Hugh Francis Paget Sinclair

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Admiral SIR Hugh Francis Paget Sinclair, K.C.B., Royal Navy, Retired (18 August, 1873 – 4 November, 1939) was an officer of the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Sinclair was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 31 December, 1894.[1]

Following the disturbances at the Royal Naval Barracks, Portsmouth, Sinclair was appointed Commander of the Barracks in succession to Commander Drury-Lowe.[2] If the editor's detective work is correct, there is a charming story about Sinclair recounted in Fabulous Admirals:

… a Commander was appointed who had the reputation of standing no nonsense, and of doing things in an unorthodox way which the blue-jackets, once they had got over the their surprise, appreciated. As the trouble took some time to die down, there was a fairly steady procession to the cells.
One day the Commander was walking past the guardroom when a white-faced blue-jacket ran out. 'Oh, sir, that stoker who was sent to the cells this morning. He's tried to hang himself.'
Hard on his heels came a ship's corporal, scarcely less excited. 'It's all right, sir. It's quite all right now. We've taken his rope away from him.'
'Why?' demanded the Commander calmly. 'Give him back his rope at once.'
The man made no further attempt to hang himself.[3]

Sinclair was promoted to the rank of Captain on 31 December, 1909.[4]

On 26 August, 1910, Sinclair was appointed to London as Flag Captain to Rear-Admiral Sackville H. Carden, the new Second-in-Command of the Atlantic Fleet. He remained as Flag Captain to Rear-Admiral Christopher G. F. M. Cradock when he succeeded Carden in 1911. In May, 1912, the Atlantic Fleet became the Third Battle Squadron of the Home Fleets, and Sinclair transferred with Cradock to the Hibernia on 14 May. He was superseded on 29 August.[5]

Sinclair was appointed to Vernon on 28 October for command of the tender Vindictive, and on 7 December was appointed to President for service on the staff of the Inspector of Target Practice at the Admiralty. With the abolition of that department, he was appointed to the Naval Ordnance Department on 29 August, 1913. On 22 January, 1914, he was appointed Assistant Director of the Mobilisation Division of the Admiralty War Staff.[6]

Great War

On 22 October he succeeded Rear-Admiral Alexander L. Duff as Director of the Mobilisation Division.[7]

In the King's Birthday Honours of 3 June, 1916, Sinclair was appointed an Additional Member of the Third Class, or Companion, in the Civil Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (C.B.).[8] He was appointed in command of the battle cruiser Renown on 12 September, and on 13 August, 1917, was appointed to Lion as Chief of Staff to the Vice-Admiral Commanding the Battle Cruiser Force, Sir William C. Pakenham. From 9 February, 1918, he was given the rank of Commodore, Second Class, and from 22 May to 3 June he commanded Lion temporarily.[9]

Post-War

On 27 December, 1918, Sinclair was appointed to President for service in the Naval Intelligence Division, and on 15 January, 1919, he was appointed Director of Naval Intelligence.[10] Sinclair was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral, vice Power, on 25 November, 1920.[11] From 25 August, 1921, to 1 September, 1923, he served as Rear-Admiral (S) in command of the Submarine Service.[12]

In 1923 Sinclair succeeded Sir Mansfield Smith-Cumming as "Head of the Secret Service". The latter described him as "in every way qualified and suitable" for the post, and told Sir Samuel Hoare (later Viscount Templewood), "I feel sure that in his capable hands this organisation will grow to be very useful—it is not too much to say essential—to the Govt. Departments we serve." He also became head of the Government Code & Cypher School, for which he had been responsible as D.N.I.[13]

Sinclair was promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral on 2 March, 1926, vice Johnson. On 1 May he was placed on the Retired List at his own request in order to facilitate the promotion of younger officers.[14]

On 15 May, 1930, Sinclair was promoted to the rank of Admiral on the Retired List.[15]

Sinclair became seriously ill with cancer, causing Alexander Cadogan to note on 19 October, 1940, that he was "going downhill." On 29 October he underwent an operation for his cancer and died on 4 November.[16]

Bibliography

  • "Admiral Sir Hugh Sinclair" (Obituaries). The Times. Monday, 6 November, 1939. Issue 48455, col D, p. 9.
  • Andrew, Christopher (1986). Her Majesty's Secret Service: The Making of the British Intelligence Community. New York: Viking. ISBN 0670809411.

Papers

Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
A. Ernle M. Chatfield
Captain of H.M.S. London
26 Aug, 1910[17][18] – 14 May, 1912[19]
Succeeded by
Ernest H. Grafton
Preceded by
Ernest H. Grafton
Captain of H.M.S. Hibernia
14 May, 1912[20][21] – 29 Aug, 1912[22]
Succeeded by
Ernest K. Loring
Preceded by
?
Assistant Director of the Mobilisation Division
22 Jan, 1914[23] – 22 Oct, 1914[24]
Succeeded by
John W. L. McClintock
as Assistant Director of the Mobilisation Department
Preceded by
Alexander L. Duff
Director of the Mobilisation Division
22 Oct, 1914[25] – Aug, 1916[26]
Succeeded by
Michael Culme-Seymour
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Renown
12 Sep, 1916[27] – 13 Aug, 1917[28]
Succeeded by
Michael H. Hodges
Preceded by
Roger R. C. Backhouse
Captain of H.M.S. Lion
22 May, 1918[29] – 3 Jun, 1918[30]
Succeeded by
Arthur J. Davies
Preceded by
Sir W. Reginald Hall
as Director of the Intelligence Division
Director of Naval Intelligence
18 Jan, 1919[31] – 15 Aug, 1921[32]
Succeeded by
Maurice S. FitzMaurice
Preceded by
Douglas L. Dent
Chief of the Submarine Service
1921 – 1923
Succeeded by
Wilmot S. Nicholson

Footnotes

  1. The London Gazette: no. 26585. p. 7. 1 January, 1895.
  2. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Tuesday, 18 December, 1906. Issue 38206, col A, p. 11.
  3. Lowis. p. 177.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 28325. p. 29. 4 January, 1910.
  5. ADM 196/43. f. 368.
  6. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 368.
  7. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 368.
  8. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29608. p. 5554. 2 June, 1916.
  9. ADM 196/43. f. 368.
  10. ADM 196/43. f. 368.
  11. The London Gazette: no. 32162. p. 12300. 14 December, 1920.
  12. ADM 196/43. f. 199.
  13. Andrew. p. 294.
  14. ADM 196/43. f. 199.
  15. The London Gazette: no. 33606. p. 3069. 16 May, 1930.
  16. Andrew. pp. 436-438.
  17. Sinclair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 368.
  18. The Navy List. (April, 1911). p. 341.
  19. Sinclair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 368.
  20. Sinclair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 368.
  21. The Navy List. (August, 1912). p. 326.
  22. Sinclair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 368.
  23. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 368.
  24. Sinclair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 368.
  25. Sinclair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 368.
  26. Sinclair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 368.
  27. Sinclair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 368.
  28. Sinclair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 368.
  29. Sinclair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 368.
  30. Sinclair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 368.
  31. The Naval Staff of the Admiralty. p. 124.
  32. Sinclair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 368.