John Alan Pennington Legh

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Commander (retired) John Alan Pennington Legh, D.S.C. (13 January, 1889 – 13 October, 1944) was an officer in the Royal Navy. His second name is spelled "Allan" in his service record, but "Alan" in Navy Lists.

Life & Career

Though he failed his torpedo examination in January, 1909, Legh passed in May and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 15 December, 1910.[1]

Legh was appointed in command of the armed launch Harold on 13 December, 1911. This tenure lasted until 20 March, 1914. Apparently, this boat operated under the Royal Indian Marine and saw service in Persian Gulf February 1910 through June 1914.[2]

On 8 February, 1915, Legh was appointed in command of T.B. 11. He was in command when she was lost to a mine on 7 March, 1916. The Court Martial conducted regarding her loss found he was at fault for approaching mines at dead low tide, but he was acquitted in view of the belief he had done so only on account of his "zealous anxiety to prevent danger to shipping." At the end of the month, he was appointed in command of the River Class destroyer Rother in the Portsmouth Defence Flotilla.[3]

On 5 July, 1916 Legh was appointed in command of Acasta of the Fourth Destroyer Flotilla, which initially part of the Humber Force. In November 1916, the flotilla started operating out of Devonport under Commander-in-Chief, Devonport.

In June, 1917 Acasta collided with the oiler Calcutta and Legh Admiral Bethell told Legh to be more careful in future.[4]

On 28 July, 1917, Legh was appointed in command of the "M" Class destroyer Moresby of the Thirteenth Destroyer Flotilla, which was screening the Grand Fleet. In September, he took Moresby over to the Second Destroyer Flotilla where she was part of the Northern Division, Coast of Ireland Station, based in Buncrana.

On 15 March, 1918, Moresby helped destroy U 110 with help from Michael. Legh would be awarded a D.S.C. for his role in this success on 17 July. Oddly, he had been appointed to command the destroyer Restless ten days earlier, but it is hard to contest the assertion that he directed Moresby in the anti-submarine attack on 15 March.[5]

After leaving Restless on 5 October, 1918, Legh was lent to command Westcott temporarily for an unknown period, likely brief, as he was appointed in command of Ulster the same day.[6]

Post-War

Legh was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 15 December, 1918.[7]

Legh was appointed in command of the destroyer Vimiera on 17 January, 1919.[8]

Legh was retired on 1 May, 1920. In May 1922 he was awarded a Board of Trade Master's Certificate and on 1 April, 1923 appointed as Inspector, Gourock District, B/T Coast Guard.[9]

Legh was promoted to the rank of Commander (retired) on 13 January, 1929.[10]

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Henry B. Rawlings
Captain of H.M. T.B. 11
8 Feb, 1915[11][12] – 7 Mar, 1916[13][14]
Succeeded by
Vessel Lost
Preceded by
Henry R. James
Captain of H.M.S. Rother
29 Mar, 1916[15] – 4 Jul, 1916[16]
Succeeded by
Edward D. W. Lawford
Preceded by
John O. Barron
Captain of H.M.S. Acasta
5 Jul, 1916[17][18] – 28 Jul, 1917[19]
Succeeded by
Alfred G. Foote
Preceded by
Roger V. Alison
Captain of H.M.S. Moresby
28 Jul, 1917[20] – 5 Mar, 1918[Inference]
Succeeded by
Godfrey R. Chambers
Preceded by
Michael K. H. Kennedy
Captain of H.M.S. Restless
5 Mar, 1918[21] – 5 Oct, 1918[22]
Succeeded by
Francis Howard
Preceded by
Edward D. W. Lawford
Captain of H.M.S. Ulster
5 Oct, 1918[23][24] – 14 Apr, 1919[25]
Succeeded by
Ian C. T. Hilton

Footnotes

  1. Legh Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144/430. f. 430.
  2. Post on WorldNavalShips.com forums.
  3. Legh Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144/430. f. 430.
  4. Legh Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144/430. f. 430.
  5. Legh Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144/430. f. 430.
  6. Legh Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144/430. f. 430.
  7. The Navy List. (January, 1919). p. 113.
  8. The Navy List. (February, 1919). p. 935.
  9. Legh Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144/430. f. 430.
  10. Legh Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144/430. f. 430.
  11. Legh Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144/430. f. 430.
  12. The Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 400.
  13. Legh Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144/430. f. 430.
  14. Hepper. British Warship Losses in the Ironclad Era: 1860-1919. p. 55.
  15. Legh Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144/430. f. 430.
  16. Legh Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144/430. f. 430.
  17. Legh Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144/430. f. 430.
  18. The Navy List. (August, 1917). p. 391a.
  19. Legh's Service Record indicates a later end date, but it apparently is omitting his appointment in command of Moresby.
  20. The Navy List. (November, 1917). p. 395t.
  21. Legh Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144/430. f. 430.
  22. Legh Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144/430. f. 430.
  23. Legh Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144/430. f. 430.
  24. The Navy List. (January, 1919). p. 922a.
  25. Legh Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144/430. f. 430.