John Michael de Robeck, First Baronet

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Admiral of the Fleet Sir John M. de Robeck, Bart., 1923.
© National Portrait Gallery, London.

Admiral SIR John Michael de Robeck, First Baronet, G.C.B., G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., R.N. (10 June, 1862 – 20 January, 1928) was an officer of the Royal Navy during the First World War. He is perhaps most notable for his command of the Eastern Mediterranean Squadron during the abortive attempts to force the Dardanelles in 1915. He later commanded a battle squadron in the Grand Fleet, and after the war ended held the commands of the Mediterranean and Atlantic Fleets.

Early Life & Career

De Robeck was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 30 September, 1885.[1]

De Robeck was promoted to the rank of Commander on 22 June, 1897.[2]

In mid-1899, he was in command of the destroyer Angler and commanding the destroyers of the Chatham Flotilla.[3]

Captain

De Robeck was promoted to the rank of Captain on 1 January, 1902.[4]

He was appointed Captain of the armoured cruiser Carnarvon in August 1906.

He was appointed in command of the battleship Dominion on 25 January, 1908.[5]

Flag Rank

De Robeck was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 1 December, 1911, vice Savory.[6]

He struck his flag in the Aboukir at Chatham on 26 July, 1914.[7]

Great War

He hoisted his flag in the Amphitrite.

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.).[8]

He was confirmed in the rank of Vice-Admiral on 17 May, 1917, vice Sturdee.[9]

Post-War & Retirement

On 24 March, 1920, he was promoted to the rank of Admiral, vice Grant.[10]

He was appointed an Ordinary Member of the First Class, or Knight Grand Cross, in the Military Division of the Order of the Bath (G.C.B.) on 1 January, 1921.[11]

He was advanced to the rank of Admiral of the Fleet on 24 November, 1925, vice Burney.[12]

There is a portrait-drawing of de Robeck by Francis Dodd in the Imperial War Museum, South Kensington.

Bibliography

  • "Sir John de Robeck" (Obituaries). The Times. Saturday, 21 January, 1928. Issue 44796, col B, p. 12.

Papers

Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
?
Captain of H.M. T.B. 86
22 Jul, 1890[13] – 21 Aug, 1890[14]
Succeeded by
Brien M. Money
Preceded by
William F. De Salis
Captain of H.M.S. Haughty
20 Nov, 1897[15]
Succeeded by
Eustace La T. Leatham
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Angler
20 Nov, 1897[16]
Succeeded by
Charles Tibbits
Preceded by
?
Captain of H.M.S. Mermaid
? – 28 Nov, 1899[17]
Succeeded by
Mark E. F. Kerr
Preceded by
?
Captain of H.M.S. Pyramus
1 Jun, 1900[18][19] – 1901[20][21]
Succeeded by
Alfred E. A. Grant
Preceded by
Robert G. Douglas
Captain of H.M.S. Warrior
Jul, 1902[22]
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
Frederick F. Fegen
Captain of H.M.S. Leander
21 Jan, 1904[23] – 1 Jun, 1904[24]
Succeeded by
Seymour E. Erskine
Preceded by
Sir George J. S. Warrender, Bart.
Captain of H.M.S. Carnarvon
1 Aug, 1906[25] – 25 Jan, 1908[26]
Succeeded by
Robert J. Prendergast
Preceded by
Arthur T. Stuart
Captain of H.M.S. Dominion
25 Jan, 1908[27][28] – 25 Jan, 1910[29]
Succeeded by
Morgan Singer
Preceded by
Herbert W. Savory
Inspecting Captain of Boys' Training Ships
15 Feb, 1911[30] – 21 Dec, 1911[31]
Succeeded by
Edmund R. Pears
Preceded by
Herbert W. Savory
Inspecting Captain of Boys' Training Ships
15 Feb, 1911[32] – 21 Dec, 1911[33]
Succeeded by
Edmund R. Pears
as Inspecting Captain of Boys' Training Establishments
Preceded by
New Appointment
Admiral of Patrols
8 Apr, 1912[34] – 1 May, 1914[35]
Succeeded by
George A. Ballard
Preceded by
?
Rear-Admiral Commanding, Eighth Cruiser Squadron
26 Jul, 1914[36]
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
New Command
Rear-Admiral Commanding, Cruiser Force I
1 Aug, 1914[37] – 7 Feb, 1915[38]
Succeeded by
Sir A. Gordon H. W. Moore
as Rear-Admiral Commanding, Ninth Cruiser Squadron
Preceded by
Sackville H. Carden
Vice-Admiral Commanding, Eastern Mediterranean Squadron
17 Mar, 1915[39] – 19 Jun, 1916[40]
Succeeded by
Sir Cecil F. Thursby
Preceded by
Sir Edward E. Bradford
Vice-Admiral Commanding, Third Battle Squadron
19 Jul, 1916[41] – 1 Dec, 1916
Succeeded by
Sir Herbert L. Heath
Preceded by
Sir T. H. Martyn Jerram
Vice-Admiral Commanding, Second Battle Squadron
3 Dec, 1916[42] – 22 Mar, 1919[43]
Succeeded by
Sir Henry F. Oliver
Preceded by
The Hon. Sir Somerset A. Gough-Calthorpe
Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Station
26 Jul, 1919[44] – 15 May, 1922[45]
Succeeded by
Sir Osmond de B. Brock
Preceded by
Sir Charles E. Madden
Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet
15 Aug, 1922[46] – 15 Aug, 1924[47]
Succeeded by
Sir Henry F. Oliver

