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First Sea Lord

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First Sea Lord and
Chief of the Naval Staff
(1SL/CNS)
Ensign of the Royal navy
Incumbent
Admiral Sir George Zambellas

since April 2013
Appointer

Recommendation of Secretary of State for Defence to the Prime Minister

Approved by HM The Queen
Term length Not fixed (typically 4-5 years)
Inaugural holder John Fisher, 1st Baron Fisher
Formation 1904
Website Official Website

The First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff (1SL/CNS). is the professional head of the Royal Navy and the whole Naval Service; originally the title was the First Naval Lord. The concept of a professional "First Naval Lord" was introduced in 1805 and the title of the First Naval Lord was changed to "First Sea Lord" on the appointment of Sir Jackie Fisher in 1904. From 1923 onward, the First Sea Lord was a member of the Chiefs of Staff Committee; he now sits on the Defence Council and the Admiralty Board. The current First Sea Lord is Admiral Sir George Zambellas (appointed April 2013).

History

Lords High Admiral were appointed from the 15th century until the 18th, and Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty from the 17th century, as the governors of the English and later British Royal Navy. From 1683 to 1684, there were seven paid Commissioners and one supernumerary Commissioner who served without salary. The number varied between five and seven Commissioners through the 18th century. The standing of all the Commissioners was in theory the same, although the First Commissioner or First Lord exercised an ascendancy over his colleagues from an early date.

In 1805, for the first time, specific functions were assigned to each of the 'Naval' Lords, who were described as 'Professional' Lords, leaving to the 'Civil' Lords the routine business of signing documents. The title of the First Naval Lord was changed to First Sea Lord on the appointment of Sir Jackie Fisher in 1904. From 1923 onward, the First Sea Lord was a member of the Chiefs of Staff Committee; and from 1923 to 1959 in rotation with the representatives of the other services (the Chief of the Imperial General Staff and Chief of the Air Staff) would serve as the chairman of that committee and head of all British armed forces.[a] The title was retained when the Board of Admiralty was abolished in 1964 and its functions integrated into the Ministry of Defence.

Under the current organisation, the First Sea Lord sits on both the Defence Council and the Admiralty Board.

First Naval Lords, 1828–1904

Rank Name Image In office Notes Reference
Admiral of the Fleet Sir George Cockburn 19 September 1828 – 25 November 1830
Admiral Sir Thomas Hardy 25 November 1830 – 1 August 1834
Rear Admiral The Hon. Sir George Dundas 1 August 1834 – 1 November 1834
Admiral Sir Charles Adam 1 November 1834 – 23 December 1834
Admiral of the Fleet Sir George Cockburn 23 December 1834 – 25 April 1835
Admiral Sir Charles Adam 25 April 1835 – 8 September 1841
Admiral of the Fleet Sir George Cockburn 8 September 1841 – 13 July 1846
Admiral of the Fleet Sir William Parker 13 July 1846 – 24 July 1846
Admiral Sir Charles Adam 24 July 1846 – 20 July 1847
Admiral Admiral Sir James Dundas 20 July 1847 – 13 February 1852
Admiral The Hon. Maurice Fitzhardinge Berkeley 13 February 1852 – 2 March 1852
Vice Admiral Hyde Parker 2 March 1852 – 26 May 1854
Admiral The Hon. Maurice Fitzhardinge Berkeley 26 May 1854 – 24 November 1857
Vice Admiral The Hon. Sir Richard Saunders Dundas 24 November 1857 – 8 March 1858
Admiral Sir William Martin 8 March 1858 – 28 June 1859
Vice Admiral The Hon. Sir Richard Saunders Dundas 28 June 1859 – 15 June 1861
Admiral The Hon. Sir Frederick Grey 15 June 1861 – 13 July 1866
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Alexander Milne 13 July 1866 – 18 December 1868
Admiral Sir Sydney Dacres 18 December 1868 – 27 November 1872
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Alexander Milne 27 November 1872 – 7 September 1876
Admiral Sir Hastings Yelverton 7 September 1876 – 5 November 1877
Admiral Sir George Wellesley 5 November 1877 – 12 August 1879
Admiral Sir Astley Cooper Key 12 August 1879 – 1 July 1885
Admiral Sir Arthur Hood 1 July 1885 – 15 February 1886
Admiral of the Fleet Lord John Hay 15 February 1886 – 9 August 1886
Admiral Sir Arthur Hood 9 August 1886 – 24 October 1889
Admiral Sir Richard Hamilton 24 October 1889 – 28 September 1891
Admiral Sir Anthony Hoskins 28 September 1891 – 1 November 1893
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Frederick Richards 1 November 1893 – 19 August 1899
Admiral of the Fleet Lord Walter Kerr 19 August 1899 – 21 October 1904

