Lieutenant Commander Anthony Cecil Chapel Miers
Anthony Cecil Capel Miers was born in Birchwood, Inverness on 11th Nov 1906. He joined the Royal Navy, was appointed Midshipman on 15th Sep 1925 and joined the Battle Ship HMS Valiant on the same date. He was promoted to Sub Lieutenant on 1st Jan 1928 and, following Lieutenant's Courses at Greenwich and Portsmouth, he joined Submarines when he was appointed to HMS Dolphin 'for the Submarine Course' on 29th Apr 1929. On completion of submarine training he was appointed to the Submarine Tender HMS Ross (Experimental Half Flotilla) at Portsmouth 'for Submarine M2 as Navigating Officers' on 12th Aug 1929. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 1st Jan 1930. This was followed by an appointment to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS Alecto (Training Half Flotilla) at Portsmouth ‘for Submarine H28 as First Lieutenant' on 25th Apr 1931. A temporary appointment as First Lieutenant of the 610ton Fishery Protection Gunboat HMS Dart followed on 14th Sep 1932.
On 19th Oct 1933 Anthony Miers was sent to the Far East with an appointment to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS Medway (4th Submarine Flotilla) at Hong Kong 'for Submarine HMS Rainbow as the First Lieutenant'. On his return home he was appointed to HMS Dolphin in April 1936 'for the Commanding Officers Qualifying Course' which he completed successfully. His first command was 'Submarine HMS L54 in Command' based with the 5th Submarine Flotilla at HMS Dolphin on 8th Sep 1936. He was promoted to Lieutenant Commander on 1st Jan 1938. On 2nd Jan 1939 Anthony Miers was appointed to the Battle Ship HMS Nelson (2nd Battle Squadron, Home Fleet) 'as Staff Officer (Operations) 2'.
He returned to Submarines with an appointment to HMS Dolphin (5th Submarine Flotilla) 'for Submarine HMS Torbay – standing by whilst completing' in the Royal Naval Dockyard at Chatham and 'in Command on Completion' on 12th Nov 1940. HMS Torbay was launched on 4th Sep 1940 and was completed on 14th January 1941. Following 'Commissioning' and 'Work Up' in home waters HMS Torbay was sent to the Mediterranean to be join the 1st Submarine Flotilla based on the Submarine Depot Ship HMS Medway at Alexandria in Egypt. On 5th Jul 1941 the Italian Submarine Jantina was sunk by Torbay and Anthony Miers was awarded the DSO – see London Gazette dated 7th Oct 1941. On 14th Nov 1941 Anthony Miers launched a commando raid from HMS Torbay which targeted the Headquarters of the German Commander in North Africa – General Rommel. For his involvement Anthony Miers was awarded a Bar to his DSO – see London Gazette dated 7th Apr 1942.
A month earlier Miers on 5th Mar 1942 had taken HMS Torbay into the confined waters of Corfu Roads to attack enemy shipping. He completed his task and brought the submarine out successfully. For this, and in recognition of his other actions, he was awarded the Victoria Cross – see London Gazette dated 7th Jul 1942. By this time Miers had returned home with Torbay which started a refit at Devonport Dockyard in June 1942.
The Citation for Anthony Miers' Victoria Cross reads:
London Gazette, 7th July 1942
For the award of the Victoria Cross. Corfu Harbour, Ionian Sea, 4th March 1942, Commander Anthony Cecil Capel Miers, Royal Navy (HM Submarine 'Torbay') For valour in command of H.M. Submarine 'Torbay' in a daring and successful raid on shipping in a defended enemy harbour, planned with full knowledge of the great hazards to be expected during seventeen hours in waters closely patrolled by the enemy.
On arriving in the harbour he had to charge his batteries lying on the surface in full moonlight, under the guns of the enemy. As he could not see his target he waited several hours and attacked in full daylight in a glassy calm. When he had fired his torpedoes he was heavily counter-attacked and had to withdraw through a long channel with anti-submarine craft all round and continuous air patrols overhead.
Anthony Miers was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George VI at Buckingham Palace on the 28th July 1942.
After leaving HMS Torbay he was appointed to HMS Saker in the USA and undertook a number of Public Relations duties before joining the staff of Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, USN who was CINC USN Pacific Fleet. He was then Commander SM8 in HMS Maidstone. Post war he was the Commanding Officer of HMS Vernon II and then HMS Blackcap – a Fleet Air Arm Station. An appointment as Captain SM1 in HMS FORTH followed. His last Sea Command was the Aircraft Carrier HMS Theseus. After promotion to Rear Admiral Antony Miers was Flag Officer, Middle East. From 1967 to 1981 Sir Anthony Miers was the National President of the Submarine Old Comrades Association.
Sir Anthony Miers died on 30th Jun 1985 at the age of seventy eight in Inverness and he is buried in the Tomnahurich Cemetery Anthony Miers' Victoria Cross and other medals are on display in the Ashcroft Gallery in the Imperial War Museum in London.