Henry Gerard Laurence Oliphant

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Captain Henry Gerard Laurence Oliphant, M.V.O., D.S.O., (22 November, 1879 – 21 March, 1955) was an officer in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Born in London, Oliphant gained eight months' time on passing out of Britannia in August 1895. He was sent first for one year to Blenheim in the Channel Squadron before being appointed to Cambrian in the Mediterranean.

Oliphant was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 31 August, 1901.[1]

Oliphant was appointed as Lieutenant & Commander of the destroyer Banshee in 1908.[2] In June 1909, he was Court Martialled for suffering Banshee to be stranded or hazarded, resulting in a severe reprimand. He was additionally faulted for having been below when the ship was passing near land. Despite this, Oliphant was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 31 August, 1909 and took leave in Italy from 15 September to 26 October.[3]

Oliphant was appointed in command of the destroyer Amazon on 17 January, 1911.[4] In May 1912, Commander Arbuthnot found him "capable but lazy. Cannot say that he is likely to make an efficient Captain." In July of 1913, Captain Henderson recorded that Oliphant was good at handling his ship, but his command of armament and paperwork was only "good". Henderson felt Oliphant would not make a good leader.[5]

Oliphant was promoted to the rank of Commander on 30 June, 1914.[6]

On 29 July, 1914, Oliphant was appointed in command of the destroyer Amazon.[7] He would be mentioned in despatches for operations on the Belgian Coast by Admiral Hood during the period 17 October to 9 November, 1914.[8]

On 22 October 1915, Amazon collided with a Dutch ship and Oliphant was cautioned to be more careful in future.[9]

On 15 January 1916, Oliphant was awarded a D.S.O. for commanding a division of destroyers in action and on patrol off the enemy coast, on the recommendation of the Vice-Admiral, Dover Patrol.

He commanded the destroyer Viking at the Battle of Dover Strait on the night of 26-27 October, 1916.[10]

Oliphant was mentioned in despatches for his role in the blocking operations at Zeebrugge and Ostend on 22-23 April, 1918 and a second time for similar operations at Ostend on 9-10 May, 1918.

Post-War

In October 1919, Vice-Admiral Dampier offered Oliphant the highest praise, describing him as "dashing off[icer] spent 793 nights on bridge of ship during war."

Oliphant was placed on the Retired List on 10 July, 1922.[11]

Oliphant was promoted to the rank of Captain on 31 December, 1919.[12]

World War II

In August 1939, he was made Naval Representative of the Joint Recruiting Board of the University of Nottingham. On 1 March 1941 he was appointed in command of Coastal Force Base Troon.

On 4 November 1941, he was made Captain of Minelayers in Portsmouth.[13]

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
The Hon. Edward B. S. Bingham
Captain of H.M.S. Star
23 Jul, 1906[14] – 1 Sep, 1906[15]
Succeeded by
Louis H. Crozier
Preceded by
Basil G. Washington
Captain of H.M.S. Banshee
c. mid Oct, 1908[16] – 19 Aug, 1910[17]
Succeeded by
Douglas Faviell
Preceded by
John B. Sparks
Captain of H.M.S. Amazon
17 Jan, 1911[18][19] – 1 May, 1914[20]
Succeeded by
Henry G. L. Oliphant
Preceded by
Henry G. L. Oliphant
Captain of H.M.S. Amazon
29 Jul, 1914[21][22] – Sep, 1916[23]
Succeeded by
Guy L. Warren
Preceded by
George N. Gilbertson
Captain of H.M.S. Viking
Sep, 1916[24][25] – 27 Nov, 1916[26]
Succeeded by
John Brooke
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Saumarez
29 Nov, 1916[27] – Dec, 1916[28]
Succeeded by
Anselan J. B. Stirling
Preceded by
Anselan Stirling
Captain of H.M.S. Faulknor
Dec, 1916[29][30] – 22 Oct, 1918[31]
Succeeded by
Harold J. Thompson
Preceded by
Bertram H. Ramsay
Captain of H.M.S. Broke
17 Jan, 1919[32] – 17 Mar, 1919[33]
Succeeded by
Geoffrey Corlett
Preceded by
Frank Powell
Captain of H.M.S. Saumarez
15 Apr, 1921[34] – 15 Apr, 1922[35]
Succeeded by
John C. Tovey

Footnotes

  1. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  2. The Navy List. (April, 1910). p. 282.
  3. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  4. The Navy List. (April, 1914). p. 278.
  5. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  6. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  7. The Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 273.
  8. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  9. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  10. Naval Operations. Vol. IV. p. 62.
  11. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  12. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  13. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  14. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  15. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  16. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  17. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  18. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  19. The Navy List. (April, 1914). p. 278.
  20. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  21. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  22. The Navy List. (October, 1916). p. 392b.
  23. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  24. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  25. The Navy List. (December, 1916). p. 399c.
  26. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  27. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  28. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  29. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  30. The Navy List. (November, 1917). p. 393t.
  31. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  32. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  33. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  34. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.
  35. Oliphant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/83. f. 83.