Claude William MACGREGOR 1897 – 1956
By the age of
3½ he was an orphan, as first his mother and then his father died. He and his
elder brothers Peter
and Ivor fell under the wardship
York Macgregor, their uncle. They moved from Hove, first to be placed under
the care of Mrs Lermanshand
Here a home
had been secured for them at a board of £150 per annum, with Miss Marshall, of
Islay Cottage Dollar. There they received tuition at home and in a preparatory
school until they were sufficiently advanced to be admitted into the
In 1911 he was to be found at the house of Mary Galloway, a 71 year old teacher at a private school. The address was 186 Forrest Avenue. Claude was described as at “School”.
At the age of
seventeen Claude became a Cadet at Osborne, the Naval College. He started his
studies in September 1915, but by 1st April 1916 he was a Midshipman
and on 15th April he was posted to HMS Hibernia as she
rejoined Grand Fleet after a refit.
rejoined Grand Fleet after a refit.
This was a
Battleship of the old style, 16,350 tons and 4; 12-inch guns plus 4; 9.2-inch
guns as well as 10; 6-inch. He served under Captain Sydney R. Freemantle until
20 Nov 1916 then under Charles P. Beaty-Pownall.
29 April 1916 3rd Battle Squadron, including transferred to Sheerness under Nore
April 1916 3rd Battle Squadron, includingHMS Hibernia,
transferred to Sheerness under Nore Command.
HMS Hibernia HMS Princess Royal
He then moved
to HMS Princess Royal on 22nd May 1917 and served on this ship until
21st April 1918. This was a Battle Cruiser of 26,350 tons with 8;
13.5-inch main guns, supported by 16; 4-inch guns. Claude served under Captain
Walter H Cowan until 9th October 1917 and then Sidney R Drury-Lowe.
During this time he was promoted to Sub-Lieutenant 30th September
1917. He would therefore have been involved in the Second Battle of Heligoland bight on 17 November
He would therefore have been involved in the Second Battle of Heligoland bight on 17th
September 1918 saw Claude was transferred to HMS Radstock
under Commander Richard M King. This was an Admiralty ased at
Radstock was launched at Swann Hunters on
3/6/1916 , 1050 tons , 276 x 26.5 x 9 feet, Turbine 27000shp, 36 knots,
Armament 3 x 4inch, 1 x 2pounder, guns, 4 x 21inch Torpedo tubes. Pennant G79
1916 changed to G78 1917 and changed to G81 in January 1918. Sold
Admiralty"R" Class Destroyer, b
HMS Radstock was launched at Swann Hunters on 3/6/1916 , 1050 tons , 276 x 26.5 x 9 feet, Turbine 27000shp, 36 knots, Armament 3 x 4inch, 1 x 2pounder, guns, 4 x 21inch Torpedo tubes. Pennant G79 1916 changed to G78 1917 and changed to G81 in January 1918. Sold 1927.
March 1919 he was transferred to HMS Velox under
Commander Fischer Burges-Watson. Claude became a Lieutenant on 30th
September 1919 passing the exam with; Seamanship 2nd class 417/600;
Navigation 2nd class 400/560; Gunnery 3rd class 338/600;
and Torpedo 3rd class 265/440.
Note: In 1918 and until his release from
the navy in 1920, Frederic Suttcliffe EARLE (Born
NORTHLEACH, Gloucestershire) also served on HMS Velox
under Commander Fischer Burges-Watson and travelled to the Baltic Sea north of
for a course of instruction at
HMS Rocket HMS Dido
The posting to
HMS Rocket came on 21st March 1921. This was a Torpedo Boat
Destroyer of 1,065 tons with 3; 4-inch guns. His captain was Commander John O
Barron. This ship was the tender to HMS Dido an Eclipse Class Second Class
Protected Cruiser, then based in Harwich.
Claude was placed on retired list “at own request” on 22nd May 1922, in what became known as the Geddes Axe. He became a Lieutenant Commander 30th September 1927 but was removed from list on 21st April 1931.
Macgregor married Cecil Elizabeth Moya
Bradley on 5th November 1924 at the
Cecil was an opera singer from
In 1926 Claude and Cecil were living at 27
In 1930 Claude and Cecil were found at 12
many other retired officers, Claude offered his services again prior to the
beginning of WW2, the offer was taken up on 22nd
He was posted
on 6th February 1940 to HMS Asturias. This was an armed merchant
cruiser commanded by Captain J R S Halnes. Claude
served on this vessel for most of WW2, becoming an Acting Commander 22nd
May 1940, but at the end of the war he was the Naval Officer in Charge of
He and Cecil moved to Wellesley Cottage, Tilford, near Farnham in
Claude Macgregor became a Commander on 8th May 1946 and retired on 28th April 1947. He lived at Wellesley Cottage until he died, on 27th of March 1956, of lung cancer.
Cecil survived him for another six years, until being killed in a house fire at Wellesley Cottage on 20th of May 1962.