David Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty
Overview
 
Admiral of the Fleet
Admiral of the Fleet (Royal Navy)
Admiral of the fleet is the highest rank of the British Royal Navy and other navies, which equates to the NATO rank code OF-10. The rank still exists in the Royal Navy but routine appointments ceased in 1996....

 David Richard Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty, GCB
Order of the Bath
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 mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

, OM, GCVO
Royal Victorian Order
The Royal Victorian Order is a dynastic order of knighthood and a house order of chivalry recognising distinguished personal service to the order's Sovereign, the reigning monarch of the Commonwealth realms, any members of her family, or any of her viceroys...

, DSO
Distinguished Service Order
The Distinguished Service Order is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the British Commonwealth and Empire, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat.Instituted on 6 September...

 (17 January 1871 – 11 March 1936) was an admiral
Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 in the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

. Achieving career success at an early age, he commanded the British battlecruisers at the Battle of Jutland
Battle of Jutland
The Battle of Jutland was a naval battle between the British Royal Navy's Grand Fleet and the Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet during the First World War. The battle was fought on 31 May and 1 June 1916 in the North Sea near Jutland, Denmark. It was the largest naval battle and the only...

 in 1916, a tactically indecisive engagement after which his aggressive approach was contrasted with the caution of his commander Admiral Jellicoe
John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe
Admiral of the Fleet John Rushworth Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe, GCB, OM, GCVO was a British Royal Navy admiral who commanded the Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland in World War I...

. 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 hostilities, and then in the 1920s he served a lengthy term as First Sea Lord
First Sea Lord
The First Sea Lord is the professional head of the Royal Navy and the whole Naval Service; it was formerly known as First Naval Lord. He also holds the title of Chief of Naval Staff, and is known by the abbreviations 1SL/CNS...

 (head of the Royal Navy).

He is best remembered today for his comment that "There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today" at Jutland, where three of his battlecruisers exploded and sank under German fire exacerbated by design faults and poor strategy.
Beatty was born at Howbeck Lodge in the parish of Stapeley, Cheshire
Cheshire
Cheshire is a ceremonial county in North West England. Cheshire's county town is the city of Chester, although its largest town is Warrington. Other major towns include Widnes, Congleton, Crewe, Ellesmere Port, Runcorn, Macclesfield, Winsford, Northwich, and Wilmslow...

, on 17 January 1871.
Encyclopedia
Admiral of the Fleet
Admiral of the Fleet (Royal Navy)
Admiral of the fleet is the highest rank of the British Royal Navy and other navies, which equates to the NATO rank code OF-10. The rank still exists in the Royal Navy but routine appointments ceased in 1996....

 David Richard Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty, GCB
Order of the Bath
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 mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

, OM, GCVO
Royal Victorian Order
The Royal Victorian Order is a dynastic order of knighthood and a house order of chivalry recognising distinguished personal service to the order's Sovereign, the reigning monarch of the Commonwealth realms, any members of her family, or any of her viceroys...

, DSO
Distinguished Service Order
The Distinguished Service Order is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the British Commonwealth and Empire, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat.Instituted on 6 September...

 (17 January 1871 – 11 March 1936) was an admiral
Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 in the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

. Achieving career success at an early age, he commanded the British battlecruisers at the Battle of Jutland
Battle of Jutland
The Battle of Jutland was a naval battle between the British Royal Navy's Grand Fleet and the Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet during the First World War. The battle was fought on 31 May and 1 June 1916 in the North Sea near Jutland, Denmark. It was the largest naval battle and the only...

 in 1916, a tactically indecisive engagement after which his aggressive approach was contrasted with the caution of his commander Admiral Jellicoe
John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe
Admiral of the Fleet John Rushworth Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe, GCB, OM, GCVO was a British Royal Navy admiral who commanded the Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland in World War I...

. 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 hostilities, and then in the 1920s he served a lengthy term as First Sea Lord
First Sea Lord
The First Sea Lord is the professional head of the Royal Navy and the whole Naval Service; it was formerly known as First Naval Lord. He also holds the title of Chief of Naval Staff, and is known by the abbreviations 1SL/CNS...

 (head of the Royal Navy).

He is best remembered today for his comment that "There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today" at Jutland, where three of his battlecruisers exploded and sank under German fire exacerbated by design faults and poor strategy.

Family and childhood

Beatty was born at Howbeck Lodge in the parish of Stapeley, Cheshire
Cheshire
Cheshire is a ceremonial county in North West England. Cheshire's county town is the city of Chester, although its largest town is Warrington. Other major towns include Widnes, Congleton, Crewe, Ellesmere Port, Runcorn, Macclesfield, Winsford, Northwich, and Wilmslow...

