James Fergusson (Royal Navy officer)

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Sir James Fergusson
Born 16 April 1871
Died 13 April 1942 (1942-04-14) (aged 70)
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Rank Admiral
Commands held North America and West Indies Station
Battles/wars Second Boer War
World War I
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George

Admiral Sir James Andrew Fergusson, KCB, KCMG (16 April 1871 – 13 April 1942) was a Royal Navy officer who went on to be Commander-in-Chief, America and West Indies Station.

Naval career[edit]

Born the son of Sir James Fergusson, 6th Baronet and Lady Edith Christian Ramsay, Fergusson joined the Royal Navy in 1887.[1] He served as a lieutenant on board the cruiser HMS Barrosa when in January 1900 he was landed in Cape Colony to take part in the Second Boer War,[2] during which he was wounded, mentioned in despatches and promoted to commander on 21 October 1900, for services during the war.[3] In 1902 he was posted to the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign, which in August commissioned as coast guard ship at Portsmouth.[4]

He served in World War I commanding the battleships HMS Benbow and HMS Thunderer and seeing action at the Battle of Jutland in 1916.[1] He went on to be Commander of Patrols at Malta and then Commander of the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron in which capacity he was present at the surrender of the German Fleet.[1]

After the War he became Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff and then Assistant-Chief of the Naval Staff.[1] He became Commander of the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron in 1920 and went on to be Commander-in-Chief, America and West Indies Station in 1924.[3]


In 1901 he married Enid Githa Williams (known by her middle name);[5] they had four daughters.[3] She was the daughter of a large runholder, Thomas Coldham Williams, who had retired to Wellington in New Zealand.[6] Her elder sister Eila married Vernon Reed in 1909; he represented the Bay of Islands electorate in the New Zealand House of Representatives.[7]

Fergusson's elder brother Sir Charles Fergusson, 7th Baronet, was 3rd Governor-General of New Zealand (1924–1930).[8]


  1. ^ a b c d Resignations and Promotions Evening Post 5 May 1922
  2. ^ "The War - Naval officers at the front". The Times (36053). London. 31 January 1900. p. 10. 
  3. ^ a b c The Peerage.com
  4. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36815). London. 9 July 1902. p. 5. 
  5. ^ "Personal Gossip from Home". The Press. LVIII (11130). 23 November 1901. p. 4. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  6. ^ Scholefield, Guy, ed. (1940). A Dictionary of New Zealand Biography : M–Addenda (PDF). II. Wellington: Department of Internal Affairs. p. 515. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  7. ^ "Interesting Wedding". The New Zealand Herald. XLVI (14047). 29 April 1909. p. 3. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  8. ^ McLintock, A. H., ed. (23 April 2009) [First published in 1966]. "Fergusson, General Sir Charles, G.C.B., G.C.M.G., D.S.O., M.V.O., LL.D. (Glasgow), Bt.". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage / Te Manatū Taonga. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Sydney Fremantle
Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff
May 1919–August 1919
Succeeded by
Sir Osmond Brock
Preceded by
Sir Michael Culme-Seymour
Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station
Succeeded by
Sir Walter Cowan