Hugh Joseph Woodward

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Captain Hugh Joseph Woodward, D.S.O., R.N., (20 January, 1886 – 2 June, 1962) was an officer in the Royal Navy who provided good service during the Great War but whose judgment was often questioned by his superiors.

Life & Career

Born in Brompton, London, Woodward listed his mother as his guardian when he joined the Royal Navy by entering the September, 1900 intake term at H.M.S. Britannia. He ranked twelfth of sixty-three candidates in competitive testing upon his entry.[1] Emerging in mid-January, 1902, he served Majestic in the Channel for one year before moving to Implacable in ther Mediterranean, where he served until 30 April, 1905..

On 29 September, 1906 Woodward was granted leave to France until his services were required.

Woodward was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 31 August, 1907.[2]

On 5 February, 1909 he was admitted to Haslar for a knee ailment. Although he was discharged to duty ten days later, this same or another issue apparently required admission to King Edward VII Hospital on 7 June and then a spell in Osborne Convalescent Home. Then a glandular issue in his neck arose in September. He was finally discharged on 18 October, 1909.[3]

Woodward served in the West River Patrol in China from 23 December 1911 until October 1912, serving in command of T.B. 035 for much of this period.

Great War

Woodward was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 31 August, 1916.[4]

Woodward damaged Portia's propeller in an accident with a drifter on 27 November, 1916. Cautioned to be more careful in future, Woodward was permitted leave to France on 26 February, 1917 while Portia underwent refit.

Woodward's destroyer H.M.S. Sable was rammed in the Captain's cabin by squadron mate Salmon in 1917 when the destroyers were proceeding in fog at 20 knots. Woodward shouted to Salmon's captain Dawson that he should "keep your stem in the hole," but the ships separated. Both were able to return to Rosyth. Woodward able to save a signed photograph of Queen Alexandra from his demolished cabin, which he had obtained when serving in the Royal yacht as a Sub-Lieutenant. A Court of Inquiry apparently attached no blame to either commander. The incident is entirely unrecorded in one of Dawson's Service Records.[5][6]

At the end of 1917, Captain Dutton opined that Woodward lacked sound judgment.

However, Dutton had a proven success. Appointed in command of Ophelia in August, 1918, he sank UB 83 with all hands by depth charge attack on 10 September 1918. For this he was awarded a bar for his D.S.O..

Interbellum

Woodward was appointed in command of the destroyer Tumult on 5 November, 1918.[7]

Awarded a bar to his D.S.O. for his services in action with a submarine in 1919, gazetted 22 January, 1920.[8]

Woodward was promoted to the rank of Commander on 31 December, 1919.[9]

In late 1920, Woodward assisted in the evacuation of Crimea, prompting an expression of thanks from the Commander-in-Chief, Russian Naval Forces. However, some other incident in 1921 or 1922 involving his failure to properly process Mess Bills before leaving Portsmouth incurred the displeasure of the Admiralty.[10]

He impressed the Admiralty when he salvaged S.S. Borulos in October 1925. Similarly, in 1926 the Foreign Office thanked him for his help in negotiating with King Ali in the surrender of Jeddah.[11]

Woodward was promoted to the rank of Captain on 20 January, 1931.[12]

World War II

On 30 August, 1939 Woodward was appointed in command of the armed merchant cruiser H.M.S. Alaunia. Woodward was granted the acting rank of Captain on 10 November, 1939.[13]

On 24 October, 1941, Woodward was appointed in command of H.M.S. Racer, vice Maxwell, and as Naval Officer in Charge, Larne. He was superseded on 6 August, 1942.[14]

Woodward was assigned to the Liverpool Convoy Pool on 22 August, 1942 to serve in the rank of Commodore, Second Class, R.N.R..[15]

Upon being reverted to the Retired List on 5 February 1944, Woodward told the Admiralty that he felt he was "willing, & medically fit for sea service, if required."[16]

Woodward died "peacefully" at Hindhead in mid-1962 at age 76, leaving his widowed wife Irene.[17]

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Herbert A. Forster
Captain of H.M.T.B. 050
6 Jan, 1909[18] – Oct, 1909[19]
Succeeded by
Cuthbert M. Murphy
as Captain of H.M. T.B. 050
Preceded by
Cuthbert M. Murphy
Captain of H.M. T.B. 87
Dec, 1909[20][21] – 31 Jan, 1911[22]
Succeeded by
Stephen Phillimore
Preceded by
James F. Houstoun
Captain of H.M. T.B. 1
31 Jan, 1911[23] – 23 Dec, 1911
Succeeded by
Horace Walker
Preceded by
James A. Fergusson
as Captain of H.M. T.B. 35
Captain of H.M. T.B. 035
Feb, 1912 – Oct, 1912
Succeeded by
Harold F. B. Handley
Preceded by
Geoffrey Corlett
Captain of H.M.S. Hind
24 Jun, 1915[24] – 21 Jul, 1915[25]
Succeeded by
Desmond Maxwell
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Lavender
21 Jul, 1915[26][27] – 16 Sep, 1916[28]
Succeeded by
Thomas S. L. Dorman
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Portia
6 Oct, 1916[29][30] – 11 Jul, 1917[31]
Succeeded by
Geoffrey N. Henson
Preceded by
Theodore E. J. Bigg
Captain of H.M.S. Sable
13 Jul, 1917[32][33] – late 1917[34]
Succeeded by
George E. Matthews
Preceded by
George A. Scott
Captain of H.M.S. Mons
13 Jan, 1918[35] – 3 Mar, 1918[36]
Succeeded by
George A. Scott
Preceded by
Frederick E. K. Strong
Captain of H.M.S. Lightfoot
3 Mar, 1918[37] – 3 Jun, 1918[38]
Succeeded by
Leveson G. B. A. Campbell
Preceded by
Ernald G. H. Master
Captain of H.M.S. Nonpareil
10 Jun, 1918[39] – 10 Aug, 1918[40]
Succeeded by
Samuel B. Graves
Preceded by
Lawrence D'O. Bignell
Captain of H.M.S. Ophelia
10 Aug, 1918[41] – 5 Nov, 1918[42]
Succeeded by
Oscar Henderson
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Tumult
5 Nov, 1918[43][44] – 9 Jul, 1920[45]
Succeeded by
Frederick W. F. Fegen
Preceded by
Guy P. Bowles
Captain of H.M.S. Clematis
12 Jun, 1924[46][47] – Jun, 1926[48]
Succeeded by
Claud H. Godwin

Footnotes

  1. "Cadetships in the Royal Navy." The Times (London, England), Saturday, Aug 11, 1900; pg. 8; Issue 36218.
  2. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  3. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  4. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  5. Dawson. Flotillas. pp. 199-201.
  6. Dawson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50. f. 208.
  7. The Navy List. (February, 1919). p. 922.
  8. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  9. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  10. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  11. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  12. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  13. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  14. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 190.
  15. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 190.
  16. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  17. "Deaths." The Times (London, England), Monday, June 4, 1962, Issue 55408, p.1.
  18. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  19. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  20. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  21. The Navy List. (April, 1910). p. 401.
  22. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  23. The Navy List. (April, 1911). p. 400.
  24. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  25. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  26. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  27. The Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 395j.
  28. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  29. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  30. The Navy List. (December, 1916). p. 396o.
  31. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  32. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  33. The Navy List. (November, 1917). p. 397t.
  34. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  35. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  36. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  37. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  38. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  39. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  40. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  41. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  42. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  43. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  44. The Navy List. (February, 1919). p. 922.
  45. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  46. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.
  47. The Navy List. (July, 1924). p. 225.
  48. Woodward Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/50/83. f. 211.