On this day, 100 years ago an IMechE member was killed in action.
Captain Charles Gerald Taylor: 24th January
Member since 1900.
At the outbreak of war he was Engineer, HMS ”Lion”.
Wartime posting(s) was/were,Engineer Captain, HMS ”Tiger”.
Killed during the Battle of Dogger Bank.
- Engineer-Captain CHARLES GERALD TAYLOR, M.V.O., R.N., was born at Ruabon, North Wales, on 8th May 1863.
He was educated at the Grammar School at Ruabon, after which he went to Portsmouth Dockyard as engineer student in H.M.S. “Marlborough” from 1879 to 1885. In the latter year he joined the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, and on 1st July 1886 was granted a commission as assistant-engineer, with seniority.
He received an appointment to H.M.S. “Carysfort,” Mediterranean Fleet, in May 1887, and remained on that ship until May 1890, when he was invalided home with malarial fever. On 30th October of the same year he joined H.M.S. “Gossamer,” remaining until January 1891, when he went to H.M.S. “Imperieuse,” China Station, having been promoted to engineer, with seniority in 1890.
He was next appointed to H.M.S. “St. George” in June 1894, and after three months was transferred to H.M.S. “Banshee.” A year later he joined H.M.S. “Quail,” and remained in that ship on her transfer to the North America and West Indies Station.
In February 1898 he was appointed to H.M.S. “Renown,” Halifax Dockyard, and in December 1900 became Chief Engineer, with seniority. He returned to England in March 1903, and in April of that year he joined H.M.S. “Aurora,” taking, under the new nomenclature, the rank of Engineer-Lieutenant, with seniority 1st September 1890.
In August 1904 he was transferred to H.M.S. “Racer,” Royal Naval College, Osborne, being at the same time a Member of the Committee on the Extension of the Training of Officers’ New Scheme. In this capacity he received the commendation of the Lords of the Admiralty for the work done by the Committee, and was promoted to the rank of Engineer-Commander on 30th December 1904.
He went to sea again in September 1907 on board H.M.S. “Cumberland ” (cadets’ training ship), and in April 1908 was appointed to H.M.S. “Espiêgle,” Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, where his work once more received the special recognition of the Lords of the Admiralty. On 10th February 1911 be was made a Member of the 4th Class of the Royal Victorian Order.
In March 1911 he was appointed to H.M.S. “Superb,” in the Home Fleet, being promoted to Engineer-Captain, with seniority on 7th February 1912, in which capacity he was retained by the Admiralty for the new scheme of training officers for the Royal Navy.
In October 1912 he joined H.M.S. “Hercules,” additional for service on the staff of the Vice-Admiral Commanding the Second Battle Squadron, and in August of the following year was made Engineer-Captain in Command, Royal Naval College, Keyham.
In September 1914 he joined the staff of the Vice-Admiral Commanding the First Battle-Cruiser Squadron, and was present in the capacity of engineering expert and adviser to Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty in all subsequent services. It was on board H.M.S. “Tiger,” in the engagement of 24th January 1915, in the North Sea, that he met his death by gun-fire, in his fifty-second year, being the only officer to lose his life on the occasion.
He was elected a Member of this Institution in 1900.
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