Trevylyan Dacres Willes Napier

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Vice-Admiral Sir Trevylyan D. W. Napier as a Rear-Admiral, 1917.
Portrait: Francis Dodd. © IWM (Art.IWM ART 1761).

Vice-Admiral SIR Trevylyan Dacres Napier Willes Napier, K.C.B., M.V.O., Royal Navy (19 April, 1867 – 30 July, 1920) was an officer of the Royal Navy during the First World War.

Early Life & Career

Napier was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 14 December, 1887.[1]

In 1889 Napier was appointed to the Royal Naval College, Greenwich to qualify for gunnery duties. In his class of ten were Charles Vaughan-Lee, Arthur Leveson, and Sydney Fremantle. Fremantle later wrote about this period at Greenwich in his memoirs:

We each had our own comfortable room, and my next-door-neighbour was Trevylyan Napier, a man of great ability and unusual charm of character. He was a gifted pianist, rather to my detriment, as it would happen more often than not that one of the other of the class would come to Trev's room to have some mathematical difficulty explained, and very quickly powers would be called upon, to the disadvantage of my studies.

Out of the class of ten, Napier, Vaughan-Lee, Leveson and Fremantle obtained first class passes in the theoretical examination.[2]

Napier was promoted to the rank of Commander on 1 January, 1899.[3]

Captain

Napier was promoted to the rank of Captain on 30 June, 1903.[4] On the occasion of the King's visit to Ireland Napier was appointed a Member of the Fourth Class of the Royal Victorian Order (M.V.O.) on 11 August.[5]

He assumed command of the first class protected cruiser Crescent in February 1904.[6]

He was appointed command of the battleship Bellerophon on 16 August, 1910.[7]

On 14 January, 1913, Napier was appointed a Naval Aide-de-Camp to King George V, vice Tudor.[8]

Writing to Lord Fisher on the subject of New Scheme Lieutenants (E) in late 1911, Engineer Commander Charles G. Taylor wrote:

You told me in one of your letters that you had once nominated Captain Napier as the 1st Lord's private secretary - but for some reason it fell through. Could it not be resuscitated - we should have a real friend and upholder of the New Scheme at the admiralty then.[9]

Flag Rank

Napier was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 24 October, 1913, vice Tuke.[10]

Great War

In the King's Birthday Honours of 3 June, 1916, Napier was appointed an Additional Member of the Third Class, or Companion, in the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (C.B.).[11]

In letters to Admiral Sir Frederick T. Hamilton, Admiral The Hon. Stanley C. J. Colville referred to Napier as "Long" Napier, and a suitable candidate for the post of Naval Secretary to the First Lord of the Admiralty.[12]

Napier was promoted Acting Vice-Admiral on 30 July, 1917 in command of the Light Cruiser Force.[13]

Napier was confirmed in the rank of Vice-Admiral on 26 October, 1918, vice Tottenham.[14]

Post-War

Napier was knighted and appointed an Additional Member of the Second Class, or Knight Commander, in the Military Division of the Order of the Bath (K.C.B.) on 1 January, 1919.[15] On 1 February he became Vice-Admiral Commanding, Rosyth Reserve, until superseded on 1 May. During this time he visited France on leave.[16] On 23 July he was appointed President of a committee on the position of officers of the Accountant Branch of the Royal Navy. He was appointed Commander-in-Chief on the North America and West Indies Station on 1 December, and took command at the end of January, 1920. After falling ill with acute fever on 21 July, 1920, he died at Admiralty House, Bermuda, from Typhoid Fever on 30 July after a few promising periods of stability.[17]

