Sir Harold Thomas Coulthard Walker, RN

Born  18 Mar 1891
Died  25 Dec 1975(84)Woking, Surrey, England


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Ranks

15 May 1908 Mid.
30 May 1911 S.Lt.
30 Apr 1913 Lt.
30 Apr 1921 Lt.Cdr.
30 Jun 1926 Cdr.
31 Dec 1931 Capt.
8 Jul 1941 Rear-Admiral
12 Dec 1944 Vice-Admiral
2 Sep 1948 Admiral (Retired)

Retired: 10 Sep 1947


Decorations

1 Jan 1944 CB
18 Sep 1945 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
1 Jan 1946 KCB

Warship Commands listed for Harold Thomas Coulthard Walker, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Barham (04)Capt.Battleship31 Jan 193925 Mar 1940

Career information

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

Events related to this officer

Battleship HMS Barham (04)


11 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Several ships from the Mediterranean Fleet conducted gunnery exercises off Alexandria; these were the battleships HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN), HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN), heavy cruisers HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN), HMS Sussex (Capt. A.R. Hammick, RN) light cruisers HMS Arethusa (Capt. Q.D. Graham, RN), HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Yates, RN) and four destroyers from the 4th Destroyer Flotilla; HMS Afridi (Capt. G.H. Cresswell, DSC, RN), HMS Gurkha (Cdr. F.R. Parham, RN), HMS Mohawk (Cdr. R.F. Jolly, RN) and HMS Sikh (Cdr. J.A. Giffard, RN).

On completion of these exercises these ships set course to take up a position to the west of Crete to provide cover for convoys passing from west to east through the Mediterranean.

HMS Barham and HMS Penelope however returned to Alexandria after the exercises had been completed while the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) joined the other ships. (1)

27 Sep 1939
The battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN), HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN) and the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) departed Alexandria for exercises. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Gallant (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, RN), HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN), HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN), HMS Delight (Cdr. M. Fogg-Elliott, RN), HMS Duchess (Lt.Cdr. R.C.M. White, RN) and HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN).

HMS Warspite returned to harbour around 1800/27. HMS Barham and HMS Malaya returned to harbour around 1630/28. HMS Glorious returned to harbour around 1500/29. (1)

9 Oct 1939
The battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN), HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN), the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), the light cruiser HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Yates, RN) and the destroyers HMS Duncan (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN), HMS Daring (Cdr. S.A. Cooper, RN), HMS Dainty (Cdr. F.M. Walton, RN), HMS Grafton (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN), HMS Gallant (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, RN), HMS Gipsy (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Crossley, RN) and HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria.

During the exercises HMS Malaya, HMS Glorious, HMS Daring and HMS Bulldog split off. They were to proceed to the Indian Ocean (Socotra area). They arrived at Port Said later the same day. (1)

20 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Alexandria. (2)

11 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN) departed Alexandria for Malta. She was escorted by HMS Duncan (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN) and HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN). (1)

13 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN), HMS Duncan (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN) and HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN) arrived at Malta from Alexandria. (1)

14 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN) is docked at Malta. (3)

16 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN) is undocked. (3)

28 Nov 1939
HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN) departed Malta for Port Said. This was later changed to Alexandria. She was escorted by HMS Dainty (Cdr. F.M. Walton, RN) and HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN).

On departure from Malta HMS Barham served as target for HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) during a practice attack. (1)

30 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN), HMS Dainty (Cdr. F.M. Walton, RN) and HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN) arrived at Alexandria from Malta. (1)

1 Dec 1939
HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN) departed Alexandria for Gibraltar. She was escorted by HMS Dainty (Cdr. F.M. Walton, RN) and HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN).

While off Malta at 1000/3 HMS Dainty and HMS Defender were relieved by HMS Duncan (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN) and HMS Duchess (Lt.Cdr. R.C.M. White, RN). (1)

5 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN), HMS Duncan (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN) and HMS Duchess (Lt.Cdr. R.C.M. White, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (4)

6 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN), HMS Duncan (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN) and HMS Duchess (Lt.Cdr. R.C.M. White, RN) departed Gibraltar for the Clyde. (4)

10 Dec 1939

Convoy TC 1.

This convoy of troopships departed Halifax at 0510 hours on 10 December 1939 for the Clyde where it arrived on 17 December 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships / liners; Aquitania (British, 44786 GRT, built 1914, carrying 2638 troops), Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928, carrying 1312 troops), Empress of Australia (British, 21833 GRT, built 1914, carrying 1235 troops), Empress of Britain (British, 42348 GRT, built 1931, carrying 1303 troops) and Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931, carrying 961 troops),

Close escort was provided on leaving Halifax by the battleship HMS Resolution (Capt. O. Bevir, RN) and the Canadian destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.N. Creery, RCN), HMCS Ottawa (Capt. G.C. Jones, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. W.B.L. Holms, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN). These Canadian destroyers remained with the convoy until 12 December 1939 when they set course to return to Halifax.

Cover for the convoy was provided by the battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. M.L. Clarke, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Hunter (Lt.Cdr. L. de Villiers, RN) and HMS Hyperion (Cdr. H.St.L. Nicholson, RN). At dusk on the 10th both destroyers were detached to join the local escort. They returned to Halifax with the Canadian destroyers.

Early on the 15th, HMS Emerald was detached, HMS Newcastle (Capt. J. Figgins, RN) had joined the cover force in the afternoon of the 14th to take her place.

