John Austin Gaimes

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Lieutenant-Commander John Austin Gaimes, D.S.O., (10 May, 1886 – 20 January, 1921) was an officer in the Royal Navy who died shortly after the Great War when the submarine K 5 sank.

His superiors found him to be "good at games" despite his "delicate appearance". One felt that Gaimes needed more "self confidence".

Life & Career

On 3 June, 1907 Gaimes was found to be suffering from a hernia and was allotted two weeks to recover.

Gaimes was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 31 December, 1908.

On 8 July 1910, Gaimes was admitted to Chatham Hospital for ten days with boils. He was out in seven days.

Gaimes was appointed in command of the submarine C 37 on 4 March, 1913.[1]

Great War

On 26 June 1916, Gaimes was appointed temporarily in charge of the Examination Service in Hong Kong. In mid-July, Gaimes applied for the acting rank of Lieutenant-Commander and was refused.

Under orders to proceed home, Gaimes was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 31 December, 1916. He embarked in S.S. Somali on 27 January, 1917, expected in England on 3 March.

On 2 May 1918, Gaimes was informed that his apparently ad-hoc minelaying operations in enemy waters during 23-25 April, 1918 "was fully approved."

Gaimes was awarded a D.S.O for his service in submarines during the period 5 January to May 1918, gazetted 21 June, 1918. The award was invested at Buckingham Palace on 11 September.


On 5 May 1919, Gaimes was subjected to a Court of Enquiry on an accusation that he had landed durable goods on Parkestone Quay on 4 March 1919. The Court found that Gaimes had not intended to smuggle and seemed to be ignorant of the order against landing spirits, in abeyance at the Quay until 12 or 15 months previously. Gaimes had acted wrongly, however, in not having Customs Landing Passes prepared. There was no disciplinary action taken against him.

Gaimes was appointed in command of the submarine K 5 in April, 1920.[2] He would be killed when she sank on 20 January, 1921.

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
John T. Cull
Captain of H.M.S. A 9
5 Oct, 1911[3] – 26 Sep, 1912
Succeeded by
Colin Cantlie
Preceded by
Henry A. Binmore
Captain of H.M.S. B 3
26 Sep, 1912[4] – 4 Mar, 1913
Succeeded by
Geoffrey Warburton
Preceded by
Athelstan A. L. Fenner
Captain of H.M.S. C 37
4 Mar, 1913[5] – Oct, 1916
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Geoffrey R. S. Watkins
Captain of H.M.S. E 45
5 Jan, 1918 – 1 Aug, 1918
Succeeded by
Ronald W. Blacklock
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. L 14
1 Aug, 1918 – 4 Apr, 1919
Succeeded by
Edward A. Aylmer
Preceded by
Andrew Wilmot-Smith
Captain of H.M.S. Sanfoin
4 Apr, 1919 – 12 Aug, 1919
Succeeded by
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Ross
12 Aug, 1919[6] – Nov, 1919
Succeeded by
Brownlow V. Layard
Preceded by
John F. Hutchings
Captain of H.M.S. K 5
1 Apr, 1920[7] – 20 Jan, 1921
Succeeded by
Vessel Lost


  1. The Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 377a.
  2. The Navy List. (January, 1921). p. 796.
  3. The Navy List. (January, 1912). p. 350.
  4. The Navy List. (March, 1913). p. 317.
  5. The Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 377a.
  6. The Navy List. (September, 1919). p. 898.
  7. The Navy List. (January, 1921). p. 796.