Ralph Lyall Clayton

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Lieutenant-Commander Ralph Lyall Clayton (28 March, 1885 – 31 May, 1916) served in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

The son of Retired Rear-Admiral Francis Starkie Clayton, Ralph gained three and a half months' time on passing out of Britannia. His first naval appointment was in Hannibal in the Channel on 1 June, 1901. In January, 1902, he moved on to Grafton in the Pacific, where Captain Keppel noted he possessed "exceptional mental abilities."[1]

Clayton was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 30 July, 1905.[2] On 10 November, he was appointed in command of T.B. 52.

Superseded in the torpedo boat on 1 November, 1906, Clayton was appointed to King Edward VII. On 5 March, 1907, he was appointed from her to Queen in the Mediterranean, where he remained until being appointed to Vernon to qualify in torpedoes on 2 September 1907. He qualified as a Lieutenant (T) on 26 September 1908 with 1,778 of 2,000 marks. On 1 October, he proceeded to the Royal Naval College, Greenwich for an advanced torpedo course.[3]

On 18 April, 1910 he was appointed to Blenheim as torpedo officer. In October, this appointment was broadened to include duty with T.B.Ds. On 7 September 1912, he returned to Vernon to requalify in torpedoes. Upon completing this, on 1 February 1913 Clayton was appointed to Queen Mary as her torpedo officer. He was to be the only man ever to serve in that capacity.[4]

Clayton was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 30 July, 1913.

Great War

Clayton was Lieutenant-Commander (T) in Queen Mary from the outset of the war through her loss at the Battle of Jutland, where he was lost with her.[5] His final evaluation was on 24 May, 1916 from Captain Prowse, who marked his abilities as exceptional, an "Able T officer, energetic, decisive and ready."[6]

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Hugh T. England
Captain of H.M. T.B. 52
10 Nov, 1905[7][8] – 1 Nov, 1906[9]
Succeeded by
Guy C. C. Royle

Footnotes

  1. Clayton Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/49/253. f. ?.
  2. The Navy List. (March, 1913). p. 15.
  3. Clayton Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/49/253. f. ?.
  4. Clayton Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/49/253. f. ?.
  5. Kindell. Royal Navy Roll of Honour Part 2. p. 202.
  6. Clayton Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/49/253. f. ?.
  7. The Monthly Navy List. (December, 1905). p. 399.
  8. Clayton Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/49/253. f. ?.
  9. Clayton Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/49/253. f. ?.