John Rickards Middleton

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Captain (retired) John Rickards Middleton, D.S.O., R.N. (10 October, 1880 – ) served in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

The son of Lieutenant R. W. E. Middleton, R.N. was born in Lee, Kent.

Middleton landed with the Naval Brigade in South Africa in October, 1899 and was specially promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 15 September, 1901 for services in Africa.

Middleton was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 15 September, 1909.

He was appointed to H.M.S. Hercules as first and torpedo officer on 4 November, 1912. While in her, he created the Middleton Plotter, a torpedo control device. On 15 December 1913, he was appointed from the battleship to oversee development of his torpedo control instruments.[1]

Middleton served as torpedo officer in Albion from 1 August 1914 to 15 June, 1915, when he was appointed to Hussar for command and torpedo duties on behalf of Captain (S) Tyrwhitt. He was promoted to the rank of Commander on 30 June, 1915.

On 16 August, 1915, Middleton was gazetted for receiving a D.S.O. for "enter[ing] the minefields under heavy fire, where he organised & successfully carried out attacks - by means of explosive sweeps - on the cables & jack stays."

On 24 October, 1915, Middleton grounded Hussar and was cautioned by C-in-C, Eastern Mediterranean to be more careful in future. He was invalided on 16 August, 1916 and arrived back in England on 29 August to be treated for liver disease at Plymouth Hospital. On 4 October, 1916 he was appointed to the Board of Invention and Research as an Assistant Secretary, and worked there until 31 January, 1919.


Middleton was placed on the Retired List at his own request on 7 July 1920 and promoted to the rank of Captain (retired) on 10 October, 1925.

In 1928, he was appointed Director of the Royal Naval Reserve, New Zealand, having relinquished command of Auckland Division, R.N.R..

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Douglas L. Dent
Captain of H.M.S. Hussar
15 Jun, 1915[2] – 16 Aug, 1916
Succeeded by
Frederic Giffard


  1. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1913. p. 30.
  2. The Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 394q.