Bibliography

Papers

Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
?
Captain of H.M. T.B. 68
22 Jul, 1890[18]
Succeeded by
Pierce Ferris
Preceded by
Dudley R. S. de Chair
Captain of H.M.S. Vesuvius
2 Aug, 1897[19]
Succeeded by
Frederick C. U. V. Wentworth
Preceded by
Cecil G. Treherne
Captain of H.M.S. Crane
3 Nov, 1899[20] – 1900[21]
Succeeded by
Michael H. Hodges
Preceded by
?
Captain of H.M.S. Spiteful
1900[22] – 6 Oct, 1901[23]
Succeeded by
John B. Sparks
Preceded by
?
Captain of H.M.S. Peterel
6 Oct, 1900[24] – 14 Oct, 1901[25]
Succeeded by
Brian H. F. Barttelot
Preceded by
The Hon. Stanley C. J. Colville
Captain of H.M.S. Crescent
25 Mar, 1904[26] – 31 May, 1907[27]
Succeeded by
Rowland Nugent
Preceded by
William E. Goodenough
Captain of H.M.S. Espiegle
20 Aug, 1907[28] – 16 Aug, 1910[29]
Succeeded by
Cecil Maxwell-Lefroy
Preceded by
William E. Goodenough
Captain of Royal Naval College, Dartmouth
20 Aug, 1907[30] – 16 Aug, 1910[31]
Succeeded by
Hugh Evan-Thomas
Preceded by
Hugh Evan-Thomas
Captain of H.M.S. Bellerophon
16 Aug, 1910[32][33] – 16 Aug, 1912[34]
Succeeded by
Charles L. Vaughan-Lee
Preceded by
Edmund P. F. G. Grant
Captain of H.M.S. Falmouth
1 Jul, 1913[35] – 1 Dec, 1913[36][37]
Succeeded by
John D. Edwards
Preceded by
New Command
Rear-Admiral Commanding, Second Light Cruiser Squadron
1 Jul, 1913[38] – 1 Dec, 1913[39][40]
Succeeded by
Trevylyan D. W. Napier
Preceded by
The Hon. Victor A. Stanley
Captain of Royal Naval College, Dartmouth
3 Sep, 1914[41] – 28 Dec, 1914[42]
Succeeded by
E. Hyde Parker
Preceded by
Trevylyan D. W. Napier
Rear-Admiral Commanding, Second Light Cruiser Squadron
28 Dec, 1914[43] – 8 Feb, 1915[44][45]
Succeeded by
William E. Goodenough
Preceded by
New Command
Rear-Admiral Commanding, Third Light Cruiser Squadron
8 Feb, 1915[46] – 30 Jul, 1917[47]
Succeeded by
Allen T. Hunt
Preceded by
New Command
Vice-Admiral, Light Cruiser Force
30 Jul, 1917[48] – 7 Apr, 1919[49]
Succeeded by
Command Abolished
Preceded by
New Command
Vice-Admiral Commanding, Rosyth Reserve
1 Feb, 1919[50] – 1 May, 1919[51]
Succeeded by
Charles F. Corbett
as Rear-Admiral, Reserve Fleet, Rosyth
Preceded by
Morgan Singer
Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station
1 Dec, 1919[52] – 30 Jul, 1920[53]
Succeeded by
Sir William C. Pakenham

Footnotes

  1. The London Gazette: no. 25771. p. 7300. 30 December, 1887.
  2. Fremantle. My Naval Career. p. 48.
  3. The London Gazette: no. 27040. p. 84. 6 January, 1899.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 27572. p. 4187. 3 July, 1903.
  5. The London Gazette: no. 27586. p. 5058. 11 August, 1903.
  6. Mackie, Colin. ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS.
  7. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  8. The London Gazette: no. 28684. p. 589. 24 January, 1913.
  9. Churchill. Winston S. Churchill: Companion Volume II Part 2. p. 1344. The younger Churchill thinks that the Napier referred to is Charles Lionel Napier, but this seems rather unlikely.
  10. The London Gazette: no. 28772. p. 7870. 11 November, 1913.
  11. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29608. p. 5553. 2 June, 1916.
  12. Colville to Hamilton. Letter of 26 December, 1916. Hamilton Papers. National Maritime Museum. HTN/117/A.
  13. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. p. 440.
  14. The London Gazette: no. 30992. p. 13001. 5 November, 1918.
  15. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31099. p. 106. 1 January, 1919.
  16. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  17. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 208.
  18. "Naval Intelligence". The Times. Friday, 19 July, 1890. Issue 33068, col C, p. 12.
  19. The Navy List. (October, 1898). p. 307.
  20. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  21. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  22. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  23. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  24. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  25. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  26. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  27. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  28. The Navy List. (October, 1908). p. 309.
  29. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  30. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  31. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  32. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  33. The Navy List. (April, 1911). p. 283.
  34. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  35. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  36. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  37. "Naval and Military" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Monday, 1 December, 1913. Issue 40383, col F, p. 72.
  38. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  39. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  40. "Naval and Military" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Monday, 1 December, 1913. Issue 40383, col F, p. 72.
  41. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  42. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  43. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  44. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  45. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. p. 26.
  46. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. p. 26.
  47. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  48. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  49. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  50. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  51. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  52. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 208.
  53. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 208.