, on 17 January 1871. He was the second son of five children born to David Longfield Beatty (1840−1904) and Katherine (or Katrine) Edith Sadleir (1840−1896), both from Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

. Beatty's father had been an officer in the Fourth Hussars where he formed a relationship with the wife of another officer. The two were unable to marry until after Katrine had obtained a divorce on 21 February 1871, after the birth of their first two sons. Beatty's birth certificate recorded his mother's surname as Beatty, and their eventual marriage at St Michael's Church, Liverpool was kept secret. Beatty's other brothers were Charles Harold Longfield (1870–1917) who served with distinction in the South Africa wars before dying from complications after losing an arm in Flanders, Richard George (1882–1915) who died on active service in India, William Vandeleur Schruder (1873–1935) who became an army Major and Newmarket horse trainer, and one sister Kathleen Roma (1875–).

Katrine had fair hair and blue eyes, soft wide lips, and overall an air of command. Beatty's father was 6 in 4 in (1.93 m) tall, dark haired with big hands and feet. Both David and his elder brother Charles were short, about 5 in 5 in (1.65 m) with small hands and feet. Charles was fair haired taking after his mother's features, whereas David had more the look of his father. After the affair between David and Katrine became known, David Longfield's father (Beatty's grandfather), David Vandeleur Beatty (1815–1881), arranged for his son to be posted to India in the hope that the scandalous relationship might end. Beatty resigned from the regiment on 21 November 1865, with the honorary rank of Captain. He took up residence with Katrine in Cheshire and in 1869 sold his commission.

Early education concentrated on horsemanship, hunting and learning to be a gentleman. Beatty had a close relationship with his elder brother Charles, who became his ally against their oppressive and overbearing father. They remained close throughout life, so much so that the only time Beatty felt despair was at his brother's death. Beatty later wrote to his wife about Charles, we lived together, played together, rode together, fought together. His brothers would later join the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

, but early on young David developed an interest in ships and the sea and expressed a desire to join the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

. In 1882 he entered Burney's Naval academy at Gosport
Gosport
Gosport is a town, district and borough situated on the south coast of England, within the county of Hampshire. It has approximately 80,000 permanent residents with a further 5,000-10,000 during the summer months...

, which was a 'crammer' for boys wishing to take the entrance examinations for the Royal Navy. His early experience in a harsh environment was to stand him in good stead for navy life.

In 1881 Beatty's grandfather died and his father succeeded to the 18th century mansion, 'Borodale
Borodale
Borodale was an 18th. century mansion, outside the town of Enniscorthy, in Co. Wexford, Ireland. It was the ancestral home of Admiral David Beatty, . The house was destroyed in the 1930's....

', outside Enniscorthy, in County Wexford. After retiring from the army he had established a business training horses first in Cheshire and then at 'The Mount', near Rugby. On inheriting and following the death of his wife at 'The Mount', he returned to Ireland abandoning the training business.

Marriage

In 1898 Beatty returned from leave after the Sudan campaign, but finding life in Ireland at the family home not to his taste, stayed instead with his brother at Newmarket. The location allowed him good hunting, and access to aristocratic houses where his recent heroic reputation from the campaign made him an honoured guest. Out hunting one day he chanced to meet Ethel Tree (1873-17 July 1932, Northamptonshire), daughter of Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 department store founder Marshall Field
Marshall Field
Marshall Field was founder of Marshall Field and Company, the Chicago-based department stores.-Life and career:...

. Beatty was immediately taken with her, for her good looks and her ability to hunt. The immediate difficulty with the match was that Ethel was married already to Arthur Tree, with a son, Ronald.

Beatty was posted to the China squadron and only returned to England after being wounded at the siege of Tsientsin, eighteen months later in August 1900. The couple had at first exchanged letters, which Beatty signed 'Jack', as Ethel was still a married woman and discretion was advised. Ethel became involved with another man and the exchange of letters ceased but on Beatty's return she sent him a telegram and letter inviting him to resume their friendship. Beatty did not respond until after surgery on his arm in September 1900 when he wrote, I landed from China with my heart full of rage, and swore I did not care if I ever saw you again, or if I were killed or not. And now I have arrived with the firm determination not to see you at all in my own mind... Unfortunately I shall go on loving you to the bitter end... To me always a Queen, if not always mine, Good-bye.

