Paul Whitfield

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Captain (retired) Paul Whitfield, D.S.O., O.B.E., R.N. (6 July, 1880 – 11 January, 1953) was an officer in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Born in Wimbledon.

In May 1901, Whitfield was found guilty of cribbing at an examination on Hydraulics. His result was altered to "failed" and he lost one month's seniority.

Whitfield was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 1 October, 1902.

Whitfield was relieved of command of Porcupine after grounding her in mid-1908.

Whitfield was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 1 October, 1910.

Whitfield was appointed in command of the destroyer Tigress on 25 March, 1912.[1]

In April 1914, he invented a pattern of searchlight training gear.

In 1915, while in command of the destroyer Tigress, serving in the First Destroyer Flotilla out of South Queensferry, Whitfield's ribs were fractured when a wave struck the bridge so hard that the railings pinned him against the compass.[2]

Whitfield commanded the destroyer Nomad when she was lost while operating with the Thirteenth Destroyer Flotilla at the Battle of Jutland.[3] Whitfield was wounded in his lips, throat, chest and right forearm by shrapnel and captured by the Germans as a prisoner of war. He was sent first to Mainz and then Friedberg and then Konstanz and Crefeld and would not be repatriated until after the war. Whitfield was specially promoted for his services in the battle to the rank of Commander on 30 June, 1916.

He was appointed in command of the destroyer Tribune on 19 November, 1919.[4]

After one year in charge of the Mechanical Training Establishment at Pembroke, Whitfield retired on 1 January, 1923.

Whitfield was promoted to the rank of Captain on 6 July, 1925.

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Richard F. H. Hartland-Mahon
Captain of H.M.S. Porcupine
13 May, 1908 – 28 Jul, 1908
Succeeded by
Cecil R. Nicholl
Preceded by
James F. Dewar
Captain of H.M.S. Derwent
1 Aug, 1911 – 21 Mar, 1912
Succeeded by
Alexander G. Fleming
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Tigress
25 Mar, 1912[5] – 28 May, 1915
Succeeded by
John I. Hallett
Preceded by
Astley D. C. Cooper-Key
Captain of H.M.S. Nomad
late Mar, 1916 – 31 May, 1916[6]
Succeeded by
Vessel Lost
Preceded by
Lewis G. E. Crabbe
Captain of H.M.S. Penn
4 Jul, 1919 – 17 Oct, 1919
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Henry D. Pridham-Wippell
Captain of H.M.S. Tribune
19 Nov, 1919[7] – 20 Nov, 1921
Succeeded by
Gerald C. Harrison


  1. The Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 386.
  2. Smith. Hard Lying. p. 121.
  3. Battle of Jutland Official Despatches. pp. 34, 46.
  4. The Navy List. (December, 1920). p. 877.
  5. The Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 398r.
  6. Battle of Jutland Official Despatches. p. 46.
  7. The Navy List. (December, 1920). p. 877.