Valentine Maurice Wyndham-Quin

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Commander (retired) THE HONOURABLE Valentine Maurice Wyndham-Quin, R.N. (22 May, 1890 – 27 February, 1983) was an officer in the Royal Navy. He acquitted himself with distinction during the war, primarily as a destroyer captain, but suffered a precipitous fall from grace in 1927-1928.

Life & Career

Born the son of the Fifth Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl, British Army Colonel and M.P. Windham Henry Wyndham-Quin, Valentine Wyndham-Quin gained one and a half months time on passing out of Britannia. His first naval appointment was to the battleship King Edward VII on 15 January, 1907. He would serve exclusively in battleships until 13 February, 1911 when he was appointed to Victory for the destroyer Lyra.[1]

His entry to college to take Part II was first delayed by sickness, then hampered by health-related absences and finally terminated through outright misconduct on his part in 1911. He was appointed to Hampshire on 1 November, 1912.

Wyndham-Quin was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 1 October, 1912.[2]

Wyndham-Quin was appointed in command of the first-class torpedo boat T.B. 037 on the China Station on 3 March, 1914.[3]

Great War

Work with torpedo boats kept Wyndham-Quin in the East until 6 July 1915 when he embarked for home on the steamer Sardinia, due to arrive in England on 22 August. After a few days in Portsmouth, he was appointed to Lightfoot for staff duty. This was enlarged to include gunnery duties on 21 November 1915.[4]

Still aboard Lightfoot, on 13 April, 1916, he applied for a command appointment. This request was soon satisfied, as he was selected to command the River Class destroyer Waveney on 6 June, 1916. He was blamed for striking a buoy with her on 27 August, 1916 and given a mild reprimand.[5]

He was appointed in command of Beaver in February 1917 and was praised for his help in saving the wounded of the torpedoed hospital ship Gloucester Castle on 30 March. He also assisted in rescue work when a steamship Nyanza, enroute to Calcutta, was torpedoed ten miles off the Lizard on 9 December, 1917. She did not succumb to the torpedo but suffered more than 45 killed.[6][7]

He left Beaver when appointed in command of Mystic in January, 1918, apparently suffering a collision with another ship (name not legible in service record) on the very day he was appointed.[8]

Wyndham-Quin left Mystic for command of Munster in May 1918. His wartime command experience ended with command of the "R" Class destroyer Tempest being appointed on 16 September 1918.[9]

Post-War

He was appointed in command of the destroyer Sepoy on 14 November, 1919.[10]

Wyndham-Quin was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 1 October, 1920.[11] His naval career was to suffer a cascading series of mistakes. 1922 saw a Court of Enquiry into the loss of a torpedo from Verdun and, later, a collision between Wyndham-Quin's Venetia and sister Violent. In 1923, Venetia lost a chain cable overboard and had a discrepancy in her stores. Wyndham-Quin was rebuked in each of these incidents.

Things quieted down for him during several destroyer commands, unpaid time and work in Malta, but Captain Archdale of H.M.S. Vernon noted in an unsatisfactory report penned in mid 1928, "Unsat. ... Showed a certain zeal up to Sept 27 but has deteriorated rapidly since[.] leadership influence & tact poor. Bad mannered to inferiors. charming to superiors. Not recd." Some time during that same year, a Court of Enquiry probed "irregularities" during Wyndham-Quin's command of the destroyer H.M.S. Tara (which had then been tender to Vernon) and the level of Admiralty displeasure spiked. Beyond a deplorable "lack of supervision and neglect to realize responsibilities", the particulars of their findings are illegible, but it is noted that Wyndham-Quin was "not to be given another appointment in command." As a consequence, his next assignments were shore-based and involved training and discipline of ratings, as well as an appointment to serve in light cruiser Despatch in 1931 – a larger ship where he could be subjected to greater oversight.[12]

On 12 August, 1932, Wyndham-Quin was appointed to the yacht Enchantress as second in command to Commander John Brooke. Superseded on 1 September 1933.[13]

Wyndham-Quin was placed on the Retired List with the rank of Commander on 12 October, 1933.[14]

World War II

Wyndham-Quin served in command of several yachts, including Alastor appointed on 9 September 1939 to assume command upon her commissioning, and for Medusa on 20th September.