Despite this estrangement, the couple again met foxhunting and resumed a discreet relationship. Marshall Field was at first unimpressed by the impecunious Beatty as a future son-in-law, but was persuaded by his heroic reputation, impressive record of promotion and future prospects. There was the possibility that Field might revoke the settlement he had made on his daughter at the time of her first marriage and the new couple would have no means of support. Beatty's father was also unhappy about the match, fearing a repeat of the difficulties he had faced with his own relationship with a married woman, but with the added risk of publicity because both Beatty and Ethel were famous and the risk that Beatty's illegitimacy might be exposed. Beatty went so far as to consult a fortune teller, Mrs. Roberts, who predicted a fine outcome to the match. Ethel wrote to Arthur, telling him that it was her firm intention never to live with him again as his wife, though not naming any particular person or reason. Arthur agreed to cooperate, and filed for divorce in America on the grounds of desertion, which was granted 9 May 1901. Beatty and Ethel married 22 May 1901 at the registry office, St. George's, Hannover Square, London with no family attending. Although Arthur Tree was himself from a wealthy American family, he now had to adjust to reduced circumstances without Ethel's support. He elected to remain in Britain and their son Ronald remained with him. Ronald and his mother were never reconciled from his perception that she had deserted his father, but he visited in later life and became friendly with Beatty. Ronald later became a member of parliament, during World War II became a link between the British and United States governments, and lent his country house, Ditchley Park near Oxford, to Churchill for weekend visits when the official residences were considered unsafe. Beatty and Ethel set up home at Hanover Lodge in Regent's Park, London. The house had previously belonged to Admiral Sir Thomas John Cochrane
Thomas John Cochrane
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Thomas John Cochrane GCB was an English naval officer and colonial governor.-Naval career:...

 and before him General Sir Robert Arbuthnot
Robert Arbuthnot
General Sir Robert Arbuthnot, KCB, was born at Rockfleet Castle, County Mayo, Ireland, on 19 November 1773 fourth son of John Arbuthnot Senior of Rockfleet, Co Mayo. He was a General in the army, a colonel in the 76th Regiment. He was a Brigadier General in the Portuguese Service and was appointed...

 KCB.

The couple had two sons, David Field Beatty, 2nd Earl Beatty (1905–1972) born at the Capua Palace, Malta, and the Hon. Peter Randolph Louis Beatty (1910–1949). His marriage to a very wealthy heiress
Beneficiary
A beneficiary in the broadest sense is a natural person or other legal entity who receives money or other benefits from a benefactor. For example: The beneficiary of a life insurance policy, is the person who receives the payment of the amount of insurance after the death of the insured...

 allowed Beatty an independence that most other officers lacked. She is reputed to have commented after he was threatened with disciplinary action following the straining of his ship's engines, "What? Court-martial my David? I'll buy them a new ship." She had bought him a steam yacht, houses in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 and in the Leicestershire
Leicestershire
Leicestershire is a landlocked county in the English Midlands. It takes its name from the heavily populated City of Leicester, traditionally its administrative centre, although the City of Leicester unitary authority is today administered separately from the rest of Leicestershire...

 hunting country, and a Scottish grouse moor. The couple circulated in high society, even occasionally dining with the King. However, there were disadvantages, as Beatty discovered after his marriage, for his wife was an unstable neurotic who caused him extreme mental tortures. Beatty was an intelligent and able leader, but all his social and sporting obligations, coupled with his high-strung temperament, prevented him from becoming a coldly calculating professional like Jellicoe – or his adversary, Hipper. Beatty’s flamboyant style included wearing a non-standard uniform, which had six buttons instead of the regulation eight on the jacket, and always wearing his cap at an angle.

Early career

In January 1884 Beatty passed into the officers' training ship Britannia tenth out of ninety-nine candidates. During his two years at Britannia, moored at Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth is a town and civil parish in the English county of Devon. It is a tourist destination set on the banks of the estuary of the River Dart, which is a long narrow tidal ria that runs inland as far as Totnes...

, he was given twenty-five times for "minor offences" and beaten three times for more serious infractions. He passed out of Britannia eighteenth out of the thirty-three remaining cadets at the end of 1885. Beatty's letters home made no complaint about the poor living conditions in Britannia, and generally he was extrovert, even aggressive, and resented discipline. However, he understood how far he could transgress without serious consequences, and this approach continued throughout his career.

In January 1886, Beatty was given orders to join the China Station
China Station
The China Station was a historical formation of the British Royal Navy. It was formally the units and establishments responsible to the Commander-in-Chief, China....

. The posting did not appeal to his mother, who wrote to Lord Charles Beresford
Lord Charles Beresford
Charles William de la Poer Beresford, 1st Baron Beresford GCB GCVO , styled Lord Charles Beresford between 1859 and 1916, was a British Admiral and Member of Parliament....

, then a senior naval officer, member of parliament and personal friend, to use his influence to obtain something better. Beatty was instead appointed to HMS Alexandra
HMS Alexandra (1875)
HMS Alexandra was a central battery ironclad of the Victorian Royal Navy, whose seagoing career was from 1877 to 1900. She spent much of her career as a flagship, and took part in operations to deter Russian aggression against Turkey in 1878 and the bombardment of Alexandria in 1882.-Background:At...

, flagship in the Mediterranean Squadron commanded by Admiral the Duke of Edinburgh
Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was the third Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and reigned from 1893 to 1900. He was also a member of the British Royal Family, the second son and fourth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha...

's, Queen Victoria's second son. This proved an excellent social opening for Beatty, who established a longstanding relationship with the Duke's eldest daughter, Marie
Marie of Edinburgh
Marie of Romania was Queen consort of Romania from 1914 to 1927, as the wife of Ferdinand I of Romania.-Early life:...

