Difference between revisions of "Reginald Neville Custance"

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[[Category:1847 births|Custance]]
{{DEFAULTSORT:Custance, Reginald}}
[[Category:1935 deaths|Custance]]
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[[Category:Royal Navy Naval Attachés|Custance]]
[[Category:1935 deaths]]
[[Category:Directors of Naval Intelligence (Royal Navy)|Custance]]
[[Category:Seconds-in-Command, Mediterranean Station|Custance]]
[[Category:Royal Navy Naval Attachés]]
[[Category:Seconds-in-Command, Channel Fleet (Royal Navy)|Custance]]
[[Category:Directors of Naval Intelligence (Royal Navy)]]
[[Category:Royal Navy Admirals|Custance]]
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[[Category:Royal Navy Flag Officers|Royal Navy Flag Officers]]
[[Category:Seconds-in-Command, Channel Fleet (Royal Navy)]]
[[Category:Royal Navy Admirals]]
[[Category:Royal Navy Flag Officers]]

Revision as of 15:44, 31 July 2012

Admiral SIR Reginald Neville Custance, G.C.B., K.C.M.G., C.V.O., D.C.L. (OXON), Royal Navy (20 September, 1847 – 30 August, 1935) was an officer of the Royal Navy.

Early Life & Career

Custance was born in Belfast on 20 September, 1847, the eldest son of General William Neville Custance, by his second wife, Mary, eldest daughter of Thomas Meggison, of Walton, Northumberland. He entered the Royal Navy in 1860, being appointed to H.M.S. Britannia at Portsmouth.

He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 6 February, 1868.[1]

Custance was promoted to the rank of Commander with seniority of 31 March, 1878.[2]

He was promoted to the rank of Captain with seniority of 31 December, 1885.[3]

Custance was appointed a Naval Aide-de-Camp to Queen Victoria on 16 September, 1897, vice Beresford.[4]

As Director of Naval Intelligence, a Marine officer considered that he was not "a very inspiring leader" because of "his somewhat suspicious nature."[5]

Flag Rank

He was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral with seniority of 1 August, 1899.[6]

For his services in Crete, on 1 January, 1900 Custance was appointed an Ordinary Member of the Third Class, or Companion, of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (C.M.G.).[7]

On the occasion of the King's visit to Malta Custance was appointed a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (C.V.O.) on 21 April, 1903.[8]

Custance was promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral on 20 October, 1904, vice Pearson.[9] On the occasion of the King's birthday he was appointed an Ordinary Member of the Second Class, or Knight Commander, in the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (K.C.M.G.) on 9 November, 1904.[10]

On 18 May, 1908, he was promoted to the rank of Admiral, vice Jeffreys.[11] On the occasion of the King's birthday he was appointed an Ordinary Member of the Second Class, or Knight Commander, of the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (K.C.B.) on 26 June.[12]

In accordance with the provisions of the Order in Council of 22 February, 1870, he was placed on the Retired List on 20 September, 1912.[13]

On the occasion of the King's birthday 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 3 June, 1913.[14]

He died at Broadclyst, Devon on 30 August, 1935 and was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium on 4 September.[15]

His obituarist in The Times wrote of him:

Though modest and retiring in demeanour, he impressed all who knew him with a sense of power, capacity, and leadership, and he never failed to secure the affectionate regard and admiration of all who served with or under him. He had always good reasons to give for the opinions he held so stoutly, which were obviously based on a rare mastery of the professional and other topics he discussed.


  1. London Gazette: no. 23350. p. 599. 7 February, 1868.
  2. London Gazette: no. 24569. p. 2394. 5 April, 1878.
  3. London Gazette: no. 25547. p. 115. 8 January, 1886.
  4. London Gazette: no. 26892. p. 5162. 17 September, 1897.
  5. Roskill. Hankey: Man of Secrets. I. p. 61.
  6. London Gazette: no. 27119. p. 5814. 22 September, 1899.
  7. London Gazette: no. 27154. p. 286. 16 January, 1900.
  8. London Gazette: no. 27560. p. 3525. 2 June, 1903.
  9. London Gazette: no. 27726. p. 6724. 21 October, 1904.
  10. London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 27732. p. 7256. 9 November, 1904.
  11. London Gazette: no. 28140. p. 3883. 26 May, 1908.
  12. London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 28151. p. 4641. 26 June, 1908.
  13. London Gazette: no. 28647. p. 7022. 24 September, 1912.
  14. London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 28724. p. 3903. 3 June, 1913.
  15. "Deaths" (Deaths). The Times. Tuesday, 3 September, 1935. Issue 47159, col A, pg. 1.


  • "Admiral Sir R. Custance" (Obituaries). The Times. Monday, 2 September, 1935. Issue 47158, col B, pg. 12.
  • Allen, Matthew (February 1992). "Rear Admiral Reginald Custance: Director of Naval Intelligence 1899-1902". The Mariner's Mirror 78 (1): pp. 61-75.
  • Roskill, Stephen (1970). Hankey: Man of Secrets. Volume I 1877-1918. London: Collins. ISBN 0-00-211327-9.

Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Lewis A. Beaumont
Director of Naval Intelligence
1899 – 1902
Succeeded by
H.S.H. Prince Louis of Battenberg
Preceded by
Burges Watson

1902 – 1904
Succeeded by
Harry T. Grenfell
Preceded by
The Hon. Sir Assheton G. Curzon-Howe
Second-in-Command, Channel Fleet
1907 – 1908
Succeeded by
Sir A. Berkeley Milne, Bart.