John Ernest Troyte Harper

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Vice-Admiral John E. T. Harper, 1920.
Photo: © National Portrait Gallery, London.

Vice-Admiral John Ernest Troyte Harper, C.B., M.V.O., Royal Navy, Retired (29 May, 1874 – 27 May, 1949) was an officer of the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

John Ernest Troyte Harper was born on 29 May, 1874 in New Zealand, the fifth son of Leonard Harper. He received his early education at Christ's College, New Zealand.[1] He joined the Royal Navy as a colonial cadet, entering H.M.S. Britannia on 20 March, 1888. He was discharged in December, 1889 having gained eleven months' time on passing out of Britannia, and joined the old battleship Monarch in the Channel Squadron on 15 January, 1890. On 15 February he was rated Midshipman without examination. Monarch paid off on 13 May and on the following day Harper was appointed to the battleship Rodney. In his service record Captain Warren noted that he was a "Good boat Midshipman." On 22 July he was lent to Invincible for manœuvres. He left Rodney on 17 April 1891 for the cruiser Orlando.[2]

Harper was given his first command when he was appointed to Dryad for command of Plucky on 22 February, 1906. He stayed in the old screw gunboat until 15 November, 1906.[3]

Harper was promoted to the rank of Commander on 31 December, 1906.[4]

Great War

In June 1916, Harper assumed command of the light cruiser Gloucester. He was next appointed to command the armoured cruiser Minotaur, in February 1917.

Post-War

He was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 1 August, 1924, vice Boyle.[5]

He was appointed an Ordinary Member of the Third Class, or Companion, in the Civil Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (C.B.) on 3 July, 1926.[6] On 30 August, 1926, Rear-Admiral Dudley Pound, about to take up the position of Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff, wrote to Paymaster Commander J. R. Hemsted:

I remember you said that you might be going with Admiral Harper and should you be in any way committed to him and consider it necessary to consult with him I would ask that you should do it by telegram otherwise it will not be possible to get things fixed up. My information which is later than when I spoke to you on the subject is that in the near future he is likely to get a dockyard but not a seagoing command.[7]

In spite of these predictions of employment, Harper was placed on the Retired List on 1 February, 1927, on account of non-service.[8]

In 1968 James told the Second Earl Beatty that:

The mistake Wemyss made was in getting his old navigating officer, of no distinction, to prepare a record on Jutland, before the German reports of the battle were available.[9]

Bibliography

  • "Vice-Admiral J. E. T. Harper" (Obituaries). The Times. Saturday, 28 May, 1949. Issue 51393, col D, p. 7.

Papers

Service Records

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
?
Captain of H.M.S. Plucky
22 Feb, 1906 – 15 Nov, 1906[10]
Succeeded by
George P. Ross
Preceded by
Henry F. Oliver
Captain of H.M.S. Dryad
Jun, 1906[11]
Succeeded by
Laurence E. Power
Preceded by
Noel Grant
Captain of H.M.S. Carmania
28 Jun, 1915[12]
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
William F. Blunt
Captain of H.M.S. Gloucester
10 Jun, 1916[13][14] – 4 Dec, 1916[Inference]
Succeeded by
Peter W. E. Hill
Preceded by
Vincent B. Molteno
Captain of H.M.S. Minotaur
5 Feb, 1917[15] – Feb, 1918[16]
Succeeded by
Charles N. Tindal-Carill-Worsley
Preceded by
Edward Reeves
Captain of H.M.S. St. Vincent
9 Jan, 1919[17] – 31 Jan, 1919[18]
Succeeded by
Gerald W. Vivian
Preceded by
John A. Webster
Director of Navigation
1 Aug, 1919[19] – 15 Nov, 1921[20]
Succeeded by
Frederick P. Loder-Symonds
Preceded by
Cyril S. Townsend
Captain of H.M.S. Resolution
1 Aug, 1922[21]
Succeeded by
Charles T. Hardy

 

Footnotes

  1. "Vice-Admiral J. E. T. Harper" (Obituaries). The Times. Saturday, 28 May, 1949. Issue 51393, col D, p. 7.
  2. ADM 196/43. f. 507.
  3. Harper Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 507.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 27982. p. 31. 1 January, 1907.
  5. The London Gazette: no. 32963. p. 5954. 8 August, 1924.
  6. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 33179. p. 4403. 3 July, 1926.
  7. Quoted in Brodhurst. pp. 61-62.
  8. Harper service record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 214.
  9. James to Second Earl Beatty. 1968. National Maritime Museum. BTY 21/3.
  10. Harper Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 507.
  11. Harper Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 507.
  12. The Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 401g.
  13. The Navy List. (December, 1916). p. 394r.
  14. Harper Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 507.
  15. The Navy List. (November, 1917). p. 395r.
  16. Harper Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43., f. 507.
  17. Harper Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 507.
  18. Harper Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 507.
  19. Harper Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 507.
  20. Harper Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 507.
  21. Harper Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 214.