, and with other members of the court. Alexandra was a three-masted sailing ship with auxiliary steam power, and despite remaining flagship was already outdated in a navy which was steadily transitioning from sail to steam. Life in the Mediterranean fleet was considerably easier than cadet life, with visits to friendly ports all around the Mediterranean, but Beatty was concerned to work diligently towards naval examinations, which would determine seniority and future promotion prospects. Beatty was assigned as midshipman to assist lieutenant Stanley Colville during watchkeeping and Colville was to play an important part in Beatty's future career.

In March 1889 Beatty left Alexandra. He spent three months from July to September 1889 on board Warspite for manoeuvres before joining the sailing corvette Ruby for a year, where in May 1890 he was promoted to Sub-Lieutenant.

He was transferred to HMS Cruiser
HMS Cruizer (1852)
HMS Cruizer was a 17-gun wooden screw sloop, the name-ship of the Cruizer class of the Royal Navy, launched at the Royal Dockyard, Deptford in 1852. The spelling of her name was formally altered to HMS Cruiser in 1857. She became a sail training vessel in 1872 and was renamed HMS Lark...

.

On 2 September 1890 he was transferred to the gunnery school, Excellent. While attending courses at Greenwhich he was somewhat distracted from his naval career by the delights of London. His cabin at Greenwich was full of photographs of actresses, some of which were signed in the most endearing terms. Beatty scored a first-class examination pass in Torpedoes, but only seconds in Seamanship, Gunnery and Pilotage, and a third in Navigation. These relatively poor results lost him seniority when later promoted to Lieutenant. There followed postings to a torpedo boat in July 1891 and then HMS Nile
HMS Nile
Three ships of the Royal Navy have borne the name HMS Nile, after the Battle of the Nile in 1798: was a 12-gun cutter purchased in 1806. She was sold in 1810, but was rejected by the purchaser and subsequently broken up in 1811. was a 92-gun second rate ship of the line launched in 1839...

 from 19 January 1892 to 23 June 1892 before returning to Britain.

From July to August 1892 he served in the Royal Yacht Victoria and Albert while Queen Victoria was holidaying in the Mediterranean. Victoria was in mourning for her grandson, Albert Duke of Clarence, who died January 1892. Victoria would go ashore sometimes with full pomp and sometimes totally incognito. On leaving the ship he was promoted to Lieutenant
Lieutenant
A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in many nations' armed forces. Typically, the rank of lieutenant in naval usage, while still a junior officer rank, is senior to the army rank...

 on 25 August 1892.

He rejoined HMS Ruby 31 August 1892, remaining in her until 5 September 1893. Ruby served in the South Atlantic and West Indies, so providing experience in handling a sailing ship in all conditions, but not in the new technologies of steam. From Ruby he transferred to the battleship Camperdown
HMS Camperdown (1885)
HMS Camperdown was an Admiral-class battleship of the Royal Navy, named after Adam Duncan, 1st Viscount Duncan of Camperdown.She was a full sister to , and was an improved version of the earlier and . In comparison to these earlier ships, she had an increased thickness of barbette armour, and a...

 until October 1895. Camperdown had only recently been involved in the fleet accident where she rammed and sank HMS Victoria
HMS Victoria
Four vessels of the British Royal Navy have been named HMS Victoria in honour of Queen Victoria:, a wooden paddle sloop launched in India in 1839 and sold in about 1864, a first rate screw ship broken up in 1893, a Coast Guard yawl, sold in 1905, a Victoria-class battleship sunk in a collision with...

. Following Camperdown he was transferred to the battleship Trafalgar
HMS Trafalgar (1887)
HMS Trafalgar was one of two Trafalgar class battleships commissioned in 1890 and 1891, the other being HMS Nile.-Design:They were designed to be improved versions of the Admiral and Victoria classes, having a greater displacement to allow for improved protection...

 until 4 May 1896. Time spent in the battleships was little to Beatty's liking as the life involved no action but enormous efforts spent making the ships look smart at all times.

Sudan Campaign

Beatty gained recognition in the campaign for the recapture of the Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 (1897–1899) commanded by Lord Kitchener. Stanley Colville was placed in command of the gunboats attached to the British expeditionary force in Egypt and as Beatty's former commander in Trafalgar and superior in 'Alexandra' he requested that Beatty join him. Control of the river Nile was considered vitally important for any expedition into Egypt and the Sudan. Beatty was seconded to the Egyptian government on 3 June 1896 and appointed second in command of the river flotilla. Colville was wounded during the operation, leaving Beatty in command of the gunboats for the successful attack on Dongola. The campaign halted at Dongola to regroup and Beatty returned to Britain on leave. He was commended by Kitchener for his part in the campaign and as a result was made Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO).

