|Sir Cecil Harcourt|
|Born||11 April 1892|
|Died||19 December 1959|
|Years of service||1904 - 1952|
|Commands held||HMS Wessex
HMS Duke of York
|Battles/wars||World War I
World War II
|Awards||Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire
Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Admiral Sir Cecil Halliday Jepson Harcourt, GBE, KCB (Chinese Translated Name: 夏慤; 11 April 1892 – 19 December 1959), was a British naval officer. From September 1945 to June 1946, Harcourt was the de facto governor of Hong Kong as commander-in-chief and head of the military administration. He was called by the Chinese name "Ha Kok", a reference to the fourth-century Chinese nobleman Chung Kok.
He was born in Bromley, London, son of Halliday Harcourt and Grace Lilian née Jepson. He had a distinguished career in the Royal Navy, which he entered as a midshipman on 15 September 1904, at the age of 12. He served in both world wars.
In 1939, he was appointed Director of the Admiralty's Operations Division. In 1941 he was Flag Captain of the Home Fleet, while commanding HMS Duke of York. From 1942 to 1944 he took part in the North Africa campaign, the capture of Tunisia, Pantelleria. Lampedusa and Sicily, and the landing at Salerno. In 1944 he became Naval Secretary. In 1945, he was Flag Officer Commanding 11th Aircraft Carrier Squadron, with his flag in HMS Colossus.
He became famous after he personally took the surrender of Japanese forces (under Vice-Admiral Fujita and Lieutenant-General Tanaka) in Hong Kong. He became the head of a provisional military government in Hong Kong from September 1945 to April 1946, serving as administrator until civilian rule could be established. He was knighted during this time, in December 1945.
In 1947, Harcourt became Flag Officer (Air) and Second in Command Mediterranean Fleet. In 1948, he became Second Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Personnel as well as a Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty, and in 1950 Commander-in-Chief, The Nore. He retired in 1952.
Ships he commanded
Ships under Harcourt's command included:
- HMS Wessex (1931)
- HMS Stuart (1935; leader of the Australian Destroyer Flotilla)
- HMS President (1939)
- HMS Duke of York (1941)
- HMS Sheffield (1942)
- HMS Aurora (1942)
- HMS Cleopatra (1943)
- HMS Venerable (1945)
- HMS Tamar (1945)
- HMS Newfoundland
- HMS Swiftsure.
On 17 April 1913, he assumed the surname "Harcourt-Morris", but this lasted only a short time.
In 1920 he became the second husband of the English pianist Evelyn Suart, a widow. They had no children of their own. One of her daughters by her first marriage was the noted ballerina Diana Gould, who became the second wife of the violinist Yehudi Menuhin. Her sister Griselda became the second wife of the pianist Louis Kentner. After Evelyn Suart's death in 1950, Harcourt married Stella, widow of Air Commodore David Waghorn, in 1953.
- He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1940.
- In 1943 he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the Bath (CB).
- On 18 December 1945, he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB).
- In 1953 he was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE).
Places named after him
- British Pathe EASTERN NEWS FLASHES 08/10/1945 Newsreel includes Harcourt receiving Japanese surrender.
- Royal Navy (RN) Officers 1939-45
- CNN After wartime occupation, a swift rebirth
- Times Obituary: Vice-Admiral Sir John Parker- served with Harcourt on Sheffield and Newfoundland. (20 May 2005)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cecil Harcourt.|
Franklin Charles Gimson
as Governor of Hong Kong
|Administrator of Hong Kong
Sir Mark Young
as Governor of Hong Kong
Sir Arthur Power
|Second Sea Lord
Sir Alexander Madden
Sir Henry Moore
|Commander-in-Chief, The Nore
Sir Cyril Douglas-Pennant