Walter Odwin Hutton Lambert

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Commander Walter Odwin Hutton Lambert (25 June, 1887 – ) was an officer in the Royal Navy. Although possessed of "an inventive turn of mind", many found him to be arrogant and frail in character and body. "[I]f he had not such bad manners & was not so wanting in tact would be a very good officer."[1]

Life & Career

Lambert entered the naval service on 15 May, 1902, being appointed to Britannia and passing out on 14 September, 1903, receiving his first appointment, to Talbot the next day.[2]

In mid-August, he was appointed to receive training in submarines, but this was cancelled five days later. Lambert was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 15 September, 1908 and on 8 October, he was appointed to Aboukir.[3]

Lambert qualified in service in torpedo craft in Gunnery, Torpedoes and Navigation between mid-1912 and April, 1913. The torpedo lieutenant invented what became known as Lambert's Attack Director, a device intended to help a cruiser calculate a course to steer to disrupt an incoming force of torpedo craft. It was evaluated in 1913-14.[4][5] Lambert's aforementioned lack of tact is perhaps illustrated in a typewritten sheet sent with early articles of his hardware which twice pointedly compares its laudable simplicity to the design of the Dreyer Attack Disc. The lack of deference to the interests and considerations of such an influential officer in this single page is unusual.[6] Though Lambert's device appears to be well conceived and to be quite simple in design, it is not clear it achieved the same embrace as did Dreyer's Disc, which is mentioned in the Handbook of Torpedo Control, 1916 whereas Lambert's device is not.

On 3 May, 1913, Lambert was appointed in command of the first-class torpedo boat T.B. 33.[7] He was married on 12 June, 1913.[8]

In November, 1915 a Court of Enquiry determined that Lambert had failed to exercise due care in a collision between T.B. 33 and a trawler. On the tenth, he was appointed in command of the Beagle Class destroyer H.M.S. Racoon of the Fifth Destroyer Flotilla, operating in the Mediterranean.

From Malta on 11 September, 1916, Lambert requested two weeks leave while his ship was being refitted. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander four days later and superseded in command of Racoon by K. Sworder soon thereafter. His time with 5 D.F. had not been rosey. In November 1916, he received one of the most negative S.206 remarks I've found yet, wherein Captain Coode, Captain (D) of the flotilla wrote, "Below average. I am glad this officer has left the Flotilla & do not recommend him for further service in destroyers. Conceited & is very unpopular with his contemporaries. Health poor & appears to have no stamina." Indeed, Lambert's health issues had been frequent; he'd been hospitalised for influenza in February, 1915 and had just been in hospital in Plymouth as this appraisal was being offered.[9]

Lambert was appointed in command of the "C" and "D" Class destroyer Defender of the First Destroyer Flotilla in December 1916. With that formation, she supported the Third Battle Squadron until April 1917 and then was operating out of Portsmouth. Around December 1917, Defender transferred to the Fourth Destroyer Flotilla, a large flotilla that was defending Devonport. Lambert remained with 4 D.F. when he was appointed in command of the destroyer Pasley on 10 January, 1918.[10]

Post-War

On 9 September, 1920 he was appointed to Conqueror, moving to Orion in the following April. After she paid off on 12 April, 192, Lambert was returned to destroyer command in Garry, appointed 16 May, 1922.[11]

On 12 October, 1922, the Admiralty determined that signals sent between Garry and Liffey had been prejudicial to discipline of both vessels, and expressed their displeasure with the discredit reflected upon Lambert. However, in December Captain Aylmer recommended him for promotion. In January, 1913 Aylmer opined upon Their Lordships earlier finding and suggested that Lambert had been dealing with "a very hot tempered and irritating offr" during the signalling incident.[12]

He was placed on the Retired List at his own request on 1 November, 1929 with the rank of Commander.[13]

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Reginald W. Blake
Captain of H.M. T.B. 33
3 May, 1913[14][15] – Feb, 1916[16]
Succeeded by
Walter O. H. Lambert
Preceded by
Salisbury H. Simpson
Captain of H.M.S. Peterel
c. late Jan, 1914 – Feb, 1914[Inference]
Succeeded by
Salisbury H. Simpson
Preceded by
Edward P. U. Pender
Captain of H.M.S. Racehorse
27 Feb, 1915[17]c. 24 Mar, 1915[18]
Succeeded by
Guy L. Warren
Preceded by
Walter O. H. Lambert
Captain of H.M. T.B. 33
27 Mar, 1915[19] – 10 Nov, 1915[20]
Succeeded by
Christopher H. Petrie
Preceded by
Henry N. M. Hardy
Captain of H.M.S. Racoon
10 Nov, 1915[21] – 25 Sep, 1916[22]
Succeeded by
Kenneth F. Sworder
Preceded by
Laurence R. Palmer
Captain of H.M.S. Defender
2 Dec, 1916[23][24] – 9 Jan, 1918[25]
Succeeded by
Ralph W. H. Roberts
Preceded by
Richard B. England
Captain of H.M.S. Pasley
10 Jan, 1918[26][27] – 23 Mar, 1919[28]
Succeeded by
Edward D. W. Lawford
Preceded by
Terence A. F. Longford
Captain of H.M.S. Garry
16 May, 1922[29] – 15 Apr, 1924[30]
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
Frederick W. Hawkridge
Captain of H.M.S. Tempest
1 Aug, 1927[31] – 1929
Succeeded by
Thomas C. A. H. Ouchterlony

Footnotes

  1. Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144. f. 56.
  2. Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144. f. 56.
  3. Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144. f. 56.
  4. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1913. p. 31.
  5. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1914. p. 30.
  6. See page on Lambert's Attack Director.
  7. The Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 400.
  8. Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144. f. 56.
  9. Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144. f. 56.
  10. The Navy List. (February, 1919). p. 862.
  11. Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144. f. 56.
  12. Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144. f. 56.
  13. Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144. f. 56.
  14. The Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 400.
  15. Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144. f. 56.
  16. Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144. f. 56.
  17. Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144. f. 56.
  18. Some inference here. It is recorded as February in Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144. f. 56.
  19. Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144. f. 56.
  20. Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144. f. 56.
  21. Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144. f. 56.
  22. Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144. f. 56.
  23. The Navy List. (November, 1917). p. 393.
  24. Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144. f. 56.
  25. Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144. f. 56.
  26. The Navy List. (February, 1919). p. 862.
  27. Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144. f. 56.
  28. Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144. f. 56.
  29. Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144. f. 56.
  30. Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/144. f. 56.
  31. The Navy List. (February, 1929). p. 273.