Richard Victor Symonds-Tayler DSC, RN

Born  27 Oct 1897
Died  18 Feb 1971(73)

Ranks

2 Aug 1914 Mid.
15 Sep 1916 A/S.Lt.
15 May 1917 S.Lt.
15 Aug 1918 Lt.
15 Aug 1926 Lt.Cdr.
30 Jun 1931 Cdr.
31 Dec 1936 Capt.
2 Jan 1946 Rear-Admiral
20 Mar 1949 Vice-Admiral
27 Jan 1953 Admiral (Retired)

Retired: 15 Jan 1952


Decorations

16 Aug 1915 DSC
10 Jun 1948 CB
1 Jan 1951 KBE

Warship Commands listed for Richard Victor Symonds-Tayler, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Sussex (96)Capt.Heavy cruiser5 Jun 194013 Nov 1940
HMS London (69)Capt.Heavy cruiser19 Dec 194219 Feb 1943
HMS Berwick (65)Capt.Heavy cruiser19 Feb 194314 Apr 1943
HMS London (69)Capt.Heavy cruiser15 Apr 194325 Nov 1944

Career information

We currently have no career / biographical information on this officer.

Events related to this officer

Heavy cruiser HMS Sussex (96)


7 Jun 1940

Evacuation of the 'Narvik / Harstad / Tromso area'.

1st Evacuation convoy from Harstad.

The merchant vessels Acrity (403 GRT, built 1934), Blackheath (4637 GRT, built 1936), Conch (8376 GRT (tanker), built 1931), Coxwold (1124 GRT, built 1938), Cromarty Firth (538 GRT, built 1937), Harmattan (4558 GRT, built 1930), Oligarch (6897 GRT (tanker), built 1918) and Theseus (6527 GRT, built 1908).

They were escorted by the destroyer HMS Arrow (Cdr. H.W. Williams, RN) and sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. A.C. Behague, RN). The destroyers HMS Veteran (Cdr. J.E. Broome, RN) and HMS Vanoc (Lt.Cdr. J.G.W. Deneys, RN) also briefly escorted the convoy but they were soon detached.

Later the destroyer HMS Walker (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Tait, RN) joined the escort as did the heavy cruiser HMS Sussex (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN) and light cruiser HMS Newcastle (Capt. J. Figgins, RN).

The convoy arrived at Scapa Flow around 0500/14. It had been attacked by German aircraft on the 9th but no damage was sustained.

10 Jun 1940
In the morning, HMS Sussex (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN) and HMS Newcastle (Capt. J. Figgins, RN), joined an evacuation convoy from Narvik to Scapa Flow. They arrived at Scapa Flow with the convoy on the 14th.

[See the event ' 1st evacuation convoy ' for 7 June 1940 for more info on this convoy.] (1)

16 Jun 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sussex (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN) and HMS Newcastle (Capt. J. Figgins, RN) departed Scapa Flow to patrol in the Iceland area. (2)

19 Jun 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sussex (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN) and HMS Newcastle (Capt. J. Figgins, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from patrol. (2)

21 Jun 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sussex (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN) and light cruiser HMS Newcastle (Capt. J. Figgins, RN) departed Scapa Flow around 0955 hours to make rendez-vous with the 18th Cruiser Squadron. (2)

22 Jun 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sussex (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN) and HMS Newcastle (Capt. J. Figgins, RN) returned to Scapa Flow from patrol. (2)

24 Jun 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sussex (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN) and HMS Newcastle (Capt. J. Figgins, RN) conducted exercises in the Pentland Firth. (3)

2 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sussex (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow for a patrol in the North Atlantic. (4)

7 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sussex (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN) arrived in the Clyde from patrol. (4)

9 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
At 0030/9 the troopships Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917) and Ulster Prince (British, 3791 GRT, built 1930) departed the Clyde for Iceland. They are escorted by the heavy cruisers HMS Shropshire. (Capt. J.H. Edelsten, RN), HMS Sussex (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Echo (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, DSO, RAN) and HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN).

They arrived at Reykavik at 2030/11.

Ulster Prince, escorted by HMS Echo departed Reykavik at 1430/12th for Akreyri arriving the following day. They proceeded on to Seidisfjord later on the 13th. They departed Seidisfjord on the 15th and returned to Reykavik.

Both heavy cruisers arrived at Scapa Flow after the operation on the 14th.

At 1030/16 both troopships and the destroyers departed Reykavik to return to the Clyde where they arrived at 0500/18. (4)

25 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sussex (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN) conducted exercises at Scapa Flow.

27 Jul 1940
HMS Sussex (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Greenock. (4)

28 Jul 1940
HMS Sussex (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN) arrived at Greenock with damage to her turbines. She was then taken in hand for repairs. (4)

31 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
In the morning, HMS Sussex (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN), conducted engine trials in the Clyde area. (5)

2 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
In the evening, HMS Sussex (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN), shifted from Greenock to Glasgow where she was to undergo turbine repairs. (6)

23 Aug 1940
In the afternoon, HMS Sussex (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN), is taken to the King George V dock by tugs.

Later she was moved to Yorkhill Quay, just across the river of the Govan docks. (6)

18 Sep 1940
When nearing completion of her turbine repairs, HMS Sussex (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN), is hit by a 250lb bomb during an air raid. The bomb exploded near the fuel oil tanks and the aft part of the ship catched fire and started to threathen the magazines. After 24 hours the ship was still on fire and she had to be sunk while still along the wall to extinguish the fires.

Later she was salvaged and was partially rebuilt. She was out of action for almost two years. During repairs she had been paid-off into dockyard control.


Heavy cruiser HMS London (69)


9 Dec 1943
Around 1600/9, the heavy cruiser HMS London (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Belben, DSC, AM, RN) and the destroyers HMS Jervis ( Capt. H.P. Henderson, RN), HMS Pathfinder (Lt.Cdr. F.W. Hawkins, RN) and HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, DSO, RN) departed Alexandria for Gibraltar or Malta.

Around 0915/10, the were joined by the escort destroyers HMS Croome (Lt. H.D.M. Slater, RN) and HMS Tetcott (Lt. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RNR). These ships parted company around 1545/10.

Around 0400/11, HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.F. Taylor, RN) and HMS Inglefield (Cdr. C.F.H. Churchill, DSC, RN) joined.

Around 0415/11, HMS Penelope, HMS Jervis, HMS Pathfinder and HMS Penn parted company to proceed to Malta where they arrived around 0700/11.

HMS London, HMS Fury and HMS Inglefield then continued on to Gibraltar where they arrived around 0430/13. (7)

Sources

  1. ADM 53/113291
  2. ADM 53/113291 + ADM 199/361
  3. ADM 53/112885 + ADM 53/113290
  4. ADM 53/113292 + ADM 199/361
  5. ADM 53/113292
  6. ADM 53/113293
  7. ADM 53/117845 + ADM 53/118346 + ADM 199/774

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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