Herbert Reginald Lloyd Edwards

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Lieutenant-Commander Herbert Reginald Lloyd Edwards (17 October, 1883 – 13 October, 1931) was an officer in the Royal Navy whose career came to an abrupt end one year into the Great War due to alcoholism.

Life & Career

Born in Southsea and raised by his mother, Edwards was granted five months' seniority on passing out of Britannia.

Edwards was appointed in command of the first-class torpedo boat T.B. 67 on 15 June, 1897, for manoeuvres.[1]

At some time between 1902 and 1904, Edwards was arrested by police after midnight at New Cross for drunkenness after being ejected from a public house. He was fined by a Greenwich magistrate and the Admiralty deprived him of three months' seniority and dolloped out a serving of "severe displeasure".[2]

Edwards was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 30 September, 1905. He was noted by Commander Ralph Hudleston as having a special aptitude for navigation.[3]

On 12 January, 1906 he was appointed in command of the first-class torpedo boat T.B. 81.[4] Later that year, she collided with T.B. 108. A Court of Enquiry concluded that Edwards had demonstrated a "grave want of seamanship & common sense" and the Admiralty commanded that he be relieved as soon as convenient, that date being 3 July, 1906.[5]

Perhaps in consequence of his mishap in torpedo boat command, Edwards's career would involve appointments in larger ships for six years, commending with a two year stint in the second class protected cruiser Minerva.

After completing a short course in torpedoes, Edwards was appointed to the Juno on 1 December, 1908. In April 1910, Edwards was arrested by civil authorities while ashore in Vigo, Spain for "discreditable conduct," receiving the displeasure of the Vice-Admiral. On 4 October, 1910 Edwards was appointed from Juno for the light cruiser Gloucester.

Edwards was appointed from Gloucester for command of the destroyer Moy on 14 November, 1912. Captain Leatham's evaluation for that month indicated Edwards "[t]akes too much liquor but has been spoken to about it." This was the first negative remark in his evaluations but would presage his downfall. In 1913, Moy's guns were damaged, perhaps by collision or while coaling. Edwards was informed that he should have dismounted the guns as a seamanlike precaution. Edwards was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 30 September, 1913.[6]

Edwards was appointed in command of the destroyer Tartar on 4 August, 1914 as he completed just over four months in command of H.M.S. Liffey. Tartar collided with Saracen later in 1914 and Edwards was faulted by a Court of Enquiry for crossing the other destroyer's known line of patrol without suitable precautions and without the conning officer being on the bridge. This event resulted in the Admiralty's severe displeasure.[7]

On 2 April 1915, Edwards was sent to Chatham Hospital where he was diagnosed with neurasthenia. In mid-May, while being resurveyed, a diagnosis of chronic alcoholism was determined. He was discharged on 14 July. Perhaps in light of his prior history, Edwards was placed on the Retired List for misconduct under Order in Council of 13 May, 1901 two days later. The date was later altered to 10 August and he was granted permission to join the Army on 1 November, 1915.[8]

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Francis H. Mitchell
Captain of H.M. T.B. 67
15 Jun, 1897[9]
Succeeded by
Archibald S. May
Preceded by
Joseph C. Davies
Captain of H.M. T.B. 81
12 Jan, 1906[10][11] – 3 Jul, 1906[12]
Succeeded by
Charles R. Samson
Preceded by
Douglas Faviell
Captain of H.M.S. Moy
14 Nov, 1912[13][14] – 23 Mar, 1914[15]
Succeeded by
Charles G. Naylor
Preceded by
George O. Hewett
Captain of H.M.S. Liffey
23 Mar, 1914[16][17] – 1 Aug, 1914[18]
Succeeded by
Claude B. Evans
Preceded by
Nigel K. W. Barttelot
Captain of H.M.S. Tartar
14 Aug, 1914[19] – 2 Apr, 1915[Inference]
Succeeded by
Montague R. Bernard

Footnotes

  1. "The Naval Review at Spithead". The Times. Wednesday, 9 June, 1897. Issue 35225, col D, p. 10.
  2. Edwards Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/95. f. ?.
  3. Edwards Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/95. f. ?.
  4. "Naval and Military Intelligence". The Times. Wednesday, 10 January, 1906. Issue 37913, col F, p. 9.
  5. Edwards Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/95. f. ?.
  6. Edwards Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/95. f. ?.
  7. Edwards Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/95. f. ?.
  8. Edwards Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/95. f. ?.
  9. "The Naval Review at Spithead". The Times. Wednesday, 9 June, 1897. Issue 35225, col D, p. 10.
  10. Edwards Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/95. f. ?.
  11. "Naval and Military Intelligence". The Times. Wednesday, 10 January, 1906. Issue 37913, col F, p. 9.
  12. Edwards Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/95. f. ?.
  13. Edwards Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/95. f. ?.
  14. The Navy List. (April, 1914). p. 346.
  15. Edwards Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/95. f. ?.
  16. Edwards Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/95. f. ?.
  17. The Navy List. (July, 1914). p. 339.
  18. Edwards Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/95. f. ?.
  19. Edwards Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/95. f. ?.

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