Charles Douglas Carpendale

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Sir Charles Douglas Carpendale
Born18 October 1874 (1874-10-18)
Died21 March 1968 (1968-03-22) (aged 93)
AllegianceFlag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
Service/branchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg  Royal Navy
Rank Vice-Admiral
Commands held HMS Good Hope
HMS Shannon
HMS Donegal
HMS Benbow
Battles/wars First World War
Greco-Turkish War (1919–22)
Awards Commander of the Order of the Bath
Other workController of the BBC
President of the International Broadcasting Union

Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Douglas Carpendale CB (18 October 1874 – 21 March 1968) was a Royal Navy officer who saw active service in the First World War and later served as Controller of the BBC.

Sir is a formal English honorific address for men, derived from Sire in the High Middle Ages. Traditionally, as governed by law and custom, Sir is used for men titled knights i.e. of orders of chivalry, and later also to baronets, and other offices. As the female equivalent for knighthood is damehood, the suo jure female equivalent term is typically Dame. The wife of a knight or baronet tends to be addressed Lady, although a few exceptions and interchanges of these uses exist.

Order of the Bath Series of awards of an order of chivalry of the United Kingdom

The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate medieval ceremony for appointing a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as "Knights of the Bath". George I "erected the Knights of the Bath into a regular Military Order". He did not revive the Order of the Bath, since it had never previously existed as an Order, in the sense of a body of knights who were governed by a set of statutes and whose numbers were replenished when vacancies occurred.

Royal Navy Maritime warfare branch of the United Kingdoms military

The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years' War against the Kingdom of France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is known as the Senior Service.


HMS Good Hope, one of Carpendale's commands HMS Good Hope.jpg
HMS Good Hope, one of Carpendale's commands

Born at Brixworth, Northamptonshire, in 1874, Carpendale came of a long line of clergymen. He was the son of the Rev. William Henry Carpendale, [2] by his marriage to Julia Ellen, a daughter of Henry Hall Joy, of Hartham Park, Wiltshire; [3] the grandson of the Rev. William Carpendale, Rector of Silton, Dorset; [3] and the great-grandson of the Rev. Thomas Carpendale, of Armagh. [4]

Brixworth village and civil parish in the Daventry district of Northamptonshire, England

Brixworth is a large village and civil parish in the Daventry district of Northamptonshire, England. The 2001 census recorded a parish population of 5,162, increasing to 5,228 at the 2011 census. The village's All Saints' Church is of Anglo-Saxon origin.

Northamptonshire County of England

Northamptonshire, archaically known as the County of Northampton, is a county in the East Midlands of England. In 2015 it had a population of 723,000. The county is administered by Northamptonshire County Council and by seven non-metropolitan district councils. It is known as "The Rose of the Shires".

Clergy formal leaders within established religions

Clergy are formal leaders within established religions. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presiding over specific rituals and teaching their religion's doctrines and practices. Some of the terms used for individual clergy are clergyman, clergywoman, and churchman. Less common terms are churchwoman and clergyperson, while cleric and clerk in holy orders both have a long history but are rarely used.

He joined HMS Britannia, a Cadet Training Ship, at Dartmouth, in 1887. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant in 1894, promoted to Commander in 1904, and to Captain in 1910. In February 1911, he was given command of HMS Good Hope and went on to command the armoured cruiser Shannon (1912 to 1914) and then another cruiser, Donegal, in the first year of the First World War (1914 to 1915). [1] Donegal had just been refitted and was assigned to the 5th Cruiser Squadron at Sierra Leone for convoy protection duties. In January 1915 she was transferred to the 6th Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet. [5]

HMS <i>Prince of Wales</i> (1860) ship

HMS Prince of Wales was one of six 121-gun screw-propelled first-rate three-decker line-of-battle ships of the Royal Navy. She was launched on 25 January 1860.

Dartmouth, Devon Town in Devon, England

Dartmouth is a town and civil parish in the English county of Devon. It is a tourist destination set on the western bank of the estuary of the River Dart, which is a long narrow tidal ria that runs inland as far as Totnes. It lies within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and South Hams district, and had a population of 5,512 in 2001, reducing to 5,064 at the 2011 census There are two electoral wards in the Dartmouth area. Their combined population at the above census was 6,822.

