Catalogue description Vice Admiral J W Durnford

This record is held by Imperial War Museum Department of Documents

Details of JWD
Reference: JWD
Title: Vice Admiral J W Durnford

Undated ts memoir (238pp, with some ms amendments) covering in particular his service as a midshipman in the Home Fleet battle cruiser HMS INFLEXIBLE (1909 - 1910) and the Atlantic Fleet battleship HMS QUEEN (1910 - 1911), his service as a junior officer during the First World War in HMS ARGYLL (3rd Cruiser Squadron, Grand Fleet) until she became a total loss after running aground in October 1915 and in HMS SHANNON (2nd Cruiser Squadron, Grand Fleet) in which he witnessed the destruction of HMS NATAL by an internal explosion and the Battle of Jutland (November 1915 - January 1918) and in command of HMS P39 in the Portsmouth Escort Flotilla including the rescue of survivors from the hospital ship WARILDA in the English Channel (February - December 1918), his appointment as a naval adviser with the British Military Mission in South Russia (1919 - 1920) and as a member of the Allied Control Commission in Turkey (1920), his command of the Mediterranean Fleet destroyer HMS SIDAR and the Atlantic Fleet destroyer HMS VOLUNTEER (1921 - 1923), his service as a Lieutenant Commander in the light cruiser HMS DURBAN and the cruiser HMS DESPATCH on the China Station at a time of political instability in China (1924 - 1926), his series of appointments in the Australian Squadron (1928 - 1930), his command of the destroyers HMS WARWICK and HMS ECHO in the Home Fleet (1933 - 1935), his appointment as Flag Captain and Chief Staff Officer to Flag Officer Malta including the period of the Munich crisis (1937 - 1939), his command of the cruiser HMS SUFFOLK which was deployed on the Northern Patrol following the outbreak of war and was severely damaged by air attack during the Norwegian campaign (July 1939 - June 1940), his appointment as Second Naval Member of the Commonwealth of Australia Naval Board embracing the time of Japan's entry into the war (December 1940 - April 1942) and as Flag Captain in the Eastern Fleet battleship HMS RESOLUTION (June 1942 - late 1943) and his promotion to flag rank and appointment to Director of Naval Training (1945 - 1947); together with 55 ms and ts letters from various correspondents, including Admiral of the Fleet Sir Algernon Willis, Admiral Lord Mountevans, Admiral Sir Ralph Edwards and Vice Admiral Sir Thomas Troubridge, on service matters (1924 - 1949) and 39 other ms and ts letters (1926 - 1963), Durnford's flimsies, letters of appointment and other service records (1903 - 1948, a number of official papers including correspondence concerning the allocation of gallantry awards to the ship's company of HMS SUFFOLK in 1940, ms notes passed to him by W M Hughes, the Australian Minister of the Navy, during meetings of the Advisory War Council (ca 1941) and an exchange of correspondence with John Curtin, the Australian Prime Minister (December 1941), and letters concerning the revision of the King's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions (1947 - 1952); together with a photograph album

Date: 1903-1952
Held by: Imperial War Museum Department of Documents, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Durnford, John Walter, 1891-1967, Vice Admiral

Physical condition: Original Documents
Access conditions:


  • Russia
  • Turkey
  • China
  • Australia
  • Naval personnel
  • Second World War, 1939-1945

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