Ion Beauchamp Butler Tower DSC, RN

Born  14 Mar 1889Kensington, London, England
Died  14 Oct 1940(51)London, England (Killed during an air raid)


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Ranks

15 Sep 1905 Mid.
30 Nov 1908 S.Lt.
30 Nov 1909 Lt.
30 Nov 1917 Lt.Cdr.
31 Dec 1922 Cdr.
31 Dec 1929 Capt.
25 Jun 1940 Rear-Admiral

Decorations

7 Aug 1915 DSC

Warship Commands listed for Ion Beauchamp Butler Tower, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Malaya (01)Capt.Battleship16 Dec 193825 May 1940

Career information

Rear-Admiral Ion Beauchamp Butler Tower died as a result of German bombing.

Events related to this officer

Battleship HMS Malaya (01)


31 Aug 1939
Several ships from the Mediterranean Fleet departed Alexandria for exercises; these were the battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN, flying the flag of A/Admiral A.B. Cunningham, KCB, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral G. Layton, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Galatea (Capt. E.G.H. Bellars, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.C. Tovey, CB, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Grenville (Capt. G.E. Creasy, MVO, RN), HMS Gallant (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, RN), HMS Grafton (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN), HMS Glowworm (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Roope, RN), HMS Greyhound (Cdr. W.R. Marshall-A'Deane, RN), HMS Cossack (Capt. D. de Pass, RN) and HMS Maori (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN), HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN) and HMS Zulu (Cdr. J.S. Crawford, RN).

At sea they were joined by the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and her attendant destroyer HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) which had already been exercising off Alexandria since 30 August.

The Fleet returned to Alexandria in the morning of 1 September 1939. (1)

21 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN), HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) anchored off Sokotra.

Here they were joined by HMS Ramillies (Capt. H.T. Baillie-Grohman, OBE, DSO, RN) and HMS Delight (Cdr. M. Fogg-Elliott, RN) which had also been patrolling in the area. (2)

22 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
After oiling, HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN), HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) departed Sokotra to patrol in the area.

HMS Ramillies (Capt. H.T. Baillie-Grohman, OBE, DSO, RN) and HMS Delight (Cdr. M. Fogg-Elliott, RN) also departed Sokotra with the same purpose patrol the general area off Sokotra.

28 Nov 1939
Shortly after midnight HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN), HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) anchored off Sokotra.

Here they were joined later that morning by HMS Ramillies (Capt. H.T. Baillie-Grohman, OBE, DSO, RN) and HMS Delight (Cdr. M. Fogg-Elliott, RN) which had also been patrolling in the area.

After oiling all ships departed again to continue their patrols, Malaya, Glorious and Bulldog departed again late on the 28th followed by Ramillies and Delight the following day. (2)

5 Dec 1939
HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN), HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) anchored off Sokotra. After fuelling they departed again for patrol the next day.

Shortly after sailing they made rendez-vous with HMS Ramillies (Capt. H.T. Baillie-Grohman, OBE, DSO, RN) which then took the place of HMS Malaya which then set course for Aden. (3)

7 Dec 1939
HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN) arrived at Aden. She only remained at Aden for a very short time and departed for Suez later the same day escorted by the destroyers HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN). (3)

11 Dec 1939
HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN), HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) transited the Suez Canal northbound. (3)

14 Dec 1939
HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN), HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Malta.

HMS Malaya is immediately docked upon arrival. (3)

17 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN) is undocked. (3)

2 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN) arrived at Halifax. (4)

14 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)

Convoy HX 16.

This convoy departed Halifax on 14 January 1940 for Liverpool where it arrived on 28 January 1940.

