The Earl Jellicoe
|2nd Governor-General of New Zealand|
27 September 1920 –12 December 1924
|Preceded by||The Earl of Liverpool|
|Succeeded by||Sir Charles Fergusson|
| Member of the House of Lords |
1 July 1925 –20 November 1935
|Preceded by||peerage created|
|Succeeded by||The 2nd Earl Jellicoe|
|Born||5 December 1859|
Southampton, Hampshire, England
|Died||20 November 1935 75) (aged|
Kensington, London, England
|Years of service||1872–1919|
|Rank||Admiral of the Fleet|
|Commands|| First Sea Lord |
|Battles/wars|| Anglo-Egyptian War |
First World War
|Awards|| Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath |
Member of the Order of Merit
Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
Sea Gallantry Medal
Admiral of the Fleet John Rushworth Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe, GCB, OM, GCVO, SGM, DL (5 December 1859 – 20 November 1935) was a Royal Navy officer. He fought in the Anglo-Egyptian War and the Boxer Rebellion and commanded the Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland in May 1916 during the First World War. His handling of the fleet at that battle was controversial. Jellicoe made no serious mistakes and the German High Seas Fleet retreated to port, at a time when defeat would have been catastrophic for Britain, but the public was disappointed that the Royal Navy had not won a more dramatic victory. Jellicoe later served as First Sea Lord, overseeing the expansion of the Naval Staff at the Admiralty and the introduction of convoys, but was relieved at the end of 1917. He also served as the Governor-General of New Zealand in the early 1920s.
Admiral of the Fleet is a five-star naval officer rank and the highest rank of the Royal Navy. The five-star NATO rank code is OF-10, equivalent to a field marshal in the British Army or a marshal of the Royal Air Force. Other than honorary appointments no new admirals of the fleet have been named since 1995.
The Sea Gallantry Medal (SGM), is an award for civil gallantry at sea in Great Britain and the Commonwealth. The Merchant Shipping Act 1854 permitted the issue of this award and SGMs were first struck in 1855. They were first awarded either for 'humanity', or for gallantry.
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.
Born the son of John Henry Jellicoe, a captain in the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, and Lucy Henrietta Jellicoe (née Keele) and educated at Field House School Britannia in 1872. He was made a midshipman in the steam frigate HMS Newcastle in September 1874 before transferring to the ironclad HMS Agincourt in the Mediterranean Fleet in July 1877. Promoted to sub-lieutenant on 5 December 1878, he joined HMS Alexandra, flagship of the Mediterranean Fleet, as signal sub-lieutenant in 1880. Promoted to lieutenant on 23 September 1880, he returned to HMS Agincourt in February 1881 and commanded a rifle company of the Naval Brigade at Ismailia during the Egyptian war of 1882.in Rottingdean, Jellicoe joined the Royal Navy as a midshipman in the training ship HMS
The Royal Mail Steam Packet Company was a British shipping company founded in London in 1839 by a Scot, James MacQueen. The line's motto was Per Mare Ubique. After good and bad times it became the largest shipping group in the world in 1927 when it took over the White Star Line.
Rottingdean is a coastal village next to the town of Brighton and within the city of Brighton and Hove, in East Sussex, on the south coast of England. It borders the villages of Saltdean, Ovingdean and Woodingdean, and has a historic centre, often the subject of picture postcards.
A midshipman is an officer of the junior-most rank, in the Royal Navy, United States Navy, and many Commonwealth navies. Commonwealth countries which use the rank include Canada, Australia, Bangladesh, Namibia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Kenya.
Jellicoe qualified as a gunnery officer in 1883 and was appointed to the staff of the gunnery school HMS Excellent in May 1884. He joined the turret ship HMS Monarch as gunnery officer in September 1885 and was awarded the Board of Trade Silver Medal for rescuing the crew of a capsized steamer near Gibraltar in May 1886. He joined the battleship HMS Colossus in April 1886 and was put in charge of the experimental department at HMS Excellent in December 1886 before being appointed assistant to the Director of Naval Ordnance in September 1889.
