Charles Pizey

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Sir Charles Pizey
Hm the King Pays 4-day Visit To the Home Fleet. 18 To 21 March 1943, Scapa Flow, Wearing the Uniform of An Admiral of the Home Fleet the King Paid a 4-day Visit To the Home Fleet. A15175.jpg
Charles Pizer (third from right) with King George VI, Irvine Glennie and others, March 1943
Born (1899-06-17)17 June 1899
Axbridge, Somerset
Died 17 May 1993(1993-05-17) (aged 93)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Navy
Indian Navy
Years of service 1912–1958
Rank Admiral
Commands held Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth
Chief of Naval Staff of the Indian Navy
HMS President
HMS Tyne
HMS Campbell
HMS Ausonia
HMS Fortune
HMS Boreas
HMS Torrid
Battles/wars First World War
Second World War
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order & Bar
Mentioned in Despatches

Admiral Sir Charles Thomas Mark Pizey GBE CB DSO* DL (17 June 1899 – 17 May 1993) was a Royal Navy officer who served as the last Commander-in-Chief and first Chief of Naval Staff of the Indian Navy from 1951 to 1955.

Early life and career[edit]

Pizey was born in Axbridge, Somerset, the son of the Rev. Charles Edward Pizey (1853–1932), and Geraldine Fowle (1866–1949). He joined the Royal Navy in 1912 and served as a midshipman aboard HMS Conway and HMS Revenge during the First World War. He was promoted to sub-lieutenant in 1918[1] and to lieutenant in 1920, serving on HMS Danae from 1921 to 1923.[2] Pizey then served as a First Lieutenant, first aboard HMS Violent in the Atlantic Fleet from 1924 to 1925, and then aboard HMS Winchelsea in the Mediterranean from 1926 to 1927.

He was promoted to lieutenant commander on 18 December 1928.[3] and served from 1929 to 1930 as Flag Lieutenant-Commander to Vice Admiral Sir W.A. Howard Kelly in the Mediterranean, aboard the battleship HMS Revenge. From 1930 to 1932 he commanded the destroyers HMS Torrid and HMS Boreas. He was promoted to commander on 2 January 1934.[4] From 1935 to 1937, he was the Executive Officer aboard HMS Woolwich in the Mediterranean, and then commanded the destroyer HMS Fortune in the Home Fleet from 1938 to 1939.

Second World War[edit]

Pizey addresses the crew of HMS Tyne before his departure to take up command of HMS President. c. December 1943

In June 1939, Pizey was promoted to captain. From 1939 to 1940, he commanded the heavy repair vessel HMS Ausonia as part of the Atlantic convoys. From 1940 to 1942, he commanded the destroyer HMS Campbell in the Channel and North Sea, seeing action against the German battleships Gneisenau and Scharnhorst as well as the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, for which he was appointed a Companion of the Bath on 27 March 1942[5] and was also awarded a Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and was mentioned in despatches. In July 1942, he was given the command of a destroyer depot ship, HMS Tyne, and served as a chief staff officer to a Rear Admiral in charge of protecting Soviet convoys in the North Sea. For this service, he was awarded a Bar to his DSO on 27 November 1942.[6] In December 1943, Pizey was appointed Director of Operations Division (Home) for the Admiralty, commanding HMS President. He served in this capacity until the end of the war.

Postwar career[edit]

In 1946, Pizey was appointed a commodore[2] and appointed as Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet, serving aboard HMS Nelson. He was promoted to rear admiral in 1948 and served as Senior Naval Liaison Officer and Chief of UK Services Liaison Staff, Australia, aboard HMS Terror (RN base, Singapore). From 1950 to 1951, he served as Flag Officer Commanding, First Cruiser Squadron, aboard HMS Liverpool. On 30 November 1951, he was promoted to vice admiral[7] In October 1951, he replaced Admiral Edward Parry as the last Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Navy. He was knighted with the KBE in the Coronation Honours List of 1953,[8] and promoted to admiral the following year. In April 1955, Pizey became the first Chief of Naval Staff of the Indian Navy, which had replaced the former designation of Commander-in-Chief, Indian Navy. He was honoured with the Order of the People's Army of Yugoslavia that year upon Josip Broz Tito's state visit to India.

Pizey was succeeded in his post by Vice Admiral Stephen Hope Carlill in July 1955. From later that year he served as Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth. He was promoted to a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire in the 1957 New Year Honours,[9] and retired in 1958. In 1962, he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Somerset.[2]

Personal life and death[edit]

In 1928, Pizey married Phyllis May D'Angibau (27 November 1904 – 4 April 1993), the eldest daughter of Alfred D'Angibau (1865–1926), and Florence May D'Angibau (?-1947), formerly of Bournemouth; the couple had two daughters ; Pamela Mary (1933 -) who married Lieutenant Commander James Barry Armstrong Hawkins MBE and Sarah Margaret (1937 -) who married Lieutenant Commander James Alexander Pountney Coats (1927-1993).

He died at Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset on 17 May 1993, a month short of 94.


  1. ^ London Gazette, 15 December 1918
  2. ^ a b c Royal Navy (RN) Officers 1939–1945
  3. ^ "No. 33448". The London Gazette. 18 December 1928. p. 8327. 
  4. ^ "No. 34011". The London Gazette. 2 January 1934. p. 52. 
  5. ^ "No. 35506". The London Gazette (Supplement). 27 March 1942. p. 1445. 
  6. ^ "No. 35805". The London Gazette (Supplement). 27 November 1942. p. 5225. 
  7. ^ "No. 39398". The London Gazette. 30 November 1951. p. 6250. 
  8. ^ "No. 39863". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 June 1953. p. 2947. 
  9. ^ "No. 40960". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 1957. p. 6. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Alexander Madden
Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth
Succeeded by
Sir Richard Onslow