Arthur Rullion Rattray

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Arthur Rullion Rattray
The Royal Indian Navy during the Second World War IND3724.jpg
Rear Admiral Rattray, c.1945
Born 1891
Gatehouse of Fleet, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland
Died 10 August 1966 (aged 74–75)
Camberley, Surrey, England
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Indian Navy
British Army
Royal Air Force
Years of service 1912–1946
Rank Rear Admiral
Unit No. 104 Squadron RAF
Battles/wars World War I
 • Mesopotamian Campaign
 • Western Front
World War II
Awards Order of the British Empire
Order of the Bath
Order of the Indian Empire

Rear Admiral Sir Arthur Rullion Rattray KBE, CB, CIE (1891 – 10 August 1966) was a British naval officer who served in the Royal Indian Marine, and also on attachment to the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force during World War I, where he was credited with five aerial victories, to become an ace.[1] He later rose to senior rank in the Royal Indian Navy during World War II.


Rattray was born in Gatehouse of Fleet, Scotland, the fourth of five children born to Arthur Rattray, a retired Indian Civil Servant and judge, and his wife Mary Louise Wakely (née Sutherland). His parents had returned from Bengal, where their first three children were born, in around 1889.[2]

Rattray was sent to HMS Conway, a training ship based at Liverpool, in January 1906, remaining there until December 1907.[3] He then trained at HMS Ganges, near Ipswich,[2] before serving in the Merchant Service, working for the Aberdeen-based shipping company of George Milne & Co.,[4] until joining the Royal Indian Marine in 1912.[5]

Rattray continued to serve in the RIM after the outbreak of World War I, but on 15 February 1917 he was appointed a temporary lieutenant on the General List to serve in the Army's Royal Flying Corps[6] as a flying officer (observer), with seniority from 7 November 1916,[7] but without prior pay or allowances.[8] He served in the Mesopotamian Campaign, gaining a mention in despatches from the Commander-in-Chief, Lieutenant-General Sir Stanley Maude, on 15 August 1917.[9]

By mid-1918, by which time the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service had merged to form the Royal Air Force, Rattray was serving in No. 104 Squadron, based in France, flying as gunner/observer in a Airco DH.9 two-seater bomber. His first aerial victories came on 12 August 1918 over Saverne, when he and pilot Lieutenant Pickup destroyed a Pfalz D.III, and shared in the driving down out of control of another with 2nd Lieutenant George Smith and Sergeant William Harrop. On 22 August he and Lieutenant Pope destroyed an Albatros D.V over Mannheim. His final two victories come in October, with Lieutenant J. H. Cuthbertson as pilot. They destroyed an enemy aircraft over Anney on the 23rd, and a Fokker D.VII over Jametz on the 29th.[1]

Rattray left the RAF after the war, rejoining the Royal Indian Marine, which became the Royal Indian Navy in 1934. On 26 December 1934 he was promoted from lieutenant commander to commander,[10] and to captain on 5 April 1940.[11] By the time he was made a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire on 1 January 1943, he was serving as a commodore,[12] and by 14 June 1945, when he was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath, had been promoted to rear-admiral.[13] He was serving as Flag Officer, Bombay, during the 1946 mutiny. Rattray was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 1 January 1948,[14] two weeks before his retirement on 13 January.[15]

Rattray, died at his home in Camberley, Surrey, on 10 August 1966.[16]


  1. ^ a b "Arthur Rullion Rattray". The Aerodrome. 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "The Rattrays of Roseville". Gatehouse Folk. 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  3. ^ "Conway Cadets List ("R")". 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  4. ^ "Gatehouse of Fleet Connections with World War One: Arthur Rullion Rattray". Gatehouse Folk. 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  5. ^ "The Royal Indian Marine 1900-1920" (PDF). 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  6. ^ "No. 29967". The London Gazette. 2 March 1917. p. 2128. 
  7. ^ "No. 30051". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 May 1917. p. 4314. 
  8. ^ "No. 30058". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 May 1917. p. 4448. 
  9. ^ "No. 30233". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 August 1917. pp. 8327–8329. 
  10. ^ "No. 34196". The London Gazette. 6 September 1935. p. 5660. 
  11. ^ "No. 35176". The London Gazette. 30 May 1941. p. 3113. 
  12. ^ "No. 35841". The London Gazette. 29 December 1942. p. 6. 
  13. ^ "No. 37119". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 June 1945. p. 2935. 
  14. ^ "No. 38161". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1947. p. 10. 
  15. ^ "No. 38262". The London Gazette. 16 April 1948. p. 2413. 
  16. ^ "No. 44091". The London Gazette. 23 August 1966. p. 9338.