Reginald Henderson

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Sir Reginald Henderson
Born 1881
Died 1939
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Navy
Rank Admiral
Commands held HMS Erin
HMS Furious
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath

Admiral Sir Reginald Guy Hannam Henderson GCB[1] (1881–1939) was a Royal Navy officer who went on to be Third Sea Lord and Controller of the Navy.

Naval career[edit]

Henderson was confirmed as a Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Navy in 1902,[2] and posted to the HMS Syren in April that year.[3] She took part in the Naval Mission to Greece in 1913.[4] He served in World War I as commanding officer of the battleship HMS Erin in 1914[4] and took part in the Battle of Jutland in 1916.[5]

In 1917, as a commander involved in anti-submarine warfare, he quietly opposed the Admiralty’s official position that the volume of merchant shipping was too great to be protected by warships. Henderson demonstrated that the vast majority of the 2,500 ships completing voyages each week were in fact coastal voyages, and only between 120 and 140 ocean-going. Hankey’s biographer Stephen Roskill suggested that Henderson’s contribution to the introduction of convoys (in particular to Hankey's memorandum of February 1917) was not acknowledged on paper at the time in order to avoid imperilling the younger officer’s career.[6]

After the War he became Chief Staff Officer to the Commander-in-Chief, China Station and then, in 1923, joined the staff of the Royal Naval College at Greenwich.[4]

Henderson later promoted the Fleet Air Arm and the construction of aircraft carriers.[6] He was given command of the aircraft carrier HMS Furious in 1926 and became Naval Aide-de-Camp to the King in 1928.[4] He was appointed Rear Admiral commanding aircraft carriers in 1931 and Third Sea Lord and Controller of the Navy in 1934 before his death in 1939.[4]


In 1911 he married Islay Campbell.[7]


  • Grigg, John. Lloyd George: War Leader, 1916–1918 Allen Lane, London 2002 ISBN 0-713-99343-X


  1. ^ accessed 18 Feb 2012 Who was Who
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27432. p. 3089. 9 May 1902. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  3. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence" The Times (London). Thursday, 24 April 1902. (36750), p. 11.
  4. ^ a b c d e Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  5. ^ Battle of Jutland
  6. ^ a b Grigg 2002, p50-1
  7. ^ The Chronicles of Mark Henderson
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Charles Forbes
Third Sea Lord and Controller of the Navy
Succeeded by
Sir Bruce Fraser