Michael Henley Wilding

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Captain Michael Henley Wilding, C.B.E., Royal Navy (20 November, 1875 – 10 June, 1933) served in the Royal Navy from 1890 to 1922.

Life & Career

Michael Henley Wilding was born on 20 November, 1875, the son of Mr. C. F. Wilding, of St. Mary's Lodge, Kidlington, Oxford. He entered the training ship Britannia in 1890, and was promoted Lieutenant in September, 1898. He served under Captain Berkeley Milne in the battleship Jupiter. In 1903 he was given his first command, the destroyer Charger.

In February, 1904 Leven collided with a lighter through what was determined to be an error in judgement on Wilding's part as Lieutenant-in-Command . A second collision, with the Torpoint Ferry Bridge in May 1905[?] was also deemed Wilding's fault, this time through what Lord Walter Kerr called a "gross error" in judgement. This second one is curious, as Wilding should no longer have been in command at that date.[1]

Wilding served as Executive Officer of the gunboat Sphinx in the East Indies, before being given command of the Hebe in 1907.

In 1909 he took command of the river gunboat Woodcock on the China Station. In the Coronation Honours of 1911 he was promoted to the rank of Commander. He served in the cruisers Terrible and Aboukir in reserve, and in March, 1914 joined Lancaster in the Fourth Cruiser Squadron.

For a period of the First World War he remained with the Lancaster on service in the Atlantic. In 1916 he was on administrative duties with the Royal Naval Air Service before being appointed in June to command the armed merchant cruiser Virginian in the Tenth Cruiser Squadron. He was appointed to command the first class protected cruiser Europa in March, 1919. In July, 1919 he was appointed as Captain of the base of the Aegean Squadron at Mudros.

In recognition of his services in command of Virginian, Wilding was appointed C.B.E. on 12 July, 1919. He was placed on the Retired List at his own request on 19 May, 1922.


  • "Captain Wilding, R.N." (Obituaries). The Times. Wednesday, 14 June, 1933. Issue 46470, col D, pg 16.

Service Record

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
George H. Brown
Captain of H.M.S. Charger
15 Oct, 1903[2] – 1 Nov, 1903
Succeeded by
Geoffrey B. Spicer-Simson
Preceded by
George H. Brown
Captain of H.M.S. Leven
2 Nov, 1903 – 13 May, 1904
Succeeded by
Hubert S. Cardale
Preceded by
John M. D. E. Warren
Captain of H.M.S. Hebe
5 Feb, 1907[3] – 9 Feb, 1909
Succeeded by
Marcus F. B. Whyte
Preceded by
Charles A. W. Wrightson
Captain of H.M.S. Woodcock
8 Jul, 1909 – 5 Aug, 1911
Succeeded by
Richard O. B. Bridgeman
Preceded by
Humphrey H. Smith
Captain of H.M.S. Virginian
16 Jun, 1916[4] – after Jan, 1919[5]
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Claude A. Rombulow-Pearse
Captain of H.M.S. Europa
1 Mar, 1919[6]
Succeeded by
Herbert Gerald Briggs
Preceded by
Bertram S. Evans
Captain of Base, Mudros
1 Mar, 1919 – 4 Oct, 1920
Succeeded by


  1. Wilding Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/208. f. 237.
  2. "Captain Wilding, R.N." (Obituaries). The Times. Wednesday, 14 June, 1933. Issue 46470, col D, pg 16.
  3. The Navy List. (October, 1908). p. 325.
  4. The Navy List. (February, 1919). p. 1009.
  5. The Navy List. (February, 1919). p. 1009.
  6. The Navy List. (March, 1920). p. 771.