WALKER-HENEAGE-VIVIAN, ALGERNON (1871 - 1952), admiral

Name: Algernon Walker-Heneage-Vivian
Date of birth: 1871
Date of death: 1952
Spouse: Beryl Walker-Heneage-Vivian (née Stanley)
Spouse: Helen Mary Walker-Heneage-Vivian (née du Boulay)
Child: Rhoda Walker Heneage
Child: Anne Walker Heneage
Child: Mary Walker Heneage
Parent: Henrietta Letitia Victoria Heneage (née Vivian)
Parent: Clement Walker Heneage
Gender: Male
Occupation: admiral
Area of activity: Military
Author: Donald Moore

b. 4 February 1871, third son of Major Clement Walker Heneage, V.C., 8th Hussars, of Compton Bassett, Wilts., and Henrietta Letitia Victoria, daughter of John Henry Vivian of Singleton, Swansea. He m. (1) in 1912 Helen Mary, daughter of Capt. E. de V. du Boulay, late R.H.A. and they had three daughters, Mary, Anne and Rhoda (they divorced in 1931); m. (2) in 1931 Beryl, daughter of T. Stanley, Cardiff. He assumed the name of Walker-Heneage-Vivian by Royal Licence in 1921. He was educated at Evelyn's and Stubbington, Hants. In 1886 he began a career in the Royal Navy, joining the battleship HMS Triumph as a midshipman under the command of Sir Algernon Heneage, a relative of his. He began to specialise in anti-submarine warfare when serving in HMS Royal Arthur in the Pacific. He gained speedy promotion, becoming commander in 1900. He served in various parts of the world, including north China. He was second-in-command of the naval contingent which was sent by HMS Powerful to defend Ladysmith in South Africa, and he was mentioned in despatches. The siege affected his health, and he was seriously ill afterwards. In 1907 he was promoted captain in command of the minelayer HMS Hyacinth, and in 1908 was given command of the First Squadron of Minelayers. At the beginning of World War I he took command of the battleship HMS Albion and soon sailed to the South Atlantic on a secret mission to transport gold bullion from South Africa to assist the war effort. This was followed by an assignment in the eastern Mediterranean to support the landings at Gallipoli (twice mentioned in despatches). During 1915-16 he was commodore commanding small vessels in the eastern Mediterranean, including 160 minesweepers. As commodore first class he was in charge of the allied barrage across the Strait of Otranto, 1916-17. Then he became Senior British Naval Officer in Italy and he was promoted rear-admiral in 1918. He was A.D.C. to the King, 1917-18. He retired from active service in 1920 after a long and distinguished career, in which his special contribution had been in anti-submarine warfare and defence against mines. He was promoted vice-admiral in 1923 and admiral in 1927.

On retirement he settled in Swansea, at first at Parc le Breos, Penmaen, an estate which he had been left by Graham Vivian. But, soon after, he inherited Clyne Castle on the death of Dulcie Vivian. Thereupon he added ‘Vivian’ to his surname. He played a full part in the commercial, social and cultural life of the area. He became director and chairman of his family business, Vivian & Sons Ltd. (involved in the production of non-ferrous metals), and chairman of the South-west Wales Savings Bank. He was a Justice of the Peace, Deputy Lieutenant of Glamorgan, and in 1926 High Sheriff of Glamorgan. He became Honorary Colonel of the 53rd (Welsh) division Training R.A.S.C. (T). He showed his interest in horticulture by the care which he lavished on his own gardens and by joining the Garden Society and the Rhododendron Society. He was a founder and first president of The Gower Society. He received many honours, including M.V.O. (1904), C.B. (1916), Officer of the Légion d'Honneur, Order of the Rising Sun (2nd class), and Grand Officer of the Crown of Italy. He was renowned for the warm welcome which he gave to the many important visitors who came to Clyne Castle. He died 26 February 1952. As a result of death duties it proved necessary to sell Clyne Castle (which was bought by the University College of Swansea) and many of its contents. His portrait was painted by Evan Walters in 1926, and by Margaret Lindsay Williams in 1931.

Author

Published date: 2001

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