Thomas Norman James

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Vice-Admiral Thomas Norman James, C.B., M.V.O., Royal Navy (21 December, 1878 – 25 September, 1965) was an officer of the Royal Navy.

Early Life & Career

James was made a Lieutenant on 30 June, 1901.[1]

After two months in command of Wear, on 28 May, 1906 James was appointed in command of the "A" Class destroyer Zebra and then rapidly moved to Hardy. Some illegible difficulty he experienced in command of the Zebra prompted a comment from the Rear-Admiral (D) that James was "unsuitable for cd. of a destroyer. shd be sent to a bigger ship." He was superseded in Hardy on 20 September 1906 and appointed to the battleship Formidable on 2 October, 1906 until some time later in that year when he was appointed to the second class protected cruiser Diana.[2]

James was appointed next to a series of small cruisers, as first and gunnery officer in Topaze from late 1908, to the same role in Boadicea for one year beginning on 27 July, 1909 and finally to be first officer in Enchantress on 29 July, 1910.[3]

James was promoted to the rank of Commander and re-appointed, temporarily in Enchantress on 30 June, 1913.[4]

Great War

On 18 August, James was appointed to assist the office of the Second Sea Lord at the Admiralty. This appointment was so sticky that he was still at it when he was promoted to the rank of Captain on 31 December, 1917.[5] James was not to be freed from desk work until being appointed in command of the battlecruiser Australia on 1 September, 1918 and Flag Captain to Rear-Admiral Commanding, Second Battle Cruiser Squadron.[6]

Post-war

On 5 August, 1919, he was appointed Flag Captain to Rear-Admiral George Price Webley Hope in the light cruiser Cardiff, leading the Third Light Cruiser Squadron.[7]

He served as captain of the battlecruiser Courageous from October 1923 until April, 1924, then over to command Centurion. Finally, he would serve as Captain of the Fleet, Atlantic Fleet, and then serve as captain of Warspite and Queen Elizabeth. He was finally superseded in her, his last seagoing command, in June, 1928.[8]

Flag Rank

Promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 27 May, 1929, James undertook a Senior Officers' Training Course and then accepted an appointment to be Rear-Admiral in Charge & Admiral Superintendent, Gibraltar on 20 March, 1931. He assumed command at Gibraltar on 21 April and was superseded by Francis Murray Austin on 2 May, 1933. He was placed on the Retired List at his own request on 1 March, 1934.[9]

James was appointed Buckinghamshire on National Service Committee in 1939. In September of that year, he was admitted to the Royal Naval Hospital, Chatham to be successfully treated for diverticulitis. There is no indication that he was summoned to serve in the Second World War.[10]

James died at home on 25 September, 1965. His funeral took place at Seer Green Parish Church at 2 p.m. on Wednesday 29 September.[11]

Papers

Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
William F. Benwell
Captain of H.M. T.B. 97
1900[12] – 24 Sep, 1901[13]
Succeeded by
John M. Wallis
Preceded by
George G. Codrington
Captain of H.M.S. Wear
17 Apr, 1906[14] – 28 May, 1906[15]
Succeeded by
Albert M. H. Phillips
Preceded by
Robert J. Buchanan
Captain of H.M.S. Zebra
28 May, 1906[16] – 3 Aug, 1906[17]
Succeeded by
Charles W. Cock
Preceded by
Charles W. Cock
Captain of H.M.S. Hardy
3 Aug, 1906[18][19] – 20 Sep, 1906[20]
Succeeded by
Edward H. F. Boughey
Preceded by
Oliver Backhouse
Captain of H.M.A.S. Australia
1 Sep, 1918[21][22] – 8 Apr, 1919[23]
Succeeded by
Claude L. Cumberlege
Preceded by
Arthur Bromley
Captain of H.M.S. Cardiff
5 Aug, 1919[24] – 12 Jan, 1921[25]
Succeeded by
Colin K. MacLean
Preceded by
Charles D. Johnson
Captain of H.M.S. Marlborough
24 Jan, 1922[26] – Mar, 1922[Inference]
Succeeded by
George Trewby
Preceded by
John M. Casement
Captain of H.M.S. Courageous
3 Oct, 1923[27] – 24 Apr, 1924[28]
Succeeded by
Thomas N. James
Preceded by
Humphrey W. Bowring
Captain of H.M.S. Centurion
24 Apr, 1924[29][30] – 29 Apr, 1924[31]
Succeeded by
Thomas N. James
Preceded by
Thomas N. James
Captain of H.M.S. Courageous
29 Apr, 1924[32] – 29 Apr, 1924[33]
Succeeded by
Aubrey Lambert
Preceded by
Thomas N. James
Captain of H.M.S. Centurion
30 Apr, 1924[34] – 1 Aug, 1924[35]
Succeeded by
Gerard A. Wells
Preceded by
George K. Chetwode
Captain of H.M.S. Warspite
6 Aug, 1927[36]
Succeeded by
Hubert S. Monroe
Preceded by
Hubert S. Monroe
Captain of H.M.S. Queen Elizabeth
Dec, 1927[37] – Jun, 1928[38]
Succeeded by
Wilfrid A. Egerton
Preceded by
Berwick Curtis
Rear-Admiral in Charge & Admiral Superintendent, Gibraltar
20 Mar, 1931[39] – 2 May, 1933
Succeeded by
Francis M. Austin
 

Footnotes

  1. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 31.
  2. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  3. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  4. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 31.
  5. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 31.
  6. The Navy List. (December, 1918). p. 946.
  7. The Navy List. (December, 1920). p. 741.
  8. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  9. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  10. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  11. "Deaths" (Deaths). The Times. Monday, 27 September, 1965. Issue 56437, col B, p. 1.
  12. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  13. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  14. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  15. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  16. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  17. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  18. "Naval and Military Intelligence". The Times. Monday, 6 August, 1906. Issue 38091', col D, p. 6.
  19. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  20. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  21. The Navy List. (December, 1918). p. 946.
  22. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  23. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  24. The Navy List. (December, 1920). p. 741.
  25. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  26. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  27. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  28. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  29. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  30. Bowring Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 317.
  31. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  32. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  33. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  34. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  35. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  36. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  37. Mackie, Colin. ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS.
  38. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.
  39. James Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 32.