Some of the merchant vessels had other destinations though.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Aldington Court (British, 4891 GRT, built 1929), Athelknight (British (tanker), 8940 GRT, built 1930), Athellaird (British (tanker), 8999 GRT, built 1930), Athelmonarch (British (tanker), 8995 GRT, built 1928), Athelqueen (British (tanker), 8780 GRT, built 1928), Badjestan (British, 5573 GRT, built 1928), British Officer (British (tanker), 6990 GRT, built 1922), Esmond (British, 4976 GRT, built 1930), Hopemount (British (tanker), 7434 GRT, built 1929), Imperial Transport (British (tanker), 8022 GRT, built 1931), Joseph Seep (Panamanian (tanker), 7088 GRT, built 1920), Laristan (British (tanker), 6401 GRT, built 1927), Manaqui (British, 2802 GRT, built 1921), Margarita Chandris (Greek, 5401 GRT, built 1920), Melmore Head (British, 5273 GRT, built 1918), Oilreliance (British (tanker), 5666 GRT, built 1929), Pacific Ranger (British, 6865 GRT, built 1929), Rhea (French (tanker), 7813 GRT, built 1928), Scottish Trader (British, 4016 GRT, built 1938), Venetia (British (tanker), 5728 GRT, built 1927), Virgilia (British (tanker), 5723 GRT, built 1927), Volontaire (French (fishing trawler), 916 GRT, built 1922), W.H. Libby (Panamanian (tanker), 7992 GRT, built 1921), Wearwood (British, 4597 GRT, built 1930) and Zeus (British, 5961 GRT, built 1920).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Ottawa (Capt. G.C. Jones, RCN) and HMCS Saguenay (Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN).

The Canadian destroyers parted company with the convoy around nightfal on the 15th after which they returned to Halifax.

HMS Malaya parted company with the convoy in the morning of 23 January 1940 after which she returned to Halifax arriving there on 27 January 1940.

The convoy was joined on 25 January 1940 by the destroyers HMS Venetia (Lt. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) and HMS Windsor (Lt.Cdr. P.D.H.R. Pelly, RN) which then escorted the convoy Liverpool.

27 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN) returned to Halifax from escort duty. She was escorted in by the destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.N. Creery, RCN) and HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RCN). (4)

27 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The battleships HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN) and the armed merchant cruiser HMS Ascania (Capt.(Retd.) C.H. Ringrose-Wharton, RN) departed Greenock for Halifax. They had embarked gold that was to be shipped to Canada for safekeeping.

They were escorted until 2000/28 by the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN), HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN), HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN) and HMS Mohawk (Cdr. J.W.M. Eaton, RN). (5)

4 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The battleships HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN) and the armed merchant cruiser HMS Ascania (Capt.(Retd.) C.H. Ringrose-Wharton, RN) arrived at Halifax. (6)

9 Mar 1940

Convoy HX 26.

This convoy departed Halifax on 9 March 1940 for Liverpool where it arrived on 26 March 1940.

Some of the merchant vessels had other destinations though.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Ahamo (British (tanker), 8621 GRT, built 1926), Amberton (British, 5377 GRT, built 1928), Antonio (British, 5225 GRT, built 1918), Appledore (British, 5218 GRT, built 1929), Argos Hill (British, 7178 GRT, built 1939), Argyll (British, 4897 GRT, built 1939), Arinia (British (tanker), 8024 GRT, built 1936), Athelviking (British (tanker), 8779 GRT, built 1926), Atland (Swedish, 5203 GRT, built 1910), Beaverdale (British, 9957 GRT, built 1928), British Courage (British (tanker), 6952 GRT, built 1928), City of Baghdad (British, 7506 GRT, built 1919), Delphinula (British (tanker), 8120 GRT, built 1939), Diplomat (British, 8240 GRT, built 1921), Fowberry Tower (British, 4484 GRT, built 1929), Hertford (British, 11785 GRT, built 1917), Kenbane Head (British, 5225 GRT, built 1919), Kurdistan (British, 5844 GRT, built 1928), Llanishen (British, 5053 GRT, built 1929), Loreto (British, 6682 GRT, built 1913), Marstenen (Norwegian, 1832 GRT, built 1915), Montreal City (British, 3066 GRT, built 1920), Nailsea Manor (British, 4926 GRT, built 1937), Nova Scotia (British, 6796 GRT, built 1926), Persephone (Panamanian (tanker), 8426 GRT, built 1925), Port Fairy (British, 10243 GRT, built 1928), Ripley (British, 4997 GRT, built 1936), Rossington Court (British, 6922 GRT, built 1928), San Fabian (British (tanker), 13031 GRT, built 1922), San Tiburcio (British (tanker), 5995 GRT, built 1921), San Zotico (British (tanker), 5582 GRT, built 1919), Siris (British, 5242 GRT, built 1919), Solstad (Norwegian (tanker), 5952 GRT, built 1927), Statesman (British, 7939 GRT, built 1923), Stylianos Chandris (British, 6059 GRT, built 1919), Troilus (British, 7422 GRT, built 1921), Victoria City (British, 4739 GRT, built 1929) and Voco (British (tanker), 5090 GRT, built 1925).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMCS Skeena (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN) and HMCS Saguenay (Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN).

