Dudley Rawson Stratford de Chair

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Admiral Sir Dudley R. S. de Chair, 1933.
© National Portrait Gallery, London.

Admiral SIR Dudley Rawson Stratford de Chair, K.C.B., K.C.M.G., M.V.O., HON LL.D. (McGill) R.N. (30 August, 1864 – 17 August, 1958) was an officer of the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

De Chair was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, dated 19 May, 1885.[1]

On 7 July 1887, he was loaned to command the first-class torpedo boat T.B. 61 for manoeuvres.[2]

After another loan to T.B. 95 for manoeuvres in 1895, De Chair was appointed to Vernon for command of Vesuvius on 16 October.[3]

De Chair was appointed to command T.B. 81 on 15 June, 1897, for the annual manoeuvres,[4] and promoted to the rank of Commander on the 22nd,[5] leaving Vesuvius on that milestone.[6]

Captain

De Chair was promoted to the rank of Captain on 26 June, 1902.[7]

In a letter to the editor of The Navy List of 22 September, 1904, de Chair stated that his full name was now Dudley Rawson Stratford de Chair.[8]

He was appointed in command of the armoured cruiser Bacchante in December 1905.[9]

De Chair was appointed to Victory on 1 November, 1906, for command of the armoured cruiser Cochrane, building at Fairfield's, Govan.[10][11]

Following King Edward VII's visit to Russia, de Chair was appointed a Member of the Fourth Class of the Royal Victorian Order (M.V.O.) on 10 June, 1908.[12]

On 6 March, 1911 de Chair was appointed a Naval Aide-de-Camp to King George V, in place of Ernest C. T. Troubridge, promoted to flag rank.[13]

Flag Rank

On 31 July, 1912, de Chair was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral, vice Frederick T. Hamilton.[14] On 9 January, 1913 he was appointed Naval Secretary to the First Lord of the Admiralty.[15] He was loaned, briefly, to the Army in September of 1913.

On the occasion of King George V's birthday he was appointed an Ordinary Member of the Third Class, or Companion, in the Civil Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (C.B.) on 22 June, 1914.[16] On 29 June he was appointed Admiral of the Training Service.[17]

Great War

On 1 August, 1914, de Chair was appointed to Crescent as Rear-Admiral Commanding Cruiser Force B, also known as the Tenth Cruiser Squadron, the formation tasked with enforcing the distant blockade of Germany in the form of the Northern Patrol. On 4 December he shifted his flag to the armed merchant cruiser Alsatian, a switch that was reflective of how ill-suited to the North Sea's heavy weather and over-armed the old cruisers were for the mission.[18]

Evidently the First Sea Lord, Sir Henry B. Jackson, broached to Sir John R. Jellicoe (Commander-in-Chief, Grand Fleet), the possibility of de Chair being appointed Senior Naval Officer and Admiral Superintendent of Gibraltar Dockyard. On 23 July, 1915, Jellicoe wrote to Jackson:

I should very much doubt de Chair's liking Gibraltar. It would - if precedents go for anything - be fatal to his future. He is a very first rate sea officer & is suited to any command afloat. I should doubt his caring to leave 10th CS for anything but a sea command and I should be very sorry to see him placed in a position which might prejudice his future. I do not want to suggest that he should not leave 10th CS if the winter is expected him to try him too highly, but only to beg that if he goes it may be to a sea command.[19]

On 1 January, 1916, he was appointed an Additional Member of the Second Class, or Knight Commander, in the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (K.C.B.).[20] He was superseded in command of the Tenth Cruiser Squadron on 6 March, and on the same day was appointed Naval Adviser at the Foreign Office in matters of concerning enemy trade.[21]

Ashore

On 30 May de Chair received an honorary LL.D. from McGill University, Montreal, along with Arthur Balfour, Lieutenant-General G. T. M. Bridges, and Sir Cecil Spring-Rice, British Ambassador to the United States.[22]

Back Afloat

De Chair was appointed Acting Vice-Admiral Commanding the Third Battle Squadron on 26 September, 1917, with his flag in H.M.S. Dreadnought.[23] He was confirmed in the rank of Vice-Admiral on 5 October.[24]

In his memoirs de Chair gave his account of the end of his tenure as Vice-Admiral Commanding the Third Battle Squadron:

