Difference between revisions of "William Wordsworth Fisher"

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Revision as of 10:13, 16 May 2014

Admiral SIR William Wordsworth Fisher, G.C.B., G.C.V.O., Royal Navy (26 March, 1875 – 24 June, 1937) was an officer of the Royal Navy during the First World War.

Early Life & Career

Sub-Lieutenant Fisher was appointed to the first class protected cruiser Hawke on 13 January, 1896.[1]

As Template:LieutGRN in King Edward VII, as enterpising naval persons were fairly required to do, Fisher exploited a gap in the rules of a pre-war prize firing to have all his light gun crews use the same single, slavishly perfected and tweaked gun mount. It sported a super-sized telescope and the results were astounding: crew after crew was hitting 19 out of 20 rounds on a 10-foot square target at over a thousand yards. The winning performance inspired rule changes for the coming year's competition.[2]

Fisher was promoted to the rank of Captain on 1 July, 1912.[3]

He was appointed to command the dreadnought St. Vincent on 10 December, 1912.[4]

Great War

He was appointed an Additional Member of the Third Class, or Companion, in the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (C.B.) on 1 January, 1918.[5]

He commanded St. Vincent at the Battle of Jutland, operating with the Grand Fleet's First Battle Squadron. He reported firing 96 seemingly accurate shells by director without suffering damage.


Fisher was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 1 November, 1922, vice Green.[6]

He was promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral on 15 January, 1928, vice Crooke.[7]

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 Order of the Bath (K.C.B.) on 3 June, 1929.[8]


Marder wrote of Fisher:

But for his death when C.-in-C., Portsmouth, he would probably have succeeded Chatfield and become, no doubt, one of the great First Sea Lords in British naval history.[9]


  • "Admiral Sir William Fisher" (Obituaries). The Times. Saturday, 26 June, 1937. Issue 47721, col C, pg. 16.
  • "Ecclesiastical News" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Friday, 27 September, 1946. Issue 50567, col B, pg. 13.
  • "Obituary" (Obituaries). The Times. Tuesday, 2 February, 1962. Issue 56235, col E, pg. 14.
  • James, Admiral Sir William Milbourne, Royal Navy (1943). Admiral Sir William Fisher. London: Macmillan & Co. Ltd.
  • Marder, Arthur Jacob (1965). From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow, The Royal Navy in the Fisher Era, 1904-1919: The War Years : To the Eve of Jutland.. Volume II. London: Oxford University Press.
  • Usborne, C. V. (1935). Blast and Counter-Blast. London: John Murray.


Service Records

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Douglas R. L. Nicholson
Captain of H.M.S. St. Vincent
10 Dec, 1912[10] &ndash beyond 1 June, 1916. – ?
Succeeded by
Edward Reeves
Preceded by
Eustace La T. Leatham
Captain of H.M.S. Iron Duke
2 Jan, 1919[11] – ?
Succeeded by
Arthur E. F. Bedford
Preceded by
Frederick L. Field
Deputy Chief of Naval Staff
1 May, 1928[12] – ?
Succeeded by
Frederic C. Dreyer
Preceded by
John D. Kelly
Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth Station
13 Jul, 1936[13] – ?
Succeeded by
William H. D. Boyle


  1. "Naval & Military Intelligence". The Times. Tuesday, 14 January, 1896 Issue 34786, col A, p. 10.
  2. Usborne. p. 4.
  3. The London Gazette: no. 28623. p. 4748. 2 July, 1912.
  4. The Navy List (December, 1914). p. 379.
  5. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30451. p. 80. 1 January, 1918.
  6. The London Gazette: no. 32764. p. 7873. 7 November, 1922.
  7. The London Gazette: no. 33349. p. 440. 20 January, 1928.
  8. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 33501. p. 3667. 3 June, 1929.
  9. Marder. From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow. II. p. 16.
  10. The Navy List. (December, 1914). p. 379.
  11. The Navy List. (August, 1919). p. 821.
  12. Fisher Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 231.
  13. Fisher Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 231.