Edward Neville Syfret

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Sir Edward Neville Syfret
Vice Admiral Syfret WWII IWM A 21413.jpg
Vice Admiral Syfret in his office at the Admiralty
Born (1889-06-20)20 June 1889
Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa
Died 10 December 1972(1972-12-10) (aged 83)
Highgate, London
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Navy
Years of service 1904–1948
Rank Admiral
Commands held HMS Caradoc (19 July 1932 – January 1934)
Naval Gunnery School, Devonport (HMS Drake) (31 August 1934 – July 1935)
HMS Ramillies (10 January 1938 – June 1938)
HMS Rodney (15 August 1938 – August 1939)
18th Cruiser Squadron (June 1941 – ?)
Force H (10 January 1942 – February 1943) (commanded occupying force Madagascar 1942)
Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet (24 November 1945–1948)
Battles/wars World War II
Awards [1]Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Mentioned in Despatches
Legion of Merit
Croix de guerre

Admiral Sir Edward Neville Syfret GCB KBE (20 June 1889 – 10 December 1972) was a British naval officer who served with the Royal Navy in World War I and World War II. He was knighted for his part in Operation Pedestal, the critical Malta convoy. Syfret was born 20 June 1889 near Cape Town, South Africa and died on 10 December 1972, in London.

Naval career[edit]

Born the son of Edward Ridge Syfret of Cape Town in South Africa and educated at Diocesan College, South Africa and the Britannia Royal Naval College, Syfret joined the Royal Navy in 1904 and, in his early service years, specialised in naval gunnery.[2] In World War I he became Gunnery Officer in the light cruisers HMS Aurora, HMS Centaur and HMS Curacoa.[2] In 1927 he was Fleet Gunnery Officer, Mediterranean Fleet.

Syfret served in World War II initially as Captain of HMS Rodney.[2] In 1939 he became Naval Secretary.[2] He was made commander of the 18th Cruiser Squadron of the Home Fleet in 1941 and commanded the naval forces during Operation Ironclad,[2] the invasion of Madagascar in May 1942 and was convoy commander for Operation Pedestal, a critical Malta Convoy in August 1942. He was appointed Commander of Force H later that year and then, in 1943, became Vice Chief of the Naval Staff.[2]

After the War he became Commander-in-Chief of the Home Fleet; he retired in 1948.[2]


In 1913 he married Hildegarde Warner. They had one son and one daughter.

Honours and awards[edit]


  1. ^ Royal Navy (RN) Officers 1939–1945 - S
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
Military offices
Preceded by
Stuart Bonham Carter
Naval Secretary
Succeeded by
Arthur Peters
Preceded by
Sir Henry Moore
Vice Chief of the Naval Staff
Succeeded by
Sir Rhoderick McGrigor
Preceded by
Sir Henry Moore
Commander in Chief, Home Fleet
Succeeded by
Sir Rhoderick McGrigor