James Douglas Dick

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Captain James Douglas Dick, Royal Navy (1 August, 1871 – 9 July, 1917) was an officer of the Royal Navy during the First World War. He commanded the dreadnought battleship Vanguard at the Battle of Jutland, and was killed when that ship was sunk by an internal explosion in Scapa Flow in 1917.

Early Life and Career

Dick was born on 1 August, 1871 at Alverstoke, Hampshire. He joined the training ship Britannia at Dartmouth on 15 January, 1887. On passing out on 6 December, 1887 he gained 12 months time in recognition of his good performance.

On 10 January, 1887, he joined the old armoured frigate Minotaur of the Oman Squadron.

Dick was confirmed in the rank of Sub-Lieutenant, dated 14 January, 1891, and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 14 January, 1892.[1]

In January, 1892 he was promoted to full Lieutenant. This promotion may not have been ratified until after April 1892 as I believe from the papers that his promotion was reward for obtaining five first class certificates in Seamanship in January 1891, College in September of that same year, Torpedo in November, and Gunnery and Pilotage in February and April of 1892.

In June, 1894, he gained first class certificate in his final examination for gunnery.

A 1902(?) comment made on his record "unsatisfactory prize firing of Gibralter 1902 - should have obtained better results".

On 31 December, 1902, he was promoted to the rank of Commander.[2]

In April, 1906 he was given 6 weeks sick leave and was to return to the UK but was then considered unfit to travel. It appears he did not return to duty until almost a year later, 15 March 1907, presumably having been returned to the UK when fit to travel.

Appointed command of Amethyst on 7 May, 1907.[3]

Captain

Dick was promoted to the rank of Captain on 31 December, 1908.[4]

In March 1909, it appears that he assumed command of the second class protected cruiser Hyacinth.[5][6]

In December, 1910, he participated in a "[L]anding of armed party at Dubai, Persian Gulf. Faced difficult situation with coolness and courage and extricated his men from a very dangerous position with great judgement."

On 22 June, 1912 he was appointed Assistant Director of Naval Ordnance. He retained this position until 3 Jan 1915, when he was commissioned to Black Prince (as Captain).

In April 1911, he assumed command of the second class protected cruiser Highflyer.[7]

Appointed to command the battleship Vanguard on 22 January, 1916[8] He commanded the ship at the Battle of Jutland and was Mentioned in Dispatches by Admiral Jellicoe as part of a blanket award for all ships captains involved at Jutland. His report on the action was offered on June 2.

On 9 July 1917, he was killed by the internal explosion that destroyed Vanguard at Scapa Flow.

He had been awarded the Africa General Service Medal with clasp "Somaliland 1908-10" and was gazetted 29 August 1917 (so possible posthumous award) with Japanese Order of the Rising Sun (3rd Class). (This may have a link to Commander Eto having been an official observer of the Japanese Imperial Navy and aboard Vanguard and under JDD's command when she was destroyed).

Service Records

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Adolphus H. Williamson
Captain of H.M.S. Amethyst
7 May, 1907[9] – 4 Jan, 1909[10]
Succeeded by
Richard Webb
Preceded by
Algernon W. Heneage
Captain of H.M.S. Hyacinth
3 Mar, 1909[11][12] – Mar, 1911[13]
Succeeded by
Henry B. Montagu
Preceded by
Arthur R. Hulbert
Captain of H.M.S. Highflyer
Mar, 1911[14] – 15 Feb, 1912[15]
Succeeded by
Charles E. Le Mesurier
Preceded by
James C. Ley
Assistant Director of Naval Ordnance
22 Jun, 1912[16] – 3 Jan, 1915[17]
Succeeded by
Basil E. Reinold
Preceded by
Frederick D. Gilpin-Brown
Captain of H.M.S. Black Prince
3 Jan, 1915[18] – 22 Jan, 1916[19]
Succeeded by
Thomas P. Bonham
Preceded by
Cecil S. Hickley
Captain of H.M.S. Vanguard
22 Jan, 1916[20] – 9 Jul, 1917[21]
Succeeded by
Vessel Lost

 

Footnotes

  1. The London Gazette: no. 26286. p. 2704. 10 May, 1892.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 27512. p. 4. 2 January, 1903.
  3. The Navy List. (October, 1908). p. 276-7.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 28211. p. 32. 1 January, 1909.
  5. Mackie, Colin. ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS.
  6. N.B., Mackie records the names as "John D. Dick".
  7. Mackie, Colin. ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS.
  8. Dick Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. p. 204.
  9. The Navy List. (October, 1908). p. 276-7.
  10. Dick Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 204.
  11. The Navy List. (January, 1910). p. 328.
  12. Dick Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 204.
  13. Dick Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 204.
  14. Dick Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 204.
  15. Dick Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 204.
  16. Dick Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 204.
  17. Dick Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 204.
  18. The Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 392k.
  19. Dick Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 204.
  20. Dick Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 204.
  21. Dick Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 204.