Horace Walker

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Commander (retired) Horace Walker (17 March, 1885 – 14 November, 1955) was an officer in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

The son of a mining engineer from Sheffield, Walker was granted three and a half months' time on passing out of Britannia.[1]

Walker was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 31 December, 1906.[2]

On 13 January, 1908, Walker was appointed to Mercury to attend a submarine course. On 27 May 1908, Walker was admitted to Haslar Hospital, suffering from syphilis. His submarine course ended in July and Walker was sent to Blake, rather than submarines. A repeat hospitalisation in June of 1910 prompted Commander Harold Escombe of H.M.S. Maori to request that Walker be removed from destroyer service in light of his infection. In August, Escombe noted that Walker was "zealous & means well but dreadfully lacking in tact." Walker was sent to Aboukir for the annual manoeuvres and did not return to destroyer work immediately. In December 1912 Walker was evaluated by Charles Samuel Wills as being "full of zeal, wantg in tact & personal smartness - not very successful."[3]

Walker was appointed Lieutenant & Commander of the first-class torpedo boat T.B. 28 on 4 June, 1912,[4] and again as Lieutenant in Command on 29 July, 1914.[5]

Walker received the Admiralty's displeasure when he took "unnecessary risks" which led to a collision between T.B. 28 and T.B. 25 and T.B. 32 on 25 June, 1914.

Walker was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 31 December, 1914.[6]

On 26 April, 1915, T.B. 28 grounded and Walker was scolded for having had a coxswain in charge of the ship when a mate and a gunner were available to him.

Walker left T.B. 28 in mid 1916, shortly after unsuccessfully applied for command of a rigid airship. Instead, he was appointed to take command of the destroyer Peregrine.

On 5 March 1917, Walker grounded Peregrine and was faulted for having failed to study a chart of a dangerous area. He was ordered to be relieved in command, which occurred in mid-April, 1917. Shortly thereafter, he was placed in command of Gladiolus.

On 12 December, 1917, H.M.S. Wolverine was lost following a collision with the sweeping sloop Rosemary. A Court Martial probing the loss considered that the loss of life in the event was greatly reduced by the "very able & seamanlike manner in which Lt. Cdr. Walker placed his ship Gladiolus alongside Wolverine."[7]

Walker was appointed in command of the destroyer Mindful on 17 April, 1918.[8]

Post-War

He was appointed in command of the destroyer Radstock on 1 October, 1919.[9]

On 13 November 1923, Walker was placed in command of a group of destroyers in reserve, being borne on the books of Woolwich. Similar work interspersed with unpaid time carried him into late 1926, when he found himself briefly in Marshal Soult and Castor. After being superseded in March, Walker was placed on the Retired List at his own request with the rank of Commander on 1 June, 1927.[10]

World War II

Despite the fact that he was suffering from a slight heart disability, Walker was called up in December 1939 and placed in charge of Immingham. In 1941, he was appointed to Quebec, additional, as Maintenance Commander vice the sick John Bertram Aubrey Marsden-Smedley. On 8 March 1944, Walker was appointed in command of the escort carrier Archer vice Bickley.[11]

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Hugh J. Woodward
Captain of H.M. T.B. 1
28 Dec, 1911[12] – 4 Jun, 1912[13]
Succeeded by
Francis E. H. G. Hobart
Preceded by
Guy P. Bowles
Captain of H.M. T.B. 28
4 Jun, 1912[14][15] – 21 Jun, 1916[16]
Succeeded by
Charles T. A. Bunbury
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Peregrine
29 Jun, 1916[17][18] – 13 Apr, 1917[19]
Succeeded by
Maurice C. Bomford
Preceded by
Frederic B. Coppin
Captain of H.M.S. Gladiolus
15 May, 1917 – 16 Apr, 1918[20]
Succeeded by
Ralph H. Deane
Preceded by
John O. Barron
Captain of H.M.S. Mindful
17 Apr, 1918[21][22] – 29 Jan, 1919[23]
Succeeded by
Richard A. A. Plowden
Preceded by
Richard A. A. Plowden
Captain of H.M.S. Musketeer
29 Jan, 1919[24] – 1 Oct, 1919[25]
Succeeded by
John H. Jauncey
Preceded by
Hamilton E. Snepp
Captain of H.M.S. Radstock
1 Oct, 1919[26][27] – 3 Oct, 1921[28]
Succeeded by
Edward T. W. Church

Footnotes

  1. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. D7604351 ADM 196/49/254. f. 137.
  2. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. D7604351 ADM 196/49/254. f. 137.
  3. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. D7604351 ADM 196/49/254. f. 137.
  4. The Navy List. (March, 1913). p. 399.
  5. The Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 400.
  6. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. D7604351 ADM 196/49/254. f. 137.
  7. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. D7604351 ADM 196/49/254. f. 137.
  8. The Navy List. (February, 1919). p. 846.
  9. The Navy List. (December, 1920). p. 851.
  10. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. D7604351 ADM 196/49/254. f. 137.
  11. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. D7604351 ADM 196/49/254. f. 137.
  12. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. D7604351 ADM 196/49/254. f. 137.
  13. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. D7604351 ADM 196/49/254. f. 137.
  14. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. D7604351 ADM 196/49/254. f. 137.
  15. The Navy List. (December, 1913). p. 400.
  16. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. D7604351 ADM 196/49/254. f. 137.
  17. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. D7604351 ADM 196/49/254. f. 137.
  18. The Navy List. (December, 1916). p. 396n.
  19. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. D7604351 ADM 196/49/254. f. 137.
  20. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. D7604351 ADM 196/49/254. f. 137.
  21. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. D7604351 ADM 196/49/254. f. 137.
  22. The Navy List. (February, 1919). p. 846.
  23. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. D7604351 ADM 196/49/254. f. 137.
  24. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. D7604351 ADM 196/49/254. f. 137.
  25. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. D7604351 ADM 196/49/254. f. 137.
  26. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. D7604351 ADM 196/49/254. f. 137.
  27. The Navy List. (December, 1920). p. 851.
  28. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. D7604351 ADM 196/49/254. f. 137.