HMS Excellent is a Royal Navy "stone frigate" sited on Whale Island near Portsmouth in Hampshire. HMS Excellent is itself part of the Maritime Warfare School, with a Headquarters at HMS Collingwood, although a number of lodger units are resident within the site, the principal of which is the Headquarters of Fleet Commander.
HMS Monarch was the first seagoing British warship to carry her guns in turrets, and the first British warship to carry guns of 12-inch (300 mm) calibre.
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It has an area of 6.7 km2 (2.6 sq mi) and is bordered to the north by Spain. The landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar at the foot of which is a densely populated town area, home to over 30,000 people, primarily Gibraltarians. It shares a maritime border with Morocco.
Promoted to commander on 30 June 1891, Jellicoe joined the battleship HMS Sans Pareil in the Mediterranean Fleet in March 1892. He transferred to the battleship HMS Victoria in 1893 (the flagship of the Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet, Vice Admiral Sir George Tryon) and was aboard when it collided with HMS Camperdown and was wrecked off Tripoli in Lebanon on 22 June 1893. He was then appointed to the new flagship, HMS Ramillies, in October 1893.
Commander is a common naval and air force officer rank. Commander is also used as a rank or title in other formal organisations, including several police forces.
HMS Sans Pareil was a Victoria-class battleship of the British Royal Navy of the Victorian era, her only sister ship being HMS Victoria.
The British Mediterranean Fleet also known as the Mediterranean Station was part of the Royal Navy. The Fleet was one of the most prestigious commands in the navy for the majority of its history, defending the vital sea link between the United Kingdom and the majority of the British Empire in the Eastern Hemisphere. The first Commander-in-Chief for the Mediterranean Fleet was the appointment of General at Sea Robert Blake in September 1654 the Fleet was in existence until 1967.
Promoted to captain on 1 January 1897, Centurion and chief of staff to Vice Admiral Sir Edward Seymour during the Seymour Expedition to relieve the legations at Peking during the Boxer Rebellion in June 1900. He was badly wounded during the Battle of Beicang and told he would die but confounded the attending doctor and chaplain by living. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath and given the German Order of the Red Eagle, 2nd class, with Crossed Swords for services rendered in China. Centurion returned to the United Kingdom in August 1901, and was paid off the following month, when Captain Jellicoe and the crew went on leave. He became Naval Assistant to Third Naval Lord and Controller of the Navy in February 1902 and was given command of the armoured cruiser HMS Drake on the North America and West Indies Station in August 1903.Jellicoe became a member of the Admiralty's Ordnance Committee. He served as Captain of the battleship HMS
Captain (Capt) is a senior officer rank of the Royal Navy. It ranks above commander and below commodore and has a NATO ranking code of OF-5. The rank is equivalent to a colonel in the British Army and Royal Marines, and to a group captain in the Royal Air Force. There are similarly named equivalent ranks in the navies of many other countries.
HMS Centurion was the lead ship of her class of two pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Royal Navy in the 1890s. Intended for service abroad, they exchanged heavy armour and a powerful armament for high speed and long range to counter the foreign armoured cruisers then being built as commerce raiders and were rated as second-class battleships.
The Seymour Expedition was an attempt by a multi-national military force to march to Beijing and protect the diplomatic legations and foreign nationals in the city from attacks by Boxers in 1900. The Chinese army defeated Seymour's expedition and forced it to return to Tianjin (Tientsin).
As a protege of Admiral John Fisher, Jellicoe became Director of Naval Ordnance in 1905 and, having been appointed a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order on the occasion of launching of HMS Dreadnought on 10 February 1906, he was also made an Aide-de-Camp to the King on 8 March 1906. Promoted to rear admiral on 8 February 1907, he pushed hard for funds to modernise the navy, supporting the construction of new Dreadnought-type battleships and Invincible-class battlecruisers. He supported F. C. Dreyer's improvements in gunnery fire-control systems, and favoured the adoption of Dreyer's "Fire Control Table", a form of mechanical computer for calculating firing solutions for warships. Jellicoe arranged for the output of naval ordnance to be transferred from the War Office to the Admiralty.
