Born 8 December 1900 the son of Henry Alfred Cumberbatch, CMG, and Helene Gertrude Cumberbatch nee Rees, at Smyrna [now Izmir], Turkey. His parents were married 16 January 1891 and other children of the family were Robert Cecil Cumberbatch(b 1892 in Smyrna), Ida Sybil Cumberbatch (b 1895), [Sir] Hugh Douglas Cumberbatch (b 1897 in Smyrna), Nancy Maria Cumberbatch (b 1905).
May 1914 Henry Carlton Cumberbatch joined the Royal Navy as a cadet at Osborne 15 August 1917. He passed out from Dartmouth as a midshipman and was appointed to the battle cruiser HMS Repulse. The 27,333-ton HMS Repulse was completed only a year before Henry Carlton Cumberbatch joined her, was with the 1st Battle Cruiser Squadron in the Grand Fleet. She and the Prince of Wales were sunk by Japanese aircraft on 10 December 1941.
November 1917 Repulse is in action with German light cruisers during operations in the Heligoland Bight when she flies the rear-admiral’s flag in the 1st BCS.
3 December 1918 his father Henry Alfred Cumberbatch, who had was born on 27 June 1858 in Berdiansk, Russia, died at Weymouth, England.
22 January 1919 HMS Repulse prepares to undergo a refit so Henry Carlton Cumberbatch was posted to the battleship HMS Marlborough, to be commissioned on 12 March for service in the Mediterranean. At Yalta in April she embarked members of Russian imperial family fleeing the Bolsheviks. The 25,820-ton HMS Marlborough was built at Devonport, where she was launched in October 1912 and completed in June 1914. She was torpedoed at Jutland but survived. Stricken under the Washington Treaty and sold in May 1932.
31 January 1919 he was posted to 3,380-ton depot ship HMS Woolwich, for service in destroyers.
1 June 1919 he was posted to the battleship HMS King George V, flagship in the Mediterranean. The HMS King George V, 23,000 tons, was launched at Portsmouth on 9 October 1911 and completed in November the following year. She was at Jutland in 1916 and was sold in December 1926.
15 May 1920 Appointed acting sub-lieutenant.
29 June 1920 Captain Arthur J Davies, flag captain in HMS King George V, reports that Henry Carlton Cumberbatch is ‘very thorough; good command but rather slow’. June 1920 An appointment to the destroyer HMS Ulster, in reserve, is cancelled. Instead he goes to the 1,687-ton destroyer minelayer HMS Abdiel, which, like the HMS Ulster, is a tender to the destroyer depot ship HMS Hecla at Chatham. HMS Abdiel was the ex-Ithuriel and could carry 70 mines. She had been launched by Cammell Laid on 12 October 1915 and was sold in 1936.
20 July 1920 Henry Carlton Cumberbatch is granted permission to proceed to France, travelling in the HMS Glengorm Castle which sails on 1 September.
22 July 1920 he is posted to the 1,800-ton destroyer leader HMS Montrose. HMS Montrose was built by Hawthorn Leslie and launched on 10 June 1918. In March 1920 she was one of the British warships involved in the evacuation of refugees from Novorossisk in South Russia. Sold in 1946 for breaking up.
1 September 1920 Sails for France, see entry for 20 July above.
30 December 1920 Report by Cdr Lewis Crabbe states that Henry Carlton Cumberbatch is good at games. Is promising but lacks experience.
15 January 1921 Appointed sub-lieutenant.
28 December 1921 Crabbe reports: ‘In all respects fit for promotion to the rank of lieutenant’.
1 January 1922 Crabbe adds: ‘Improved as regards general ability and knowledge in a most satisfactory way during the past 12 months. Efficient TS officer. Good at and keen on games.’
19 April 1922 Attends Naval College course, including time at Cambridge.
26 August 1922 Captain Argentine H Allington reports: ‘Fair French. Very nice lad(!), of quite the right type. Fine manly physique. Plays a strong game of tennis. Well mannered and turned out officer. Very good ability in school.’
12 December 1922 Volunteers for submarine service. Passed medically fit on 30 November.
15 December 1922 Seniority as lieutenant from this date.
1 January 1923 He joined the submarine course at Dolphin at Fort Blockhouse, Gosport.
1 February 1923 Capt Crabbe recommends him for promotion to lieutenant and he is appointed with seniority from 15 December.
