Admiral of the Fleet (Royal Navy)

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Sleeve lace
Shoulder board
The flag of an admiral of the Fleet is the Union Flag, and is in 1:2 rather than the 2:3 of other admirals' flags.[1]

Admiral of the Fleet is the highest rank of the British Royal Navy (NATO rank code OF-10) although routine appointments ceased in 1995. It is a five-star rank, equivalent to a field marshal in the British Army or a marshal of the Royal Air Force.

History in Royal Navy[edit]

The rank evolved from sailing days and the admiral distinctions then used by the Royal Navy when the fleet was divided into three divisions – red, white, or blue. Each division was assigned an admiral, who in turn commanded a vice-admiral and a rear admiral. In the 18th century, the original nine ranks began to be filled by more than one person at any one time. The admiral of the red was pre-eminent and became known as the admiral of the fleet.[2]

The organisation of the British fleet into coloured squadrons was abandoned in 1864, although the Royal Navy kept the White Ensign. When the professional head of the Royal Navy was given the title of First Naval Lord in 1828 (renamed First Sea Lord in 1904), the rank of admiral of the fleet became an honorary promotion for retiring First Naval Lords allowing more than one admiral of the fleet to exist at one time.

Since 1811 five members of the British Royal family, other than the monarch, and four members of foreign royal families have been appointed admirals of the fleet. Of the British royalty granted the rank, only one, the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) had not seen service in the Royal Navy.

During the two World Wars a number of serving officers held active commissions as admirals of the fleet, as well as the First Naval Lord. Following the creation of the Chief of the Defence Staff in 1959, the five naval officers appointed to that position became admirals of the fleet. Recognizing the reduced post–Cold War size of the British Armed Forces, no further appointments were made to the rank after 1995 when Sir Benjamin Bathurst was appointed admiral of the fleet on his retirement as First Sea Lord. However, the rank was not abolished and in 2012 the Prince of Wales became an admiral of the fleet (as well as field marshal and marshal of the Royal Air Force), in recognition of his support to Queen Elizabeth II in her role of as Commander-in-Chief of the British Armed Forces. In 2014, Lord Boyce, a former First Sea Lord and Chief of the Defence Staff, was elevated to this rank.[3]

Admirals of the Fleet[edit]