He served as the Naval Attaché to Uruguay and Argentina between 1945 and 1947.

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
David B. Nicol
Captain of H.M. T.B. 037
3 Mar, 1914[15][16] – Dec, 1914[17]
Succeeded by
William J. Berry
Preceded by
Humphrey M. Robson
Captain of H.M.S. Waveney
6 Jun, 1916[18] – 12 Feb, 1917[19]
Succeeded by
Harry A. D. Keate
Preceded by
Joseph B. Newill
Captain of H.M.S. Beaver
15 Feb, 1917[20][21] – 5 Jan, 1918[22]
Succeeded by
Frederick A. Tollemache
Preceded by
Claud F. Allsup
Captain of H.M.S. Mystic
5 Jan, 1918[23] – 6 May, 1918[24]
Succeeded by
George H. Faulkner
Preceded by
Henry R. James
Captain of H.M.S. Munster
6 May, 1918[25] – 16 Sep, 1918[26]
Succeeded by
Lewes G. Gardner
Preceded by
F. Burges Watson
Captain of H.M.S. Tempest
16 Sep, 1918[27][28] – 27 Jan, 1919[29]
Succeeded by
John J. C. Ridley
Preceded by
Herbert Owen
Captain of H.M.S. Tristram
19 Jun, 1919[30][31] – 14 Nov, 1919[32]
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
William A. C. Salmond
Captain of H.M.S. Sepoy
14 Nov, 1919[33][34] – 15 Apr, 1921[35]
Succeeded by
Ambrose T. N. Abbay
Preceded by
Ambrose T. N. Abbay
Captain of H.M.S. Tomahawk
15 Apr, 1921[36] – 26 Sep, 1921[37]
Succeeded by
Kenneth H. Grant
Preceded by
Colin S. Thomson
Captain of H.M.S. Verdun
20 Nov, 1921[38] – 22 Aug, 1922[39]
Succeeded by
Franklin Ratsey
Preceded by
Hugh R. Troup
Captain of H.M.S. Venetia
22 Aug, 1922[40][41] – 1 Jan, 1924[42]
Succeeded by
Reginald Nash
Preceded by
Charles M. Blackman
Captain of H.M.S. Vimiera
6 May, 1924[43][44] – Jul, 1924[45]
Succeeded by
Valentine M. Wyndham-Quin
Preceded by
Reginald V. Holt
Captain of H.M.S. Vesper
Jul, 1924[46] – 15 Aug, 1924[47]
Succeeded by
Lionel G. Dawson
Preceded by
Valentine M. Wyndham-Quin
Captain of H.M.S. Vimiera
15 Aug, 1924[48] – 29 May, 1926[49]
Succeeded by
Edmund G. N. Rushbrooke
Preceded by
Colin R. St. G. Tucker
Captain of H.M.S. Tara
15 Mar, 1927[50][51] – 1 Jun, 1928[52]
Succeeded by
Leslie T. Creery Hill

Footnotes

  1. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  2. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  3. The Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 384.
  4. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  5. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  6. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  7. Uboat.net
  8. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  9. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  10. The Navy List. (December, 1920). p. 863.
  11. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  12. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  13. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  14. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  15. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  16. The Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 384.
  17. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  18. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  19. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  20. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  21. The Navy List. (November, 1917). p. 391q.
  22. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  23. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  24. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  25. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  26. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  27. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  28. The Navy List. (February, 1919). p. 916.
  29. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  30. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  31. The Navy List. (November, 1919). p. 921a.
  32. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  33. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  34. The Navy List. (December, 1920). p. 863.
  35. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  36. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  37. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  38. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  39. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  40. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  41. The Navy List. (January, 1923). p. 828.
  42. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  43. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  44. The Navy List. (July, 1924). p. 284.
  45. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  46. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  47. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  48. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  49. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  50. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.
  51. The Navy List. (January, 1928). p. 273.
  52. Wyndham-Quin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52/322. f. 696.