Maurice William Bailward

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Commander (retired) Maurice William Bailward (17 May, 1893 – ) was an submarine commander in the Royal Navy. He would suffer a series of collisions and accidents to submarines under his command in the 1920s.

Life & Career

On 15 January, 1913, Bailward was made an acting Sub-Lieutenant.[1]

On 23 June 1914, Bailward was appointed to the crew of the submarine A 13.

Bailward was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 15 July, 1915. Having already served in a variety of boats, Bailward commanded coastal submarines from January through November 1917 when he was briefly appointed in command of G 7 and then in command of G 14. He commanded her, first as part of the Tenth Submarine Flotilla, supporting the Grand Fleet until February 1918 when she transferred to the Sixth Submarine Flotilla, which was based on Portsmouth.

Finally, at the end of the war, he was appointed in command of E 39.

Bailward was appointed in command of the submarine L 52 in March, 1920.[2]

Curiously, to this point in his career, Bailward had received muted but positive comments in his service record. The post-war era, however, seemed to illustrate a decided downturn in his career. While there are no notations indicating drinking or venereal disease, and people seem to respond favourably to him, he started smashing submarines into things, and this did not go unnoticed.

Bailward was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 15 July, 1923. A stint in command of L 25 from February 1924 ended with a Court Martial resulting in a reprimand for negligently stranding the vessel. He was appointed to command L 16 and ran her into a lock entrance at Portsmouth, for which he was blamed for not having allowed sufficient distance from the Dock.

On 29 April 1925 the Admiralty faulted him with having maintained an insufficient look-out when L 1 collided with a Chinese junk.

In 1928, he received two uncommon "not recommended" comments in his service record from Rear-Admiral (S) H. E. Grace. In January 1929, this was explained more fully; Bailward had a limited scope of knowledge and was in poor health. He was, however, a man of "perfect manners" and "charming disposition". Indeed, "not recommended" would become nearly a watermark on his service record from here until his retirement.

Bailward was appointed in command of H.M.S. Hornet, the former C.M.B. 102 which was now a C.M.B. base at Haslar, on 15 January, 1931. He revered to General Service (as opposed to submarine service) in 1935.

Bailward was finally placed on the Retired List at his own request with the rank of Commander on 17 May, 1935.

World War II

Bailward offered his services and was taken up for shore-based staff work throughout the war. He was suffering from a perforated gastric ulcers from the outset, but kept on despite frequent hospitalizations until being reverted to the Retired List on 28 January, 1946.

He was back at Haslar Hospital for ulcer-related treatment in November 1948.

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Richard I. Pulleyne
Captain of H.M.S. C 6
6 Jan, 1917 – 16 Jan, 1917
Succeeded by
Robert C. T. Roe
Preceded by
Oswald E. Hallifax
Captain of H.M.S. B 5
16 Jan, 1917 – 14 Nov, 1917
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Geoffrey Warburton
Captain of H.M.S. G 7
14 Nov, 1917 – 21 Nov, 1917
Succeeded by
Charles A. C. Russell
Preceded by
Edward G. Stanley
Captain of H.M.S. G 14
21 Nov, 1917 – 26 Sep, 1918
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Frederick C. C. Kennedy
Captain of H.M.S. E 39
26 Sep, 1918 – 31 Oct, 1919
Succeeded by
Victor C. Dorman-Smith
Preceded by
Claud B. Barry
Captain of H.M.S. R 12
31 Oct, 1919 – Mar, 1920[Inference]
Succeeded by
Vivian R. S. Bowlby
Preceded by
Captain of H.M.S. L 52
Mar, 1920[3]
Succeeded by
Leslie H. Ashmore
Preceded by
Edward M. C. Barraclough
Captain of H.M.S. L 25
4 Feb, 1924 – 23 Apr, 1924
Succeeded by
Colin Mayers
Preceded by
John H. Owen
Captain of H.M.S. L 16
23 Apr, 1924[4] – 29 Aug, 1924
Succeeded by
Claud B. Barry
Preceded by
Henry G. Higgins
Captain of H.M.S. L 1
19 Nov, 1924[5] – Oct, 1926
Succeeded by
Jocelyn S. Bethell


  1. The Navy List. (March, 1913). p. 4.
  2. The Navy List. (January, 1921). p. 799.
  3. The Navy List. (January, 1921). p. 799.
  4. The Navy List. (July, 1924). p. 251.
  5. The Navy List. (February, 1926). p. 250.