Appointed
Image
Name
Born
Died
1690 Gibson, Edward Russell.jpg Russell, EdwardEdward Russell (later Earl of Orford) 1652 1727
1696 George Rooke2.jpg Rooke, Sir GeorgeSir George Rooke 1650 1709 circa
13 January 1705 Sir Cloudesley Shovell, 1650-1707.jpg Shovell, Sir CloudesleySir Cloudesley Shovell 1650 1707
21 December 1708 Stafford Fairborne.jpg Fairborne StaffordSir Stafford Fairborne 1666 1742 circa
14 March 1718 George Byng, 1st Viscount Torrington by Jeremiah Davison.jpg Byng GeorgeSir George Byng (later Viscount Torrington) 1663 1733
20 February 1734 Admiral Sir John Norris, cirka 1735.jpg Norris JohnSir John Norris 1670 1749
1 July 1749 Chaloner Ogle.JPG Ogle ChallonerSir Chaloner Ogle 1681 1750
22 November 1751 Fond blanc.svg Steuart JamesJames Steuart 1690 1757
March 1757 Fond blanc.svg Clinton GeorgeThe Hon. George Clinton 1686 1761
30 July 1761 1stLordAnson.jpg AnsonThe Lord Anson 1697 1762
17 December 1762 Williamrowley.jpg Rowley WilliamSir William Rowley 1690 1768 circa
15 January 1768 Edward Hawke 1.jpg Hawke EdwardSir Edward Hawke (later Lord Hawke) 1705 1781
24 October 1781 John Forbes portrait.jpg Luke O'KeefeThe Hon. John Forbes 1714 1796
12 March 1796 Admiral of the Fleet Howe 1726-99 1st Earl Howe by John Singleton Copley.jpg HoweThe Earl Howe 1726 1799
16 September 1799 Sir peter parker NMM.JPG Parker PeterSir Peter Parker 1721 1811
24 December 1811 William IV.jpg Clarence and Saint AndrewsThe Duke of Clarence and St Andrews (later King William IV) 1765 1837
29 January 1820 John Jervis, Earl of St Vincent by Francis Cotes.jpg Saint VincentThe Earl of St Vincent 1735 1823 acting from May 1814
28 June 1830 Fond blanc.svg Williams-Freeman WilliamWilliam Williams-Freeman 1742 1832
22 July 1830 James Gambier.jpg GambierThe Lord Gambier 1756 1833
22 July 1830 SirCharlesMoricePole.jpg Pole CharlesSir Charles Pole 1757 1830
24 April 1833 Fond blanc.svg Nugent CharlesSir Charles Nugent 1759 1844
8 January 1844 HawkinsWhitshed.jpg Hawkins-Whitshed JamesSir James Hawkins-Whitshed 1762 1849
9 November 1846 Fond blanc.svg Martin GeorgeSir George Martin 1764 1847
13 October 1849 Portrait of Sir Thomas Byam Martin 1773-1854, Thomas Mackay, oil on canvas.jpg Martin ThomasSir Thomas Byam Martin 1773 1854
1 July 1851 Sir George Cockburn.jpg Cockburn GeorgeSir George Cockburn 1772 1853
8 December 1857 Admiral Sir Charles Ogle, Bart - Amiral sir Charles Ogle, Bart.jpg Ogle CharlesSir Charles Ogle 1775 1858
25 June 1858 Fond blanc.svg West JohnSir John West 1774 1862
20 May 1862 Fond blanc.svg Gage WilliamSir William Gage 1777 1864
10 November 1862 Fond blanc.svg Hamond GrahamSir Graham Hamond 1779 1862
27 April 1863 FrancisAusten.jpg Austen FrancisSir Francis Austen 1774 1865
27 April 1863 Sir William Parker.jpg Parker WilliamSir William Parker 1781 1866
11 January 1864 Fond blanc.svg Curtis LuciusSir Lucius Curtis 1786 1869
12 September 1865 Thomas-john-cochrane.jpg Cochrane ThomasSir Thomas Cochrane 1789 1872
30 November 1866 George Francis Seymour.jpg Seymour GeorgeSir George Seymour 1787 1870
30 January 1868 Rear Admiral James Alexander Gordon.jpg Gordon JamesSir James Gordon 1782 1869 on the Retired List
15 January 1869 Fond blanc.svg Bowles WilliamSir William Bowles 1780 1869
3 July 1869 Conde de Penha Firme.JPG Sartorious GeorgeSir George Sartorius 1790 1885
21 January 1870 Sir Fairfax Moresby.jpg Moresby FairfaxSir Fairfax Moresby 1786 1877
20 October 1872 Fond blanc.svg Stewart HoustonSir Houston Stewart 1791 1875
22 January 1877 Rear-Admiral Henry John Codrington (1808-1877), by Cato Lowes Dickinson.jpg Codrington HenrySir Henry Codrington 1808 1877
5 August 1877 Henry Keppel.JPG Keppel HenrySir Henry Keppel 1809 1904
11 December 1877 Provo Wallis.jpg Wallis ProvoSir Provo Wallis 1791 1892
27 December 1877 Fond blanc.svg LauderdaleThe Earl of Lauderdale 1803 1878
27 December 1877 Fond blanc.svg Mundy GeorgeSir George Mundy 1805 1884
15 June 1879 Fond blanc.svg Hope JamesSir James Hope 1808 1881
15 July 1879 Fond blanc.svg Symonds ThomasSir Thomas Symonds 1813 1894
10 June 1881 Admiral Alexander Milne (1808-1896), by Walter William Ouless.jpg Milne AlexanderSir Alexander Milne, Bt. 1806 1896 on the Retired List
1 December 1881 Fond blanc.svg Elliot CharlesSir Charles Elliot 1818 1895
29 April 1885 Ryderpic.jpg Ryder AlfredSir Alfred Ryder 1820 1888
18 July 1887 King Edward VII Vanity Fair 19 June 1902.jpg WalesThe Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) 1841 1910 honorary to non-Navy royalty
1 May 1888 Geoffrey Phipps Hornby.jpg Hornby GeoffreySir Geoffrey Hornby 1825 1895
8 December 1888 Lordjohnhay.jpg Hay JohnLord John Hay 1827 1916
2 August 1889 Wilhelm II, German Emperor, by Russell & Sons, c1890.jpg William IIHIM German Emperor William II 1859 1941 honorary, to foreign royalty
13 February 1892 VCJohnEdmundCommerell.jpg Commerell JohnSir John Commerell 1829 1901
3 June 1893 Alfred-sachsen-coburg-gotha.jpg EdinburghThe Duke of Edinburgh (later Duke Alfred of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha) 1844 1900
20 February 1895 Richard Meade, 4th Earl of Clanwilliam.jpg ClanwilliamThe Earl of Clanwilliam 1832 1907