On 9 January 1897, he was given his first command, the destroyer
Destroyer
In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast and maneuverable yet long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller, powerful, short-range attackers. Destroyers, originally called torpedo-boat destroyers in 1892, evolved from...

 Ranger, continuing up to June 1897 when he was again seconded to the Egyptian government for the next phase of the campaign. This was now at Kitchener's specific request, for the Khartoum
Khartoum
Khartoum is the capital and largest city of Sudan and of Khartoum State. It is located at the confluence of the White Nile flowing north from Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile flowing west from Ethiopia. The location where the two Niles meet is known as "al-Mogran"...

 expedition. Overall naval commander was now Colin Keppel with other boats commanded by Horace Hood
Horace Hood
Rear Admiral the Honourable Sir Horace Lambert Alexander Hood KCB, DSO, MVO was a British Royal Navy admiral of the First World War, whose lengthy and distinguished service saw him engaged in operations around the world, frequently participating in land campaigns as part of a shore brigade...

 and Walter Cowan
Walter Cowan
Admiral Sir Walter Henry Cowan, 1st Baronet, KCB, MVO, DSO & & Bar , known as Tich Cowan, was a British Royal Navy admiral who saw service in both World War I and World War II; in the latter he was one of the oldest British servicemen on active duty.-Early days:Cowan was born in Crickhowell,...

 who were to remain friends and colleagues. Beatty first commanded the gunboat El Teb but this was capsized attempting to ascend the Fourth Cataract. Beatty then took command of Fateh between October 1897 and August 1898 when the gunboats were frequently in action advancing along the Nile ahead of the army. The gunboats were in support at the Battle of Omdurman
Battle of Omdurman
At the Battle of Omdurman , an army commanded by the British Gen. Sir Herbert Kitchener defeated the army of Abdullah al-Taashi, the successor to the self-proclaimed Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad...

, where Beatty made the acquaintance of Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 who had become a cavalry officer in Beatty's father's old regiment, the 4th Hussars, and had there learnt his family history. In a few hours 10,000 Dervishes were killed by rifle and machine gun fire without any of them getting within 600 yards of the British force. This battle marked the effective end of resistance to the expeditionary force, but the gunboats were called into service to transport troops to Fashoda, 400 miles (643.7 km) south along the White Nile, where a small force of French troops had made a difficult land crossing and staked a claim to the area. The French were persuaded to withdraw without incident. Once again Kitchener commended Beatty for his efforts in the campaign and as a result Hood and Beatty were both promoted to Commander on 15 November 1898. At the time Beatty was 27 and had served only 6 years as Lieutenant compared to the typical 12 before promotion. He also acquired the Khartoum Medal and the Turkish Order of Mejidieh, fourth class.

Beatty returned to England on leave where he met his future wife, Ethel Tree.

Boxer Rebellion

On 20 April 1899 Beatty was appointed executive officer of the small battleship HMS Barfleur
HMS Barfleur (1892)
HMS Barfleur was a predreadnought second-class battleship of the Royal Navy. She was part of the three-ship Centurion class, designed for long-range patrolling of the United Kingdom's far-flung empire. She mainly saw service in the Mediterranean and Home Fleet, along with Service at China Station,...

, flagship of the China Station, Captain Stanley Colville under Rear-Admiral James Bruce. The first year of his tour of duty was uneventful, but unrest against foreign interlopers was growing in China. The Boxer
Boxer Rebellion
The Boxer Rebellion, also called the Boxer Uprising by some historians or the Righteous Harmony Society Movement in northern China, was a proto-nationalist movement by the "Righteous Harmony Society" , or "Righteous Fists of Harmony" or "Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists" , in China between...

 movement was a secret Chinese peasant society committed to resisting oppression both from foreigners and from the Chinese government. The dowager empress Tzu-his partly encouraged the Boxer's opposition to foreigners in an attempt to turn their attention away from herself. The name was derived from ritual exercises supposed to make their users immune to bullets, which resembled boxing.

In the summer of 1900 the rebellion reached Peking, where the German legation was attacked and foreign nationals withdrew to the relative safety of the Legation Quarter. Government troops joined forces with the rebels and the railway to the Treaty Port of Tientsin was interrupted. Admiral Sir Edward Seymour sent reinforcements to Peking, but they were insufficient to defend the Legation. An attempt was therefore made to send more troops from Tientsin, where British ships had been joined by French, German, Russian, Austrian, Italian and Japanese. The international naval brigade
Naval Brigade
A Naval Brigade is a body of sailors serving in a ground combat role to augment land forces.-Royal Navy:Within the Royal Navy, a Naval Brigade is a large temporary detachment of Royal Marines and of seamen from the Royal Navy formed to undertake operations on shore, particularly during the mid- to...

 force of naval marines placed itself under the senior officer present, which was Seymour. After an urgent call for help from the Legation, Seymour set out on 10 June with 2000 troops to attempt to break through to Peking. The force got about half way before abandoning the attempt because the railway line had been torn up. By now rebels had begun destroying the track behind the force, cutting it off from Tientsin.

