-saving. In June, 1914 Chatterton requested that he not receive appointment to further naval command afloat.[9]

Great War

Chatterton was appointed in command of the armed merchant cruiser Teutonic on 5 September, 1914. He was superseded on 5 January, 1915. On 6 June he was appointed to Colleen as Senior Naval Officer of Auxiliary Patrol Area XVIII. He remained there until 4 June, 1916, when he was appointed to Boadicea II for command of Auxiliary Patrol Area XVI.[10]

Friction again visited Chatterton. In March of 1917, a Court of Enquiry was convened to investigate allegations against him made by the Surgeon and Agent at Kingstown. The Board determined that Chatterton should be relieved of his command.[11]

On 26 April, 1917 he was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral[12] and was placed on the Retired List the following day[13] in accordance with the provisions of the Order in Council of 9 March, 1914.

Chatterton was superseded in command of Area XVI on 10 May.[14]

Retirement

Chatterton was promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral on the Retired List on 6 April, 1922,[15] and was advanced to the rank of Admiral on the Retired List on 25 October, 1926.[16]

He died on Saturday 19 November, 1932 at his club, the Devon and Exeter, at the age of sixty-nine.

Other Commands

  • Training Ship Lion, 12 August 1903 to 31 December, 1904[17]

Bibliography

  • "Admiral Chatterton" (Obituaries). The Times. Tuesday, 22 November, 1932. Issue 46297, col C, p. 14.

Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Frederick H. Eagles
Captain of H.M. T.B. 57
18 Jul, 1889[18] – 3 Sep, 1889[19]
Succeeded by
Robert J. Prendergast
Preceded by
?
Captain of H.M. T.B. 84
22 Jul, 1890[20]
Succeeded by
Henry D. Wilkin
Preceded by
William F. Slayter
Captain of H.M. T.B. 59
8 Jul, 1891[21] – 14 Aug, 1891[22]
Succeeded by
Clement Greatorex
Preceded by
Adolphus H. Williamson
Captain of H.M.S. Pandora
14 Mar, 1905[23] – 27 Nov, 1905[24]
Succeeded by
Richard Sullivan
Preceded by
Algernon W. Heneage
Captain of H.M.S. Iphigenia
10 Jan, 1907[25] – 1 Aug, 1907[26]
Succeeded by
Charles R. N. Burne
Preceded by
The Hon. Stanhope Hawke
Captain of H.M.S. Thetis
1 Aug, 1907[27][28] – 13 Sep, 1909[29]
Succeeded by
Reginald F. Parker
Preceded by
Francis A. R. Bowles
Captain of H.M.S. Andromache
13 Sep, 1909[30]
Succeeded by
Algernon W. Heneage
Preceded by
Robert E. R. Benson
Captain of H.M.S. Cæsar
1 Feb, 1912[31] – 25 Mar, 1912[32]
Succeeded by
Edward W. E. Wemyss
Preceded by
Edmund H. Smith
Captain of H.M.S. Bulwark
4 Jun, 1912[33][34] – 17 Nov, 1913[35]
Succeeded by
Guy L. Sclater
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Teutonic
5 Sep, 1914[36] – 5 Jan, 1915[37]
Succeeded by
George P. Ross
Preceded by
?
Senior Officer in Charge, Auxiliary Patrol Area XVIII
9 Jun, 1915[38] – 4 Jun, 1916[39]
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
?
Senior Naval Officer, Buncrana
before Feb, 1916[40] – Jun, 1916[Inference]
Succeeded by
Frank Finnis
Preceded by
Henry F. Aplin
Senior Officer in Charge, Auxiliary Patrol Area XVI
4 Jun, 1916[41] – 10 May, 1917[42]
Succeeded by
John Denison
Preceded by
Henry F. Aplin
Commodore in Charge, Kingstown
Jun, 1916 – 10 May, 1917
Succeeded by
John Denison
 

Footnotes

  1. The London Gazette: no. 25507. p. 4131. 1 September, 1885.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 27040. p. 84. 6 January, 1899.
  3. The London Gazette: no. 27870. p. 24. 2 January, 1906.
  4. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/88. f. 98.
  5. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/88. f. 98.
  6. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/88. f. 98.
  7. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Tuesday, 4 June, 1912. Issue 39916, col C, p. 6.
  8. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/88. f. 98.
  9. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/88. f. 98.
  10. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 170.
  11. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/88. f. 98.
  12. The London Gazette: no. 30037. p. 3955. 27 April, 1917.
  13. The London Gazette: no. 30042. p. 4095. 1 May, 1917.
  14. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 170.
  15. The London Gazette: no. 32672. p. 3030. 14 April, 1922.
  16. The London Gazette: no. 33221. p. 7406. 16 November, 1926.
  17. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/88. f. 98.
  18. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 170.
  19. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 170.
  20. "Naval Intelligence". The Times. Friday, 19 July, 1890. Issue 33068, col C, p. 12.
  21. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 170.
  22. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 170.
  23. The Monthly Navy List. (December, 1905). p. 352.
  24. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 170.
  25. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 170.
  26. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 170.
  27. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 170.
  28. The Navy List. (July, 1909). p. 385.
  29. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 170.
  30. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 170.
  31. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 170.
  32. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 170.
  33. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Tuesday, 4 June, 1912. Issue 39916, col C, p. 6.
  34. The Navy List. (August, 1912). p. 289.
  35. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 170.
  36. The Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 401u.
  37. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 170.
  38. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 170.
  39. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 170.
  40. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1916). p. 9.
  41. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 170.
  42. Chatterton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 170.