13 April 1923 on completion of the course joins HMS M1, working from HMS Conquest. Temporarily in command while in refit, then became its first lieutenant. Achieved only a 3rd Class Certificate at the end of his submarine course. Confidential report states: ‘Poor exam but has personality. Good physique.’ HMS M1 was an unusual vessel, a 1,600-ton [surfaced] submarine equipped with a 12in gun. She also had four 18in bow tubes. Launched by Vickers in 1917, she sank on 12 November 1926 after a collision with S.S. Vidar off Start Point. HMS Conquest was a Caroline class light built at Chatham and completed on 1 June 1915. In reserve 1919-22 and became Captain S/M with the 1st Submarine Flotilla until 1926. Sold in 1930.
5 March 1924 he transfers to HMS H23, working from Dolphin. HMS H23 was built by Vickers and launched on 29 January 1918. The class had a surface displacement of 440 tons. HMS H23 was sold in 1934.
April 1924 Lieut-Cdr Stanley reports: ‘Hardworking, conscientious; little slow at times but improving; v keen; anxious to get on; shown ability as correspondence and (N) officer; plays all games.’
May 1924 Further report by Captain Max Horton states: ‘Has all the necessary characteristics to make a good SM CO [Submarine Commanding Officer].’ Other entries on his confidential sheet are hard to read but he is said to be ‘quiet’ and ‘forceful’ with a ‘pleasant and equable disposition’. Again, he ‘plays games well; g messmate’. Report signed by Rear Admiral Nicholson as ‘satisfactory’.
9 November 1925 He volunteers to return to submarines after forthcoming period in general service.
21 March 1926 Returns to general service, joining the battleship HMS Marlborough, then with the Atlantic Fleet.
3 January 1927 he re-joined the submarine service with HMS L5 in the 3rd Submarine Flotilla at Devonport. He is also attached temporarily to the 5th Flotilla. HMS L5, which displaced 890 tons on the surface, was launched in 1918 by Swan Hunter. Broken up at Charlestown in 1931.
5 January 1927 Report describes him as ‘conscientiously efficient’. Very good at games, especially rugby. ‘A fine type of officer; an excellent example’. He is described by Capt Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax as being tactful and having a very attractive personality. His physical and social qualities are very good.
22 April 1928 Lieut-Cdr John Leathes reports: ‘A conscientious and zealous officer who has carried out his duties of Executive Officer in able manner; reliable initiative although at times he lacks in foresight. Command is good; shows tact and firmness’
1 May 1928 Began his COQC (Commanding Officer’s Qualifying Course) at HMS Dolphin.
15 August 1928 His mother, Helene Gertrude (nee Rees, born 14 May 1869) dies.
1 September 1928 on completion of the course, he takes command of HMS H28 in the 5th Flotilla, based on the depot ship HMS Alecto at Portsmouth. HMS H28 was launched by Vickers in 1918 and broken up at Troon in 1944. During WW2 the class mostly stayed in home waters on training duties. HMS Alecto was a 935-ton ship, built by Laird in 1911. She was sold in 1949 and broken up at Faslane.
22 April 1929 Henry Carlton Cumberbatch is described as a capable submarine CO of ‘average attacking ability’.
25 August 1929 he is said to have made a ‘v g all-round commanding officer of a S/M’ [submarine].
26 August 1929 Returns to general service in HMS Revenge, which had just completed a refit and was now in the Mediterranean, The battleship HMS Revenge, 27,500 tons, was built by Vickers and launched on 29 May 1915, completing in March 1916. Sold in May 1848.
30 June 1930 Again described as a good messmate and popular.
15 December 1930 Appointed lieutenant-commander.
30 December 1931 Joins the depot ship HMS Lucia, 2nd Submarine Flotilla, being available for submarines. HMS Lucia was a 5,805-ton depot ship, originally the German merchantman Spreewald, captured in September 1914 by Berwick and converted in 1916. She was sold on 4 September 1946 and renamed Sinai. She measured 3672ft x 45ft and carried two 3pdrs.
