Bernard Acworth

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Captain (retired) Bernard Acworth, D.S.O., R.N. (3 February, 1885 – ) served in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Acworth was born in Leamington, the son of Reverend H. S. Acworth.

Joined the Royal Naval College on 14 March, 1905. On 15 March 1906 he was appointed to Thames for instruction in submarines.

Acworth earned his watchkeeping certificate on 24 June, 1907 and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 30 June, 1907.[1]

On 24 March 1909, Acworth volunteered for service in Australian submarines.

Acworth was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 30 June, 1915. He was in command of the trawler Ratapiko when she engaged an enemy submarine on 11 August, 1915, thirty miles east of May Island. The Admiralty conveyed their appreciation for Acworth's gallantry under "heavy fire" on this occasion.

In 1917, Acworth was brought to notice for having conducted 24 patrols with the Tenth Submarine Flotilla and Eleventh Submarine Flotilla in the previous twelve months. At the end of the year, he was awarded a D.S.O. for his anti-submarine services. However, on 13 December 1917 his L 2 was fired on while conducting trials off the straits of [illeg]. The fallout of this miscue is not legible in his service record, but it appears that he was blamed for being where no friendly submarine was expected to be.

Acworth was promoted to the rank of Commander on 30 June, 1919. He continued in command of L 2 until December, 1920. In late March 1921, he took up work at the Torpedo Division, on the books of President. This work would last just over two years. On 1 May, 1923, Acworth was appointed in command of the destroyer Rocket, and in charge of the Anti-Submarine Flotilla.

In 1924, Acworth was appointed to a committee to investigate the question of coordinating anti-submarine activities, headquartered in Vernon.

In 1927, Rear-Admiral Frederic C. Dreyer opined that while Acworth had "undoubted talent [and a] strong character", he not think the man would make a very good captain in spite of his industrious nature.

In 1929 he was cautioned to be more careful about his adherence to King's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions regarding the publication of service-related information. In 1930, he was again cautioned about his public statements, having written criticisms of R.A.F. operations in an article called "Airmen and Afridis" in "Youth" magazine. He was warned that further infractions would result in disciplinary measures. Upon reflection, Acworth chose the literary path, and received permission to take up a position with the "Morning Post", going on half-pay from 1 January, 1931. He was placed on the Retired List at his own request with the rank of Captain on 3 February, 1931.

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. C 26
1 May, 1909[2] – 5 Mar, 1913
Succeeded by
Colin Cantlie
Preceded by
Captain of H.M.S. L 2
30 Sep, 1917[3] – Dec, 1920
Succeeded by
Colin Cantlie
Preceded by
Arthur J. L. Murray
Captain of H.M.S. Rocket
1 May, 1923[4] – 15 Apr, 1925
Succeeded by
Hubert Vaughan-Jones
Preceded by
Alan F. W. Howard
Captain of H.M.S. Concord
16 Dec, 1927[5]c. Jan, 1928
Succeeded by
Arthur F. Pridham
Preceded by
Dudley B. N. North
Captain of H.M.S. Dartmouth
c. Jan, 1928 – early 1928
Succeeded by
Joseph H. L. Yorke


  1. The Navy List. (March, 1913). p. 2.
  2. The Navy List. (March, 1913). p. 395a.
  3. The Navy List. (May, 1920). p. 798.
  4. The Navy List. (April, 1925). p. 265a.
  5. The Navy List. (January, 1928). p. 226.