Posted by: Jim Bell | March 5, 2011

Philip Howard Colomb

Vice-Admiral Philip Howard Colomb, RN (29 May 1831 – 13 October 1899). Born in Knockbrex, near Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, he was a Royal Navy officer, historian, critic and inventor. He was the son of General GT Colomb. His younger brother Sir John Colomb was also a soldier and strategist of the Royal Navy.

Colomb entered the navy in 1846, and served first at sea off Portugal in 1847; afterwards, in 1848, in the Mediterranean, and from 1848 to 1851 as midshipman of the Reynard in operations against piracy in Chinese waters; as midshipman and mate of the Serpent during the Burmese War of 1852-53; as mate of the Phoenix in the Arctic Expedition of 1854; as lieutenant of the Hastings in the Baltic Sea during the Crimean War, taking part in the attack on Sveaborg.

He became what was known at that time as a gunner’s lieutenant in 1857, and from 1859 to 1863 he served as flag-lieutenant to Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Pasley at Devonport. Between 1858 and 1868 Colomb was employed in home waters on a variety of special services, chiefly connected with gunnery, signalling and the tactical characteristics and capacities of steam warships. From 1868 to 1870 he commanded HMS Dryad in the Persian Gulf region and was engaged in the suppression of the slave trade, particularly around Zanzibar and Oman. His book Slave-catching in the Indian Ocean: A record of naval experiences was published by Longmans in London in 1873, an interesting and informative account, one distinguished by a studied moderation.

In 1874, while captain of the Audacious, he served for three years as flag-captain to Vice-Admiral Ryder in China; and finally he was appointed, in 1880, to command the Thunderer in the Mediterranean. The next year he was appointed captain of the steam reserve at Portsmouth. After serving three years in that capacity, he remained at Portsmouth as flag-captain to the commander-in-chief until 1886, when he was retired by superannuation before he had attained flag rank. Subsequently he became rear-admiral, and finally vice-admiral on the retired list.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia : More on the Wikipedia Listing

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