Bernard Rawlings (Royal Navy officer)

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Sir Bernard Rawlings
Vice Admiral Rawlings WWII IWM A 28075.jpg
Vice Admiral Rawlings during the Second World War
Born(1889-05-21)21 May 1889
St Erth, Cornwall, England
Died30 September 1962(1962-09-30) (aged 73)
Bodmin, Cornwall, England
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Navy
Years of service1904–1946
Commands heldEastern Mediterranean (1943–44)
West Africa Station (1943)
Force B (1941)
7th Cruiser Squadron (1941)
1st Battle Squadron (1940–41, 1944–45)
HMS Valiant (1939–40)
HMS Delhi (1932–34)
HMS Curacoa (1932)
HMS Active (1931–32)
Battles/warsFirst World War
Second World War
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire
Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Mentioned in Despatches (2)
Legion of Merit (United States)
Order of George I (Greece)
War Cross (Greece)

Admiral Sir Henry Bernard Hughes Rawlings, GBE, KCB (21 May 1889 – 30 September 1962) was a Royal Navy officer who went on to be Flag Officer, Eastern Mediterranean during the Second World War.

Naval career[edit]

Rawlings was born in St Erth, Cornwall, England, on 21 May 1889.[1] Following education at Stubbington House School, Rawlings joined the Royal Navy in 1904 and served in the First World War.[2] After the war he worked for the Foreign Office and undertook Military Missions in Poland.[2] He then commanded the destroyer HMS Active and then the cruisers HMS Curacoa and HMS Delhi before becoming Naval Attaché in Tokyo in 1936.[2]

Rawlings served in the Second World War, initially commanding the battleship HMS Valiant, then commanding the 1st Battle Squadron from 1940 before commanding the 7th Cruiser Squadron from 1941 and becoming Assistant Chief of Naval Staff in 1942.[2] He became Flag Officer, West Africa in 1943 and Flag Officer, Eastern Mediterranean in 1943.[2] He went on to be second-in-command of the British Pacific Fleet with his flag in HMS King George V.[3] He commanded British Task Force 57 in the Pacific from 1944 through the Battle of Okinawa in the spring of 1945,[4] and retired in 1946.[2]

Rawlings died in Bodmin, Cornwall, England, on 30 September 1962.[1]


  1. ^ a b Sir Henry Bernard Rawlings OBE, RN
  2. ^ a b c d e f Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  3. ^ National Maritime Museum Archived 1 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Stevens, Mike (27 March 2005). "What my Dad Did for Us in the War". WW2 People's War. BBC.
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Algernon Willis
Flag Officer, Eastern Mediterranean
(formerly Commander-in-Chief, Levant)

Post disbanded