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British Industrial History

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William Walter Kiddle

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Staff-Commander William Walter Kiddle RN (1823-1889)

1889 Obituary [1]

STAFF-COMMANDER WILLIAM WALTER RIDDLE, RN., was born on the 30th of November, 1823. His professional career, having been exclusively a naval one, is best told in the accompanying extract from the Navy List.

“Served as Senior Navigating Officer seventeen years on foreign stations and three and a quarter on channel service or fleet, including three sea-going flagships, Mediterranean, North America, and West Indies and Channel ; saw much boat and river service on the west coast of -4frica in suppressing the slave trade; present at the capture of seven vessels ; received the thanks of the President of the United States for rescuing with the boats of ‘Firefly’ and ‘Dolphin’ a brig from the natives of the Congo; served in two Baltic Flying Squadrons, named for boat services, on one occasion with the French, and reported by letter at the close of the war for service before the enemy: in ‘ Tartar’ took three Venezuelan schooners of war from under the guns of Puerta Cabello, and held them till the English flag had been saluted; subsequently commanded for eight years the mail steamers of White Star, West Indian and Pacific Royal Mail Companies : has the French Gold Medal of Honour, Baltic Medal, Royal and Liverpool Humane Societies Medals, and Medal for Nautical Astronomy ; also two testimonials from the Liverpool Humane Society, and one from the Prefect of the Rhone ; publicly thanked and logged for gallantry in ‘ Medusa’ and ‘Royal Alfred,’ and holds a Certificate for the same from Commander of ‘Firefly’; received several substantial presentations and letters of thanks from public companies, &c., &c., including one from the French Consul-General at New York. Vide Royal Humane Society’s Medals, and Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society’s Medals.”

About the year 1877 Captain Kiddle was appointed Principal Officer of the Board of Trade and Chief Emigration Officer, Ireland, with headquarters at Dublin. He continued to hold office till his death, which occurred in London on the 27th of June, 1889. Captain Kiddle was a Younger Brother of Trinity House, and was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 5th of February, 1878. Besides possessing professional abilities of a high order, he was a most accomplished man, being an artist in water-colours of considerable repute, a well-known contributor to periodical literature, and a good linguist, reading and speaking five languages.

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