Cunningham Robert de Clare Foot

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Admiral Cunningham R. de C. Foot, 1921.
Photograph: © National Portrait Gallery, London.

Admiral Cunningham Robert de Clare Foot, C.B.E., R.N., Retired (13 June, 1864 – 17 May, 1940) was an officer of the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

At the examination for Naval Cadetships, Foot placed tenth out of the successful batch of forty-six.[1]

Foot was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 31 December, 1886.[2]

He was appointed to Wildfire for the Sans Pareil on 30 March, 1896.[3]

Foot was promoted to the rank of Commander on 30 June, 1899.[4]

Foot was promoted to the rank of Captain on 31 December, 1906.[5]

On 1 March, 1910, Foot was appointed in command of Bulwark, then to Magnificent on 18 March (or 28 February by another source) upon transfer of flag.[6][7]

He served as captain of the battleship Irresistible from February 1911 until March of the following year.

In August 1913, he assumed command of the armoured cruiser Donegal.

He was appointed in command of the battleship Cornwallis on 8 January, 1914[8] and be relieved on 1 June by Alexander P. Davidson.[9]

Great War

He was appointed as captain of the armoured cruiser Roxburgh on 27 April, 1915.[10] Something unpleasant happened during this command, as his Service Record contains the stinging note dated 1 December, 1915:[11]

First Lord's minute as follows - " As I understand that the particular case referred to is merely an instance which goes to establish the opinion, independently arrived at, that the officer would be better fitted for less responsible duties, I approve his removal."

Foot was appointed in command the battleship Cæsar on 10 December, 1915,[12] which was then involved in less critical work in the Atlantic. The black mark he'd acquired in Roxburgh was reiterated with conclusive remarks in his Service Record, when Rear-Admiral Browning noted in July 1916 in further reference to the First Lord's decision "Capt. F. is unsuitable for the comd of a ship in the Grand Fleet."[13]

In Cæsar, Foot had occasion to spend some time as Senior Naval Officer in Bermuda in the absence of his superior, Vice-Admiral Patey, but Patey made clear that Foot's "[very] satisfactory" service was based on little experience under his oversight.

Foot's future in the Navy had perhaps been generally decided at a meeting of the Board of Admiralty on 15 June, 1917, when all five Sea Lords voted that he be retired on promotion to Flag Rank under Section III of the Order in Council of 9 March, 1914.[14] The final nail in his career's coffin came on 8 January, 1918, when Vice-Admiral Browning opined that "Capt. F. does his best, but his powers of judget & decision are limited."[15] That did it. Foot was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 30 January, 1918 and placed on the Retired List the next day.[16]

"For valuable services in connection with gunnery training and in command of armoured cruiser Berwick whilst employed on Ocean Escort duties" Foot was appointed a Commander of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (C.B.E.) on 27 May, 1919.[17]

Foot was advanced to the rank of Vice-Admiral on the Retired List on 8 October, 1923,[18] and was advanced to the rank of Admiral on the Retired List on 1 August, 1927.[19]

Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Arthur D. Ricardo
Captain of H.M. T.B. 45
22 Jul, 1890[20] – 28 Jul, 1890[21]
Succeeded by
Robert G. Corbett
Preceded by
William L. Grant
Captain of H.M.S. Monarch
24 Mar, 1902[22] – 9 Oct, 1902[23]
Succeeded by
William P. Lodder
as Captain of H.M.S. Simoom
Preceded by
Murray T. Parks
Captain of H.M.S. Blanche
18 Jul, 1902[24] – 4 Aug, 1902[25][Inference]
Succeeded by
Henry J. L. Clarke
Preceded by
Edmund M. C. Cooper-Key
Captain of H.M.S. Psyche
23 Sep, 1903[26][27] – 6 Nov, 1905[Inference]
Succeeded by
Carlton V. de M. Cowper
Preceded by
?
Captain of H.M.S. Cyclops
21 Oct, 1907[28][29] – 21 Feb, 1910[30]
Succeeded by
John G. Armstrong
Preceded by
George P. W. Hope
Captain of H.M.S. Magnificent
28 Feb, 1910[31] – 28 Feb, 1911[32]
Succeeded by
Wyndham L. Bamber
Preceded by
Bentinck J. D. Yelverton
Captain of H.M.S. Bulwark
1 Mar, 1910[33] – 18 Mar, 1910[34]
Succeeded by
George P. W. Hope
Preceded by
Edmund H. Smith
Captain of H.M.S. Irresistible
28 Feb, 1911[35][36] – 26 Mar, 1912[37]
Succeeded by
Maurice Woollcombe
Preceded by
Arthur B. F. Dawson
Captain of H.M.S. Mars
2 Jul, 1912[38]
Succeeded by
Henry W. Osburn
Preceded by
Frederic W. Dean
Captain of H.M.S. Sutlej
15 Jul, 1913[39]
Succeeded by
Hubert Lynes
Preceded by
George H. Borrett
Captain of H.M.S. Donegal
25 Aug, 1913[40] – 10 Jan, 1914[41]
Succeeded by
Maurice H. H. Nelson
Preceded by
Frank E. C. Ryan
Captain of H.M.S. Cornwallis
10 Jan, 1914[42] – 1 May, 1914[43]
Succeeded by
Alexander P. Davidson
Preceded by
Bertram M. Chambers
Captain of H.M.S. Roxburgh
27 Apr, 1915[44][45] – 10 Dec, 1915[46]
Succeeded by
Frederic A. Whitehead
Preceded by
Edward G. Lowther-Crofton
Captain of H.M.S. Cæsar
10 Dec, 1915[47][48] – 15 Jan, 1918[49]
Succeeded by
Fawcet Wray
Preceded by
Fawcet Wray
Captain of H.M.S. Berwick
? – Apr, 1918[50]
Succeeded by
Richard G. A. W. Stapleton-Cotton
 

Footnotes

  1. "Naval Cadetships" (News). The Times. Saturday, 30 June, 1877. Issue 28982, col A, p. 14.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 25660. p. 6612. 31 December, 1886.
  3. "Naval & Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Tuesday, 31 March, 1896. Issue 34852, col C, p. 10.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 27099. p. 4345. 14 July, 1899.
  5. The London Gazette: no. 27982. p. 31. 1 January, 1907.
  6. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Monday, 14 February, 1910. Issue 39195, col C, p. 7.
  7. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Monday, 7 February, 1910. Issue 39189, col F, p. 4.
  8. The Navy List. (April, 1914). p. 300.
  9. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Saturday, 30 May, 1914. Issue 40537, col A, p. 4.
  10. The Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 397l-r.
  11. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/88. f. 129.
  12. The Navy List. (December, 1916). p. 392r.
  13. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/88. f. 129.
  14. The National Archives. ADM 167/52.
  15. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/88. f. 129.
  16. The London Gazette: no. 30522. p. 1946. 12 February, 1918.
  17. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31360. p. 6502. 27 May, 1919.
  18. The London Gazette: no. 32871. p. 6966. 16 October, 1923.
  19. The London Gazette: no. 33300. p. 5105. 5 August, 1927.
  20. "Naval Intelligence". The Times. Friday, 19 July, 1890. Issue 33068, col C, p. 12.
  21. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/20. f. 499.
  22. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 218.
  23. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 218.
  24. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 218.
  25. The Navy List. (May, 1903). p. 234.
  26. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 218.
  27. The Navy List. (November, 1905). p. 362.
  28. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 218.
  29. The Navy List. (January, 1910). p. 298.
  30. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 218.
  31. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Monday, 7 February, 1910. Issue 39189, col F, p. 4.
  32. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 218.
  33. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/88. f. 129.
  34. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Monday, 14 February, 1910. Issue 39195, col C, p. 7.
  35. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 109/218.
  36. The Navy List. (April, 1911). p. 333.
  37. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 109/218.
  38. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 218.
  39. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 218.
  40. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 218.
  41. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 218.
  42. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 218.
  43. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 218.
  44. The Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 397l-r.
  45. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 196.
  46. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 196.
  47. The Navy List. (November, 1917). p. 392.
  48. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 196.
  49. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 196.
  50. Foot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 196.