Charles Henry Adair

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Admiral Charles Henry Adair, Royal Navy (2 July, 1851 – 9 March, 1920) was an officer of the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Charley Henry Adair came of a family which had many associations with the Naval Service. His father was General Sir Charles Adair, K.C.B., who was Deputy Assistant Adjutant-General of the Royal Marines from 1878 to 1883, and who died in 1897. His elder brother, General Sir William Adair, K.C.B. also occupied this position from 1907 to 1911. Charles was the second son, bom on 2 July, 1851. He entered the Royal Navy in September, 1864, and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 15 June, 1874.[1]

In 1876 he elected to specialize in gunnery. His first appointment as gunnery lieutenant was in the Bacchante in 1872, and he served in her throughout her cruise with Prince George (later King George V) and Prince Albert Victor (later the Duke of Clarence). After requalifying in the Excellent, he became gunnery lieutenant in the Alexandria, flagship of Lord John Hay in the Mediterranean, in which ship he served two years.

He was promoted to the rank of Commander on 1 January, 1886.[2] He served also in the Helicon during the operations in the Eastern Sudan, and was present at Suakin. As a commander, he served in the Raleigh, flagship at the Cape, and commanded the Alacrity in China. He was promoted to the rank of Captain on 30 June, 1893.[3]


From March, 1896, to September, 1899, he was Flag Captain in the armoured cruiser Imperieuse to Rear-Admiral Palliser on the Pacific Station.[Citation needed] After commanding the pre-dreadnought Royal Sovereign in the Mediterranean from January 1900 until late in 1901,[4] he was Captain of Sheerness Gunnery School from 1902 to 1905.

On 18 February, 1905, he was appointed to a very short stint as captain of the second class battleship Barfleur.[5] On 1 April, Adadir was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral.[6]

Flag Rank

His flag was hoisted in the pre-dreadnought Resolution on 3 January, 1903, as Rear-Admiral Commanding the Reserve Division at the Nore, and after a year in this command he was chosen to succeed Prince Louis of Battenberg in command of the Second Cruiser Squadron. He was Rear-Admiral Commanding this force from February, 1907, to September, 1908, in which month he was transferred, with his flagship, the armoured cruiser Drake, to the First Cruiser Squadron in order that Rear-Admiral Sir Percy Scott, formerly in command of that force, might proceed in his flagship, the Good Hope, on a special cruise to South Africa with the Second Cruiser Squadron.

Admiral Adair hauled down his flag on 24 February, 1909, and did not again serve on the Active List. He had been promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral on 9 February, vice Finnis,[7] and was advanced to the rank of Admiral on 10 May, 1913, vice Durnford.[8] In accordance with the provisions of the Order in Council of 8 December, 1903, he was placed on the Retired List at his own request on 15 May, 1913.[9]

Personal Life

Admiral Adair married in 1893, Annette, the daughter of Mr. W. H. Wilson, of Nortonsea, Waterloo, Lancashire, and had two sons and one daughter.

See Also


  • "Admiral C. H. Adair" (Obituaries). The Times. Thursday, 11 March, 1920. Issue 42356, col E, p. 16.

Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Captain of H.M.S. Alacrity
6 Dec, 1889[10] – 11 Mar, 1893[11]
Succeeded by
Spencer H. M. Login
Preceded by
John M. McQuhae
Captain of H.M.S. Imperieuse
5 Mar, 1896[12]
Succeeded by
Peyton Hoskyns
Preceded by
Michael P. O'Callaghan
Captain of H.M.S. Royal Sovereign
20 Jan, 1900[13]
Succeeded by
Frederick S. Inglefield
Preceded by
Charles Campbell
In Command of Sheerness Gunnery School
14 Jan, 1902[14]
Succeeded by
Henry M. T. Tudor
Preceded by
Arthur D. Ricardo
Captain of H.M.S. Barfleur
18 Feb, 1905[15]
Succeeded by
Leslie C. Stuart
Preceded by
Walter H. B. Graham
Rear-Admiral Commanding, Sheerness-Chatham Reserve Division
3 Jan, 1906[16]
Succeeded by
Frank Finnis
Preceded by
Louis Alexander Mountbatten
Rear-Admiral Commanding, Second Cruiser Squadron
Feb, 1907[Citation needed] – Sep, 1908[Citation needed]
Succeeded by
Percy Moreton Scott
as Vice-Admiral Commanding, Second Cruiser Squadron
Preceded by
Sir Percy M. Scott
as Rear-Admiral Commanding, First Cruiser Squadron
Vice-Admiral Commanding, First Cruiser Squadron
Sep, 1908
Succeeded by
The Hon. Stanley C. J. Colville
as Rear-Admiral Commanding, First Cruiser Squadron


  1. The London Gazette: no. 24106. p. 3097. 19 June, 1874.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 25545. p. 7. 1 January, 1886.
  3. The London Gazette: no. 26422. p. 3980. 14 July, 1893.
  4. Mackie, Colin. ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS.
  5. Adair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 12.
  6. The London Gazette: no. 27781. p. 2544. 4 April, 1905.
  7. The London Gazette: no. 28223. p. 1111. 12 February, 1909.
  8. The London Gazette: no. 28718. p. 3438. 13 May, 1913.
  9. The London Gazette: no. 28719. p. 3514. 16 May, 1913.
  10. Adair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/18. f. 175.
  11. Adair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/18. f. 175.
  12. The Navy List. (April, 1897). p. 232.
  13. Adair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 12.
  14. "Naval & Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Wednesday, 15 January, 1902. Issue 36665, col A, p. 11.
  15. Adair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 12.
  16. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Thursday, 7 December, 1905. Issue 37884, col A, p. 11.