Charles Carter Drury

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Sir Charles Drury as a Rear-Admiral.
Photograph: Navy & Army Illustrated.

Admiral SIR Charles Carter Drury, G.C.B., G.C.V.O., K.C.S.I., F.R.G.S., Royal Navy (27 August, 1846 – 18 May, 1914) was an officer in the Royal Navy.

Early Life & Career

Drury's date of appointment to the navy is 16 January, 1860, which does not coincide with a regular intake into the new training ship H.M.S. Britannia, but perhaps means he was a late arrival for the first intake term of December, 1859.

Drury was promoted to the rank of Acting Lieutenant with seniority from 5 August, 1868.[1]

He was promoted to the rank of Commander with seniority from 1 May, 1878.[2] He was appointed Commander of Excellent on 22 March, 1882.[3]

Drury was promoted to the rank of Captain on 30 June, 1885.[4] On 26 August, 1886, he married Frances Ellen Whitehead.[5]

On 2 April, 1889 Drury assumed command of the old central battery ironclad, Bellerophon, flagship of the North American station. He paid her off on 29 April, 1892.[6]

Drury was appointed in command of the battleship Royal Sovereign of the Channel Squadron in May, 1894 and remained until being superseded on 21 August, 1895. He was next appointed in command of the battleship Hood, in the Mediterranean, on 10 October, 1895.[7]

Drury was appointed a Naval Aide-de-Camp to Queen Victoria on 23 August, 1897, vice Beaumont.[8] On 20 January, 1898, he was appointed to the Rupert as Senior Naval Officer at Gibraltar.[9]

Flag Rank

Drury was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 13 July, 1899, vice Rice.[10] His wife, Frances Ellen, died on 22 February, 1900, at her father's home, Beckett, Shrivenham, Berkshire.[11]

On the occasion of the Durbar at Dehli, Drury was appointed a Knight Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India (K.C.S.I.) on 1 January, 1903.[12] He later met with Captain (later Admiral Sir) George F. King-Hall (who referred to Drury as "my old friend"), and told him the circumstances of his being awarded the K.C.S.I.:

Drury then told me in strict confidence all about the Delhi Durbar and the Navy not being represented there and of all the telegrams and letters that passed between him and the Viceroy and Admiralty; and how he had to go to Aden on account of the Somali affair and telegraphed to Admiralty that he was quite prepared not to go to the Durbar, if Admiralty did not wish him to do so, to shew this disapprobation of the Navy not being represented.

The Admiralty telegraphed they wished him to go if he could. Next day, he had a telegram from the King, saying he had arranged that he should receive the K.C.S.I.

Being sent en clair, everyone knew of it. Next day a wire from Tyrwhitt [Private Secretary to the First Lord] saying it was to be kept secret, so Drury had some trouble in hushing it up.

He attended the Durbar as the Viceroy’s private guest, with his Flag Lieut. and on the morning of the 1st received a letter from Viceroy saying he had been made a K.C.S.I.

Drury much put out at the whole thing. The King is going to speak to Lord Curzon about the Navy being ignored and Lord Selborne is going to also.

Drury on leaving the station for the Board of Admiralty, wrote to Curzon, thanking him for his hospitality and saying he much regretted that during his command, the Viceroy and the Commander in Chief had never met to consult as to the policies to be pursued in war time. Thought that it would be a good thing they should do so sometimes.

On his arrival in England, he found a letter from Curzon, saying how much he regretted not having done so, and proposed doing so in the future. Altogether I think Drury behaved very well and stood up for the Navy very well.[13]

Drury was promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral on 16 June, 1904, vice Oxley.[14]

On the occasion of the King's birthday, Drury was appointed an Ordinary Member of the Second Class, or Knight Commander, in the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (K.C.B.) on 30 June, 1905.[15]

On the occasion of the King's visit to Malta Drury was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (G.C.V.O.) on 15 April, 1907.[16]

He was promoted to the rank of Admiral on 11 April, 1908, vice Holland.[17]

On the occasion of King George V's coronation he was appointed an Additional Member of the First Class, or Knight Grand Cross, in the Military Division of the Order of the Bath (G.C.B.) on 19 June, 1911.[18] In accordance with the provisions of the Order in Council of 22 February, 1870, he was placed on the Retired List at his own request on 27 August.[19]

His second wife, Lady Amy Gertrude Drury passed away in her sleep on 27 December, 1953 at the age of ninety.

