Edward Reginald Mayo Geake

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Commander (retired) Edward Reginald Mayo Geake (17 September, 1888 – 6 November, 1936) served in the Royal Navy as a navigation specialist. Despite a medical history that outlines a severely challenged constitution, his service record indicates an unusual number of seagoing command appointments for someone in this branch – a peculiarity which perhaps presages the colourful nature of his peacetime demise in the 1930s.

Life & Career

Geake was born in Bengal and could speak French, Arabic and Hindi.

After passing out of H.M.S. Britannia in September, 1904 Geake served almost four years in Good Hope and one in Vengeance before being promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 15 February, 1909.[1]

In mid-1910, he obtained a navigator's certificate for all but first-class ships. He would serve in a navigational capacity in all his appointments through late 1916.[2]

Geake served on the East Indies Sations, first serving as navigator in Sphinx from December 1910 until being sent to Theseus in April 1913. He was diagnosed with dysentery in August 1913 and spent much of 1914 sick, being declared fit only in September when he was temporarily appointed to London as navigator. In November 1915 he was again admitted to Chatham Hospital to be treated for dysentery.[3]

Geake was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 15 February, 1917. Following further time in hospital in late 1917, Geake was appointed in temporary command of the destroyer Napier on 29 January, 1918. He served in her with the Twelfth Destroyer Flotilla, screening the Grand Fleet until 8 June, 1918 when he swapped over to command her flotilla-mate Tomahawk. He was judged to have been careless in a collision between Tomahawk and Walpole on 5 December, 1918 after failing to account for tidal effects. He was superseded in command of Tomahawk at the end of the month. In January 1919 he was admitted to Haslar Hospital with colitis.[4]

Geake was placed on the Retired List at his own request with a gratuity on 25 April, 1920. In May he applied for a Master's Certificate from the Board of Trade, which granted him one in September 1920.[5]

Geake was promoted to the rank of Commander (retired) on his fortieth birthday, 17 September, 1928.[6]

Geake was reportedly murdered by Mexican bandits while prospecting for gold in the Sierra Madre mountains, which I find a particularly exciting end for a navigator.[7]

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Adam Ferguson
Captain of H.M.S. P33
5 Dec, 1916[8] – Jan, 1917[9]
Succeeded by
Francis W. Craven
Preceded by
Daniel H. Rainier
Captain of H.M.S. Attack
13 Jan, 1917[10] – 25 Jan, 1917[11]
Succeeded by
Harry A. D. Keate
Preceded by
Humphrey M. Robson
Captain of H.M.S. Spitfire
25 Jan, 1917[12][13] – 16 Aug, 1917[14]
Succeeded by
James A. Douglas-Hamilton
Preceded by
David V. F. Erskine
Captain of H.M.S. Oriole
11 Sep, 1917[15][16] – 17 Dec, 1917[17]
Succeeded by
John D. Harvey
Preceded by
Roy Bacchus
Captain of H.M.S. Napier
29 Jan, 1918[18] – 8 Jun, 1918[19]
Succeeded by
Douglas Garvey
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Tomahawk
8 Jun, 1918[20][21] – 31 Dec, 1918[22]
Succeeded by
George H. Creswell

Footnotes

  1. Geake Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/243. F. 257.
  2. Geake Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/243. F. 257.
  3. Geake Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/243. F. 257.
  4. Geake Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/243. F. 257.
  5. Geake Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/243. F. 257.
  6. Geake Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/243. F. 257.
  7. Geake Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/243. F. 257.
  8. Geake Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/243. F. 257.
  9. Geake Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/243. F. 257.
  10. Geake Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/243. F. 257.
  11. Geake Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/243. F. 257.
  12. Geake Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/243. F. 257.
  13. The Navy List. (August, 1917). p. 398.
  14. Geake Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/243. F. 257.
  15. Geake Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/243. F. 257.
  16. The Navy List. (November, 1917). p. 396b.
  17. Geake Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/243. F. 257.
  18. Geake Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/243. F. 257.
  19. Geake Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/243. F. 257.
  20. Geake Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/243. F. 257.
  21. The Navy List. (December, 1918). p. 921.
  22. Geake Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/243. F. 257.