Henry Percival Wilson
Life & Career
Born at Stanhope Gardens, Kensington the son of T. Percival Wilson, Esquire, Henry joined the navy when he entered with the May, 1899 intake term at H.M.S. Britannia. His scores (3168 marks) on the entrance examination placed him second of fifty-nine successful applicants in order of merit.
Emerging in mid-September, 1900 Wilson received his first naval appointments to the battleships Barfleur and Albion on the China Station, but Captain Jerram assessed him as "good physique – rather slow + casual." On 15 November 1903 he was promoted to Acting Sub-Lieutenant.
He did well at exams, passing first-class in seamanship in November 1903, and mixing first- and second-class for the Navigation parts in 1904. Wilson obtained second-class certificates in Pilotage in November 1904 and Gunnery in February 1905 before obtaining a first-class in torpedoes in March of 1905.
Wilson was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 15 November, 1905.
In Aprill 1909 he qualified in torpedoes for command of torpedo boats.
Wilson was appointed to the battleship Temeraire on 16 May 1911. Although it appears he was to be appointed to Audacious in October, 1913, this was cancelled and he would remain in Temeraire until 19 August, 1915, being promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 15 November, 1913.
Wilson spent six weeks in the Royal Naval Barracks, Devonport before being appointed to the light cruiser Constance as gunnery officer on 25 November 1915. He would fight in her at the Battle of Jutland under Captain Cyril Samuel Townsend.
Wilson was promoted to the rank of Commander on 30 June, 1918 while in Constance and remained in her until being superseded on 31 January 1919. On 3 March, he was appointed to the old battleship Prince George, which was apparently then a destroyer depot ship at The Nore, as executive officer under Captain John Barnes Sparks.
Wilson was placed on the Retired List at the rank of Captain on 30 October, 1930.
He married a woman named Kathleen on 30 January, 1932.
World War II
Wilson was appointed to the yacht Cynara on 9 September 1939, to take command upon her commissioning. On 20 September, he was appointed to the yacht Virginia, to take command upon her commissioning. He left her on 10 January 1940, having been suffering from bronchial conditions on shore at the end of 1939. He was assigned to take a course of instruction at Portland. This was brief, as he was appointed to the anti-aircraft vessel Foylebank on 19 January 1940. This ship was a civilian vessel being quickly converted to use as a fixed anti-aircraft platform. Wilson survived her loss to concentrated bombing attack by Stukas on 4 July 1940. In the wake of this, he was appointed to Curlew, but he was "not to join" her.
On 2 September 1940, he became the Royal Naval Officer, Conway[?].
On 3 May 1942 he was assigned duty inside the Admiralty with the Director of Torpedoes and Mines.
He was reverted to the Retired List as medically unfit on 8 February, 1945 after suffering from hypertension at R.N.H. Kilmeade[?].
George A. Saltren-Willett
as Captain of H.M. T.B. 25
|Captain of H.M. T.B. 025
1 Feb, 1908 – 1 Feb, 1909
Charles A. Poignand
Austin C. Ackland
|Captain of H.M. T.B. 109
1 Feb, 1909 – 27 Oct, 1910
Henry D. Simonds
George P. Green
|Captain of H.M. T.B. 4
27 Oct, 1910 – 15 May, 1911
Adrian St. V. Keyes
Alan F. W. Howard
|Captain of H.M.S. Stork
6 Nov, 1919 – 6 Nov, 1921
Henry V. Hudson
|Captain of H.M.S. Winchester
21 Feb, 1929 – 28 Apr, 1930
Thomas C. C. Bolster
- "Naval & Military Intelligence." The Times (London, England), Friday, Apr 21, 1899; pg. 11; Issue 35809.
- Emails from Tate's grandson, Edward Keymer in January 2020.
- The Navy List. (December, 1920). p. 867.
- The Navy List. (October, 1908). p. 400.
- The Navy List. (April, 1910). p. 401.
- The Navy List. (April, 1911). p. 400.
- The Navy List. (January, 1921). p. 867.