2 January 1933 Takes command of HMS L21, working from HMS Lucia. HMS L21, 895 tons surfaced, was built by Vickers and launched in 1918. She was sold in 1939 after becoming stranded while in tow. The class was designed for overseas patrol work and minelaying but was used for training in WW2.
26 April 1934 Henry Carlton Cumberbatch married Pauline Ellen Laing Congdon at St Mary Abbot’s, Kensington. The bride is the daughter of Mr and Mrs T E Congdon, of North Court House, Reading. Best man was Lieutenant E R Collins, RN. The groom’s sister, Nancy, was one of the bridesmaids. Collins was to be appointed lieutenant-commander on 30 May 1934. He was posted on 15 April 1935 as torpedo officer of the cruiser HMS Ajax.
The Times article from Friday 27th April 1934: The marriage took place at St. Mary Abbot's, Kensington, yesterday afternoon of Lieutenant-Commander Henry Carlton Cumberbatch, R.N., H.M.S. Medway, China, youngest son of the late Mr. H.A. Cumberbatch (Consul-General) and of the late Mrs. Cumberbatch, and Miss Pauline Ellen Laing Congdon, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T.E. Congdon, of North Court House, Reading. The Rev. E.C. Symes and Canon Edwin Brook-Jackson conducted the service.
The bride, who was given away by her father, wore a gown of white lace with a scalloped oval train, which fell from below the knees. Her long white tulle veil was held in place by a Tudor headdress pf lace, and she carried a sheaf of white iris and roses and wore a bracelet of white heather. She was attended by five bridesmaids - Miss Nancy Cumberbatch (sister of the bridegroom), Miss Isabel Catto, Miss Jean Murray; Miss Rachel Henderson, and Miss Audrey Gillespie. They wore dresses of turquoise lace with short veils to match. They carried bouquets of coral-coloured carnations and lilies-if-the-valley. Lieutenant E.R. Collins, R.N., was best man, and, like the bridegroom, wore full-dress uniform.
A reception was held in the Empress Rooms, Royal Palace Hotel, Kensington. Among those present were:-
Mrs. T.E. Congdon, Mr. R.C. Cumberbatch [Robert Cecil his brother], Mr. and Mrs. V.C. Allen, Mr. C.E. Allen, Mr and Mrs. C.W. Allen, Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson, Sir William and Lady McKercher, Sir Alexander and Lady Murray, Miss Murray, the Hon. Maurice Baring, Sir Thomas and Lady Catto, Mr. Jock Catto, Sir Thomas and Lady Neave, the Misses Neave, Mrs. E.R. Townsend, Miss Townsend, Commander and Mrs. Voelcker, Mr. R.V. Yates, Mr. and Mrs. Murdoch, Mrs. A.C. Fuller, Mr and Mrs. Borrett, Mrs. Murdoch, Mrs. A.C. Fuller, Mr. and Mrs. F.K. Brooke, Mr and Mrs. H.A. Gardner, Miss Whitehouse, Mrs. J.E. Stevenson, Mrs. P.W. Morris, Mrs. H.E. Howe, Mrs. Graves Chamney, Mrs. John Rowland, Miss Madeley, Mis Fuller, Mrs. E. Baggallay, Mrs. le Bailly, Mr. le Bailly, Mr. A.H. Abbott, Mr and Mrs. G.H. Keeton, Major and Mrs. battine, Lieutenant-Commander Silcock, Miss Haggie.
Miss Rosemary Balfour, Mr. and Mrs. Somerset Playne, Lieutenant Venebles, Captain and Mrs. McCillough, Mr. W.H.C. Daniel, Miss S. Webb, Miss E. Harding, Mr. and Mrs. John Best, Mr. and Mrs. John Humphrey, Captan and Mrs. Black, Mr. E.P. Burke. Mr. A.L. Carless, Captain and Mrs. Bruce Ramsay, Colonel and Mrs. Chapman, Mr. and Mrs. Davy, Miss Raphael, Lietenant-Commander and Mrs. Higham, Lieutenant-Commander Barry, Mrs. Robertson, Mr and Mrs. W.B. Andrew, Mrs. Adie, the Misses Adie, Mr. and Mrs. G.E. Moore, Miss Moore, Mr. geoffrey T. Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Reid, Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Lawie, Mr. and Mrs. A.R. Nevill, Mr and Mrs. J.P. Ward, Mr. and Mrs. G.N. Kingsley, mrs. E.T. Stuart, Mrs. E.J. Miller, Mrs. C.R. Stanley, Mrs. Doris Jenks, Lieutenant-Commander and Mrs. Bingeman, Mrs. Green, Colonel and Mrs. Hickley, Master Dennis Hickley, Master Michael Barker, Mr. and Mrs. Oliver, Miss P. Farquarson, Mr. and Mrs. C.C.F. Glennie, Mr. and Mrs. H.P. Brown, Miss Brown, Colonel Manders, Mr. and Mrs. Roffey, Mr. R.S. Roffey, Miss Roffey, Mr. and Mrs. C.E. Robinson, Colonel L.A. Grimston, Mrs. Herbert Kingham, Miss Kingham, Mr. and Mrs. T. Cope, Miss Diana Mann, Mr. and Mrs. C. Simkins.
