James William Fairtlough

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Commander (retired) James William Fairtlough (15 December, 1874 – ) was an officer in the Royal Navy and the Royal Naval Reserve.

Life & Career

Fairtlough was apparently a sort of special entry to the Royal Navy.

Fairtlough was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 15 December, 1897.

In 1906, Fairtlough was awarded the Royal Humane Society's Bronze Medal for attempting to save signalman Wardley when the gunvessel Landrail sank.[1] This is puzzling, as Landrail was sunk as a target vessel.

On 21 November 1914, Fairtlough was appointed to the armed merchant cruiser Orotava as first officer, upon her commissioning. On 26 April 1915 he was appointed to Pactolus for charge of, and to provide navigation duties for paddle mine sweepers St. Elvies[?] and Slieve Bearnagh[?].

On 8 June 1915, he was appointed to the monitor M.20, apparently in command. Admiral de Robeck did not think highly of him in June 1916, describing him as "below average" and lacking in enterprise. He impressed Vice-Admiral Thursby more favourably in late August 1917, when an inspection revealed the ship in very good order. He specially recommended Fairtlough for the rank of acting commander, which was granted on 19 August, 1917. He remained with the monitor until she paid off on 20 July 1918.

From 24 August 1918 to 2 April, 1919, he was appointed to Pembroke, additional, for command of a ship whose name is similar to Mona's Sale.

Fairtlough was placed on the Retired List on account of age with the rank of Commander on 15 December, 1919.

Fairtlough was appointed in command of the corvette Active on 25 April, 1919.[2]

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. M.20
8 Jun, 1915[3] – 20 Jul, 1918
Succeeded by
Alfred F. St. C. Armitage
Preceded by
Edward R. G. R. Evans
Captain of H.M.S. Active
25 Apr, 1919[4] – 12 Dec, 1919
Succeeded by


  1. The Navy List. (July, 1911). p. 960.
  2. The Navy List. (September, 1919). p. 723.
  3. The Navy List. (November, 1917). p. 395i.
  4. The Navy List. (September, 1919). p. 723.