Denis Boyd

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Sir Denis Boyd
Rear Admiral Boyd WWII IWM A 20056.jpg
Rear Admiral Boyd at his desk as Fifth Sea Lord
Born 1891
Died 1965
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Navy
Years of service 1906–1949
Rank Admiral
Commands held HMS Illustrious
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Service Cross

Admiral Sir Denis William Boyd KCB CBE DSC (1891–1965) was a Royal Navy officer who served as Fifth Sea Lord.

Naval career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Boyd joined the Royal Navy as a midshipman in 1906 and was commissioned in 1910.[1] After serving as Torpedo Officer in HMS Fearless during the First World War,[1] he set of on a journey around the world aboard HMS Hood during 1922 returning in 1923 and was then attached to the Royal Australian Navy from 1926.[1] He was appointed Fleet Torpedo Officer in the Mediterranean Fleet in 1928 and, while serving with the Naval Equipment Department, he was promoted to Captain in 1931. He was briefly Commanding Officer of the destroyer HMS Valentine in 1932[1] before joining the Tactical Division of the naval Staff in 1933 and becoming its Director in 1934.[1]

Boyd became Commanding Officer of HMS Hardy and Captain (D) of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla at Malta in 1936, which post included responsibility for patrols off Spain during the Spanish Civil War.[2] He was then made Commanding Officer of the Torpedo School (HMS Vernon) in 1938, serving there until the outbreak of the Second World War.[1]

World War II[edit]

During the Second World War Boyd served as Commanding Officer of the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious from 1940, seeing action at the Battle of Taranto.[2] Promoted to Rear Admiral in August 1941, he became Admiral commanding aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean Fleet.[1] He moved to the Eastern Fleet in 1942 as Admiral commanding aircraft carriers with HMS Indomitable as his flagship.[1] He was appointed Fifth Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Air Equipment in 1943, and was promoted to Vice Admiral in August 1944. He then became Admiral (Air) at the RN Air Station at Lee-on-Solent in January 1945.[1][2]

Postwar service[edit]

Boyd became Admiral (Air) in 1946 and then Commander-in-Chief of the British Pacific Fleet.[3] He was promoted to Admiral in 1948 and, after serving as Commander-in-Chief of the Far Eastern Station, he retired in 1949.[2]

In retirement he became Principal of Ashridge College.[1]


Military offices
Preceded by
(Last held by Sir Lumley Lyster)
Fifth Sea Lord
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Troubridge