John Arbuthnot Fisher, 1st Baron Fisher,, commonly known as Jacky or Jackie Fisher, was a British admiral known for his efforts at naval reform. He had a huge influence on the Royal Navy in a career spanning more than 60 years, starting in a navy of wooden sailing ships armed with muzzle-loading cannon and ending in one of steel-hulled battlecruisers, submarines and the first aircraft carriers. The argumentative, energetic, reform-minded Fisher is often considered the second most important figure in British naval history, after Lord Nelson.
HMS Dreadnought was a Royal Navy battleship that revolutionised naval power. Her name and the type of the entire class of warships that was named after her stems from archaic English in which "dreadnought" means "a fearless person". Dreadnought's entry into service in 1906 represented such an advance in naval technology that its name came to be associated with an entire generation of battleships, the "dreadnoughts", as well as the class of ships named after it. Likewise, the generation of ships she made obsolete became known as "pre-dreadnoughts". Admiral Sir John "Jacky" Fisher, First Sea Lord of the Board of Admiralty, is credited as the father of Dreadnought. Shortly after he assumed office, he ordered design studies for a battleship armed solely with 12-inch (305 mm) guns and a speed of 21 knots. He convened a "Committee on Designs" to evaluate the alternative designs and to assist in the detailed design work.
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910.
Jellicoe was appointed second-in-command of the Atlantic Fleet in August 1907, hoisting his flag in the battleship HMS Albemarle. He was appointed Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order on the occasion of the King's Review of the Home Fleet in the Solent on 3 August 1907. He went on to be Third Sea Lord and Controller of the Navy in October 1908 and, having taken part in the funeral of King Edward VII in May 1910, he became Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet in December 1910, hoisting his flag in the battleship HMS Prince of Wales. He advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on the Coronation of King George V on 19 June 1911 and confirmed in the rank of vice admiral on 18 September 1911. He went on to be Second-in-Command of the Home Fleet, hoisting his flag in the battleship HMS Hercules, in December 1911 and, having also been appointed commander of the 2nd Battle Squadron in May 1912, joined the Royal Commission on Fuel and Engines on 1 August 1912. He became Second Sea Lord in December 1912.
At the start of the First World War, the First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, removed Admiral George Callaghan, Commander-in-Chief of the Home Fleet(August 1914). Jellicoe was promoted to full admiral on 4 August 1914 and assigned command of the renamed Grand Fleet in Admiral Callaghan's place, though he was appalled by the treatment of his predecessor. He was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 8 February 1915.
When Fisher (First Sea Lord) and Churchill (First Lord of the Admiralty) both had to leave office (May 1915) after their quarrel over the Dardanelles, Jellicoe wrote to Fisher: "We owe you a debt of gratitude for having saved the Navy from a continuance in office of Mr Churchill, and I hope that never again will any politician be allowed to usurp the functions that he took upon himself to exercise".
Jellicoe commanded the British Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland in May 1916, the largest (and only major) clash of dreadnoughts, albeit an indecisive one.His handling of the Grand Fleet during the battle remains controversial, with some historians characterising Jellicoe as too cautious and other historians faulting the battlecruiser commander, Admiral David Beatty, for making various tactical errors. Jellicoe certainly made no significant mistakes during the battle: based on limited intelligence, he correctly deployed the Grand Fleet with a turn to port so as to "cross the T" of the German High Seas Fleet as it appeared. After suffering heavy damage from shells, the German fleet turned 180 degrees and headed away from the battle. At the time the British public expressed disappointment that the Royal Navy had not won a victory on the scale of the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar. Churchill described Jellicoe later as "the only man on either side who could lose the war in an afternoon"—essentially hinting that Jellicoe's decision to prefer caution was strategically correct. Nevertheless, he was appointed a member of the Order of Merit on 31 May 1916, advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order on 17 June 1916 and awarded the Grand Cross of the French Legion of Honour on 15 September 1916.
Jellicoe was appointed First Sea Lord in November 1916.His term of office saw Britain brought within danger of starvation by German unrestricted U-Boat warfare.
