Harold Christian

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Captain (retired) Harold Christian, Royal Navy (28 September, 1867 – 15 November, 1917) was an officer of the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Born in Cheltenham, Christian gained seven months' time on passing out of Britannia. He was complimented by Captain Rawson for being "good at plans" while in Alexandra in 1884-1885.

Christian was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 1 January, 1891.[1] Christian was awarded a first class certificate as a gunnery lieutenant in July 1895.

Recommended for promotion by the Commander-in-Chief, China on 19 October, 1901, Christian was promoted to the rank of Commander on 31 December and left Glory. On 7 April, 1902, he arrived home. On 22 July, he was appointed to Empress of India, moving to Venerable on 4 November, 1902. While in Venerable, an A.B. drowned, and Christian was faulted for having entrusted the hoisting of a boat to a junior lieutenant. He was invalided from the ship on 29 December, 1903 with a skin condition.[2]

On 8 January, 1904, Christian was diagnosed with psoriasis and eczema. On 20 (or 29?) January 1904, subject to a medical examination showing his skin condition would not be an impediment, Christian was appointed Commander of H.M.S. Excellent,[3] an appointment which William M. James said was "to our utter astonishment, and the astonishment of the whole fleet …"[4]

In March 1906, Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth Admiral Douglas wrote that Christian was "an officer of very bad manner & address amounting to rudeness. Has[sic] a poor opinion of him & thinks[sic] his leaving Whale Island and advantage to the service." Following an inspection of Whale Island, Douglas recorded that Christian's appointment should not be extended and that he did not recommend the Commander for promotion.[5]

Christian went off to join Perseus in the East Indies, where he was also not well liked by the Commander-in-Chief. This was compounded when he grounded the ship on 8 June, 1906. Christian was superseded in Perseus on 15 March, 1908 and left Bombay for home on 19 April, arriving on 24 May.[6]

After a year in command of Sappho, one in command of Nile and twenty-eight months in command of Hannibal, Christian was earning much improved, if unexceptional, evaluations. He was admitted to Plymouth Hospital with a laceration to his right leg on 6 January, 1913. He regained fitness on 11 March. On 14 October, 1913, Christian was to be lent to the Chinese Government to help in establishing a school to train Officers, but the negotiations broke down and the appointment was not made. In consequence, Christian was retired at his own request with the rank of Captain on 22 October, 1913.[7]

Christian was appointed in command of the second class protected cruiser Brilliant on 13 September 1914 and was mentioned in despatches, gazetted 13 April, 1915. He was sent to a local hospital in Tyne on 7 April, suffering from cystitis. This did not clear up until 27 September, 1915. He was asked to report to the Admiralty.[8]

On 12 October 1915 Christian received an appointment to be Assistant to Naval [illeg] to Chief Censor at War Office. On 15 January, 1916 he was appointed to President for W/T Censorship Duties at Clifden, temporary. On 3 April, 1916, he was appointed Censor at War Office. He was working in this capacity when he was killed in an accident. Though Don Kindell's admirable Royal Navy Role of Honour cites an "air crash",[9] Christian's service record indicates that he was struck by a motor car on 12 November, 1917 and was admitted to Charing Cross Hospital where he died on 15 November.[10]

See Also

Bibliography

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Marcus R. Hill
Captain of H.M.S. Perseus
15 Mar, 1906[11][12] – 15 Mar, 1908[13]
Succeeded by
Frederic G. Bird
Preceded by
Michael H. Hodges
Captain of H.M.S. Sappho
8 Aug, 1908[14][15] – 30 Sep, 1909[16]
Succeeded by
Hugh F. W. Wyldbore-Smith
Preceded by
Pasfield V. Oliver
Captain of H.M.S. Nile
3 May, 1910[17][18] – 6 Jun, 1911[19]
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
Arthur Hayes-Sadler
Captain of H.M.S. Hannibal
6 Jun, 1911[20][21] – 22 Oct, 1913[22]
Succeeded by
Charles F. Corbett
Preceded by
Robert E. Vaughan
Captain of H.M.S. Brilliant
13 Sep, 1914[23][24] – 1 Oct, 1915[25]
Succeeded by
Colin K. MacLean
 

Footnotes

  1. The London Gazette: no. 26121. p. 4. 2 January, 1891.
  2. Christian Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42/403. f. 482.
  3. "Naval & Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Saturday, 30 January, 1904. Issue 37304, col D, p. 12.
  4. The Sky was Always Blue. p. 52.
  5. Christian Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42/403. f. 482.
  6. Christian Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42/403. f. 482.
  7. Christian Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42/403. f. 482.
  8. Christian Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42/403. f. 482.
  9. Kindell. Royal Navy Roll of Honour Part 2. p. 426.
  10. Christian Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42/403. f. 482.
  11. Christian Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42/403. f. 482.
  12. The Navy List. (March, 1907). p. 356.
  13. Christian Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42/403. f. 482.
  14. Christian Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42/403. f. 482.
  15. The Navy List. (July, 1909). p. 372.
  16. Christian Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42/403. f. 482.
  17. Christian Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42/403. f. 482.
  18. The Navy List. (April, 1911). p. 350.
  19. Christian Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42/403. f. 482.
  20. Christian Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42/403. f. 482.
  21. The Navy List. (October, 1913). p. 322.
  22. Christian Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42/403. f. 482.
  23. Christian Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42/403. f. 482.
  24. The Navy List. (April, 1915). p. 392m.
  25. Christian Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42/403. f. 482.