Frederick Bedford

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Sir Frederick Bedford
Frederick Bedford Vanity Fair 3 December 1903.jpg
"Western Australia"
Bedford as caricatured by Spy (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair, December 1903
Born24 December 1838
Died30 January 1913(1913-01-30) (aged 74)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Years of service1852 – 1903
Commands heldCape of Good Hope Station
North America and West Indies Station
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
Memorial to Frederick George Denham Bedord, Greenwich Hospital Chapel

Admiral Sir Frederick George Denham Bedford, GCB, GCVO (24 December 1838[1] – 30 January 1913[2]) was a senior Royal Navy officer and Governor of Western Australia from 24 March 1903 to 22 April 1909.

Naval career[edit]

Bedford joined the Royal Navy at the age of 14, and later served in the Crimean War.

He was appointed Commander-in-Chief, Cape of Good Hope and West Coast of Africa Station in 1892:[3] in 1894, Admiral Sir Frederick Bedford was involved in an action against Nana Olomu Chief of Benin. Brohomi was burnt down in 1894 by a combined force of the British Naval Brigade and the Niger Coast Protectorate Force under Sir Frederick Bedford, KCB and the Consul-General Ralph Moor, KCMG. It is believed over 500-600 slaves were freed during the operation. On 22 February 1895, a British naval force, under the command of Admiral Sir Frederick Bedford at the behest of the Royal Niger Company, granted a royal charter by Queen Victoria in 1886, laid siege on Brass, the chief city of the Ljo people of Nembe in Nigeria's Niger Delta.

He was appointed Junior Naval Lord in 1889 and Second Naval Lord in 1895.

In 1899 he was appointed commander-in-chief of the North America and West Indies Station, serving with the flagship HMS Crescent. The squadron under his command visited Jamaica and Bermuda in February 1900.[4][5] He held the North America post until 15 July 1902, when he was succeeded by Vice-Admiral Sir Archibald Douglas, and left homebound with the Crescent.[6][7]

Following the succession of King Edward VII, he was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) in the 1902 Coronation Honours list published on 26 June 1902,[8][9] and received the insignia in an investiture on board the royal yacht Victoria and Albert outside Cowes on 15 August 1902,[10] the day before the fleet review held there to mark the coronation. Bedford took part in the review with the Crescent,[11] before she was paid off. He was promoted to the rank of admiral on 3 October 1902.[12]

Governor of Western Australia[edit]

After becoming governor in 1903, on 4 June 1907 he officiated at the opening of the Royal Fremantle Golf Club in Western Australia, but it was not until March 1909 that the complete 18 hole course was available.

He acquired Globe Hill Station with Thomas Frederick de Pledge in 1909 for £35,000.[13]


A memorial to Admiral Bedford stands in the entrance lobby of the Chapel at Greenwich Hospital.


Lady Ethel Bedford by Durrant & Son

He married Ethel Turner, daughter of E. R. Turner, Esq., of Ipswich, in 1880. Lady Bedford accompanied her husband and was mistress of Admiralty House in Halifax, Nova Scotia, until 1902. She took an interest in benevolent work, and frequently performed as a singer at concerts, for charitable purposes.[14]

The couple`s son became Vice Admiral Sir Arthur Edward Frederick Bedford KCB CSI, who married Miss Gladys Mort of Sydney, Australia. While residing at Easthampnett, their son Frederick, named after his grandfather, who had become a Lieutenant in the Fleet Air Arm, was killed in action over St Pauls Bay, Malta on 21 February 1942, aged 22 years, and was buried in Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery.

Legacy in Western Australia[edit]

Two suburbs of Perth are named after Bedford – Bedford (located in the City of Bayswater) and Bedfordale (located in the City of Armadale). Additionally, a pastoral lease in the Kimberley, Bedford Downs Station, is named after Bedford, as is nearby Mount Bedford.[15]



  1. ^ Australian Dictionary of Biography
  2. ^ Who's Who 1914, p. xxi
  3. ^ William Loney RN
  4. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36069). London. 19 February 1900. p. 9.
  5. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36076). London. 27 February 1900. p. 6.
  6. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36822). London. 17 July 1902. p. 9.
  7. ^ "Bedford, Sir Frederick George Denham, Admiral, 1838-1913... – BED". National Maritime Museum. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
  8. ^ "The Coronation Honours". The Times (36804). London. 26 June 1902. p. 5.
  9. ^ "No. 27448". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 June 1902. p. 4189.
  10. ^ "Court Circular". The Times (36848). London. 16 August 1902. p. 8.
  11. ^ "The Coronation – Naval Review". The Times (36845). London. 13 August 1902. p. 4.
  12. ^ "No. 27483". The London Gazette. 17 October 1902. p. 6569.
  13. ^ "No title". Geraldton Guardian. III, (317). Western Australia. 20 February 1909. p. 2. Retrieved 18 March 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  14. ^ Morgan, Henry James, ed. (1903). Types of Canadian Women and of Women who are or have been Connected with Canada. Toronto: Williams Briggs. p. 24.
  15. ^ "Western Australian Names". Sunday Times. Perth, Western Australia: National Library of Australia. 5 February 1928. p. 18. Retrieved 1 December 2013.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Charles Hotham
Junior Naval Lord
Succeeded by
Lord Walter Kerr
Preceded by
Sir Henry Nicholson
Commander-in-Chief, Cape of Good Hope Station
Succeeded by
Sir Harry Rawson
Preceded by
Lord Walter Kerr
Second Naval Lord
Succeeded by
Lord Walter Kerr
Preceded by
Sir John Fisher
Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station
Succeeded by
Sir Archibald Douglas
Government offices
Preceded by
Captain Sir Arthur Lawley
Governor of Western Australia
Succeeded by
Sir Gerald Strickland