At the War Committee (a Cabinet Committee which discussed strategy in 1915–16) in November 1916, the admirals present, including Jellicoe, told Lloyd George that convoys presented too large a target for enemy ships, and that merchant ship masters lacked the discipline to "keep station" in a convoy. In February 1917, Maurice Hankey wrote a memorandum for Lloyd George calling for the introduction of "scientifically organised convoys", almost certainly after being persuaded by Commander Henderson and the Shipping Ministry officials with whom he was in contact. After a breakfast meeting (13 February 1917) with Lloyd George, Carson (First Lord of the Admiralty) and Admirals Jellicoe and Duff agreed to "conduct experiments". However, convoys were not in general use until August 1917, by which time shipping losses to U-boats were already falling from their April peak.
Jellicoe continued to take a pessimistic view, advising the War Policy Committee (a Cabinet Committee which discussed strategy in 1917) during planning meetings for the Third Ypres Offensive in June and July that nothing could be done to defeat the U-boats. However, removing Jellicoe in July, as Lloyd George wanted, would have been politically impossible given Conservative anger at the return of Churchill (still blamed for the Dardanelles) to office as Minister of Munitions. In August and September Lloyd George was preoccupied with Third Ypres and the possible transfer of resources to Italy, whilst the new First Lord of the Admiralty, Sir Eric Campbell Geddes, was reforming the Naval Staff (including creating a post for Wemyss as Deputy First Sea Lord). Geddes and Lloyd George met with Balfour and Carson (both former First Lords of the Admiralty) on 26 October to discuss sacking Jellicoe after he had failed to act on "secret, but absolutely reliable" information about a German attack on a Norwegian convoy, but again nothing came of this as Lloyd George was soon preoccupied by the Battle of Caporetto and the setting up of the Supreme War Council. Geddes wanted to return to his previous job in charge of military transportation in France, and by December it was clear that Lloyd George would have to sack Jellicoe or lose Geddes.
Jellicoe was rather abruptly dismissed by Geddes in December 1917.Before he left for leave on Christmas Eve he received a letter from Geddes demanding his resignation. Geddes' letter stated that he was still in the building and available to talk, but after consulting Admiral Halsey Jellicoe replied in writing that he would "do what was best for the service". The move became public knowledge two days later.
The Christmas holiday, when Parliament was not sitting, provided a good opportunity to remove Jellicoe with a minimum of fuss. Geddes squared matters with the King and with the Grand Fleet commander Admiral Beatty (who had initially written to Jellicoe of his "dismay" over his sacking and promised to speak to Geddes, but then did not write to him again for a month) over the holiday. The other Sea Lords talked of resigning (although Jellicoe advised them not to do so), especially when Geddes suggested in a meeting (31 December) that Balfour and Carson had specifically recommended Jellicoe's removal at the 26 October meeting; they had not done so, although Balfour's denial was less than emphatic. There was no trouble from the generals, who had a low opinion of Jellicoe. In the end the Sea Lords remained in place, whilst Carson remained a member of the War Cabinet, resigning in January over Irish Home Rule.
Although it was pretended that the decision had been Geddes' alone, he let slip in the Naval Estimates debate (6 March 1918) that he had been conveying "the decision of the Government", i.e. of Lloyd George, who had never put the matter to the War Cabinet. MPs picked up on his slip immediately, and Bonar Law (Conservative Leader) admitted in the same debate that he too had had prior knowledge.
As First Sea Lord Jellicoe was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Belgian Order of Leopold on 21 April 1917,the Russian Order of St. George, 3rd Class on 5 June 1917, the Grand Cross of the Italian Military Order of Savoy on 11 August 1917 and the Grand Cordon of the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun on 29 August 1917.
Jellicoe was created Viscount Jellicoe of Scapa Flow on 7 March 1918.
In June 1918, amidst concerns that—following the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk—the Germans were about to requisition the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Lloyd George proposed Jellicoe as Allied Supreme Naval Commander in the Mediterranean. The French were in favour of a combined Allied naval command, but the Italians were not, so nothing came of the suggestion.
Jellicoe was promoted to Admiral of the Fleet on 3 April 1919.He became Governor-General of New Zealand in September 1920 and while there also served as Grand Master of New Zealand's Masonic Grand Lodge. Following his return to England, he was created Earl Jellicoe and Viscount Brocas of Southampton in the County of Southampton on 1 July 1925. He was made a Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire in 1932. He died of pneumonia at his home in Kensington in London on 20 November 1935 and was buried in St Paul's Cathedral.
