Sir Richard Onslow
|Born||15 April 1904|
|Died||16 December 1975 (aged 71)|
|Years of service||1918-1962|
|Commands held||Plymouth Command (1958-61)|
Reserve Fleet (1956-58)
HMS Devonshire (1951-52)
4th Destroyer Flotilla (1943-45)
HMS Quilliam (1943-45)
HMS Osprey (1943)
HMS Ashanti (1941-42)
HMS Gipsy (1937-38)
|Battles/wars||First World War|
Second World War
|Awards||Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath|
Distinguished Service Order & Three Bars
Mentioned in Despatches
Order of the Red Banner (Soviet Union)
Order of the Sword (Sweden)
Onslow was born in 1904 at Garmston (near Ironbridge), Shropshire, second child and eldest son of George Arthur Onslow, farmer, and his wife Charlotte Riou Benson, daughter of clergyman the Reverend Riou George Benson.
At the start of the Second World War Onslow was on the Plans Division of the Naval Staff, with a combat interlude in 1940 on an unsuccessful attempt to evacuate the Belgian government and gold reserves from Bordeaux during the Fall of France, nearly becoming prisoner of the Germans. He next became captain of the destroyer HMS Ashanti in 1941 in the role of defending Russian convoys, as well as the convoys to Malta. His services on the former convoys earned him the initial award of his Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and the Soviet Order of the Red Banner. He took over the anti-submarine training establishment HMS Osprey in 1943 and went on to be captain of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla in November, in which capacity he earned the third of his three bars to his DSO in the attack on a Japanese base at Sabang, Sumatra.
After the war Onslow became Senior Naval Officer in Northern Ireland and then, from 1948, Director of the Tactical Division at the Admiralty. After taking command of the training ship HMS Devonshire in 1951, he became Naval Secretary in 1952. He was made Flag Officer (Flotillas) for the Home Fleet in 1955 and Flag Officer commanding the Reserve Fleet in 1956. His last appointment was as Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth in 1958. He retired in 1962.