23 August 1897 Algernon McLennan Lyons.JPG Lyons AlgernonSir Algernon Lyons 1833 1908
29 November 1898 Admiral Frederick Richards, by Arthur Stockdale Cope.jpg Richards FrederickSir Frederick Richards 1833 1912
13 January 1899 VCNowellSalmon.jpg Salmon NowellSir Nowell Salmon 1835 1912
3 October 1902 Fond blanc.svg Erskine JamesSir James Erskine 1838 1911
30 August 1903 Fond blanc.svg Hotham CharlesSir Charles Hotham 1843 1925
16 June 1904 LordWalterKerr.JPG Kerr WalterLord Walter Kerr 1839 1927
20 February 1905 Sir Edward H. Seymour 2.jpg Seymour EdwardSir Edward Seymour 1840 1929
5 December 1905 Adm. John Fisher.jpg Fisher JohnSir John Fisher (later Lord Fisher) 1841 1920
1 March 1907 Awilson.gif Wilson ArthurSir Arthur Wilson 1842 1921
11 June 1908 Tsar Nikolai II (2).jpg Nicholas IIHIM Tsar Nicholas II of Russia 1868 1918 honorary, to foreign royalty
2 December 1908 Fond blanc.svg Noel GerardSir Gerard Noel 1845 1918
27 January 1910 Prinz Heinrich - as GrADM with baton - LC-B2- 2992-2(2).tiff Heinrich of PrussiaPrince Heinrich of Prussia 1862 1929 honorary, to foreign royalty
30 April 1910 Adm. Sir A. Fanshawe (LOC).jpg Fanshawe ArthurSir Arthur Fanshawe 1847 1936
20 March 1913 William Henry May, Vanity Fair, 1903-03-26.jpg May WilliamSir William May 1849 1930
5 March 1915 Captain Hedworth Lambton.jpg Meux HedworthThe Honourable Sir Hedworth Meux 1856 1929
2 April 1917 George Callaghan - Project Gutenberg eText 18334.jpg Callaghan GeorgeSir George Callaghan 1852 1920
3 April 1919 John Jellicoe, Admiral of the Fleet.jpg JellicoeThe Viscount Jellicoe (later Earl Jellicoe) 1859 1935
3 April 1919 Nw beatty 01.png Beatty DavidSir David Beatty (later Earl Beatty) 1871 1936
31 July 1919 SirHenryJackson.JPG Jackson HenrySir Henry Jackson 1855 1929
1 November 1919 Rosslyn Erskine Wemyss, Baron Wester Wemyss by Sir William Orpen.jpg Wemyss RosslynSir Rosslyn Wemyss (later Lord Wester Wemyss) 1864 1933
24 November 1920 Vice Admiral Cecil Burney (7307714298).jpg Burney CecilSir Cecil Burney, Bt. 1858 1929
5 July 1921 Frederick Doveton Sturdee.jpg Sturdee DovetonSir Doveton Sturdee, Bt. 1859 1925
22 August 1921 LudwigBattenberg.jpg Milford HavenThe Marquess of Milford Haven 1854 1921 on the Retired List
31 July 1924 SirCharlesMadden.JPG Madden CharlesSir Charles Madden, Bt. 1862 1935
8 May 1925 Gcalthorpe.jpg Calthorpe SomersetThe Honourable Sir Somerset Calthorpe 1864 1937
24 November 1925 John Michael de Robeck.jpg de Robeck JohnSir John de Robeck, Bt. 1862 1928
21 January 1928 Fond blanc.svg Oliver HenrySir Henry Oliver 1865 1965
31 July 1929 Fond blanc.svg Brock OsmondSir Osmond Brock 1869 1947
8 May 1930 Sir Roger Keyes.jpg Keyes RogerSir Roger Keyes, Bt. (later Lord Keyes) 1872 1945
21 January 1933 Ffield.jpg Field FrederickSir Frederick Field 1871 1945
31 July 1934 ReginaldTyrwhittportraitbyDodd.jpg Tyrwhitt ReginaldSir Reginald Tyrwhitt, Bt. 1870 1951
8 May 1935 Echatfield.jpg Chatfield ErnleSir Ernle Chatfield (later Lord Chatfield) 1873 1967
21 January 1936 Edward Prince of Wales during his visit to Canada in 1919.jpg Edward VIIIKing Edward VIII 1894 1972
12 July 1936 Fond blanc.svg Kelly JohnSir John Kelly 1871 1936
11 December 1936 King George VI of England, formal photo portrait, circa 1940-1946.jpg George VIKing George VI 1895 1952
21 January 1938 William Boyle.jpg CorkThe Earl of Cork and Orrery 1873 1967
7 July 1939 Rbackhouse.jpg Backhouse RogerSir Roger Backhouse 1878 1939
31 July 1939 SirDudleyPound.jpg Pound DudleySir Dudley Pound 1877 1943
8 May 1940 Charlesforbes1.JPG Forbes CharlesSir Charles Forbes 1880 1960
21 January 1943 Andrew Cunningham.jpg Cunningham AndrewSir Andrew Cunningham (later Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope) 1883 1963
22 October 1943 Tovey-TR 002931.jpg Tovey JohnSir John Tovey (later Lord Tovey) 1885 1971
8 May 1945 INF3-77 pt8 Admiral Sir James Somerville.jpg Somerville JohnSir James Somerville 1882 1949
21 January 1948 SirJohnHDCunningham.jpg Cunningham JohnSir John Cunningham 1885 1965
22 October 1948 BruceFraser.JPG Fraser of North CapeThe Lord Fraser of North Cape 1888 1981
20 March 1949 Algernon Usborne Willis.jpg Willis AlgernonSir Algernon Willis 1889 1976
22 April 1952 Arthurjpower.jpg Power ArthurSir Arthur Power 1889 1960
1 June 1952 Fond blanc.svg Vian PhilipSir Philip Vian 1894 1968
15 January 1953 Prince Phillip of Edinburgh.jpg EdinburghThe Duke of Edinburgh 1921 Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom 2011–
1 May 1953 Admiral McGrigor on HMS Norfolk 1945 IWM A 29405.jpg McGrigor RhoderickSir Rhoderick McGrigor 1893 1959
22 April 1955 Rear Admiral George Creasy TR2627.jpg Creasy GeorgeSir George Creasy 1895 1972
22 October 1956 Mountbatten.jpg Mountbatten of BurmaThe Earl Mountbatten of Burma 1900 1979 Chief of the Defence Staff 1959–65
10 May 1960 Fond blanc.svg Lambe CharlesSir Charles Lambe 1900 1960
23 May 1962 Fond blanc.svg John CasparSir Caspar John 1903 1984
12 August 1968 Fond blanc.svg Begg VarylSir Varyl Begg 1908 1995
30 June 1970 Fond blanc.svg Le Fanu MichaelSir Michael Le Fanu 1913 1970
12 March 1971 Fond blanc.svg Hill-Norton PeterSir Peter Hill-Norton (later Lord Hill-Norton) 1915 2004 First Sea Lord 1970–1971

