Rear-Admiral Sir Gerald C. Dickens, RN

Sir Gerald Charles Dickens

Born October 13, 1879 - Died November 19, 1962

A man who became very important for Holland during the war, was Rear-Admiral Gerald C. Dickens, who relieved Captain B.B. Schofield as Great Britain's naval attaché in The Hague in February 1940. Dickens had already spent most of his life in the navy, joining the naval college HMS Britannia in 1894. Retired in 1938, he was, like many other admirals, recommissioned in the Royal Navy with a lower rank, to serve in posts of lesser importance. During the German invasion of Holland, Dickens was the principal liaison to the Royal Navy. But this role did not end with the surrender on May 14. He evacuated to Britain by destroyer, where he was assigned as Principal Liaison Officer, Allied Navies. During this period, his efforts (and those of the Dutch naval attaché in London, Lt. Cdr. A. de Booy) were essential in forging a good working relationship between the Dutch and British Navy. After he was relieved by Vice-Admiral E.L.S. King in 1943, he became Flag Officer, Tunisia on March 20, 1943, and held this post until 1944. His assignment as Flag Officer, Netherlands came in September 1944. His responsibilities included sending much-needed supplies to Dutch ports to help the population. During September 1945, he resigned and was subsequently retired.

Ranks
Lieutenant 1902
Lieutenant-Commander
Commander 1914
Captain 1919
Rear-Admiral 1932
Vice-Admiral 1936
Full Admiral
Retired 1938
Recommissioned as Rear-Admiral 1939
Retired 1945

Postings
HMS Harpy (Dardanelles campaign) 1914 - 1918
Intelligence division 1919 - 1919
Flag Commander to Commander in Chief, Mediterranean 1919 - 1919
Deputy Director Plans Division Admiralty 1920 - 1922
Commanding Officer, light cruiser HMS Carlisle 1922 - 1924
Commanding Officer, Auxiliary Patrol 1925 - 1926
Directing Staff, Imperial Defence College 1926 - 1929
Commanding Officer, battlecruiser HMS Repulse 1929 - 1931
Naval aide de camp to Her Majesty the Queen 1931 - 1932
Director of Naval Intelligence Division 1932 - 1935
Commanding Officer, Reserve Fleet 1935 - 1937
Naval Attaché, The Hague February, 1940 - May, 1940
Principal Liaison Officer with Allied navies 1940 - 1943
Flag Officer, Tunisia August 3, 1943 - January 1, 1944
Flag Officer, Netherlands 1944 - September, 1945

Awards
Dutch Grand Cross Orange-Nassau
Foreign Companion in hte Most Honourable Order of the Bath (Great Britain, 1934)
K.C.V.O. (Britain, 1937)
C.M.G. (Britain, 1919)
C.B. (Britain)
Commander in the Legion of Merit (United States, 1945)
Chevalier Légion d'Honneur (France)

Sources
"Who Was Who in World War II", Volume 6
J.S. Bax "Batterij gereed...Vuur!"
Ph.M. Bosscher "De Koninklijke Marine in de Tweede Wereldoorlog", vols. 1 and 3
London Gazette, March 16, 1945
Mark C. Jones "Friend and Advisor to the Allied Navies: The Royal Navy's Principal Liaison Officer and Multinational Naval Operations in World War II", The Journal of Military History 77 (July 2013).

Thanks to Mark C. Jones and John Wilson for additional information

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