HMS <i>Good Hope</i> (1901) Drake-class armored cruiser of the Royal Navy

HMS Good Hope was one of four Drake-class armoured cruisers built for the Royal Navy around 1900; she was originally named Africa, but was renamed before she was launched. She became flagship of the 1st Cruiser Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet in 1906, and was the flagship of the 2nd Cruiser Squadron in 1908. She was reduced to reserve in 1913, but was recommissioned in mid-1914.

After that until 1917 Carpendale was flag captain to Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly at Queenstown until taking command of the armoured cruiser Achilles in June 1917. In March 1918 he was put in charge of Auxiliary Patrol Area XVII as a Commodore. [1]

In the Royal Navy, a flag captain was the captain of an admiral's flagship. During the 18th and 19th centuries, this ship might also have a "captain of the fleet", who would be ranked between the admiral and the "flag captain" as the ship's "First Captain", with the "flag captain" as the ship's "Second Captain".

Lewis Bayly (Royal Navy officer) Royal Navy admiral

Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly, was a Royal Navy officer who served during the First World War.

Coast of Ireland Station

The Coast of Ireland Station was a historic command of the Royal Navy based at Queenstown in Ireland.

Following the First World War, Carpendale commanded HMS Benbow from 1919 to 1921, during which time he commanded a landing party of Royal Marines from Benbow and Marlborough at the time of the Occupation of Constantinople during the Greco-Turkish War. On 6 July 1921, while commanding Benbow, he was promoted to Rear-Admiral. [1] He retired from the Royal Navy (at his own request) on 1 August 1923 and joined the Retired List. On 25 October 1926, he was promoted to Vice-Admiral. [1]

HMS <i>Benbow</i> (1913) Iron Duke-class battleship

HMS Benbow was the third of four Iron Duke-class battleships of the Royal Navy, the third ship to be named in honour of Admiral John Benbow. Ordered in the 1911 building programme, the ship was laid down at the William Beardmore and Company shipyard in May 1912, was launched in November 1913, and was completed in October 1914, shortly after the outbreak of the First World War. The four Iron Dukes were very similar to the preceding King George V class, with an improved secondary battery. She was armed with a main battery of ten 13.5-inch (343 mm) guns and twelve 6 in (152 mm) secondary guns. The ship was capable of a top speed of 21.25 knots, and had a 12-inch (305 mm) thick armoured belt.

HMS <i>Marlborough</i> (1912) Iron Duke-class battleship of the Royal Navy

HMS Marlborough was an Iron Duke-class battleship of the Royal Navy, named in honour of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. She was built at Devonport Royal Dockyard between January 1912 and June 1914, entering service just before the outbreak of the First World War. She was armed with a main battery of ten 13.5-inch (340 mm) guns and was capable of a top speed of 21.25 knots.

Occupation of Constantinople

The occupation of Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, by British, French and Italian forces, took place in accordance with the Armistice of Mudros, which ended Ottoman participation in the First World War. The first French troops entered the city on November 12, 1918, followed by British troops the next day. The Italian troops landed in Galata on February 7, 1919.

In 1940, as the British war effort in the Second World War was intensified, Carpendale agreed to serve as the Ministry of Information's Liaison Officer at the Air Ministry and was brought back from retirement. [1]

World War II 1939–1945, between Axis and Allies

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from more than 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Ministry of Information (United Kingdom) United Kingdom government ministry

The Ministry of Information (MOI), headed by the Minister of Information, was a United Kingdom government department created briefly at the end of the First World War and again during the Second World War. Located in Senate House at the University of London during the 1940s, it was the central government department responsible for publicity and propaganda.

Air Ministry 1918-1964 British Government department

The Air Ministry was a department of the Government of the United Kingdom with the responsibility of managing the affairs of the Royal Air Force, that existed from 1918 to 1964. It was under the political authority of the Secretary of State for Air.