On 11 June, Beatty and 150 men from Barfleur landed as part of a force of 2,400 defending Tientsin from 15,000 Chinese troops plus Boxers. On the 16th the Taku forts were bombarded and captured to ensure ships could still reach the port. Fierce fighting broke out throughout the foreign areas and railway station, and Beatty was injured by a bullet in the left arm and wrist. He was discharged from the field hospital after a few days, and took command of the British contingent of a relief force sent out to help Seymour. The survivors from Seymour's force, plus 200 wounded including John Jellicoe
John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe
Admiral of the Fleet John Rushworth Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe, GCB, OM, GCVO was a British Royal Navy admiral who commanded the Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland in World War I...

, were successfully brought back to Tientsin on the 26th. More soldiers were now arriving and three weeks later a force of 20,000 set off again to relieve Peking. Beatty was strongly commended by Captain E. H. Bayley, who had been his commander during the siege, and by the commander in chief. As a result Beatty was promoted to Captain on 9 November 1900, only two years after his promotion to Commander and aged only 29 rather than the average age of 43. Beatty returned to Britain, where he required an operation to restore proper use of his left arm.

Advancement

In May 1902 he was passed fit for sea duty and was appointed captain of the cruiser HMS Juno
HMS Juno (1895)
HMS Juno was an of Britain's Royal Navy.Juno was assigned to the 11th Cruiser Squadron operating from Ireland. In 1915 she was sent to the Persian Gulf and took part in an engagement at Bushire in July-August 1915 against Tangistani raids under Rais Ali Delvari.In 1918 she was sent to the West...

 in June, spending two months in exercises with the Channel Fleet under Admiral Sir Arthur Wilson before joining the Mediterranean fleet. Beatty worked hard to raise efficiency so that she was highly rated in gunnery and other competitions by the time he left the ship 19 December 1902. Ethel decided not to be left behind so rented the Capua Palace on Malta, home port of the Mediterranean Fleet, where she became part of the island's high society.

HMS Arrogant from 3 November 1903– 30 September 1904 and HMS Suffolk
HMS Suffolk (1903)
HMS Suffolk was a Monmouth class armoured cruiser of the Royal Navy built in 1903 and sold out of the Royal Navy in 1920. She had a displacement of 9,800 tons, a speed of 23 knots, and a crew complement of about 680. Her primary armament consisted of 14 quick-firing 6-inch guns, arranged in a...

 from October 1904 until 1 September 1905. He then became the naval advisor to the Army Council
Army Council (1904)
The Army Council is a governing board for the British military organization. It was created in 1904 along with other institutional changes made in that year to the British Army....

 from 1906 to 1908 where he was involved with drawing up plans for joint operations to land an expeditionary force in Europe.

He was made captain of the battleship HMS Queen
HMS Queen (1902)
HMS Queen was a London or Queen class battleship, a sub-class of the Formidable class battleships of the British Royal Navy, and the tenth Royal Navy ship to bear the name.-Construction and design:...

 on 15 December 1908 until replaced 4 January 1910. Queen was part of the Atlantic Fleet under Prince Louis of Battenberg. Beatty impressed Battenburg, who gave him excellent reports, but was critical of the lack of imagination and initiative shown in exercises, and of the general inexperience of all admirals in handling large fleets. He was promoted to Rear-Admiral on 1 January 1910 by a special order in council since he had not completed the requisite time as a captain. Just shy of 39, the youngest Admiral in the Royal Navy (except for Royal family members) since Horatio Nelson. Beatty's second son Peter was born April 1910.

Spring 1911 Beatty and family rented a house at Ryde on the Isle of Wight while he attended the senior officer's war course. Beatty considered it part interesting and part a waste of time. The issue of staff training was one of hot debate in the navy, with some such as Fisher seeing no point in more training, while others such as Beresford supported the development of a formal naval staff.

He was offered the post of second-in-command of the Atlantic Fleet, but declined it and asked for one in the Home Fleet. As the Atlantic Fleet post was a major command, the Admiralty
Admiralty
The Admiralty was formerly the authority in the Kingdom of England, and later in the United Kingdom, responsible for the command of the Royal Navy...

 were very unimpressed and his attitude nearly ruined his career. Beatty, as a rapidly promoted war hero, with no financial worries and with a degree of support in Royal circles, felt more confident than most naval officers in standing firm on requesting a posting nearer home. He was approaching two years on half pay (which would trigger automatic retirement from the navy) when on January 8, 1912 his career was saved by the new First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

. Churchill had met Beatty when Beatty was commander of a gunboat on the Nile supporting the army at the Battle of Omdurman
Battle of Omdurman
At the Battle of Omdurman , an army commanded by the British Gen. Sir Herbert Kitchener defeated the army of Abdullah al-Taashi, the successor to the self-proclaimed Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad...

