Rear-Admiral (Royal Navy)

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Rear-Admiral was a rank in the Royal Navy. In the days of the sailing navy, the "Rear" Admiral commanded the last ship in the squadron, so as to preserve the change of command in case the "Admiral" and "Vice" Admiral in the line ahead should be disabled.

In the Dreadnought era, Rear-Admiral, and its foreign equivalents, was the lowest ranking Flag Officer.

Qualification to become a Flag Officer

by Your Majesty's Order in Council of the nineteenth day of May, 1899, it was provided that, to qualify a Captain whose seniority brings him in turn for advancement to the Active List of Fhg Officers, he must have served certain periods in command, of which three years must in any case have been in a ship of war at sea.

And whereas it has been found that the condition that a Captain should be in command, so far as it relates to periods other than the three years required in a ship of war at sea, operates unfairly in cases of Officers holding certain appointments who are precluded from counting time so served for promotion by reason of their not being actually in command, but who, notwithstanding, are performing duties of great importance to Your Majesty's Fleet.

We are of opinion that, whilst the actual period of service required for promotion should remain unaltered, the qualification in command should be required only as regards the three years' service in a ship of war at sea, and we accordingly most humbly submit the following amended regulation for Your Majesty's approval, viz. : —

To qualify a Captain whose seniority brings him in turn for advancement to the Active List of Flag Officers he must have served the following periods, of which three years must in ench case have been in command of a ' ship of war at sea ' : —

During peace six years.
During war four years.
During peace and war combined five years.

Note, — The first two years' service to qualify for advancement to Flag rank must be in command of a ship of war at sea.

Captains who arrive at their turn for promotion without having completed the qualifying service to be retired.

Conditions for Compulsory Retirement

A Flag Officer who did not hoist his flag before the age of sixty was compulsorily retired. A Flag Officer who did not hoist his flag during a period of seven years was compulsorily retired at the expiration of such period. A Rear-Admiral promoted to Flag Rank before 1 April, 1914 was compulsorily retired 3½ years since their last "Service" as Rear-Admiral, 3½ years since their promotion to the rank of Rear-Admiral or 5 years since their last "Service" as Captain. A Rear-Admiral promoted to Flag Rank on or after 1 April, 1914 would be compulsorily retired after 2½ years since their last "Service" as Rear-Admiral, or, if they have not served as Rear Admiral. 2½ years since their promotion to Rear Admiral, or 3 years since their last "Service" as Captain; or, if they had not hoisted their flag at sea, on promotion to Vice-Admiral.

Retirement

A Rear-Admiral retired from that rank was entitled to be promoted by seniority to the rank of Admiral on the Retired List unless he had been promoted to the rank of Captain on the active list after 19 March, 1908 in which case he would only rise to the rank of Vice-Admiral on the Retired List.

Footnotes

Bibliography