BBC and International Broadcasting Union

Broadcasting House (centre), home of the BBC, built in 1932 London Langham Place geograph-3044406-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg
Broadcasting House (centre), home of the BBC, built in 1932

In June 1923, John Reith, the first General Manager of the BBC, was under pressure and looking for a Deputy, and F. J. Brown (Assistant Secretary of the General Post Office) suggested Carpendale for the job. Reith interviewed him at length on 14 June, with Carpendale not at first understanding that Reith was looking for a second-in-command. [6] Reith liked Carpendale, they met again on 5 July, the post was offered and accepted, and Carpendale started work on 13 July with the title of Assistant General Manager. [7] He was later given the title of Controller of the British Broadcasting Corporation. [8] He retired in 1938. [1]

On 3 April 1925, at Geneva, Carpendale became President of the First General Assembly of the International Broadcasting Union (Union Internationale de Radio-Diffusion), remaining in office until 1932. [1]

Lionel Fielden has described Carpendale as "a handsome blue-eyed man with a barking manner". [9] An obituary in The Times referred to his "famous quarter-deck manner... belied as often as not by an ultimate twinkle in his eye" while he was at the BBC. During the General Strike of 1926, he made himself useful in the studios. [1] Maurice Gorham has told the anecdote of Carpendale interviewing the musician Harry S. Pepper for a job at the BBC. He asked Pepper "How old are you?" and got the reply "Forty-four, how old are you?" [10]

Private life

In 1907 Carpendale married Christina Henrietta Strange, at Winchester, [1] the daughter of J. S. Strange, lord of the manor of Epsom. [11] They had one son, Richard Douglas Strange Carpendale (1908—1975). [12]

From 1946 to 1948, Carpendale worked as a volunteer in the library of the Royal College of Surgeons, organising and re-binding books. [13]



  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Vice-Admiral Sir C. D. Carpendale" (obituary) in The Times dated 23 March 1968, Issue 57208, column F, p. 10; copy online at, accessed 1 August 2016
  2. Sydney A. Moseley, Who's Who in Broadcasting (I. Pitman, 1933), p. 31
  3. 1 2 The Gentleman's Magazine , Volume 211 (1861), p. 81: "William Henry Carpendale, eldest son of the late Rev. William Carpendale, Rector of Lilton, Dorset, and Perpetual Curate of Wincanton, Somerset, to Katherine Julia Ellen, dau. of the late Henry Hall Joy, esq., of Hortham-park, Wilts..."
  4. Edward Cave, John Nichols, The Gentleman's Magazine (1838), p. 449: "At Wincanton, the Rev. William Carpendale, Perpetual Curate of that parish, and Rector of Silton, Dorset. He was the youngest son of the late Rev. Thomas Carpendale, of Armagh ; and was presented to Wincanton in 1829..."
  5. Robert Gardiner, Randal Gray, eds., Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships: 1906–1921 (Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1985, ISBN   0-85177-245-5), p. 12
  6. Brian Hennessy, John Hennessy, The Emergence of Broadcasting in Britain (2005), p. 283
  7. Asa Briggs, The birth of broadcasting (Oxford University Press, 1961), p. 199
  8. Stephen Herbert, A History of Early Television, Volume 2 (2004), p. 9
  9. Lionel Fielden, The Natural Bent (A. Deutsch, 1960), p. 101
  10. Maurice Anthony Coneys Gorham, Sound and Fury: Twenty-one Years in the B.B.C. (1948), p. 47
  11. The descent of Epsom Manor at, accessed 30 July 2016
  12. Francis Keenlyside, "R. D. S. Carpendale (1908—1975)" in Alpine Journal 1977, pp. 268-269
  13. In Memoriam: Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Carpendale, C.B. (1874-1968), in Ann. R. Coll. Surg. Engl. 1968 May; 42 (5), pp. 344–345
  14. The London Gazette (Supplement), issue 30723 dated 3 June 1918, p. 6527
  15. The London Gazette (Supplement), issue 33831 dated 31 May 1932, p. 3568
  16. The London Gazette, issue 33838 dated 24 June 1932, p. 4112

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