Hugh Thomas Hibbert

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Admiral Hugh Thomas Hibbert, C.B.E., D.S.O., Royal Navy, Retired (5 August, 1863 – 30 April, 1951) was an officer of the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Hugh Thomas Hibbert was born on 5 August, 1863, in Gibraltar, the son of Colonel Hugh R. Hibbert, of the 7th Regiment of Foot, and Sarah C. C. Hibbert.

He came fifth in order of merit out of forty-two candidates who passed the examination for naval cadetships.[1]

He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant dated 30 September, 1885.[2]

Hibbert was promoted to the rank of Commander on 30 June, 1898.[3]

Hibbert was promoted to the rank of Captain on 31 December, 1904.[4]

On 1 April, 1905, he was appointed in command of the second class protected cruiser Latona.[5]

He was appointed in command of Barfleur and in Command of Ships in Special Reserve at Portsmouth on 1 June, 1908.[6]

Hibbert assumed command of the new armoured cruiser Berwick in April 1909.

Great War

Hibbert was appointed to Colleen, the receiving ship at Queenstown on 10 June, 1915 to serve as Flag Captain. He quit her on 14 August, 1915 to take command of Carnarvon[7]

On 21 February, 1916, Hibbert was informed by the Naval Secretary to the First Lord of the Admiralty that the Board of Admiralty "have decided that they are unable to employ you as Flag Officer," and that he would be placed on the Retired List upon promotion to the rank of Rear-Admiral in accordance with the provisions of the Order in Council of 9 March, 1914. He was given the option of retiring "at his own request" rather than being shown as being forcibly retired under the Order in Council. On 15 March Hibbert wrote to the Commander-in-Chief on the North America Station, Sir George E. Patey, enclosing the letter from the Admiralty:

I have the honour to submit the enclosed communication which I have received from the Naval Secretary to the First Lord to be forwarded to the Secretary of the Admiralty with a view, not for any revision of their Lordships' decision, but in order that attention may be drawn to the wording as regards the suggestion that I should apply "to be retired at my own request."

This letter is such as I might receive had I proved myself a failure in command of H.M.Ships, or for any other reason considered unsuitable, whereas I submit that I am justly entitled to every consideration as any failure to comply with the unwritten laws regulating employment as a Rear Admiral is entirely due to Service considerations and in no way my own fault.

I was sent to Queenstown in December 1911 as Flag Captain and District Captain on the distinct understanding that my name was on the Roster for command of a Battleship as soon as my seniority was sufficient. I was kept there beyond the usual period of two years on the explanation that the State of Ireland at the time combined with the forthcoming change of Admirals, rendered a change of Captains undesirable.

When war broke out I immediately applied for a command but was then told that I was rendering better service to my country by remaining in my existing appointment. My reward for this has been :-

Debarred from receiving G.S.P. or the honour of A.D.C. to His Majesty.

Disqualification for employment as a Rear Admiral, and an intimation in equivocal terms that I might request to be retired so as to be avoid the unpleasantness of seeing my name gazetted in accordance with Order in Council of 9th March 1914.[8]

Hibbert was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 2 June, 1916, vice Nugent, and was placed on the Retired List the following day, in accordance with the provisions of the Order in Council of 9 March, 1914.[9]

In recognition of his services "in the prosecution of the war," Hibbert was appointed a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order on 3 June, 1918.[10]

Post-War & Retirement

He was appointed a Commander of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (C.B.E.) on 1 January, 1919.[11]

He was promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral on the Retired List on 25 March, 1920,[12] and was advanced to the rank of Admiral on the Retired List on 8 May, 1925.[13]

Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Fantome
5 Jun, 1902[14][15]
Succeeded by
Ernest C. Hardy
Preceded by
Charles M. Foot
Captain of H.M.S. Latona
1 Apr, 1905[16][17] – 2 May, 1907[18]
Succeeded by
Alexander Farrington
Preceded by
Alfred E. A. Grant
Captain of H.M.S. Barfleur
1 Jun, 1908[19] – 31 Mar, 1909[20]
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
William C. M. Nicholson
Captain of H.M.S. Berwick
1 Apr, 1909[21][22] – 15 May, 1911[23]
Succeeded by
Lewis Clinton-Baker
Preceded by
Claud A. W. Hamilton
Captain-in-Charge of the South of Ireland Coast Guard District
1 Jan, 1912[24] – 9 Jun, 1915[25]
Succeeded by
Henry V. W. Elliott
as Rear-Admiral-in-Charge of the South of Ireland Coast Guard District
Preceded by
Harry L. d'E. Skipwith
Captain of H.M.S. Carnarvon
14 Aug, 1915[26] – 24 Aug, 1916[27]
Succeeded by
William Bowden-Smith
 

Footnotes

  1. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Saturday, 4 December, 1875. Issue 28490, col A, p. 6.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 25516. p. 4599. 2 October, 1885.
  3. The London Gazette: no. 26983. p. 3984. 1 July, 1898.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 27750. p. 25. 3 January, 1905.
  5. The Navy List. (January, 1907). p. 339.
  6. The Navy List. (October, 1908). p. 282.
  7. Hibbert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/20. f. 309/624.
  8. The National Archives. ADM 1/8383/176. Unnumbered folios.
  9. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29621. p. 5828. 13 June, 1916.
  10. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30723. p. 6533. 3 June, 1918.
  11. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31099. p. 111. 1 January, 1919.
  12. The London Gazette: no. 3186. p. 4474. 16 April, 1920.
  13. The London Gazette: no. 33049. p. 3445. 22 May, 1925.
  14. Naval & Military intelligence The Times (London). Friday, 6 June 1902. (36787), p. 11.
  15. The Navy List. (October, 1904). p. 312.
  16. The Navy List. (January, 1907). p. 339.
  17. Hibbert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/20. f. 309/624.
  18. Hibbert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/20. f. 309/624.
  19. Hibbert Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 103.
  20. Hibbert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/20. f. 309/624.
  21. The Navy List. (April, 1911). p. 284.
  22. Hibbert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/20. f. 309/624.
  23. Hibbert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/20. f. 309/624.
  24. Hibbert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 103.
  25. Hibbert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/20. f. 309/624.
  26. The Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 392q.
  27. Hibbert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/20. f. 309/624.