Richard Thornton Down

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Captain Richard Thornton Down, C.V.O., D.S.O., Royal Navy (11 December, 1882 – 22 August, 1944) was an officer in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Down served in the South African War and in China in 1900.

He was promoted to Lieutenant on 15 September, 1903.[1]

On 27 June, 1914 Down was appointed first and gunnery Lieutenant-Commander of H.M.S. Neptune, in which he served at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May, 1916. In mid-1917, he traveled to Washington, D.C., and learned much of American methods of fire control, reporting back to England.

From 1922 to 1926 he served as the Naval Attaché to Italy, before retiring in 1928. Upon the outbreak of the Second World War he returned to duty, commanding a naval depôt in Scotland, before dying on active service in 1944.


  • "Fallen Officers" (Obituaries). The Times. Thursday, 31 August, 1944. Issue 49949, col D, pg. 7.
  • "Report of Proceedings by Commander Richard T. Down, R.N. during visit to Washington -- 6th May to 27th June" dated 5 July 1917 at The National Archives. ADM 137/1621.

Service Record

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Austen G. Lilley
Captain of H.M.S. Forester
6 Mar, 1918[2] – 15 Dec, 1919
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Neston W. Diggle
as Royal Navy Naval Attaché at Rome
Naval Attaché for Italy, Greece, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria
12 Jun, 1922 – Feb, 1926
Succeeded by
Richard H. L. Bevan
as Royal Navy Naval Attaché at Rome
Preceded by
Tim M. Barrett
Captain of H.M.S. Pegasus
11 May, 1927[3]
Succeeded by
Reginald B. C. Hutchinson


  1. The Navy List. (March, 1913). p. 22.
  2. The Navy List. (September, 1919). p. 795.
  3. The Navy List. (July, 1927). p. 258.