When the convoy approached the British isles, the destroyers HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St.J.A. Micklethwait, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Mashona (Cdr. P.V. McLaughlin, RN), HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSC, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, RN) and HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, RN) departed the Clyde on the 12th to sweep ahead of the convoy. HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN) was also to have sailed but was unable to join. HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN) was sailed in her place and later joined the other destroyers at sea.

After German warships had been reported in the North Sea, and concerned for the safety of convoy TC.1, Admiral Forbes, departed the Clyde on the 13th to provide additional cover with the battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN), battlecruiser HMS Hood (Capt. Sir I.G. Glennie, RN) and the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, RN), HMS Imogen (Cdr. E.B.K. Stevens, RN), HMS Imperial, HMS Isis (Cdr. J.C. Clouston, RN) and HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. P.H. Hadow, RN). The destroyers HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN) and HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, RN) sailed from Loch Ewe and later joined this force at sea. Three cruisers from the Northern Patrol were ordered to patrol in position 53°55’N, 25°00’W to provide cover for the convoy. These were the heavy cruisers HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN), HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN) and the light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN).

The light cruisers HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, CVO, RN), HMS Edinburgh (Capt. F.C. Bradley, RN) departed Rosyth to patrol between the Shetlands and the Faroes.

The destroyers HMS Afridi (Capt. G.H. Creswell, DSC, RN), HMS Maori (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN) and HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN) departed Rosyth and proceeded north at high speed to try to cut of the enemy warhips if they were to enter the Atlantic.

The light cruisers HMS Cardiff (Capt. P.K. Enright, RN), HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN), HMS Delhi (Capt L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN), HMS Diomede (Capt. E.B.C. Dicken, RN) which were on the Northern Patrol were to concentrate near the Faroes where they were joined by HMS Colombo (Capt. R.J.R. Scott, RN) and HMS Dragon (Capt. R.G. Bowes-Lyon, MVO, RN) which were on passage to their patrol stations.

Nothing happened and the convoy arrived safely in the Clyde on 17 December 1939. (5)

11 Dec 1939
HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN) and her two escorting destroyers, HMS Duncan (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN), HMS Duchess (Lt.Cdr. R.C.M. White, RN), are joined by three more detroyers; HMS Exmouth (Cdr. R.S. Benson, DSO, RN) and HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. I.T. Clark, RN) joined around 1500 hours while HMS Echo (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, DSO, RAN) joined shortly after 1700 hours. (4)

12 Dec 1939
While passing through the North Channel and approaching the Clyde HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN) and HMS Duchess (Lt.Cdr. R.C.M. White, RN) collided at 0437 hours.

HMS Barham stopped and lowered her seaboats. Around 0450 hours the ready use depth charges on board HMS Duchess exploded and she sank.

Shortly before 0600 hours Barham continued to the Clyde escorted by HMS Duncan (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN) and HMS Exmouth (Cdr. R.S. Benson, DSO, RN).

HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. I.T. Clark, RN) and HMS Echo (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, DSO, RAN) remained behind to search for survivors. Only one officer and twenty-two ratings could be picked up from the water. Six officers and one hunderded and twenty-four ratings were lost.

HMS Barham arrived at the Clyde around noon. (4)

13 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN) departed the Clyde for operations. See the event 'Convoy TC 1' for 10 December 1939 for more information. (4)

17 Dec 1939
HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN) returned to the Clyde from operations. See the event 'Convoy TC 1' for 10 December 1939 for more information. (4)

19 Dec 1939
HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN), HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) escorted by HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, RN), HMS Imogen (Cdr. E.B.K. Stevens, RN), HMS Isis (Cdr. J.C. Clouston, RN) and HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN) departed the Clyde. They were to provide cover for convoy HN 5 (from Norway to the U.K.) and afterwards for the ships of the Northern Patrol.

At 1700 hours this day, while in position 55°30'N, 05°02'W HMS Khartoum reported that a torpedo had been fired at her and she made three A/S attacks. Also HMS Isis attacked a submarine contact. No German submarine reported attacking a destroyer and being counter attacked so the A/S contacts must have been bogus. (6)

22 Dec 1939
It was time for the destroyers to start refueling so at 2000/22 HMS Imogen (Cdr. E.B.K. Stevens, RN) and HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN) parted company with HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN), HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN), HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, RN) and HMS Isis (Cdr. J.C. Clouston, RN). They then proceeded to Sullom Voe to fuel and returned at 1045/24.

At 2015/24, HMS Icarus and HMS Isis parted company to proceed to Sullom Voe to fuel. They returned at 1230/26.

At 2005/26, HMS Inglefield parted company to fuel at Sullom Voe. She rejoined the force at 0855/28. (7)

28 Dec 1939 (position 58.47, -8.05)
At 1441 hours (GMT), HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN), was damaged by a torpedo out of a salvo of four fired from German U-boat U-30 off the Hebrides in position 58°47'N, 08°05W. The torpedo hit on the port side abreast 'A' turret. Four ratings were killed.

Barham was able to proceed under her own power. At Liverpool arrangements were made for her to be able to proceed immediately into dock. She arrived at Liverpool late in the evening of the next day.

Barham was out of action for six months (completed on 30 June 1940) while she was being repaired at Birkenhead by the Cammell Laird shipyard. (7)

30 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN) is docked in the Gladstone Dock at Birkenhead, Liverpool for repairs to the torpedo damage she had sustained on December 28th. (7)

21 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN) is undocked at Liverpool. (8)

Sources

  1. ADM 199/389
  2. ADM 53/107657
  3. ADM 53/107658
  4. ADM 53/107659
  5. ADM 199/367 + ADM 199/393
  6. ADM 199/393
  7. ADM 53/107660
  8. ADM 53/111544

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


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