See Also


  • "Death of Two Admirals" (Obituaries). The Times. Tuesday, 19 May, 1914. Issue 40527, col G, p. 10.

Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
John A. Fisher
Captain of H.M.S. Bellerophon
11 Mar, 1889[20]
Succeeded by
Arthur P. James
Preceded by
Robert B. Maconochie
Naval Member of the Ordnance Committee
28 Jan, 1893[21]
Succeeded by
Percy M. Scott
Preceded by
Tynte F. Hammill
Captain of H.M.S. Royal Sovereign
12 May, 1894[22]
Succeeded by
Arthur Barrow
Preceded by
Edmund F. Jeffreys
Captain of H.M.S. Hood
10 Oct, 1895[23]
Succeeded by
Arthur C. B. Bromley
Preceded by
James A. T. Bruce
Senior Officer, Gibraltar
20 Jan, 1898[24]
Succeeded by
Sir William A. D. Acland, Bart.
Preceded by
Albert B. Jenkings
Vice-President of the Ordnance Committee
1 Jun, 1900[25]
Succeeded by
Alfred A. C. Parr
Preceded by
Day H. Bosanquet
Commander-in-Chief, East Indies Station
5 Jun, 1902[26]
Succeeded by
Sir George L. Atkinson-Willes
Preceded by
Sir John A. Fisher
Second Naval Lord
31 Jul, 1903[27]
Succeeded by
Sir William H. May
as Second Sea Lord
Preceded by
The Rt. Hon. Lord Charles Beresford
Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Station
20 Mar, 1907[28]
Succeeded by
The Hon. Sir Assheton G. Curzon-Howe
Preceded by
Sir Gerard H. U. Noel
Commander-in-Chief at the Nore
2 Dec, 1908[29]
Succeeded by
Sir Richard Poore, Bart.


  1. The London Gazette: no. 23411. p. 4454. 11 August, 1868.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 24588. p. 3363. 31 May, 1878.
  3. The Navy List. (December, 1884). p. 255.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 25485. p. 3002. 30 June, 1885.
  5. Drury Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 346.
  6. Drury Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 346.
  7. Drury Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 346.
  8. The London Gazette: no. 26885. p. 4726. 24 August, 1897.
  9. "Naval & Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Monday, 10 January, 1898. Issue 35409, col D, p. 10.
  10. The London Gazette: no. 27100. p. 4444. 18 July, 1899.
  11. "Deaths". The Standard. Saturday, 24 February, 1900. p. 1.
  12. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 27511. p. 2. 1 January, 1903.
  13. King-Hall diary entry for 24 August, 1903.
  14. The London Gazette: no. 27692. p. 4259. 5 July, 1904.
  15. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 27811. p. 4548. 30 June, 1905.
  16. The London Gazette: no. 28015. p. 2731. 23 April, 1907.
  17. The London Gazette: no. 28128. p. 2850. 14 April, 1908.
  18. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 28505. p. 4588. 19 June, 1911.
  19. The London Gazette: no. 28526. p. 6372. 29 August, 1911.
  20. The Navy List. (July, 1890). p. 198.
  21. Drury Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/16. f. 511.
  22. Drury Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 345.
  23. The Navy List. (March, 1896). p. 230.
  24. The Navy List. (October, 1898). p. 435.
  25. Drury Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 345.
  26. "Naval & Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Friday, 9 May, 1902. Issue 36763, col E, p. 10.
  27. The Naval Staff of the Admiralty. p. 119.
  28. Drury Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 345.
  29. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Thursday, 12 November, 1908. Issue 38802, col F, p. 7.