Gordon Campbell (Royal Navy officer)
Captain Gordon Campbell
|Born||6 January 1886|
|Died||3 July 1953 (aged 67)|
All Saints Churchyard, Crondall
|Years of service||1900–1929|
|Commands held||HMS Farnborough|
|Battles/wars||First World War|
Distinguished Service Order & Two Bars
Légion d'honneur (France)
Croix de Guerre (France)
|Relations||Sir Edward Campbell, 1st Baronet (brother)|
Brigadier Lorne MacLaine Campbell VC (nephew)
|Other work||Member of Parliament|
Vice Admiral Gordon Campbell, VC, DSO & Two Bars (6 January 1886 – 3 July 1953) was a British naval officer, writer, politician and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. He was also awarded the Croix de Guerre and appointed a chevalier of the Légion d'honneur for his actions during the First World War.
Early life and career
Born on 6 January 1886, he was educated at Dulwich College, which he attended between 1898 and 1900. He then joined the Royal Navy and was in October 1902 posted as a midshipman to the battleship HMS Irresistible serving in the Mediterranean Sea. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1907 and to commander in March 1916. It was during the First World War that he was awarded the Victoria Cross for the following action.
On 17 February 1917 in the north Atlantic, Commander Campbell, commanding HMS Farnborough (Q.5) (one of the "mystery" Q ships) sighted a torpedo track. He altered course and allowed the torpedo to hit Q.5 aft by the engine-room bulkhead. The 'Panic party' got away convincingly, followed by the U-boat. When the submarine had fully surfaced and was within 100 yards of Q.5—badly damaged and now lying very low in the water—the commander gave the order to fire. Almost all of the 45 shells fired hit the SM U-83 which sank. Q.5 was taken in tow just in time and was safely beached. On 22 March 1916, another U-boat, SM U-68 was sunk by Farnborough.
Campbell also commanded HMS Dunraven during the action of 8 August 1917 when she was sunk by SM UC-71. Victoria Crosses were awarded to two members of the crew who were selected by ballot from amongst the crew of Dunraven, Lieutenant Charles George Bonner and Petty Officer Ernest Herbert Pitcher. Campbell received his second Bar to his Distinguished Service Order (DSO).
Campbell later achieved the rank of vice admiral. He commanded the battlecruiser HMS Tiger 1925–27 and served as Naval Aide-de-Camp to George V 1928–29. In 1931, he was elected as National Member of Parliament for Burnley, defeating the Labour leader, Arthur Henderson. In 1935, however, standing as a National Liberal, he lost his seat.
Campbell wrote several publications, including the successful My Mystery Ships. His brother, Sir Edward Campbell, was also a Member of Parliament.
- A. C. Hampshire, "Campbell, Gordon (1886–1953)", rev. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, October 2006 accessed 21 July 2008
- "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36902). London. 18 October 1902. p. 9.
- "No. 30029". The London Gazette (Supplement). 20 April 1917. p. 3819.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boats: UC-71". U-Boat War in World War I. Uboat.net. Retrieved 15 April 2009.
- Gazette Issue 30363 published on the 30 October 1917 p11315
- Tempting the Fates,17 Aug 200, Dare Wilson
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- VCs of the First World War - The Naval VCs (Stephen Snelling, 2002)
- Gordon Campbell at Find a Grave
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Gordon Campbell
- Winchester, Clarence, ed. (1937). "Salute to a Hero". Shipping Wonders of the World. pp. 129–135. illustrated account of Gordon Campbell, "the most famous Q-ship officer"
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Burnley