April 1934 he travels to China to join the depot ship HMS Medway, 4th Submarine Flotilla.
5 October 1934 Henry Carlton Cumberbatch took command of the 1,6210-ton submarine HMS Osiris, working from HMS Medway. HMS Osiris, an Odin class patrol submarine, was launched by Vickers Armstrong at Barrow on 19 May 1928. She was sold in September 1946 for breaking up at Durban Medway, 14,650 tons, was launched by Vickers Armstrong at Barrow in 1928 and was sunk by U372 off Alexandria on 30 June 1942.
Navy Service Record Summary ADM 196/148 p221
Name: Henry Carlton Cumberbatch
Date of Birth: 8 December 1900
Entered Service: 15 September 1914
Class of certificates of Passing
|Repulse||Midshipman||6 Sep 1917||22 Jan 1919|
|Marlborough||Midshipman||22 Jan 1919||Jan 1919|
|Warwick(Greenwich)||Midshipman||31 Jan 1919||1 June 1919|
|King George V||Midshipman||1 June 1919||14 May 1920|
|King George V||Acting Sub Lieutenant||15 May 1920||June 1920|
|Ulster(Helda)||Acting Sub Lieutenant||June 1920||Cancelled|
|Abdiel||Acting Sub Lieutenant||June 1920||22 Jul 1920|
|Montrose||Acting Sub Lieutenant||22 Jul 1920||14 Jan 1921|
|Montrose||Sub Lieutenant||15 Jan 1921||15 Jan 1922|
|Pres add for Cse at Cambridge University||Sub Lieutenant||19 Apr 1922||Jul 1922|
|Excellent add for (G)||Sub Lieutenant||11 Sep 1922||15 Dec 1922|
|Cse for rank of Lt to be followed by (T) & (M)||Sub Lieutenant|
|Dolphin add for Submarine Cse||Lieutenant||1 Jan 1923||Apr 1923|
|M1 (Conquest) for (N) duties in lieu of spec||Lieutenant||13 Apr 1923||4 Mar 1924|
|H23 (Dolphin)||Lieutenant||5 Mar 1924||1 Jan 1926|
|Victory for UT||Lieutenant||18 Jan 1926||20 Mar 1926|
|Marlborough||Lieutenant||21 Mar 1926||3 Jan 1927|
|L52 as 1st LT (Dolphin)||Lieutenant||3 Jan 1927|
|L52 as 1st LT (Maidstone)||Lieutenant||14 Mar 1927|
|L52 as 1st LT (Lucia)||Lieutenant||15 Nov 1927||22 Apr 1928|
|Dolphin as spare S/M 1st Lt||Lieutenant||23 Apr 1928|
|Alecto addl or S/M C/Os Cse||Lieutenant||1 May 1928|
|H27 & H28 in Temp reserve in command||Lieutenant||11 Aug 1928||1 Oct 1928|
|H28 in command (Alecto)||Lieutenant||1 Oct 1928||25 Aug 1929|
|Revenge add.||Lieutenant||26 Aug 1929||
|Revenge reserve||Lieutenant||Sep 1929|
30 Jul 1920 granted permission to proceed to France for 10 days subject to recall C E 10628/20
Sailing 1 Sep 1920 “Glengorm Castle”
S.206: 26 Jun 1920: Sat: Av[erage]: Very thorough. Good command but rather slow. Capt. Davies
S.206. 31 Dec 1920 Sat: Av[erage]: (a): Keen on all games. Promising; lacks experience Cdr Crabbe
28 Dec 1921 In all respects fit for promotion to rank of Lieut. Capt Crabbe
S.206 1 Jan 1922 Sat: Av[erage]: (a): Improved as regards general ability & knowledge in a most satisfactory way during the last 12 months. Efficient T.S. Off[ice]r Good at & keen on games Cdr Crabbe
S.206: 26 Aug 1922 Sat: Av[erage]: Fair French. Very nice lad of quite the right type. Fine manly physique. Plays a strong game of tennis. Well mannered & turned out. Represented his College in the 2nd tennis VI. Will undoubtedly make a good Officer V[ery] G[ood] ability in School, Capt Alington