They parted company on 11 March 1939 and the convoy was from then on escorted by the battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN) which had departed Halifax on 10 March 1940.

HMS Malaya remained with the convoy until 22 March 1940 when she parted company with the convoy and set course to return to Halifax.

The convoy was joined on 24 March 1940 by the destroyers HMS Vansittart (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN), HMS Venetia (Lt. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN), HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. C.G.W. Donald, RN) and HMS Wolverine (Cdr. R.H. Craske, RN) which remained with the convoy until it arrived at Liverpool.

27 Mar 1940
HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN) returned to Halifax from escort duty. She was escorted in by HMCS Skeena (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN). (6)

2 Apr 1940

Convoy HX 32.

This convoy departed Halifax on 2 April 1940 for Liverpool where it arrived on 17 April.

Some of the merchant vessels had other destinations though.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Antonios Chandris (Greek, 5866 GRT, built 1918), Athellaird (British (tanker), 8999 GRT, built 1930), Balmoralwood (British, 5834 GRT, built 1937), Beaconhill (Panamanian (tanker), 6941 GRT, built 1919), Benwyvis (British, 5920 GRT, built 1929), British Chancellor (British (tanker), 7085 GRT, built 1921), British Honour (British (tanker), 6991 GRT, built 1928), British Prince (British, 4879 GRT, built 1935), Capsa (British (tanker), 8229 GRT, built 1931), Carslogie (British, 3786 GRT, built 1924), Defacto (British, 4800 GRT, built 1919), Eclipse (British (tanker), 9767 GRT, built 1931), Esmond (British, 4976 GRT, built 1930), Gitano (British, 3956 GRT, built 1921), Hopecrown (British, 5180 GRT, built 1937), King William (British, 5274 GRT, built 1928), Kingswood (British, 5080 GRT, built 1929), Leontios Teryazos (Greek, 4479 GRT, built 1911), Lochmonar (British, 9412 GRT, built 1924), Minnie de Larringa (British, 5049 GRT, built 1914), Octavian (Norwegian, 1345 GRT, built 1938), Parthenia (British, 4872 GRT, built 1917), Port Hunter (British, 10735 GRT, built 1922), Queen Maud (British, 4976 GRT, built 1936), Rugeley (British, 4985 GRT, built 1936), San Alvaro (British (tanker), 7385 GRT, built 1935), Star of Alexandria (British, 4329 GRT, built 1928), Thistlegarth (British, 4747 GRT, built 1929), Weirbank (British, 5150 GRT, built 1925) and Wellington Court (British, 4979 GRT, built 1930).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RCN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN) and HMCS Saguenay (Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN).

The Canadian destroyers parted company with the convoy on 3 April and then returned to Halifax.

