Barry Domvile

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Sir Barry Domvile
Born 5 September 1878
Died 13 August 1971
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Navy
Rank Admiral
Commands held HMS Miranda
HMS Tipperary
HMS Centaur
HMS Curacoa
HMS Royal Sovereign
Royal Naval College, Greenwich
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George

Admiral Sir Barry Edward Domvile KBE CB CMG (1878–1971) was a distinguished Royal Navy officer infamous for his pro-German and anti-semitic sentiments in the years before the Second World War.

Naval career[edit]

Domvile was the son of Admiral Sir Compton Domvile and followed his father into the Royal Navy in 1892.[1] In 1912 he became Assistant Secretary to the Committee of Imperial Defence, and during World War I he commanded the destroyer HMS Miranda, the destroyer HMS Tipperary, the cruiser HMS Centaur and then the cruiser HMS Curacoa.[1] After the war he became Director of Plans in 1920, and Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean in 1922 before becoming, in 1925, commanding officer of the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign.[1]

He became director of the Department of Naval Intelligence from 1927 to 1930, then commanded the Third Cruiser Squadron from 1931 until 1932, and served as President of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich from 1932 to 1934.[1]

Political activity[edit]

Domvile had already visited Germany in 1935, being impressed by many aspects of the Nazi government, and was invited to attend the Nuremberg Rally of September 1936 as a guest of the German Ambassador Joachim von Ribbentrop. He became a council member of the Anglo-German Fellowship, and founded the Anglo-German organisation The Link. He supported St. John Philby, the anti-semitic British Peoples Party candidate in the Hythe by-election of 1939 and visited Salzburg that summer, attracting some criticism. In June 1940 his mistress, Mrs. Olive Baker, was arrested for distributing leaflets promoting Reichssender Hamburg. She tried to commit suicide in prison, and was sentenced to five years imprisonment.[2]

Domvile was interned during World War II under Defence Regulation 18B from 7 July 1940 to 29 July 1943. His experience in internment strengthened his antisemitic beliefs. After the war he campaigned against "the Judaeo-Masonic combination, which has wielded such a baneful influence in world history".

Domvile was a prolific diarist. When internment was imminent he hid the latest (56th) volume of his diaries in his garden where it was not discovered by the authorities.

Admiral Domvile's pro-Nazi and anti-war sympathies were expressed in an endorsement to the 1939 book The Case For Germany.[3] His endorsement consisted of the comment in the preface:

"It is a great pleasure to me to introduce the public to Dr. Laurie's valuable book on modern Germany.

He is best known to the world as a brilliant scientist, but he has found time in the intervals of his work to pursue with ardour the task upon which every sensible member of the British and German races should be engaged - namely the establishment of good relations and a better understanding between these two great nations.

Dr. Laurie knows full well that this friendship is the keystone to peace in Europe - nay, in the whole world.He is one of the small group who founded the Association known as "The Link", whose sole aim is to get Britons and Germans to know and understand one another better. He is one of the most zealous workers in this good cause in the country.

He writes of the National Socialist movement with knowledge and great sympathy.The particular value of this book lies in the fact that it is written by a foreigner, who cannot be accused of patriotic excess in his interpretation of the great work done by Herr Hitler and his associates. I recommend this volume with confidence to all people who are genuinely impressed with the desire to understand one of the greatest - and most bloodless - revolutions in history."

Admiral Sir Barry Domvile 8 May 1939

Domvile largely faded from public view in the post-war period. He was a supporter of the League of Empire Loyalists but was never more than a peripheral figure in the group.[4]

Books[edit]

  • By and Large, pub Hutchinson, 1936 (His autobiography)
  • From Admiral to Cabin Boy (1947; the cabin referred to is his cell at Brixton prison during internment) ISBN 0-89562-099-5
  • Look to Your Moat (A history of British naval and merchant seamen)
  • The Great Taboo: Freemasonry
  • Straight from the Jew's Mouth
  • Truth about Anti-Semitism

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  2. ^ Julie V. Gottlieb, Feminine Fascism ISBN 1-86064-918-1
  3. ^ The Case for Germany: A Study of Modern Germany (1939)
  4. ^ Martin Walker, The National Front, Fontana/Collins, 1977, p. 30
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir William Boyle
President, Royal Naval College, Greenwich
1932–1934
Succeeded by
Sir Ragnar Colvin