Kenneth Gilbert Balmain Dewar

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Vice-Admiral Kenneth Gilbert Balmain Dewar, C.B.E., Royal Navy, Retired (21 September, 1879 – 8 September, 1964) was an officer in the Royal Navy.

He was co-author (with his brother Alfred) of the Naval Staff Appreciation of Jutland — an account so pointed and contentious that copies were recalled to be destroyed after distribution.

Early Life & Career

Dewar was appointed to the training ship Britannia on 15 July, 1893.

He was appointed to Victory on 15 July, 1895, and on 15 August was rated Midshipman.

He was promoted to Commander on 22 June, 1911.[1]

Great War

In June, 1915, Vice-Admiral The Hon. Sir Alexander E. Bethell, commanding the Channel Fleet, recommended Dewar for promotion.[2] He was superseded in Prince of Wales on 12 October. The following day he was appointed to Vivid for Devonport Gunnery School, and on 31 October he took command of the school.[3] Rear-Admiral John de M. Hutchison, commanding Devonport Naval Barracks, wrote of Dewar:

Sat. Above av. Has made a special study of the operatns of war. Due course. Has carried out his duties to my entire satisfaction. A v. capable offr.[4]

He was appointed in command of the monitor Marshal Ney on 30 July, 1916, before being given command of the monitor Roberts on 28 August.[5]

In May, 1917, he was appointed to President for service in the Operations Division of the Admiralty.[6] As of June he was in charge of Section 15, assisting the Director of the Operations Division, Rear-Admiral George P. W. Hope.[7]

On 1 February, 1918, he was appointed an Assistant Director of Plans with the rank of Acting Captain. He was confirmed in the rank of Captain on 30 June.[8]

Post-war

Dewar was appointed in command of Royal Oak in October 1927 as Flag Captain to Rear-Admiral Bernard Collard.

On 1 March, 1928, Dewar was removed from command and taken to Cormorant to await a court martial on two counts related to handling objectionable correspondence. In this case, it appears that Dewar had forwarded a letter from the ship's executive officer, Commander Henry M. Daniel alleging that Rear-Admiral Collard publicly abused and criticised the ship's crew.

Dewar's court martial convened in Cormorant on 4th April, and on the 5th returned a verdict of "proved" on a charge of an "[a]ct to the prejudice of good order and naval discipline in accepting and forwarding a letter of which the terms were subversive of discipline" and "not proved" that the same actions constituted a breach of K.R. & A.I Article 11 in that they contained criticisms of his superior officer. The sentence was that he was to be "[d]ismissed from H.M.S. CORMORANT and to be severely reprimanded."[9] As dire as this blight on his record would appear, Dewar's career recovered. On 16 April, it was separately determined that Collard was chiefly to blame for the event and that it was he who should be expeditiously retired.[10]

Brushing it off, Dewar was appointed command of the battlecruiser Tiger on 5 November, 1928, and of Iron Duke on 14 May, 1929, staying in her for ten days after his promotion to flag rank in August.[11]

Retirement

On 4 August, 1929, Dewar was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral, vice Carpenter, and was placed on the Retired List on 5 August.[12] He was advanced to the rank of Vice-Admiral on the Retired List on 31 July, 1934.[13]

Of his career, Admiral The Hon. Sir Reginald A. R. P.-E.-E.-Drax told Arthur Marder "it must be remembered that K. Dewar was a disappointed, angry man and much inclined to be hyper-critical."[14]

Bibliography

  • "Vice-Admiral K. G. B. Dewar" (Obituaries). The Times. Thursday, 10 September, 1964. Issue 56113, col C, p. 16.
  • Dewar, Kenneth (1939). The Navy From Within. London: Victor Gollancz.
  • Dewar, K. G. B. (1956). "Escape of the Goeben and Breslau." The Naval Review. Vol. XLIV. No. 1. pp. 33-44.
  • Glenton, Robert (1991). The Royal Oak Affair: The Saga of Admiral Collard and Bandmaster Barnacle. London: Leo Cooper. ISBN 0-85052-266-8.

Papers

Service Record

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
John F. E. Green
Captain of H.M.S. Mermaid
21 Apr, 1903[15] – 19 Aug, 1903[16]
Succeeded by
Kenneth G. B. Dewar
Preceded by
Kenneth G. B. Dewar
Captain of H.M.S. Mermaid
14 Jul, 1904[17] – 1 Sep, 1904[18]
Succeeded by
Mark G. Newton
Preceded by
Charles F. Thorp
Captain of Devonport Gunnery School
31 Oct, 1915[19] – 30 Jul, 1916[20]
Succeeded by
James G. P. Ingham
Preceded by
Henry K. Kitson
Captain of H.M.S. Marshal Ney
30 Jul, 1916[21] – 15 Aug, 1916[22]
Succeeded by
Reginald J. N. Watson
Preceded by
Argentine H. Alington
Captain of H.M.S. Roberts
28 Aug, 1916[23] – May, 1917[24]
Succeeded by
Frederick V. Williamson
Preceded by
Walter B. Compton
Captain of H.M.S. Calcutta
9 May, 1922[25] – Feb, 1923[26]
Succeeded by
Henry K. Kitson
Preceded by
Edward R. Jones
Captain of H.M.S. Capetown
Feb, 1923[27] – May, 1924[28]
Succeeded by
George H. Knowles
Preceded by
George K. Chetwode
Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence
15 May, 1925[29] – May, 1927[30]
Succeeded by
Cecil B. Prickett
Preceded by
Arthur C. Strutt
Captain of H.M.S. Royal Oak
15 Oct, 1927[31] – 1 Mar, 1928[32]
Succeeded by
Hugh D. Hamilton
Preceded by
Walter J. C. Lake
Captain of H.M.S. Tiger
5 Nov, 1928[33] – 10 May, 1929[34]
Succeeded by
Dudley B. N. North
Preceded by
Manfred J. Palmes
Captain of H.M.S. Iron Duke
11 May, 1929[35] – 14 Aug, 1929[36]
Succeeded by
Edward C. Boyle
 

Footnotes

  1. The Navy List. (March, 1913). p. 21.
  2. The National Archives. ADM 196/125. f. 137.
  3. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  4. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90. f. 171.
  5. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  6. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  7. The National Archives. AIR 1/279/15/226/127. Cited in Black. p. 200.
  8. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  9. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59. Typewritten N.L. 1187/28 inserted therein.
  10. Collard Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 225.
  11. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  12. The London Gazette: no. 33523. p. 5145. 6 August, 1929.
  13. The London Gazette: no. 34076. p. 5054. 7 August, 1934.
  14. Notes on Marder's draft of chapter 14 of From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow, 11 November 1959, DRAX 6/18, Drax MSS., Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College.
  15. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  16. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  17. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  18. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  19. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  20. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  21. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  22. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  23. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  24. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  25. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  26. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  27. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  28. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  29. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  30. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  31. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  32. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  33. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  34. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  35. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  36. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.