William Graham Greene

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SIR William Graham Greene, K.C.B. (16 January, 1857 – 10 September, 1950) was a civil servant chiefly remembered for his years of service to the Royal Navy and tenure as Permanent Secretary to the Board of Admiralty.

Life & Career

William Graham Greene was born in 1857, and was educated at Cheltenham College. He entered the service of the Admiralty as a Higher Division Clerk in 1881, and from 1887 to 1892 served as Assistant Private Secretary to successive First Lords of the Admiralty. On the occasion of Queen Victoria's birthday he was appointed an Ordinary Member of the Civil Division of the Third Class, or Companion, in the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (C.B.) on 9 June, 1899.[1] He became a Principal Clerk in 1902, and in 1907 he succeeded C. Inigo Thomas as Assistant Secretary. On the occasion of King George V's coronation he was knighted and appointed an Additional Member of the Second Class, or Knight Commander, of the Civil Division of the Order of the Bath (K.C.B) on 19 June, 1911.[2] In 1911 he succeeded Thomas again and became Permanent Secretary to the Board of Admiralty.

Having been removed as Secretary, Churchill invited Greene to become Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Munitions, where he remained until 1920, when he retired. He was unmarried.


  • "Sir Graham Greene" (Obituaries). The Times. Monday, 11 September, 1950. Issue 51793, col D, p. 6.
  • Greene, Graham (1971). A Sort of Life. London: The Bodley Head. ISBN 0370003276.

See Also



  1. The London Gazette: no. 27088. p. 3662. 9 June, 1899.
  2. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 28505. p. 4592. 19 June, 1911.
  3. The Naval Staff of the Admiralty. p. 120.