Chief of the Defence Staff 1971–73

1 March 1974 Fond blanc.svg Pollock MichaelSir Michael Pollock 1916 2006 First Sea Lord 1971–1974
9 February 1977 Fond blanc.svg Ashmore EdwardSir Edward Ashmore 1919 First Sea Lord 1977-1977

Chief of the Defence Staff 1977

6 July 1979 Fond blanc.svg Lewin TerenceSir Terence Lewin (later Lord Lewin) 1920 1999 First Sea Lord 1977–1979

Chief of the Defence Staff 1979–82

1 December 1982 Fond blanc.svg Leach HenrySir Henry Leach 1923 2011 First Sea Lord 1979–1982
2 August 1985 Fond blanc.svg Fieldhouse JohnSir John Fieldhouse (later Lord Fieldhouse) 1928 1992 First Sea Lord 1982–1985

Chief of the Defence Staff 1985–88

12 April 1988 Olav V of Norway.jpg King Olav V of Norway 1903 1991 honorary, to foreign royalty[4]
25 May 1989 Fond blanc.svg Staveley WilliamSir William Staveley 1928 1997 First Sea Lord 1985–1989
2 March 1992 Fond blanc.svg Oswald JulianSir Julian Oswald 1933 2011 First Sea Lord 1989–1993
10 July 1995 Fond blanc.svg Bathhurst BenjaminSir Benjamin Bathurst 1936 First Sea Lord 1993–1995
16 June 2012 Carlos de Gales (2011).jpg WalesThe Prince of Wales 1948 Honorary rank. Promoted 16 June 2012
13 June 2014 Admiralmboyce.jpg Boyce MichaelMichael Boyce, Baron Boyce 1943 Honorary rank. Promoted 13 June 2014[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Prothero, David (3 December 2002). "United Kingdom: Royal Navy rank flags". Flags of the World. Archived from the original on 28 June 2006. Retrieved 28 July 2006. 
  2. ^ "Squadronal Colours of the Royal Navy". Royal Naval Museum. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "2014 Birthday Honours for service personnel and defence civilians". Ministry of Defence. 13 June 2014. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 51297. p. 4327. 12 April 1988. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  5. ^ "2014 Birthday Honours for service personnel and defence civilians". Ministry of Defence. 13 June 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 

External links[edit]