Algernon Lyons

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Sir Algernon Lyons
Algernon McLennan Lyons.JPG
Sir Algernon Lyons
Born (1833-08-30)30 August 1833
Satara, India
Died 9 February 1908(1908-02-09) (aged 74)
Kilvrough Manor, Glamorgan
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Navy
Years of service 1847–1903
Rank Admiral of the Fleet
Commands held HMS Firebrand
HMS Racer
HMS Charybdis
HMS Immortalité
HMS Monarch
Pacific Station
North America and West Indies Station
Plymouth Command
Battles/wars Crimean War
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath

Admiral of the Fleet Sir Algernon McLennan Lyons GCB (30 August 1833 – 9 February 1908) was a Royal Navy officer. As a junior officer he took part in the blockade of the Danube Delta which was being held by the Russians at the start of the Crimean War. After the ship's captain was killed, he took command of his ship's boats, destroyed five enemy signal stations and put the Russians to flight. He then took command of the ship herself and saw action at the bombardment of Sevastopol. After the flagship of the fleet, HMS Albion, was damaged by enemy fire, Lyons attached the burning flagship to his own ship and towed the flagship to safety. He also took part in operations at Kerch and fought at the Battle of Kinburn.

Lyons went on to be Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Station, Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station and then Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth.

Early career[edit]

Born the second son of Lieutenant General Humphrey Lyons and Eliza Lyons (née Bennett), Lyons was privately educated in Twickenham and then joined the Royal Navy in 1847.[1] He was first appointed to the fifth-rate HMS Cambrian on the East Indies and China Station and then transferred to the second-rate HMS Albion, flagship of his uncle, Sir Edmund Lyons, who was Second-in-Command of the Mediterranean Fleet, in 1853.[2]

The Battle of Kinburn in October 1855

Promoted to mate in October 1853, Lyons transferred to the paddle frigate HMS Firebrand and took part in the blockade of the Danube Delta which was being held by the Russians at the start of the Crimean War.[2] He was promoted to lieutenant on 26 June 1854.[3] After Captain Hyde Parker, commanding HMS Firebrand, was killed in July 1854, Lyons took command of the ship's boats, destroyed five enemy signal stations and put the Russians to flight.[2] Lyons then took command of HMS Firebrand herself and saw action at the bombardment of Sevastopol in October 1854.[2] After the flagship, HMS Albion, was damaged by enemy fire later than month, Lyons attached the burning flagship to HMS Firebrand and towed the flagship to safety.[2]

Lyons went on to be flag lieutenant to his uncle, now Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet in the first-rate HMS Royal Albert, in December 1854.[2] Lyons took part in operations at Kerch in October 1854 and fought at the Battle of Kinburn in October 1855.[4] Promoted to commander on 9 August 1858, he became commanding officer of the sloop HMS Racer on the North America and West Indies Station in May 1860.[4] In HMS Racer he had the difficult task of protecting British merchant vessels seeking to evade the blockade being imposed by the United States Navy on Confederate ports.[4]

Promoted to captain on 1 December 1862, Lyons became commanding officer of the corvette HMS Charybdis on the Pacific Station in January 1867 and commanding officer of the frigate HMS Immortalité in a detached squadron in October 1872.[4] He went on to be senior naval officer in Jamaica in 1875 and commanding officer of the armoured turret ship HMS Monarch in the Mediterranean Fleet in April 1878.[4] He was deployed to Constantinople during his tour in HMS Monarch.[4]

Senior command[edit]

The central battery ship HMS Bellerophon, Lyons' flagship as Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station
Kilvrough Manor, the Lyons family home in Glamorgan

Promoted to rear admiral on 26 September 1878,[5] Lyons became Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Station, with his flag in the armoured ship HMS Swiftsure, in December 1881.[4] Promoted to vice-admiral on 27 October 1884,[6] he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Glamorgan on 21 June 1886.[7]

Lyons went on to be Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station, with his flag in the central battery ship HMS Bellerophon, in September 1886.[4] Promoted to full admiral on 15 December 1888[8] and appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 25 May 1889,[9] he became Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth in June 1893.[4] He was appointed First and Principal Naval Aide-de-Camp to the Queen on 20 February 1895[10] and advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 22 June 1897.[11]

Promoted to Admiral of the Fleet on 23 August 1897,[12] Lyons retired in August 1903[13] and died at Kilvrough Manor in Glamorgan on 9 February 1908.[4]

Family[edit]

Lyons married Louisa Jane Penrice at Pennard Church in Kilvrough on 3 September 1879: they had two sons and two daughters.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sir Algernon Lyons". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Heathcote, p. 159
  3. ^ "Algernon Lyons". William Loney. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Heathcote, p. 160
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 24629. p. 5372. 1 October 1878. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25409. p. 4653. 28 October 1884. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25606. p. 3333. 9 July 1886. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25883. p. 7140. 14 December 1888. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25939. p. 2873. 25 May 1889. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26601. p. 1066. 22 February 1895. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26867. p. 3567. 25 June 1897. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
  12. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26885. p. 4726. 24 August 1897. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
  13. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27593. p. 5476. 1 September 1903. Retrieved 28 December 2014.

Sources[edit]

  • Heathcote, Tony (2002). The British Admirals of the Fleet 1734 – 1995. Pen & Sword Ltd. ISBN 0-85052-835-6. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Frederick Stirling
Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Station
1881–1884
Succeeded by
Sir John Baird
Preceded by
The Earl of Clanwilliam
Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station
1886–1888
Succeeded by
Sir George Watson
Preceded by
The Duke of Edinburgh
Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth
1893–1896
Succeeded by
Sir Edmund Fremantle
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Geoffrey Hornby
First and Principal Naval Aide-de-Camp
1895–1897
Succeeded by
Sir Nowell Salmon