Richard Douglas 



Royal Navy

Died On:
8 January 1943


Born in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India on 6 October 1907, Richard Cayley was the son of Major General Douglas Edward Cayley, CB, CMG, and Jessie E D Cayley – later of Yately in Hampshire.  He joined the Royal Navy as a Cadet in June 1925.  Promoted Midshipman on 15 September 1926, his naval training continued in the Battleship HMS BARHAM and, later from 12 December 1927, in HMS WARSPITE.  He was promoted Sub Lieutenant on 1 February 1929 and joined HMS DOLPHIN ‘for the Submarine Course’ where he qualified as a Submariner on 5 May 1930. In July 1931, he was serving in HMS L21 as Fourth Hand (2nd Submarine Flotilla) to which he had been appointed on 2 February 1931. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 1st August 1931.  On 5 January 1932 he joined HMS H49 as First Lieutenant.

He was married to Miss Nancy Violet Coutts in the Parish Church at Fleet, Hampshire on 22 April 1933.

After an appointment to the Destroyer HMS CYGNET he was sent to the Far East to join the Submarine Depot Ship HMS MAIDSTONE and, in January 1935 he was serving in HMS PANDORA as First Lieutenant (4th Submarine Flotilla, China Station) to which he had been appointed on 1 November 1934.  He completed his Commanding Officers Qualifying Course (COQC) in 1937 and was appointed to HMS SUNFISH in Command in August 1937.

Richard Cayley next served in the Battleship HMS ROYAL SOVEREIGN from 13 August 1938 and was promoted to Lieutenant Commander on 1 August 1939.  Returning to submarines at the outbreak of war, he joined the submarine, HMS PARTHIAN, in Command on 8 July 1940.  On 31 January 1941 he was appointed to HMS UTMOST in Command (10th Submarine Flotilla, Malta).

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) – see London Gazette dated July 1941.  He was subsequently awarded a Bar to his DSO – see London Gazette dated 5 May 1942 and then a second Bar to the DSO – see London Gazette dated 12 May 1942.  He was promoted to Commander on 30 June 1942.

He was appointed to HMS P311 in Command on 8 June 1942.  However, the Submarine was reported missing in the Mediterranean on 8 January 1943 and was assumed lost with all hands.

Richard Cayley was husband to Nancy Violet Cayley (née Coutts) and is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval War Memorial Panel No. 72 Column No. 3.


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