Robert James Buchanan

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Commander (retired) Robert James Buchanan, D.S.O. (26 March, 1881 – ) was an officer in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Buchanan gained a commendable twelve months' time on passing out of Britannia on 15 January, 1897. He served in the battleships Royal Sovereign and Mars in the Channel Squadron through the end of 1897 and then Cæsar in the Mediterranean. In November, 1901 he commenced a series of short appointments in smaller ships, Tiger, Ostrich and Lively. Buchanan was still in Lively when he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 15 July, 1902. He continued to serve in her in lieu of a Sub-Lieutenant until 1 August, 1902.[1]

Lieutenant Buchanan spent the latter half of 1902 through September 1905 serving in Magnificent and Victorious before being placed in a string of seven command appointments in T.B.Ds., ending with an appointment in command of the destroyer Leopard on 10 July, 1907.

Buchanan was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 15 July, 1910 while in command of the river gunboat H.M.S. Teal on the China Station.[2]

In December, 1911, he left the Orient for home in S.S. Himalaya, arriving in England on 27 January, 1912 to undertake short appointments in command of Cheerful and T.B. 25 before being appointed in command of the new Acheron Class destroyer Hydra on 23 May, 1912. Buchanan commanded her for a considerable period, operating as part of the First Destroyer Flotilla. When she collided with Lizard in February, 1913, the Admiralty expressed displeasure at the manner with which Buchanan had handled the vessel.[3]

On 21 October 1914, Buchanan was cautioned after Hydra collided with the oiler Suwanee while coming alongside. Apparently, he had misjudged his ship's speed in the accident.

Buchanan commanded Hydra her at the Battle of Dogger Bank on 24 January, 1915.[4]

On 11 September 1915, Buchanan earned the Admiralty's displeasure when Hydra again collided, this time with the torpedo cruiser Fearless.[5]

In February, 1916, he was ordered to undertake staff work at the Admiralty, and to await the commissioning of the new Arabis Class sweeping sloop Celandine, to take command at that juncture with the rank of Acting Commander while holding that appointment. Celandine was sent to Gibraltar where she was one of the sweeping sloops directly attached the station until June 1918 when it became part of the Eleventh Sloop Flotilla based there. Buchanan requested command of a destroyer in Home Waters in mid-1916, but this request seems to have been unfulfilled, as he served out of Gibraltar in Celandine for the duration.[6]

On 27 September, 1917, Celandine encountered a U-boat and Buchanan was praised for his "prompt and skilful action" in the affair, which was adjudged to have "probably slightly damaged" the enemy submarine.[7]

Buchanan was awarded a D.S.O. for services on the Mediterranean Station between 1 July and 11 November, 1918, gazetted 22 April, 1919.[8]

Post-War

Buchanan was appointed to the training ship Eaglet on 6 June, 1919. He was placed on the Retired List at his own request on 5 August, 1919, to be granted a step in rank upon reaching his fortieth birthday. Buchanan was accordingly promoted to the rank of Commander on 26 March, 1921.[9]

World War II

From August, 1939, Buchanan worked with the Ministry of Information censoring cable and wireless traffic. His eyesight was failing, however. In 1942, he was diagnosed with glaucoma at the Royal London Ophthalmology Hospital.[10]

Buchanan's M.O.I. appointment was terminated and he was reverted to the Retired List as medically unfit on 27 February, 1943.[11]

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Charles F. Corbett
Captain of H.M.S. Ure
1 Sep, 1905[12] – 3 Sep, 1905[13]
Succeeded by
James R. P. Hawksley
Preceded by
James R. P. Hawksley
Captain of H.M.S. Spitfire
4 Sep, 1905[14] – 1 Jan, 1906[15]
Succeeded by
John Reep
Preceded by
William J. Scott
Captain of H.M.S. Hunter
1 Jan, 1906[16] – 12 May, 1906[17]
Succeeded by
Aubrey E. D. Moore
Preceded by
Aubrey E. D. Moore
Captain of H.M.S. Zebra
12 May, 1906[18] – 28 May, 1906[19]
Succeeded by
Thomas N. James
Preceded by
Aubrey E. D. Moore
Captain of H.M.S. Hunter
28 May, 1906[20][21] – 1 Jan, 1907[22]
Succeeded by
Walter G. Jones
Preceded by
Walter G. Jones
Captain of H.M.S. Fervent
1 Jan, 1907[23][24] – 4 Jul, 1907[25]
Succeeded by
Henry M. Fothergill
Preceded by
Francis A. W. Buller
Captain of H.M.S. Leopard
10 Jul, 1907[26][27] – 18 Feb, 1908[28]
Succeeded by
Reginald E. Marcon
Preceded by
Harry R. Godfrey
Captain of H.M.S. Teal
5 May, 1910[29][30] – 5 Aug, 1911[31]
Succeeded by
Hugh D. Marryat
Preceded by
Wilfrid W. Hunt
Captain of H.M.S. Cheerful
5 Mar, 1912[32] – 10 Apr, 1912[33]
Succeeded by
Francis L. Back
Preceded by
Charles L. Fox
Captain of H.M. T.B. 25
10 Apr, 1912[34] – 23 May, 1912[35]
Succeeded by
Richard F. White
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Hydra
23 May, 1912[36][37] – 18 Feb, 1916[38]
Succeeded by
Francis G. Glossop
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Celandine
12 Mar, 1916[39][40] – 6 Jun, 1919
Succeeded by
?

Footnotes

  1. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  2. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  3. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  4. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  5. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  6. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  7. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  8. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  9. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  10. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  11. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  12. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  13. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  14. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  15. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  16. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  17. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  18. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  19. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  20. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  21. The Navy List. (January, 1907). p. 328.
  22. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  23. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  24. The Navy List. (March, 1907). p. 313-15.
  25. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  26. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  27. "Naval & Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Tuesday, 9 July, 1907. Issue 38380, col D, p. 12.
  28. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  29. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  30. The Navy List. (April, 1911). p. 383.
  31. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  32. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  33. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  34. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  35. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  36. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  37. The Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 394r.
  38. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  39. Buchanan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/4. f. 4.
  40. The Navy List. (January, 1920). p. 743.