Hugh Gaultier-Coghill Somerville

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Vice-Admiral Hugh Gaultier-Coghill Somerville, C.B., D.S.O. (10 July, 1873 – 16 November, 1950) was an officer of the Royal Navy during the First World War.

Life & Career

Somerville was the son of Lieutenant-Colonel Somerville of County Cork and gained eight months' seniority on passing out of Britannia in July, 1888. His first naval appointment was to Monarch of the Channel Squadron, dated 1 September 1888. On 4 December, he was appointed to Swiftsure in the Pacific, taking his passage out in H.M.S. Champion. Once in the Pacific, he also served aboard Warspite from June, 1890 and in Champion from March to May, 1892.[1]

Somerville was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 31 December, 1894.[2]

Somerville was promoted to the rank of Commander on 31 December, 1905.[3]

Somerville was promoted to the rank of Captain on 30 June, 1914. On 2 July, he was appointed to Cressy for temporary command of Sapphire. In late October 1914, he was appointed in command of the first class protected cruiser Europa, and assumed command of her on 19 November.[4]

Somerville was ordered home on 4 June, 1915 and was to the monitor Earl of Peterborough on the 28th, to assume command upon her commissioning. He left Mudros on 15 June in S.S. Altunia (?) Part of his extensive time in command of the monitor also required him to serve as Boom Commander in Salonika, where Rear-Admiral Nicholson records that he performed his duties with zeal and tact.

Somerville's monitor assisted in the evacuation of Gallipoli in early 1916.[5]

Somerville was slightly wounded on 4 February, 1916. On 14 March, he was gazetted for being mentioned in despatches for service in Gallipoli.

On 24 May, 1917, Somerville bombarded an aerodrome at Prosecco and impressed the Admiralty with his ship handling. On 19 November, 1917, the Italian government's Minister of Convoy expressed through the British naval attaché his appreciation for Somerville's work.

Somerville was awarded a D.S.O. for his work in the Adriatic in the first half of 1918.

Post-War

In January 1922, Somerville was made Coast Guard Captain on the staff of Commander-in-Chief, Western Approaches and placed in command of the Coast Guard's Queenstown Area. He stepped down on 31 March, 1923, having been selected for retirement.

Somerville was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 3 September, 1924 and was placed on the Retired List at his own request the following day.[6]

Somerville was promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral on 1 August, 1929.[7]

Somerville died at Malmaison, Castle Townshend, County Cork, on 16 November, 1950 after a short illness at the age of seventy-seven. His funeral took place on 18 November.

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
George C. Quayle
Captain of H.M.S. Redbreast
14 Apr, 1904[8] – 1 Jan, 1906[9]
Succeeded by
Walter Hose
Preceded by
Cyril Asser
Captain of H.M.S. Mohawk
31 May, 1910[10] – 15 Dec, 1910[11]
Succeeded by
Francis A. W. Buller
Preceded by
William F. Benwell
Captain of H.M.S. Alert
15 Dec, 1910[12] – 1912
Succeeded by
Arthur E. Wood
Preceded by
Alldin U. Moore
Captain of H.M.S. Spartiate
14 Apr, 1913[13] – 30 Jun, 1913[14]
Succeeded by
Charles Tibbits
Preceded by
Charles Tibbits
Captain of H.M.S. Argonaut
30 Jun, 1913[15] – 6 Dec, 1913[16]
Succeeded by
William D. Church
Preceded by
James R. P. Hawksley
Captain of H.M.S. Venus
6 Dec, 1913[17] – 27 Dec, 1913[18]
Succeeded by
Robert G. D. Dewar
Preceded by
Francis C. Brown
Captain of H.M.S. Sapphire
2 Jul, 1914[19][20] – 29 Oct, 1914[21]
Succeeded by
Peter W. E. Hill
Preceded by
Gerald W. Vivian
Captain of H.M.S. Europa
29 Oct, 1914[22][23] – 4 Jun, 1915[24]
Succeeded by
Maurice S. FitzMaurice
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Earl of Peterborough
28 Jun, 1915[25][26] – 1 Jun, 1919[27]
Succeeded by
Nelson Wheelwright
 

Footnotes

  1. Somerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/361. f. 361.
  2. Somerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/361. f. 361.
  3. Somerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/361. f. 361.
  4. Somerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/361. f. 361.
  5. Naval Operations. Volume III. pp. 232, 248, 251.
  6. Somerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/361. f. 361.
  7. Somerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/361. f. 361.
  8. Somerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/361. f. 361.
  9. Somerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/361. f. 361.
  10. Somerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/361. f. 361.
  11. Somerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/361. f. 361.
  12. The Navy List. (August, 1912). p. 275.
  13. Somerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/361. f. 361.
  14. Somerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/361. f. 361.
  15. Somerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/361. f. 361.
  16. Somerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/361. f. 361.
  17. Somerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/361. f. 361.
  18. Somerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/361. f. 361.
  19. Somerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/361. f. 361.
  20. The Navy List. (September, 1914). p. 379.
  21. Somerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/361. f. 361.
  22. Somerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/361. f. 361.
  23. The Navy List. (April, 1915). p. 394.
  24. Somerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/361. f. 361.
  25. Somerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/361. f. 361.
  26. The Navy List. (February, 1919). p. 782.
  27. Somerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/361. f. 361.