The convoy was joined by the destoyer HMS Vanquisher (Lt.Cdr. C.B. Alers-Hankey, RN) on 13 April 1940 and HMS Versatile (Cdr.(Retd.) T.A. Hussey, RN) and HMS Wild Swan (Lt.Cdr. J.L. Younghusband, DSC, RN) on 14 April 1940.

HMS Malaya parted company with the convoy on 14 April 1940 after she had been joined by the destroyers HMS Wakeful (Cdr. R.L. Fisher, RN) and HMS Whitshed (Cdr. E.R. Conder, RN). They proceeded to Plymouth arriving there on 15 April 1940.

HMS Vanquisher parted company with the convoy on 15 April 1940 and HMS Versatile on 16 April 1940.

HMS Wild Swan remained with the convoy until it arrived at Liverpool.

15 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN), HMS Wakeful (Cdr. R.L. Fisher, RN) and HMS Whitshed (Cdr. E.R. Conder, RN) arrived at Plymouth. (7)

22 Apr 1940
HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN) departed Plymouth for Gibraltar. She was escorted but for the moment we have been unable to find out which destroyer(s) escorted her out.

The destroyer escort parted company in the morning of the next day.

[Possible destroyer escort was HMS Windsor, which also departed Plymouth on 22 April 1940.] (7)

25 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Shortly before noon, HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN), made rendez-vous with the destroyers HMS Velox (Cdr.(Retd.) J.C. Colvill, RN) and HMS Vortigern (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Howlett, RN). (7)

26 Apr 1940
Around 0730 hours, HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN), HMS Velox (Cdr.(Retd.) J.C. Colvill, RN) and HMS Vortigern (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Howlett, RN), arrived at Gibraltar. (7)

28 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The battleships HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN) and HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN) departed Gibraltar for Alexandria where they were to reinforce the Mediterranean Fleet. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Velox (Cdr.(Retd.) J.C. Colvill, RN), HMAS Vendetta (Lt. R. Rhoades RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN).

29 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN) and HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN), HMS Velox (Cdr.(Retd.) J.C. Colvill, RN), HMAS Vendetta (Lt. R. Rhoades RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) are joined by French warships from Mers-el--Kebir and Algeria, these were the battleships Lorraine (Capt. L.M.L. Rey), Bretagne (Capt. L.R.E. de Pivian), Provence (Capt. G.T.E. Barois), heavy cruisers Tourville (Capt. A.J.A. Marloy), Duquesne (Capt. G.E. Besineau), light cruiser Duguay Trouin (Capt. J.M.C. Trolley de Prevaux) and the destroyers Lion (Cdr. J.J.A. Vetillard), Lynx (Cdr. A.M. De Gouyon Matignon de Pontourade) and Forbin (Lt.Cdr. R.C.M. Chartellier).

3 May 1940
British battleships HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN), HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN), French battleships Lorraine (Capt. L.M.L. Rey), Bretagne (Capt. L.R.E. de Pivian), Provence (Capt. G.T.E. Barois), French heavy cruisers Tourville (Capt. A.J.A. Marloy), Duquesne (Capt. G.E. Besineau), French light cruiser Duguay Trouin (Capt. J.M.C. Trolley de Prevaux), British light cruiser HMS Orion (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN), British destroyers HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN), HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN), Australian destroyers HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN), HMAS Vampire (Cdr. J.A. Walsh, RAN, HMAS Vendetta (Lt. R. Rhoades RAN), HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and the French destroyers Lion (Cdr. J.J.A. Vetillard), Lynx (Cdr. A.M. De Gouyon Matignon de Pontourade) and Forbin (Lt.Cdr. R.C.M. Chartellier) arrived at Alexandria.

Sources

  1. ADM 53/111091 + ADM 53/111092
  2. ADM 53/109673
  3. ADM 53/109674
  4. ADM 53/112650
  5. ADM 53/112651
  6. ADM 199/2561
  7. ADM 53/112652

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


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