Hugh Thomas Hibbert
Life & Career
Hugh Thomas Hibbert was born on 5 August, 1863, in Gibraltar, the son of Colonel Hugh R. Hibbert, of the 7th Regiment of Foot, and Sarah C. C. Hibbert.
He came fifth in order of merit out of forty-two candidates who passed the examination for naval cadetships.
On 21 February, 1916, Hibbert was informed by the Naval Secretary to the First Lord of the Admiralty that the Board of Admiralty "have decided that they are unable to employ you as Flag Officer," and that he would be placed on the Retired List upon promotion to the rank of Rear-Admiral in accordance with the provisions of the Order in Council of 9 March, 1914. He was given the option of retiring "at his own request" rather than being shown as being forcibly retired under the Order in Council. On 15 March Hibbert wrote to the Commander-in-Chief on the North America Station, Sir George E. Patey, enclosing the letter from the Admiralty:
I have the honour to submit the enclosed communication which I have received from the Naval Secretary to the First Lord to be forwarded to the Secretary of the Admiralty with a view, not for any revision of their Lordships' decision, but in order that attention may be drawn to the wording as regards the suggestion that I should apply "to be retired at my own request."
This letter is such as I might receive had I proved myself a failure in command of H.M.Ships, or for any other reason considered unsuitable, whereas I submit that I am justly entitled to every consideration as any failure to comply with the unwritten laws regulating employment as a Rear Admiral is entirely due to Service considerations and in no way my own fault.
I was sent to Queenstown in December 1911 as Flag Captain and District Captain on the distinct understanding that my name was on the Roster for command of a Battleship as soon as my seniority was sufficient. I was kept there beyond the usual period of two years on the explanation that the State of Ireland at the time combined with the forthcoming change of Admirals, rendered a change of Captains undesirable.
When war broke out I immediately applied for a command but was then told that I was rendering better service to my country by remaining in my existing appointment. My reward for this has been :-
Debarred from receiving G.S.P. or the honour of A.D.C. to His Majesty.
Disqualification for employment as a Rear Admiral, and an intimation in equivocal terms that I might request to be retired so as to be avoid the unpleasantness of seeing my name gazetted in accordance with Order in Council of 9th March 1914.
Hibbert was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 2 June, 1916, vice Nugent, and was placed on the Retired List the following day, in accordance with the provisions of the Order in Council of 9 March, 1914.
In recognition of his services "in the prosecution of the war," Hibbert was appointed a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order on 3 June, 1918.
Post-War & Retirement
He was appointed a Commander of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (C.B.E.) on 1 January, 1919.
- "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Saturday, 4 December, 1875. Issue 28490, col A, pg. 6.
- London Gazette: no. 25516. p. 4599. 2 October, 1885.
- London Gazette: no. 26983. p. 3984. 1 July, 1898.
- London Gazette: no. 27750. p. 25. 3 January, 1905.
- Navy List (October, 1908). p. 282.
- The National Archives. ADM 1/8383/176. Unnumbered folios.
- London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29621. p. 5828. 13 June, 1916.
- London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30723. p. 6533. 3 June, 1918.
- London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31099. p. 111. 1 January, 1919.
- London Gazette: no. 3186. p. 4474. 16 April, 1920.
- London Gazette: no. 33049. p. 3445. 22 May, 1925.
- The National Archives. ADM 196/88.
- The National Archives. ADM 196/42.
- The National Archives. ADM 196/20.