In 1919, "Sleep, beneath the wave! a requiem" with words by Rev. Alfred Hall and Music by Albert Ham was "Dedicated to Admiral Viscount Jellicoe."
The attempt of his official biographer, Admiral Reginald Bacon, to portray him as the conqueror of the U-Boats is, in John Grigg's view, absurd, as the main decisions were taken by other men. Bacon also claimed that his elevation to a viscountcy on dismissal was a deliberate snub, but in fact Sir John French, the former Commander-in-Chief of the BEF, was only a viscount at the time (both he and Jellicoe became Earls subsequently), whilst Fisher was never more than a Baron. Bacon's neutrality may be questionable as he had himself been sacked by Geddes from command of the Dover Patrol, replaced by Roger Keyes, shortly after Jellicoe's removal.
Jellicoe married, at Holy Trinity church, Sloane Street on 1 July 1902, Florence Gwendoline Cayzer, daughter of the shipping magnate Sir Charles Cayzer. His brother Rev. Frederick Jellicoe (1858–1927) conducted the service.Lord and Lady Jellicoe had a son and five daughters. The son George Jellicoe, 2nd Earl Jellicoe had an illustrious military career during the Second World War, followed by prominent careers as parliamentarian and businessman.
Ribbon bar (incomplete)
|John Rushworth Jellicoe (1859–1935)|
Samuel Jellicoe (1788–1861), contractor/banker of Millbrook (Hants) then 12, Portland Terrace, All Saints, Southampton.
Samuel Jellicoe (c. 1758 – 1843), ironmaster/contractorof Fontley, then Uplands House, Fareham, then of Brighthelmstone, Brighton.
Elizabeth Jane Whalley (Smythe Gardiner) (1792–1872), also of 30 Portland Street, Southampton
Sir James Whalley Smythe Gardiner, 2nd Bt. (d. 1805) of Clerk Hill, Whalley, Lancs., & Tackley, & Cuddesdon (Oxon), & Roche Court, Fareham
Dr. John Rushworth Keele (1787–1856) Mayor of Southampton 1823–26
John Keele (1760–1835), surgeon of Southampton & Hythe
Elizabeth Rushworth (1761–1817), daughter of Capt. Edward Rushworth, RN, sister of Edward Rushworth, MP
Constantia Patton (1798–1854)
Admiral of the Red Philip Patton (1739–1815) of Fareham
|John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe|
|Crest||Out of a naval crown or a demi-wolf azure.|
|Supporters||On either side a sea griffin or.|
|Motto||Sui memores alios fecere merendo:|
"Remembered for their merits."
Admiral of the Fleet David Richard Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty was a Royal Navy officer. After serving in the Mahdist War and then the response to the Boxer Rebellion, he commanded the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron at the Battle of Jutland in 1916, a tactically indecisive engagement after which his aggressive approach was contrasted with the caution of his commander Admiral Sir John Jellicoe. He is remembered for his comment at Jutland that "There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today", after two of his ships exploded. Later in the war he succeeded Jellicoe as Commander in Chief of the Grand Fleet, in which capacity he received the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet at the end of the war. He then followed Jellicoe's path a second time, serving as First Sea Lord—a position that Beatty held longer than any other First Sea Lord. While First Sea Lord, he was involved in negotiating the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 in which it was agreed that the United States, Britain and Japan should set their navies in a ratio of 5:5:3, with France and Italy maintaining smaller ratio fleets of 1.75 each.
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John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe
Sir Henry Jackson
| Third Sea Lord and Controller of the Navy |
Sir Charles Briggs
Prince Louis of Battenberg
| Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet |
Sir Cecil Burney
Prince Louis of Battenberg
| Second Sea Lord |
Sir Frederick Hamilton
| Commander-in-Chief, Grand Fleet |
Sir David Beatty
Sir Henry Jackson
| First Sea Lord |
Sir Rosslyn Wemyss
The Earl of Liverpool
| Governor-General of New Zealand |
Sir Charles Fergusson, Bt
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation|| Earl Jellicoe |
| Viscount Jellicoe |