Herbert William James

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Captain (retired) Herbert William James, R.N. (3 April, 1871 – 19 April, 1911) was an officer in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

The son of Reverend Henry James of Northamptonshire.

James was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 1 April, 1893.

While assigned to the Centurion, James was also in command of the first-class torpedo boat T.B. 38 in May, 1894.[1]

James was specially promoted to the rank of Commander for services during the war in South Africa, dated 21 October, 1900.

On 1 August, 1906, James was appointed in command of Porcupine. On 20 March 1908, she obtained such poor results with her 4-in guns that it was found convenient to attribute blame to having selected an "unsuitable time of day." On the flip side, the ship later obtained such "phenomenally high" scores in rifle and pistol practice that it was felt that it could only have arisen as a result of not following regulations. James really stepped in it, however, by immediately paying out the commensurately rich prize monies before making any inquiries into the propriety of the practice methods.

In October 1908, James received an evaluation from a Rear-Admiral brimming full of highs and lows: "Has carried out duties to my satisfn, more especially in the capture of arms in Persian Gulf. Beyond a magnificent physique. I do not place his abilities at a very high order. His ship was well disciplined & in good order. I have not recommended him for promotion."

In 1910, James incurred severe displeasure through his "excessive consumption of wine & spirits." On 20 March, he was admitted to Haslar Hospital with pneumonia. He was found fit on 4 May.

Perhaps in James was retired at his own request with the rank of Captain on 17 June, 1910.

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Arthur G. M. Meredyth
Captain of H.M. T.B. 38
May, 1894[2]
Succeeded by
Hobart W. T. R. Seymour
as Captain of H.M. T.B. 038
Preceded by
Albert C. Allen
Captain of H.M.S. Satellite
2 Nov, 1903[3] – 31 Mar, 1906
Succeeded by
Frederick K. C. Gibbons
Preceded by
Arthur R. Hulbert
Captain of H.M.S. Proserpine
1 Aug, 1906[4] – 1 Aug, 1908
Succeeded by
Eustace La T. Leatham
Preceded by
Richard Sullivan
Captain of H.M.S. Renown
2 Nov, 1908[5] – 1 Jul, 1909
Succeeded by
William N. England
Preceded by
Charles W. Winnington-Ingram
Captain of H.M.S. Terrible
1 Jul, 1909 – 22 Jul, 1909
Succeeded by
Ernest H. Grafton
Preceded by
Edwin V. Underhill
Captain of H.M.S. Royal Arthur
23 Jul, 1909[6] – 20 Mar, 1910
Succeeded by
Francis W. Caulfeild


  1. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1894. p. 196.
  2. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1894. p. 196.
  3. The Navy List. (November, 1905). p. 374.
  4. The Navy List. (March, 1907). p. 362.
  5. The Navy List. (July, 1909). p. 366.
  6. The Navy List. (January, 1910). p. 369.