, in which Churchill took part as a cavalry officer. A "probably apocryphal" story relates that as Beatty walked into Churchill's office at the Admiralty, Churchill looked him over and said, "You seem very young to be an Admiral." Unfazed, Beatty replied, "And you seem very young to be First Lord." Churchill – who was himself only thirty-eight years old in 1912 – took to him immediately and he was appointed Private Naval Secretary
Naval Secretary
The Naval Secretary is the Royal Navy appointment of which the incumbent is responsible for policy direction on personnel management for members of the RN. It is a senior RN appointment, held by an officer holding the rank of Rear-Admiral. The Naval Secretary's counterpart in the British Army is...

 to the First Lord against the advice of First Sea Lord Sir Arthur Wilson.
On 1 March 1913 he received the appointment of Rear-Admiral Commanding the First Battle Cruiser Squadron
1st Battlecruiser Squadron (United Kingdom)
The First Battlecruiser Squadron was a Royal Navy squadron of battlecruisers that saw service as part of the Grand Fleet during the First World War. It was created in 1909 as the First Cruiser Squadron and was renamed in 1913 to First Battle Cruiser Squadron. It participated in the battles of...

. Beatty was late taking up his new post, choosing not to cut short a holiday in Monte Carlo. On his eventual arrival, he set about drafting standing orders regarding how the squadron was to operate. He noted, 'Captains...to be successful must possess, in a marked degree, initiative, resource, determination, and no fear of accepting responsibility', and particularly regarding wartime conditions'...as a rule instructions will be of a very general character so as to avoid interfering with the judgement and initiative of captains...The admiral will rely on captains to use all the information at their disposal to grasp the situation quickly and anticipate his wishes, using their own discretion as to how to act in unforeseen circumstances..' The approach outlined by Beatty contradicted the views of many within the navy, who felt that ships should always be closely controlled by their commanding admiral, and harked back to reforms attempted by Admiral George Tryon
George Tryon
Vice-Admiral Sir George Tryon, KCB was a British admiral who died when his flagship HMS Victoria collided with HMS Camperdown during manoeuvres off Tripoli, Lebanon.-Early life:...

. It is argued that Tryon had attempted to introduce greater independence and initiative amongst his captains, which he believed would be essential in the confusion of a real war situation, but had ironically been killed in an accident caused by captains rigorously obeying incorrect but precise orders issued by Tryon himself.

A commander has some discretion as to choice of officers to serve under him. The new command came with a competent Flag Lieutenant, Charles Dix, but Beatty was not happy with him, and anyway the former commander of the squadron wanted Dix to accompany him to his new command. Beatty chose Lieutenant Ralph Seymour as his successor, despite Seymour being unknown to him. Seymour had aristocratic connections, which may have appealed to Beatty since he sought connections in society, but it was also the case that Seymour's sister was a longstanding close friend of Churchill's wife. Appointments by influence were common in the navy at this time, but the significance of Beatty's choice lay in Seymour's relative inexperience as a signals officer, which later resulted in difficulties in battle.

World War I

On the eve of the First World War in 1914, Beatty was knighted with the KCB, and promoted to acting Vice-Admiral a month later. In August 1915, he was promoted to full Vice-Admiral. During the course of the war, he took part in actions at Heligoland Bight (1914), Dogger Bank
Battle of Dogger Bank (1915)
The Battle of Dogger Bank was a naval battle fought near the Dogger Bank in the North Sea on 24 January 1915, during the First World War, between squadrons of the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet....

 (1915) and Jutland
Battle of Jutland
The Battle of Jutland was a naval battle between the British Royal Navy's Grand Fleet and the Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet during the First World War. The battle was fought on 31 May and 1 June 1916 in the North Sea near Jutland, Denmark. It was the largest naval battle and the only...

 (1916). He was an aggressive commander who expected his subordinates to always use their initiative without direct orders from himself.

Jutland
Battle of Jutland
The Battle of Jutland was a naval battle between the British Royal Navy's Grand Fleet and the Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet during the First World War. The battle was fought on 31 May and 1 June 1916 in the North Sea near Jutland, Denmark. It was the largest naval battle and the only...

 proved to be decisive in Beatty's career, despite the loss of two of his battlecruiser
Battlecruiser
Battlecruisers were large capital ships built in the first half of the 20th century. They were developed in the first decade of the century as the successor to the armoured cruiser, but their evolution was more closely linked to that of the dreadnought battleship...

s. Beatty is reported to have remarked (to his Flag Captain, Chatfield, later First Sea Lord in the early 1930s), "there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today," after two of them had exploded within half an hour during the battle. One theory is that this was caused by a design fault in the ammunition loading system to the main gun turrets, so that an enemy hit on the turret set off an explosion in the magazine, thus sinking the ship. Churchill's account of the First World War, The World Crisis, describes Beatty's next order as, "Steer two points nearer the enemy." His next order was to turn away by two points, and, in any case, a few minutes later he reversed his fleet's course to fulfill its anticipated role of leading the German forces towards the main British fleet.

