John Alexander Duncan

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Commander John Alexander Duncan, C.B., Royal Navy (22 March, 1878 – 13 August, 1943) was an officer of the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Out of the sixty successful candidates for cadetships in the Royal Navy examined on 1 December, 1891, Duncan came second, with 1,684 marks.[1]

On 15 March, 1897 Duncan was appointed to the training brig Sealark.[2] On 5 July, 1898 Sub-Lieutenant Duncan joined the battleship Howe for a summer cruise.[3] On 15 August, Lieutenant Duncan was appointed to the Dido.[4] He was appointed to the corvette Volage on 13 April, 1899.[5]

On 9 July, 1901, Duncan was appointed to the Excellent for service on the Junior Staff.[6] On 30 September, Duncan was lent for three months' study at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich,[7] presumably on the same course in advanced mathematics that Lieutenant Frederic C. Dreyer took.[Inference]

Duncan was appointed Gunnery Officer of the battleship Cæsar on 4 June, 1903.[8] On 1 August, 1904, he was appointed to Duncan as an interpreter in Russian.[9]

On the strength of a conversation with Admiral Sir Frederic C. Dreyer in 1946, Professor Marder wrote in 1960 that:

[I]t seems that the person mainly responsible for the shell deficiency was an officer in the Department of the D.N.O., Lieutenant-Commander John A. Duncan. He was, in 1910—1913, one of the naval officers employed on inspection and experimental duties under the War Office. In 1914 he served as Chief Inspector of Naval Ordnance, with the acting rank of Commander.[10]

Marder later wrote, "The statement is not fair, since I have only the Admiral's [Dreyer's] opinion, without supporting facts, and were he alive, moreover, he might wish to qualify the charge."[11]

Great War & After

On 4 July, 1914, Duncan was given the rank of Acting Commander and appointed Chief Inspector of Naval Ordnance[12] in succession Francis G. Eyre. On 3 June, 1915, he was appointed a Companion in the Civil Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (C.B.).[13]

He was placed on the Retired List with the rank of Commander on 11 April, 1919.[14]

Duncan died on 13 August, 1943 after a short illness at Parkhill, Arbroath. He left a widow, Dorothy, and two daughters, Ursula and Frances.[15]

Footnotes

  1. "Cadetships in the Royal Navy" (News). The Times. Tuesday, 22 December, 1891. Issue 33514, col B, pg. 6.
  2. "Naval & Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Wednesday, 24 February, 1897. Issue 35135, col C, pg. 12.
  3. "Naval & Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Wednesday, 20 July, 1898. Issue 35573, col C, pg. 10.
  4. "Naval & Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Monday, 1 August, 1898. Issue 35583, col E, pg. 7.
  5. "Naval & Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Thursday, 13 April, 1899. Issue 35802, col C, pg. 10.
  6. "Naval & Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Saturday, 29 June, 1901. Issue 36494, col F, pg. 9.
  7. "Naval & Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Friday, 23 August, 1901. Issue 36541, col D, pg. 4.
  8. "Naval & Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Saturday, 6 June, 1903. Issue 37100, col C, pg. 8.
  9. "Naval & Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Monday, 19 September, 1904. Issue 37503, col D, pg. 8.
  10. Marder. From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow. I. p. 418.
  11. Marder. From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow. III. p. 206.
  12. Navy List (December, 1914). p. 109.
  13. London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29180. p. 5325. 3 June, 1915.
  14. London Gazette: no. 31308. p. 5202. 25 April, 1919.
  15. "Deaths" (Deaths). The Times. Tuesday, 17 August, 1943. Issue 49626, col A, pg. 1.

Bibliography

Service Record


Naval Appointments