4 Dec 1922 V[olunteere]d: for S/M Service; Passed medically fit 30 Nov 1922
Jan 1923 Recommended for promotion to rank of Lieut. Capt Crabbe
S206 Apr 1923 Sat Av[erage] 3rd Cl SM Cse. Poor exam but has personality. Good physique Capt ^Somerville^
S206 Sat av[erage] (a) hardw[or]k[in]g, conscientious, little slow at times but improving, v[ery] keen & anxious to get on – shown ability to correspondce & (N) Offr – plays all games Lt Cdr Stanley
S206 Aug 1924 (a) 1st Lt all accept[ab]l[e] except (b)(g)(i) ab[ove] av[erage] – (k) accept[ab]l[e] interest in the service Lt Cdr Parkinson (l) concur (o)i V[ery] G[ood] (o)ii V[ery] capable (q) has all the necessary characteristics to make a good SM CO quiet forceful personality pleasant agreeable disposition – plays games well, g[ood] messmate (r)i recd. ord. cse Capt Horton. V[ery] satisf[actory] report R/A Nickolson
9 Nov 1925 Volunteers to return to S/Ms after period in GS CW4456/25
S206 3 Jan 1927 (c, f, h) av[erag] (e g d) ab[ove] av[erag]e (h) av[erag]e (i) no con[cern]s conscientiously efficient V[ery] G[ood] at games especially Rugby, A fine type if Off[ice]r & sets an excellent example Tactful, very attractive personality, physical & social qual[itie]s V[ery] G[ood] i (k) recd ord cse Capt P E E Drax
S206 22 Apr 1928 (c g h) ab[ov]e av[erag]e (c d f) av[erag]e (i) A conscientious & zealous Off[ice]r who has carried out his duties of Exect[utive] Officer in able manner reliable initiative though at times he lacks in foresight, Command is good, shows tact & firmness. Plays games ab[ov]e av[erag]e ability & popular. Should make a good CO S/Ms (k) recd ord cse L/Cdr Leathes – Concur R/A H E Grace
S206 22 Apr 1929 All av[erage] (i) Capable S/M CO of av[erage] attacking ability, g[oo]d phy[sical] & social qual[ities]s (r) Ord cse Cdr G Coltars
S206 25 Aug 1929 (c d e) ab av (f g h) av (i) G[oo]d l[eadersh[i]p & infl[uence] tactful with destined person'y; has made a v[ery] g[ood] all round Com[man]d[in]g Off[ice]r of a S/M (k) Ord cse Cdr R Blacklock
S206 30 Jun 1930 All av[erage] (i) L[eader]sh[i]p & inf[uence] g[oo]d tactful, plays games, g[ood]d messmate popular: g[oo]d & successful Div[isiona]l Off[ice]r & O[fficer] O[f the] W[atch]; keen; g[oo]d at games; satis[factor]y ext've powers (k) Ord cse RA G Round Turner Promises v[ery] well RA W Kelly
S206: (Revised – March 1924)
Authority – King's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions, Article 1851
Report on Officer below the rank of Lieutenant Commander
(A separate form to be used for each Officer.)
In Ships commanded by Captains, this section is to be completed by the Executive Officer in the case of Officers of the Executive Branch, and by the Head of the Branch or Department in the case of Officers of other Branches.
In vessels commanded by Officers below the rank of Captain, the Commanding Officer is himself to complete Section I, consulting Heads of Branches or Departments as necessary.