First Sea Lords, 1904–present

Rank Name Image In office Notes Reference
Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Fisher 21 October 1904 – 25 January 1910
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Arthur Wilson 25 January 1910 – 5 December 1911
Admiral Sir Francis Bridgeman 5 December 1911 – 9 December 1912
Admiral Prince Louis of Battenberg 9 December 1912 – 30 October 1914
Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Fisher 30 October 1914 – 15 May 1915
Admiral Sir Henry Jackson 15 May 1915 – 30 November 1916
Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Jellicoe 30 November 1916 – 10 January 1918
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Rosslyn Wemyss 10 January 1918 – 1 November 1919
Admiral of the Fleet The Earl Beatty 1 November 1919 – 30 July 1927
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Charles Madden 30 July 1927 – 30 July 1930
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Frederick Field 30 July 1930 – 21 January 1933
Admiral of the Fleet The Lord Chatfield 21 January 1933 – 7 September 1938
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Roger Backhouse 7 September 1938 – 12 June 1939
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Dudley Pound 12 June 1939 – 15 October 1943
Admiral of the Fleet The Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope 15 October 1943 – 24 May 1946
Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Cunningham 24 May 1946 – 29 September 1948
Admiral of the Fleet The Lord Fraser of North Cape 29 September 1948 – 20 December 1951
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Rhoderick McGrigor 20 December 1951 – 18 April 1955
Admiral of the Fleet The Earl Mountbatten of Burma 18 April 1955 – 19 October 1959
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Charles Lambe 19 October 1959 – 23 May 1960
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Caspar John 23 May 1960 – 7 August 1963
Admiral Sir David Luce 7 August 1963 – March 1966
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Varyl Begg March 1966 – August 1968
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Michael Le Fanu August 1968 – July 1970
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Peter Hill-Norton July 1970 – March 1971
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Michael Pollock March 1971 – March 1974
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Edward Ashmore March 1974 – March 1977
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Terence Lewin March 1977 – July 1979
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Henry Leach July 1979 – December 1982
Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Fieldhouse December 1982 – August 1985
Admiral of the Fleet Sir William Staveley August 1985 – May 1989
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Julian Oswald May 1989 – March 1993
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Benjamin Bathurst March 1993 – July 1995
Admiral Sir Jock Slater July 1995 – October 1998
Admiral Sir Michael Boyce October 1998 – January 2001
Admiral Sir Nigel Essenhigh January 2001 – September 2002
Admiral Sir Alan West September 2002 – February 2006
Admiral Sir Jonathon Band February 2006 – July 2009
Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope July 2009 – April 2013
Admiral Sir George Zambellas April 2013 – Present

See also

Notes

a. ^ In 1955, it was decided to create a new post, Chief of the Defence Staff, who would be chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.

Citations

  1. Organisation: How the Royal Navy is Managed Ministry of Defence
  2. ^ The Navy List, 1992, corrected to 31 March 1992, pub HMSO, ISSN 0141 6081 pages 4-5.
    The Navy List, 2008, compiled 3 September 2008, pub TSO, ISBN 978-0-11-773081-6 pages 4-5.
  3. Thomas, David A, A companion to the Royal Navy, pub Harrap, 1988, ISBN 0-245-54572-7 page 31.
  4. MoD Website: people - First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, accessed 23 July 2013
  5. ^ "Sainty, JC, 'Lord High Admiral and Commissioners of the Admiralty 1660-1870', Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 4: Admiralty Officials 1660-1870 (1975), pp. 18-31.". Retrieved 4 September 2009. 
  6. Heathcote, p. 81
  7. ^ "The Commissioners ("Lords") of the Admiralty 1828 - 1895". W Loney RN. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  8. Heathcote, p. 144
  9. Mackay, p. 315
  10. Heathcote, p. 268
  11. "Admiral Sir Francis Bridgeman". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  12. Kerr, p. 238
  13. Heathcote, p. 83
  14. Heathcote, p. 127
  15. Heathcote, p. 130
  16. Heathcote, p. 252
  17. Heathcote, p. 26
  18. Heathcote, p. 164
  19. Heathcote, p. 75
  20. Heathcote, p. 42
  21. Heathcote, p. 21
  22. Heathcote, p. 217
  23. Heathcote, p. 60
  24. Heathcote, p. 63
  25. Heathcote, p. 90
  26. Heathcote, p. 162
  27. Heathcote, p. 189
  28. Heathcote, p. 150
  29. Heathcote, p. 139
  30. "Sir David Luce". Unit Histories. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  31. Heathcote, p. 29
  32. Heathcote, p. 155
  33. Heathcote, p. 115
  34. Heathcote, p. 214
  35. Heathcote, p. 16
  36. Heathcote, p. 158
  37. Heathcote, p. 152
  38. Heathcote, p. 78
  39. Heathcote, p. 235
  40. Heathcote, p. 204
  41. Heathcote, p. 23
  42. ^ Who's Who 2010, A & C Black, 2010, ISBN 978-1-408-11414-8
  43. "Sir Nigel Essenhigh". University of Exeter. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  44. "Admiral Zambellas new First Sea Lord". Inside Government. 9 April 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  45. Defence Administrative Responsibilities Hansard, 25 October 1955

Sources

  • Heathcote, Tony (2002). The British Admirals of the Fleet 1734 - 1995. Pen & Sword Ltd. ISBN 0-85052-835-6. 
  • Kerr, Mark (1934). Prince Louis of Battenberg: Admiral of the Fleet. London: Longmans, Green and Co. 
  • Mackay, Ruddock F. (1973). Fisher of Kilverstone. London: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0198224099. 

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