A few days later, after Jellicoe had been so unjustly dismissed, and while my flagship was still coaling, I received an urgent telegram from Wemyss to go to the Admiralty. On arrival I was greeted warmly by him, but I was still boiling over with indignation about Jellicoe's dismissal, and the way Wemyss had betrayed him. When Wemyss began talking of filling vacancies at the Admiralty, and asked me to take one of the posts on the Board of Admiralty vacated by one of the admirals who had resigned in consequence of Jellicoe's dismissal, I told him that I would not and could not take and post at the Admiralty, as I felt so keenly the disgraceful manner in which Jellicoe had been treated. I added that I was surprised that any naval officer on the Board of Admiralty could remain there, as it looked as if they condoned this action of Jellicoe's dismissal. In fact, I expressed myself forcibly, and let myself go, and left him after a scene which did me no good and had disastrous results, in so far that, shortly afterwards I was relieved of my command and put on half-pay—and that in war-time, when I might have been of use afloat, as I was essentially a sea officer.[25]

Having hauled down his flag on 21 April, 1918,[26] de Chair went to Bracknell for "a delightful rest."[27] However,

One day in June 1918 I met Admiral Thursby in London. He said, "I hear you are to relieve me as Admiral Commanding Coast Guards and Reserves!" I was dumbfounded, as I had hoped to join Beatty in the Grand Fleet. However, Thursby told me it was only a stepping-stone to better things, so I felt more at ease, but still I thought I should be offered the post formally and hear the reason. Nothing however happened, and I was abruptly told I was appointed.[28]

Consequently he was appointed Admiral Commanding Coastguard and Reserves on 23 July.[29] De Chair later wrote, "As time went on, I realised that I could expect very little help from the Admiralty, but Beatty, the C.-in-C. of the Grand Fleet, wrote to me that he expected to have me with him on one of the first vacancies of his Battle Squadrons in the Grand Fleet, so I worked on in the hope of getting to sea again, and taking part in any action that might transpire."[30]

Post-War

De Chair was promoted to the rank of Admiral on 25 November, 1920, vice Nicholson.[31]

Governor of New South Wales

On 8 November, 1923 de Chair was appointed Governor of the State of New South Wales in the Commonwealth of Australia[32] and was placed on the Retired List at his own request dated 1 November in order to take up the appointment.[33]

Commenting on the Premier of New South Wales, de Chair later wrote, his "lack of scruple gave me a great and unpleasant surprise."[34]

See Also

Bibliography

  • "Adm. Sir Dudley de Chair" (Obituaries). The Times. Tuesday, 19 August, 1958. Issue 54233, col D, p. 10.
  • Clune, David; Griffith, Gareth (2006). Decision and Deliberation: The Parliament of New South Wales 1856-2003. Sydney: The Federation Press. ISBN 1-86287-591-X.
  • de Chair, Admiral Sir Dudley (1961). The Sea is Strong. London: George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd..

Papers

Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
?
Captain of H.M. T.B. 61
7 Jul, 1887[35]
Succeeded by
Charles M. Masters
Preceded by
Claude W. M. Plenderleath
Captain of H.M. T.B. 72
11 Jul, 1893[36] – 19 Aug, 1893[37]
Succeeded by
Francis H. M. Jackson
Preceded by
?
Captain of H.M. T.B. 95
8 Jul, 1895[38]
Succeeded by
James F. Somerville
Preceded by
Edward A. Salwey
Captain of H.M. T.B. 83
24 Jul, 1895[39] – 5 Aug, 1895[40]
Succeeded by
Robert Chapman
Preceded by
Reginald H. S. Bacon
Captain of H.M.S. Vesuvius
16 Oct, 1895[41] – 22 Oct, 1897[42]
Succeeded by
Trevylyan D. W. Napier
Preceded by
Reginald H. S. Bacon
Captain of H.M. T.B. 81
15 Jun, 1897[43]
Succeeded by
Frederick C. U. V. Wentworth
Preceded by
Lewis Bayly
Royal Navy Naval Attaché at Washington, D.C.
10 Sep, 1902[44] – 31 Aug, 1904[45]
Succeeded by
Frank E. C. Ryan
Preceded by
Henry V. W. Elliott
Captain of H.M.S. Bacchante
1 Dec, 1905[46] – 1 Nov, 1906[47]
Succeeded by
Robert J. Prendergast
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Cochrane
1 Nov, 1906[48] – 5 Jan, 1909[49]
Succeeded by
Cecil S. Hickley
Preceded by
Alexander L. Duff
Naval Assistant to the Third Sea Lord and Controller of the Navy
5 Jan, 1909[50] – 27 Jul, 1911[51]
Succeeded by
W. Reginald Hall
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Colossus
27 Jul, 1911[52][53] – 10 Aug, 1912[54]
Succeeded by
William E. Goodenough
Preceded by
David Beatty
Naval Secretary to the First Lord of the Admiralty
9 Jan, 1913[55] – 1 Jun, 1914[56]
Succeeded by
The Hon. Horace L. A. Hood
Preceded by
David Beatty
Rear-Admiral Commanding, Sixth Cruiser Squadron
15 Jul, 1913[57]
Succeeded by
William L. Grant
as Rear-Admiral Commanding, Mediterranean Cruiser Squadron
Preceded by
Edmund R. Pears
as In Charge of Boys' Training Service[58]
Admiral of the Training Service
29 Jun, 1914[59]
Succeeded by
Cecil F. Dampier
Preceded by
Charles L. Napier
as Rear-Admiral Commanding, Tenth Cruiser Squadron
Rear-Admiral Commanding, Cruiser Force B
1 Aug, 1914[60] – 6 Mar, 1916[61]
Succeeded by
Sir Reginald G. O. Tupper
as Vice-Admiral Commanding, Tenth Cruiser Squadron
Preceded by
Sir Herbert L. Heath
Vice-Admiral Commanding, Third Battle Squadron
26 Sep, 1917[62] – 21 Apr, 1918[63]
Succeeded by
Sir Douglas R. L. Nicholson
Preceded by
Sir Cecil F. Thursby
Admiral Commanding Coastguard and Reserves
23 Jul, 1918[64] – 23 Jul, 1921[65]
Succeeded by
Sir Morgan Singer

