Captain James Dick, RN
Jon Saunders (firstname.lastname@example.org) has provided this career summary of the last Captain of HMS
Vanguard (lost 9 July 1917), Captain James Dick from the records
available in the Public Record Office.
Some high (and one low) lights of James Dick's career are as follows:
James Douglas Dick
- born 1 August 1871, Alverstoke, Hampshire.
- 15 Jan 1887 he joined the training establishment Britannia and remained
there until 6 Dec 1887. On passing out from Britannia he "gained 12
months time" (a boost in his seniority because of his performance).
- 10 Jan 1887 he joined his first commission, HMS Minotaur, which formed
of the Oman Squadron.
- Jan 1891 he was first appointed Acting Sub-Lt. and this appears to have
confirmed later the same month.
- Jan 1892 he was promoted to full Lieutenant. This promotion may not have
been ratified until after April 1892 as I believe from the papers that his
promotion was reward for obtaining five first class certificates in;
Seamanship (Jan 91), College (Sept 91), Torpedo (Nov 91), Gunnery (Feb 92)
and Pilotage (Apr 92).
- June 1894 gained first class certificate in his final examination for
- 1902(?) comment made on his record "unsatisfactory prize firing of
1902 - should have obtained better results".
- 31 Dec 1902 promoted Commander (despite the above comment made on his
- April 1906 he was given 6 weeks sick leave and was to return to the UK but
was then considered unfit to travel. It appears he did not return to duty
until almost a year later, 15 March 1907, (presumably having been returned
to the UK when fit to travel).
- 31 December 1908 promoted Captain.
- December 1910 "Landing of armed party at Dubai, Persian Gulf. Faced
difficult situation with coolness and courage and extricated his men from
a very dangerous position with great judgement."
- 22 June 1912 he was appointed Assistant Director of Naval Ordnance. He
retained this position until 3 Jan 1915, when he was commissioned to HMS
Black Prince (as Captain).
- 22 Jan 1916 - joined HMS Vanguard.
- 31 May 1916 in command of HMS Vanguard at Battle of Jutland and was Mentioned
Dispatches by Admiral Jellicoe. The MiD was a blanket award for all ships
captains involved at Jutland given by Jellicoe.
- 9 July 1917 - was sadly killed by the internal explosion that destroyed
Vanguard at Scapa Flow.
He had been awarded the Africa General Service Medal with clasp
1908-10" and was gazetted 29 August 1917 (so possible posthumous award)
Japanese Order of the Rising Sun (3rd Class). (This may have a link to
Commander Eto having been an official observer of the Japanese Imperial
and aboard Vanguard and under JDD's command when she was
Jon has provided scans of Captain Dick's service record (the quality isn't perfect, unfortunately):
Last Updated: 2 September, 2002.
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