George Callaghan

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Sir George Callaghan
George Callaghan - Project Gutenberg eText 18334.jpg
Sir George Callaghan
Born December 21, 1852
Died November 23, 1920
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Years of service 1865 - 1918
Rank Admiral of the Fleet
Commands held HMS Endymion
Home Fleet
Battles/wars Boxer Rebellion
World War I
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour (France)

Admiral of the Fleet Sir George Astley Callaghan GCB GCVO (December 21, 1852 – November 23, 1920) was a senior officer in the Royal Navy.

Naval career[edit]

Callaghan entered the British Royal Navy as a cadet in 1865.[1] In 1900, under Sir Edward Seymour, he was in command of HMS Endymion[1] and entered Peking as part of the British response to the Boxer Rebellion. He was mentioned in despatches and consequently was awarded the CB in November 1900.

In December 1901, Callaghan was appointed in command of the battleship HMS Caesar, serving on the Mediterranean station.[2]

In 1911, he was named Commander-in-Chief of the Home Fleet,[1] and his term in this command was announced to be extended to December 1914. However, on the outbreak of World War I some months before that, when Callaghan was at sea on his flagship, the battleship HMS Iron Duke, his successor-designate Sir John Jellicoe received orders to immediately relieve the aging Callaghan of command of the fleet. Jellicoe objected to the order, believing it would cause tension in the fleet. Jellicoe's protests were brushed aside by the senior officials at the Admiralty, however, and he succeeded Callaghan in August 1914.[1] Callaghan, meanwhile, was transferred to the more defensive station of Commander-in-Chief, The Nore and served until 1918,[1] by which time he had been promoted to the Navy's highest rank, Admiral of the Fleet.

He ended his days as King of Arms of the Order of the Bath and his funeral was held in Westminster Abbey.

George Callaghan.jpg

He was also appointed a Grand Officier of the Legion of Honour and was awarded the Order of the Crown of Italy.[3]


His father's family had owned land near Cork city in Ireland that was being sold about the time of his birth there. In the 1870s his father Frederick Marcus Callaghan, J.P., still owned over 5,000 acres in County Cork and lived there and in Bath.[4] His grandfather Daniel had been an MP for Cork city in the 1830s-40s. He married Edith Saumarez in 1876, daughter of the Rev. Frederick Grosvenor, rector of Dunkerton.


  1. ^ a b c d e Service and honours details on
  2. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence" The Times (London). Tuesday, 24 December 1901. (36646), p. 8.
  3. ^ Walford, E., The county families of the United Kingdom vol. 59 (1919) page 59
  4. ^ Estate: Callaghan

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Richard Poore
Commander-in-Chief, The Nore
Succeeded by
Sir Doveton Sturdee
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Edmund Poë
First and Principal Naval Aide-de-Camp
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Jackson
Heraldic offices
Preceded by
Title previously held by
Sir Spencer Ponsonby-Fane
King of Arms of the Order of the Bath
1919 – 1920
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Monro