Footnotes

  1. The London Gazette: no. 25516. p. 4599. 2 October, 1885.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 26865. p. 3443. 22 June, 1897.
  3. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1899. p. 63.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 27393. p. 3. 3 January, 1902.
  5. The Navy List. (October, 1908). p. 301.
  6. The London Gazette: no. 28562. p. 9446. 15 December, 1911.
  7. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Monday, 27 July, 1914. Issue 40586, col B, p. 4.
  8. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29423. p. 80. 31 December, 1915.
  9. The London Gazette: no. 30084. p. 4942. 22 May, 1917.
  10. The London Gazette: no. 3186. p. 4474. 16 April, 1920.
  11. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 32178. p. 4. 1 January, 1921.
  12. The London Gazette: no. 33110. p. 7950. 1 December, 1925.
  13. "Naval Intelligence". The Times. Friday, 19 July, 1890. Issue 33068, col C, p. 12.
  14. de Robeck Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/20. f. 346.
  15. de Robeck Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 128.
  16. The Navy List. (October, 1898). p. 224.
  17. de Robeck Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 128.
  18. de Robeck Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 64/128.
  19. The Navy List. (January, 1901). p. 296.
  20. The Navy List. (January, 1901). p. 296.
  21. Grant Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 31.
  22. Wikipedia page on Warrior.
  23. de Robeck Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 64/128.
  24. de Robeck Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 64/128.
  25. de Robeck Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 128.
  26. de Robeck Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 128.
  27. The Navy List. (January, 1910). p. 301.
  28. de Robeck Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 128.
  29. de Robeck Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 128.
  30. "Naval Appointments" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Tuesday, 11 January, 1911. Issue 39496, col B, p. 8.
  31. de Robeck Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 128.
  32. "Naval Appointments" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Tuesday, 11 January, 1911. Issue 39496, col B, p. 8.
  33. de Robeck service record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 128.
  34. de Robeck Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 128.
  35. de Robeck Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 128.
  36. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Monday, 27 July, 1914. Issue 40586, col B, p. 4.
  37. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (September 1914). p. 5.
  38. de Robeck Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 128.
  39. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. f. 32.
  40. de Robeck Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 128.
  41. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. p. 4.
  42. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. f. 3.
  43. de Robeck Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 128.
  44. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. p. 32.
  45. de Robeck Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 285.
  46. "Flag Command Changes" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Wednesday, 21 December, 1921. Issue 42909, col D, p. 14.
  47. de Robeck Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 285.