Robert Swinburne Lowry

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Admiral Sir Robert S. Lowry, 1915.
© National Portrait Gallery, London.

Admiral SIR Robert Swinburne Lowry, K.C.B., R.N. (4 March, 1854 – 29 May, 1920) was an officer of the Royal Navy.

Early Life & Career

Lowry was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 15 October, 1875.[1]

Lowry was promoted to the rank of Commander on 31 December, 1889.[2]

On 7 January, 1890, Lowry was appointed to the Undaunted.[3]

Captain

Lowry was promoted to the rank of Captain on 30 June, 1896.[4]

Lowry was given command of battleship Ramillies in January, 1900.[5]

Thereafter, he was appointed in command of the battleship Hood from 19 April, 1902 to 25 June, 1903 in the Home Fleet.[Citation needed]

In December 1905, he was appointed to command Russell, remaining in command until the next November.[6]

According to Captain Humphrey H. Smith:

Lowry, the Flag Captain, was a deeply religious man, whose profound faith in Providence kept him cool, cheerful, and collected under all circumstances. Nothing could ever rattle him or upset his equanimity, and both his physical and his moral courage were infinitely great. He was very strong, very active, and extremely keen on fishing and shooting. Whenever he landed or came off to the ship in his gig he would, if he was not in uniform, make his coxswain steer the boat, while he pulled the stroke oar, and a mighty good oar he could pull. I once saw him handle a case of insubordination in an original way that led to the very best results. In those days it sometimes happened that a hasty-tempered young man, who felt either restless or aggrieved under naval discipline, would strike a superior in order to be dismissed the Service, even though such dismissal would be accompanied by a sentence to imprisonment with hard labour. A young ordinary seaman on board the Ramillies, who had been going wrong for some time, finally put the hat on his previous misdeeds by refusing, in unpardonable language, to obey an order given him by the captain of the forecastle. He was therefore brought up before the Commander, who forwarded the case to be investigated by the Flag Captain.

The ordinary seaman appeared at "Captain's Defaulters" under the charge of an escort of Marines. Lowry, having heard the evidence of the captain of the forecastle and various witnesses, asked the ordinary seaman what he had to say in his defence. The man made no reply, but he stepped out and struck Lowry as hard as he could in the chest. Of course the escort of Marines sprang to seize him, but before they could do so Lowry with his open right fetched the ordinary seaman such a terrific blow that the latter fell down and spun round and round like a top. At the same time Lowry remarked, with a chuckle: "Ha, ha! I can hit harder than you." The ordinary seaman was then removed, and kept a prisoner until the following day, when he was again brought before Lowry. "You have been making a fool of yourself," said Lowry. "Now, if I let you off, will you promise not to make a fool of yourself again?" "Yes, sir," replied the man. He was let off, and he kept his promise.[7]

Flag Rank

Lowry was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 17 October, 1906, vice Campbell.[8]

President of the Royal Naval War College from 1 November, 1907.

He commanded the Fifth Cruiser Squadron for some time spanning over 31 December, 1908.[9]

Lowry was promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral on 6 March, 1911.[10]

On the occasion of the King's birthday he was appointed an Ordinary Member of the Second Class, or Knight Commander, in the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (K.C.B.) on 3 June, 1913.[11] He was promoted to the rank of Admiral on 13 December vice Winsloe.[12] He was placed on the Retired List at his own request on 19 August, 1917, "in order to facilitate the promotion of younger officers."[13]

Bibliography

  • "Admiral Sir Robert Lowry" (Obituaries). The Times. Monday, 31 May, 1920. Issue 42424, col C, p. 19.
  • Lowry, Lieutenant, R. S., R.N. (1885). “Musketry Instruction Afloat, and the Application of Rifle Fire in Ship Actions.” The Journal of the Royal United Service Institution. Vol. XXIX. London: W. Mitchell & Co.

Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Robert L. Groome
Rear-Admiral in the Channel Fleet
1907
Succeeded by
Francis J. Foley

Preceded by
Edmond J. W. Slade
Rear-Admiral Commanding,
Royal Naval War College

1907 – 1908
Succeeded by
Lewis Bayly

Preceded by
George A. Callaghan
Rear-Admiral Commanding,
Fifth Cruiser Squadron

1908 – 1909
Succeeded by
Command Renamed

Preceded by
New Command
Rear-Admiral Commanding,
Second Cruiser Squadron

1909 – 1910
Succeeded by
Sir George J. S. Warrender, Bart.

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
John R. Prickett
Captain of H.M.S. Ganges
9 Mar, 1894[14]
Succeeded by
Charles H. Coke
Preceded by
Charles G. Dicken
Assistant Director of Naval Intelligence, Foreign Division
21 Oct, 1897[15]
Succeeded by
F. C. Doveton Sturdee
Preceded by
William Des V. Hamilton
Captain of H.M.S. Ramillies
1 Jan, 1900[16] – 27 Feb, 1902[17]
Succeeded by
The Hon. Walter G. Stopford
Preceded by
John E. Blaxland
Captain of H.M.S. Hood
19 Apr, 1902[18] – 5 Dec, 1902[19]
Succeeded by
William S. Rees
Preceded by
Alfred E. Tizard
Captain of Royal Naval Engineering College, Keyham
6 Dec, 1902[20]
Succeeded by
T. H. Martyn Jerram
Preceded by
Thomas H. Martyn Jerram
Captain of H.M.S. Russell
6 Dec, 1905[21] – 16 Nov, 1906[22]
Succeeded by
Frederick A. Warden
Preceded by
Edmond J. W. Slade
as Captain of the War Course College
In Command of the Royal Naval War College, Greenwich
1 Nov, 1907[23] – 26 Nov, 1908[24]
Succeeded by
Lewis Bayly
Preceded by
Charles H. Adair
Rear-Admiral Commanding, Second Cruiser Squadron
27 Nov, 1908[25] – 29 Nov, 1910[26]
Succeeded by
George John Scott Warrender
Preceded by
?
Commander-in-Chief, Coast of Scotland
1 Jul, 1913[27][28] – 1 Jul, 1916[29]
Succeeded by
Sir Frederick T. Hamilton
as Commander-in-Chief, Rosyth

Footnotes

  1. The London Gazette: no. 24256. p. 4905. 19 October, 1875.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 26007. p. 7553. 31 December, 1889.
  3. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Wednesday, 8 January, 1890. Issue 32903, col C, p. 6.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 26757. p. 3978. 10 July, 1896.
  5. Mackie, Colin. ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS.
  6. Mackie, Colin. ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS.
  7. Smith. An Admiral Never Forgets. pp. 129-131.
  8. The London Gazette: no. 27959. p. 7017. 19 October, 1906.
  9. Fleet Fire Control and Concentration of Fire Experiments, 1910. C.B. 1040 at Admiralty Library, possibly as P1015, p. 20
  10. The London Gazette: no. 28474. p. 2055. 10 March, 1911.
  11. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 28724. p. 3903. 3 June, 1913.
  12. The London Gazette: no. 28783. p. 9338. 19 December, 1913.
  13. The London Gazette: no. 30248. p. 8703. 24 August, 1917.
  14. The Navy List. (March, 1896). p. 225.
  15. Lowry Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39. f. 800.
  16. Lowry Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39. f. 800.
  17. Lowry Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39. f. 800.
  18. Lowry Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39. f. 800.
  19. Lowry Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39. f. 800.
  20. Lowry Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39. f. 800.
  21. Lowry Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39. f. 800.
  22. Lowry Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39. f. 800.
  23. Lowry Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39. f. 800.
  24. Lowry Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39. f. 800.
  25. Lowry Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39. f. 800.
  26. Lowry Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39. f. 800.
  27. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. f. 37.
  28. Lowry Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39. f. 800.
  29. Lowry Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39. f. 800.