Howard Kelly (Royal Navy officer)

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Sir Howard Kelly
Born6 September 1873
Died14 September 1952 (aged 79)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Years of service1886 - 1944
Commands heldHMS Gloucester
8th Light Cruiser Squadron
British Adriatic Force
1st Battle Squadron
2nd Cruiser Squadron
1st Battle Squadron
China Station
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire
Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George
Member of the Royal Victorian Order

Admiral Sir William Archibald Howard Kelly GBE KCB CMG MVO (6 September 1873 – 14 September 1952) was a Royal Navy officer who went on to be Commander-in-Chief, China Station.

Naval career[edit]

Kelly joined the Royal Navy in 1886.[1] He was posted as a lieutenant to the protected cruiser HMS Spartiate in late March 1902,[2] went to Somaliland in 1902 and became naval attaché in Paris in 1911.[1]

He served in the First World War as commanding officer of HMS Gloucester, taking part in the pursuit of Goeben and Breslau (his brother John Kelly was commanding officer of Gloucester's sister ship Dublin during the same engagement). From 1917 he was commander of the 8th Light Cruiser Squadron.[1] In 1918 he was given command of the British Adriatic Force.[1]

After the war he was appointed head of British Naval Mission to Greece.[1] He became Commander of the 1st Battle Squadron in the Atlantic Fleet in 1923 and commander of the 2nd Cruiser Squadron in 1925.[1] He went on to be Admiralty representative to the League of Nations in 1927 and commander of the 1st Battle Squadron and second-in-command of the Mediterranean Fleet in 1929.[1] His last appointment was intended to be Commander-in-Chief, China Station in 1931.[1] He was on board the minesweeper HMS Petersfield when it ran aground in November 1931 - all aboard were rescued.[3] Then, following the 28 January Incident, he used his influence to seek a ceasefire between the Chinese and Japanese forces.[4] He retired in 1936.[1]

He was recalled in 1940, during the Second World War, to be British Naval Representative in Turkey; he retired again in 1944.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  2. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36726). London. 27 March 1902. p. 4.
  3. ^ Loss on China Station Evening Post, Volume CXII, Issue 118, 14 November 1931, Page 13
  4. ^ Naval Review Vol. 64, No. 3, July 1976
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Arthur Waistell
Commander-in-Chief, China Station
Succeeded by
Sir Frederic Dreyer