Sir David Beatty Facts and Biography

Sir David Beatty

Sir David Beatty Biography Summary: Rear Admiral Sir David Beatty (1892 – 1984) was a fine naval officer and one of the most senior British admirals during WW1 holding the positions of Commander in Chief of the Grand Fleet and First Sea Lord. Hard work saw him successfully climb the promotional ladder throughout his career, and Sir David Beatty became Admiral of the Fleet in the Royal Navy. From 1919 to 1927 Sir David Beatty served as first sea lord, and in this capacity he had to deal with the creation of a much smaller, modernized peacetime navy. Sir David Beatty requested that new cruisers be built but his request would clash with the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Baldwin's Conservative government of 1924–1929.

Despite opposition to many of his plans for expansion by 1939 the Royal Navy was in comparative readiness for the events about to unfold in WW2, largely due to the persistence of Sir David Beatty.

Sir David Beatty Fact Sheet: Who was Sir David Beatty? The following short biography and fact sheet provides interesting facts about the life, times and history of Sir David Beatty.


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Sir David Beatty Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1871 – 1936 *** Full Name: Sir David Richard Beatty *** Occupation: Admiral of the Fleet of the Royal Navy *** Date of Birth: Sir David Beatty was born on January 17th 1871 *** Place of Birth: Sir David Beatty was born at Howbeck Lodge in Stapeley, Cheshire, England *** Family background: His father was Captain David Longfield Beatty and his mother was Katherine Edith Sadleir. Both of his parents were of Irish birth. Totally scandalously his parents conducted an affair some years prior to their marriage as Katherine was already a married woman. Of five children, David was the second son and only after his birth was his mother able to secure a divorce and marry the father of her children *** Early life and childhood: Sir David Beatty grew up with his parents and siblings in Cheshire *** Education: Sir David Beatty’s education largely focused on skills such as horsemanship and hunting as well as learning to become a gentleman. He would also attend Kilkenny College before entering Burney’s Naval Academy in Gosport ***

Sir David Beatty Fact 1: Sir David Beatty was born on January 17th 1871 and during the 19th century period in history when great strides were made in the industrial revolution, the Victoria era was coming to a close and there were vast technological advances being made.

Sir David Beatty Fact 2: Having completed his studies at the Naval Academy, which was seen as a stepping stone to the applying for the entrance examinations for the Royal Navy he was accepted as a cadet, he passed his training and was assigned to HMS Britannia tenth in his class out of a total of ninety nine in 1884.

Sir David Beatty Fact 3: Out of thirty three cadets Beatty passed out of eighteenth after two years spent on Britannia at Dartmouth.

Sir David Beatty Fact 4: In February of 1886 he assigned to HMS Alexandra, the flagship of the Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Squadron, Admiral the Duke of Edinburgh.

Sir David Beatty Fact 5: An advantageous beginning to Beatty’s career as he became firm friends with the admirals daughter Marie, as well as with various other members of the court.

Sir David Beatty Fact 6: In 1889 he was assigned to HMS Warspite for manoeuvres. In 1892 he transferred from HMS Alexandra to the Royal Yacht Victoria and Albert.

Sir David Beatty Fact 7: By 1895 he had been promoted to lieutenant and was assigned to HMS Trafalgar.

Sir David Beatty Fact 8: His presence was requested by Stanley Colville, a former commander of Beatty’s, and would not only be successful during the Sudan Campaign but would also receive a commendation from Kitchener in the form of a Distinguished Service Order and also received a promotion to commander.

Sir David Beatty Fact 9: In 1899 he would be assigned to the China Station as executive officer on the HMS Barfleur a small battleship and the flagship.

Sir David Beatty Fact 10: He took part in the Boxer Rebellion at which point he sustained an injury and was sent back to England for surgery to restore full use to his arm.

Sir David Beatty Fact 11: After a tumultuous relationship Beatty finally married Ethel Tree. Previously married with a son, she was able to divorce her husband who took custody of their son. Together Ethel and Beatty had two sons of the their own.

Sir David Beatty Fact 12: By 1902, post-surgery, Sir David Beatty was given a full bill of health and returned to duty as captain of the HMS Juno a cruiser.

Sir David Beatty Fact 13: Over the next few years he had a succession of vessels and promotions until he almost caused catastrophic damage to his career requesting a post closer to home. In early 1912 that career was salvaged by no other than Winston Churchill, at the time First Lord of the Admiralty.

Sir David Beatty Fact 14: By 1913 Beatty was promoted to Rear-Admiral Commanding the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron. His belief as a commander to his captains was
" be successful must possess, in a marked degree, initiative, resource, determination, and no fear of accepting responsibility".

Sir David Beatty Fact 15: In 1914 as World War I rapidly approached Sir David Beatty received a further promotion to acting vice-Admiral with the rank being confirmed in 1915.

Sir David Beatty Fact 16: Having led the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron in actions at Heligoland Bight, Dogger Bank and Jultand but under his command the Grand Fleet continued its supremacy over the North Sea during and until the end of the First World War.

Sir David Beatty Fact 17: In January of 1919 Sir David Beatty would receive promotion to full Admiral and was honored with the title of 1st Earl Beatty, Viscount Borodale and Baron Beatty of the North Sea and Brooksby.

Sir David Beatty Fact 18: By November of that year he would become First Sea Lord. He would retire from the Royal Navy in July 1927.

Sir David Beatty Fact 19: Already suffering poor health himself, he insisted on attending the funerals of his old commander Admiral Jellicoe in November 1935 and several months later, King George V in 1936.

Sir David Beatty Fact 20: On March 12th 1936 Sir David Beatty died in London. Although he had requested burial next to his wife Ethel at their home Dingley Hall his body was laid to rest at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

List of Medals Awarded to Sir David Beatty: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Bath *** Order of Merit *** Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order *** Distinguished Service Order ***



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