Footnotes

  1. The London Gazette: no. 25514. p. 4516. 25 September, 1885.
  2. "Naval and Military Intelligence". The Times. Saturday, 2 July, 1887. Issue 32114, col C, p. 12.
  3. de Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 275.
  4. "The Naval Review at Spithead". The Times. Wednesday, 9 June, 1897. Issue 35225, col D, p. 10.
  5. The London Gazette: no. 26865. p. 3443. 22 June, 1897.
  6. de Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 275.
  7. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 27448. p. 4198. 26 June, 1902.
  8. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 259.
  9. Mackie, Colin. ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS.
  10. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Thursday, 11 October, 1906. Issue 38148, col A, p. 8.
  11. De Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 259.
  12. The London Gazette: no. 28148. p. 4404. 16 June, 1908.
  13. "Naval Appointments" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Monday, 13 March, 1911. Issue 39531, col E, p. 4.
  14. The London Gazette: no. 28632. p. 5723. 2 August, 1912.
  15. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Friday, 10 January, 1913. Issue 40105, col G, p. 11.
  16. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 28842. p. 4876. 22 June, 1914.
  17. "News in Brief" (News in Brief). The Times. Tuesday, 30 June, 1914. Issue 40563, col C, p. 14.
  18. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 259.
  19. Letter of 23 July, 1915. Jackson Papers. National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth. MSS. 255/4/9.
  20. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29423. p. 80. 31 December, 1915.
  21. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 259.
  22. The New York Times. 31 May, 1917.
  23. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 259.
  24. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30336. p. 10605. 16 October, 1917.
  25. de Chair. The Sea is Strong. pp. 237-238.
  26. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 259.
  27. Memoirs. Volume V. p. 69. De Chair Papers. Imperial War Museum. PP/MCR/C4. Reel 2.
  28. Memoirs. Volume V. p. 74. De Chair Papers. Imperial War Museum. PP/MCR/C4. Reel 2.
  29. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 259.
  30. Memoirs. Volume V. p. 79. De Chair Papers. Imperial War Museum. PP/MCR/C4. Reel 2.
  31. The London Gazette: no. 32162. p. 12300. 14 December, 1920.
  32. The London Gazette: no. 32878. p. 7655. 9 November, 1923.
  33. The London Gazette: no. 32878. p. 7658. 9 November, 1923.
  34. Memoirs. Volume VI. p. 86. De Chair Papers. Imperial War Museum. PP/MCR/C4. Reel 2.
  35. "Naval and Military Intelligence". The Times. Saturday, 2 July, 1887. Issue 32114, col C, p. 12.
  36. de Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 275.
  37. de Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 275.
  38. de Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 275.
  39. de Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 275.
  40. de Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 275.
  41. de Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 275.
  42. de Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 275.
  43. "The Naval Review at Spithead". The Times. Wednesday, 9 June, 1897. Issue 35225, col D, p. 10.
  44. De Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 259.
  45. De Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 259.
  46. De Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 259.
  47. De Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 259.
  48. De Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 259.
  49. De Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 259.
  50. De Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 259.
  51. De Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 259. Date inferred from commissioning of Colossus
  52. De Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 259.
  53. The Navy List. (August, 1912). p. 294.
  54. De Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 259.
  55. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Friday, 10 January, 1913. Issue 40105, col G, p. 11.
  56. De Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 259.
  57. de Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 259.
  58. The Navy List, for May, 1914, Corrected to the 18th April, 1914. p. 90.
  59. "News in Brief" (News in Brief). The Times. Tuesday, 30 June, 1914. Issue 40563, col C, p. 14.
  60. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1916). p. 7.
  61. De Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 259.
  62. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. p. 4.
  63. De Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 259.
  64. The Navy List. (December, 1918). p. 1109.
  65. De Chair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 259.