Samuel Maryon Gorton Gravener

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Commander (retired) Samuel Maryon Gorton Gravener (3 December, 1886 – ) was an officer in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Gravener was born in a town called Jefford in the United States, the son of Captain John James Atkins Gravener, R.N.. He gained two and a half months' time on passing out of Britannia and being appointed to Jupiter of the Channel Fleet in mid-May, 1903.[1]

Gravener was noted when serving in Cæsar in 1905 for having a talent at mechanical drawing.

Gravener was appointed to Mercury for instruction in submarines on 13 January, 1908. Gravener was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 30 August, 1908 and soon thereafter appointed to Forth for duty in submarines.[2]

On 25 May, 1910, he was admitted to Plymouth Hospital for observation of an enteric condition. On 6 June, he was found fit and discharged to Forth. On 8 August, 1910, he was appointed in command of the coastal submarine A 6. On 16 January, 1911 he was appointed in command of B 10. In August, 1911, he took his submarine to Malta.[3]

Gravener was superseded in command of B 10 on the eve of war on 26 July, 1914. Gravener was found by the Vice-Admiral, Eastern Mediterranean to be indirectly to blame for an accident in B 10 before he received a temporary appointment in command of E 7. This lasted just a few days before Gravener was appointed in command by the Commander-in-Chief, Eastern Mediterranean of B 11, possibly operating out of Port Said.[4]

B 11 was attacked by an Austrian flying boat on 11 December, 1915 when Gravener saw the attacher plane set down upon the waves with an engine problem. B 11's machine gun jammed at the very wrong moment, however, and the enemy plane was able to take off again before a ramming attempt could be made![5] On 15 January, 1916, Gravener's appointment in B 11 ended and he was sent to Dolphin for a vague appointment with submarines. On 1 April, he was appointed to the submarine G 7, to assume command upon her commissioning.[6]

On 1 June 1916, Gravener was appointed in command of E 2. Gravener was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 30 August, 1916 but remained in command of E 2 until September, 1917.[7]

On 14 November, 1917, Gravener was appointed in command of K 7. Upon her paying off, he was appointed in command of her sister, K 16. This appointment would be his last of the war. At the end of 1918, Gravener was treated for tonsilitis.[8]

Post-War

Gravener was appointed from K 16 in October 1919 to Dolphin for submarines, but within the month this was replaced by an appointment to be first officer in the light cruiser Inconstant. Here, his long service in submarines seemed to work against his interests in the competitive post-war navy, as Captain Lewis noted that Gravener had "never served in a larger ship than a submarine since he was a Sub Lt. & consequently has very little idea of the duties & responsibilities of an executive officer in a ship." Moreover, Lewis noted that Gravener suffered from chronic sea-sickness, which may have been a consequence of the roll-period of the larger ship.[9]

After a brief spell of unpaid time, Gravener was appointed in command of the depot ship Diligence on 24 May, 1920.[10]

In mid August, 1921 he commenced a series of short appointments in various ships including Blenheim, Blake and the aircraft carrier Eagle, the last appointment ending on 29 March, 1923. His career then fell into the ordinary pattern of the era, wherein he assumed command of a group of destroyers in reserve from 6 November 1923 to 7 October, 1924. At the end of this, he found himself on the Staff of the Senior Officer Technical Course in Portsmouth. Gravener was finally placed on the Retired List at his own request with the rank of Commander on 1 May, 1927.[11]

World War II

In 1938, Gravener was working with the Air Ministry in an Observer Group Officer for Group 5 (or 6?). Later that year, his station was Deputy Air Commandant of the Midland Area. It was decided that he was not to be called up for naval service as long as this employment continued.[12]

In 1940, however, Gravener asked for and was granted a naval appointment, effected 15 December, 1940. Hoever, before the month ended, he was admitted to a nursing home with pneumonia. He was found fit on 17 February, 1941. On 10 March, he was appointed to Collingwood II for command of "G.T.C." Redbridge, Southampton. On 9 June, 1942, he was sent to the shore establishment H.M.S. Shrapnel, additional. He worked there until he reverted to the Retired List on 4 September, 1945.[13]

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Julian T. Tenison
Captain of H.M.S. A 6
8 Aug, 1910 – 16 Jan, 1911
Succeeded by
Donald I. McGillewie
Preceded by
Clement G. W. Head
Captain of H.M.S. C 10
16 Jan, 1911[14] – 25 Jul, 1911
Succeeded by
Gordon E. E. Gray
Preceded by
Claude C. Dobson
Captain of H.M.S. B 10
25 Jul, 1911 – 20 Jul, 1914
Succeeded by
Frederick C. C. Kennedy
Preceded by
Ferdinand E. B. Feilmann
Captain of H.M.S. E 7
25 Aug, 1915 – 27 Aug, 1915
Succeeded by
Archibald D. Cochrane
Preceded by
Wilfred Tomkinson
Captain of H.M.S. B 11
27 Aug, 1915[15] – 15 Jan, 1916[16]
Succeeded by
Kenneth Michell
Preceded by
?
Captain of H.M.S. G 7
1 Apr, 1916 – 1 Jun, 1916
Succeeded by
Maurice W. Bailward
Preceded by
David de B. Stocks
Captain of H.M.S. E 2
1 Jun, 1916 – Sep, 1917
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
Gilbert H. Kellett
Captain of H.M.S. K 7
14 Nov, 1917
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
Charles G. Brodie
Captain of H.M.S. K 14
? – Oct, 1919
Succeeded by
Henry P. K. Oram
Preceded by
James D. D. Stewart
Captain of H.M.S. Diligence
24 May, 1920[17][18] – 17 Aug, 1921[19]
Succeeded by
Frank Powell

Footnotes

  1. Gravener Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/334. f. ?.
  2. Gravener Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/334. f. ?.
  3. Gravener Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/334. f. ?.
  4. Gravener Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/334. f. ?.
  5. Wilson & Kemp. Mediterranean Submarines. p. 98.
  6. Gravener Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/334. f. ?.
  7. Gravener Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/334. f. ?.
  8. Gravener Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/334. f. ?.
  9. Gravener Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/334. f. ?.
  10. The Navy List. (January, 1921). p. 760.
  11. Gravener Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/334. f. ?.
  12. Gravener Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/334. f. ?.
  13. Gravener Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/334. f. ?. I do not know what the acronym means.
  14. The Monthly Navy List. (March, 1911). p. 286.
  15. Gravener Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/334. f. ?.
  16. Gravener Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/334. f. ?.
  17. Gravener Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/334. f. ?.
  18. The Navy List. (January, 1921). p. 760.
  19. Gravener Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/334. f. ?.