The reporting Officer is to give his opinion of the Officer under the following headings or the information required:-
a) Capacity in which the Officer has been employed
b) Professional ability, having regard to the standing of the Officer
d) Interest shewn [sic] in his duties
e) Zeal and energy
h) Qualities as an Officer:-
(i) His command of, and control over, subordinates
(ii) His obedience to command, and attitude towards his superiors
i) Initiative (i.e. His power of making a decision and accepting responsibility when required to act on his own initiative)
j) Reliability (i.e. The dependence which can be placed on him to carry out his duties correctly without special or extra supervision)
k) Any special qualifications or merits, or any defects not provided for above)
Report by Commanding Officer
l) State whether the report in Section I is concurred in. If not concurred in, the Commanding Officer is to notify the items in which he does not concur and assess them himself.
m) General conduct
n) If not of temperate habits, to be so stated here
o) In the case of a Commissioned Officer of the Executive Branch, the Commanding Officer's opinion of his seamanlike qualities and of his ability and trustworthiness as Officer of the Watch at Sea:-
(i) Seamanlike qualities
(ii) Officer of the Watch qualities.
p) Is the Officer considered suitable to specialise and, if so, in what capacity.
q) The Commanding Officer's general opinion is to be stated here with any remarks of use in indicating the Officer's special characteristics and qualities.
The following points are suggested for consideration:-
Leadership, influence with Officers and men, personality, temperament, physical and social qualities.
r) Is the Officer recommended for promotion:-
(i) In the ordinary course
This report should be shewn to the Officer reported on whenever practicable. If circumstances prevent this being done, the reason is to be stated here. It should not be shown to anyone but the Officer to whom it refers.
S. 206 CONFIDENTIAL
Name in Full (Surname in Block Letters)
Name of H.M. Ship
Period of Report
Capacity in which Officer has been employed
Occasion on which report is rendered
(a) General Conduct
(b) If Not of temperate habits to be so stated here
(c) Professional ability
(d) Zeal and Energy
(e) Power of Command
(i) General opinion of Officer
(j) Is Officer suitable to specialise, if so in what capacity
(k) Whether recommended for promotion (in ordinary course or specially)
(l) In the case of an Officer of seagoing ship:-
i. Ability in handling ship
ii. Whether fit in all aspects for command of more important seagoing ship in due course
FOURTH SUPPLEMENT TO
The London Gazette
Of FRIDAY, the 29th of NOVEMBER, 1946
TUESDAY, 3 DECEMBER, 1946
3rd December, 1946.
The KING has been graciously pleased to
approve the following Reward and Awards.
For great gallantry, and determination of the highest order
in clandestine operations behind the enemy lines
in Greece in January and February, 1943:
Bar to the Distinguished Service Order
Claude Michael Bullstrode CUMBERLEGE,
Royal Naval Reserve (Retired).
45216 Private Ephraim Cumberbatch
Ephraim Cumberbatch was born in January 1894 in Silverdale, Staffordshire, England and was the son of Ephraim, Senior a Coal Miner, & Eliza Alice his wife. Following his school years he initially followed his father into the Colliery before answering the call of King and Country.
Cleland Bulstrode Cumberlege 1875-1946 was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in 1915 for "distinguished service in the field." Cleland was a career soldier and you can read about his career here.
By Bob Cumberbatch www.cumberbatch.org
The Barbados Second Contingent were recruited specifically for the RAF and left Barbados in November 1940 to join the armed forces fighting World War 2.
The 12 men selected included Errol W. Barrow, who would survive the war, enter politics and eventually become Barbados' first Prime Minister (1966 - 1976).
It also included Grey Doyle Cumberbatch born 1921 in St Lucy, Barbados.
By Bob Cumberbatch www.cumberbatch.org
We Will Remember Them
Six World War 2 graves at St Swithun's, Long Bennington, Lincolnshire, England. Immaculately maintained by Mr George Hamblet for many years.
This is especially touching as none of the men were from Long Bennington. Three of the men were from Canada, one from Barbados and two from England. Normally, and at the request of the families, the bodies were transported to the areas where their families lived.
One of the graves belongs to Greystone Doyle Cumberbatch born St Lucy, Barbados in 1921.By Bob Cumberbatch www.cumberbatch.org