Francis George Crawshay Coates

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Commander (retired) Francis George Crawshay Coates, D.S.O. (23 March, 1878 – 26 April, 1950) was an officer in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Born in Worcester, Coates gained eight months' time on passing out of Britannia. He was appointed to join the second class battleship Nile in the Mediterranean on 15 August, 1894. On 5 March 1897 Coates was ordered to make his way home from Nile, and on 1 May was appointed to the Champion of the Training Squadron.[1]

On 6 July 1899, Coates was appointed to the Acheron Class destroyer Lizard. Coates was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 1 October, 1900, on 21 October he was appointed to temporarily join the Acheron Class destroyer Lizard for passage out to the China Station. On 7 June, 1901, Coates was appointed to join the second class battleship Centurion on the China Station. This appointment seems to make little sense, as she paid off on 19 September 1901. Coates was appointed to join the Niobe in the Channel Squadron on 5 November. Staying in her just over one year, he went to the armoured cruiser Hogue, also with the Channel Squadron, on 19 November 1902. He would be recommended for promotion on account of Hogue's prize firing performance in 1904.[2]

On 1 August, 1907 Coates was appointed to Thetis as first officer. Coates was promoted while in this appointment to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 1 October, 1908 and remained with Thetis until 1 January, 1910 when he was offered his first command appointment, in H.M.S. Speedy. Coates left Speedy when he was appointed in command of Jason on 2 January, 1911.[3]

Coates was appointed in command of the Acheron Class destroyer Sandfly of the First Destroyer Flotilla on 4 December, 1911.[4] His tenure here would exceed four years and carry him well into the war.

In December 1913, Coates was reprimanded for hazarding Sandfly by crossing the bows of Jackal and thus causing the other destroyer, in turn, to be rammed by H.M.S. Thunderer. A charge of negligence was not proved, but that of default was.[5]

On 22 July 1914 Sandfly collided with Tigress. Vice-Admiral Commanding Third Battle Squadron Edward Eden Bradford blamed Coates in this incident, as Sandfly was apparently not in the correct position.[6]

Coates was superseded in command of Sandfly 3 February, 1916. He was granted permission to accept an appointment in the Royal Australian Navy if he so desired, but he apparently did not. On 6 March, he was appointed to the new sweeping sloop Lobelia, to assume command upon her commissioning. On 31 October 1917, he was re-appointed in command, this time as Acting Commander.[7]

Post-War

Coates was placed on the Retired List at his own request with the rank of Commander on 23 March, 1921.[8]

World War II

Coates was appointed to St. Angelo as Assistant to Contraband Control Service Officer, Malta on 10 November 1939. On 17 March 1942 he was invalided from Malta with neurasthenia. On 24 July 1942, Coates was appointed to Afrikander IV, additional, for duty with Transit Pool at Royal Navy Camp Pietermoritzberg, temporary. On 2 November 1942, Coates was admitted to Haslar Hospital and was discharged the next day, recommended for duties "not involving intense concentration." On 26 November, 1942, Coates was appointed to Shrapnel, additional, for command of W/T Mechanic Trainees at Rutherford College, Newcastle-on-Tyne, additional and vice Leach. This appointment was terminated in mid June 1945, he having been superseded by Charles Lester Kerr on 1 March, and Coates reverted to the Retired List.[9]

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Leonard A. B. Donaldson
Captain of H.M.S. Speedy
1 Jan, 1910[10][11] – 2 Jan, 1911[12]
Succeeded by
Claude L. Cumberlege
Preceded by
Gilbert C. Heathcote
Captain of H.M.S. Jason
2 Jan, 1911[13][14] – 4 Dec, 1911[15]
Succeeded by
Percy G. Brown
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Sandfly
4 Dec, 1911[16][17] – 3 Feb, 1916[18]
Succeeded by
Jack E. A. Mocatta
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Lobelia
6 Mar, 1916[19][20] – 29 May, 1918[21]
Succeeded by
Percival S. Ram

Footnotes

  1. Coates Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/424. f. 485.
  2. Coates Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/424. f. 485.
  3. Coates Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/424. f. 485.
  4. The Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 379.
  5. Coates Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/424. f. 485.
  6. Coates Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/424. f. 485.
  7. Coates Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/424. f. 485.
  8. Coates Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/424. f. 485.
  9. Coates Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/424. f. 485.
  10. Coates Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/424. f. 485.
  11. The Navy List. (April, 1910). p. 377.
  12. Coates Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/424. f. 485.
  13. Coates Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/424. f. 485.
  14. The Navy List. (July, 1911). p. 334.
  15. Coates Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/424. f. 485.
  16. Coates Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/424. f. 485.
  17. The Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 397v.
  18. Coates Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/424. f. 485.
  19. Coates Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/424. f. 485.
  20. The Navy List. (August, 1917). p. 395f.
  21. Coates Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/424. f. 485.