Admiral John Jellicoe
John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe
Admiral of the Fleet John Rushworth Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe, GCB, OM, GCVO was a British Royal Navy admiral who commanded the Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland in World War I...

, described by Churchill as the only man who could "lose the war in an afternoon" by losing the strategic British superiority in dreadnought battleships, was not a dashing showman like David Beatty. When Jellicoe was promoted to First Sea Lord
First Sea Lord
The First Sea Lord is the professional head of the Royal Navy and the whole Naval Service; it was formerly known as First Naval Lord. He also holds the title of Chief of Naval Staff, and is known by the abbreviations 1SL/CNS...

 in 1916, Beatty succeeded him as commander-in-chief of the Grand Fleet and received promotion to the acting rank of Admiral at the age of 45 on 27 November.

Beatty received the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet
High Seas Fleet
The High Seas Fleet was the battle fleet of the German Empire and saw action during World War I. The formation was created in February 1907, when the Home Fleet was renamed as the High Seas Fleet. Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz was the architect of the fleet; he envisioned a force powerful enough to...

 in November 1918. On the night of 15 November, Rear-Admiral Hugo Meurer
Hugo Meurer
Hugo Meurer was a Vice-Admiral of the Kaiserliche Marine . Meurer was the German naval officer who handled the negotiations of the surrender of the German fleet in November 1918 at the end of World War I....

, the representative of Admiral Franz von Hipper
Franz von Hipper
Franz Ritter von Hipper was an admiral in the German Imperial Navy . Franz von Hipper joined the German Navy in 1881 as an officer cadet. He commanded several torpedo boat units and served as watch officer aboard several warships, as well as Kaiser Wilhelm II's yacht Hohenzollern...

, met Admiral Beatty aboard Beatty's flagship, . Beatty presented Meurer with the terms, which were expanded at a second meeting the following day. The U-boats were to surrender to Commodore Reginald Tyrwhitt at Harwich, under the supervision of the Harwich Force
Harwich Force
The Harwich Force was a squadron of the Royal Navy, formed during the First World War, that went on to play a significant role in the war.-History:...

, then the surface fleet was to sail to the Firth of Forth
Firth of Forth
The Firth of Forth is the estuary or firth of Scotland's River Forth, where it flows into the North Sea, between Fife to the north, and West Lothian, the City of Edinburgh and East Lothian to the south...

 and surrender personally to Beatty. They would then be led to Scapa Flow
Scapa Flow
right|thumb|Scapa Flow viewed from its eastern endScapa Flow is a body of water in the Orkney Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom, sheltered by the islands of Mainland, Graemsay, Burray, South Ronaldsay and Hoy. It is about...

 and interned, pending the outcome of the peace negotiations. Meurer eventually signed the terms after midnight. Rather than show any sign of magnanimity to Meurer and his staff, he chose to overawe and humiliate them instead. Germany never forgot Beatty's treatment, and indeed, Germany chose to ignore the news of Beatty's subsequent death: this contrasting with the condolences and honours rendered by Germany at the news of Jellicoe's passing.

Postwar career

On 1 January 1919, Beatty was promoted to the permanent rank of Admiral
Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

, with seniority from 27 November 1916. On 1 May, he was promoted to Admiral of the Fleet
Admiral of the Fleet
An admiral of the fleet is a military naval officer of the highest rank. In many nations the rank is reserved for wartime or ceremonial appointments...

. On 18 October, he was created 1st Earl Beatty
Earl Beatty
Earl Beatty is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1919 for the prominent naval commander Admiral of the Fleet David Beatty. He was created Baron Beatty, of the North Sea and of Brooksby in the County of Leicester, and Viscount Borodale, of Wexford in the County of...

, Viscount Borodale and Baron Beatty of the North Sea and Brooksby. Afterwards, he served a lengthy term as First Sea Lord until 1927. This was not a happy period for the Royal Navy. With the removal of the German High Seas Fleet in 1919, Britain had no naval enemies, and at the Washington Naval Treaty
Washington Naval Treaty
The Washington Naval Treaty, also known as the Five-Power Treaty, was an attempt to cap and limit, and "prevent 'further' costly escalation" of the naval arms race that had begun after World War I between various International powers, each of which had significant naval fleets. The treaty was...

 of 1922 it was agreed that the USA, Britain and Japan should set their navies in a ratio of 5:5:3, with France and Italy maintaining smaller fleets. Britain was required to scrap most of her vast First World War fleet (only two new, oddly-shaped, battleships, Rodney and Nelson  were built at this time, known colloquially as the 'Cherry Tree Class' as they had been 'cut down by Washington'). Japan, which had been an ally of Britain since 1900, was angered that she had not been treated as an equal by the two major powers, and Anglo-Japanese relations soured thereafter. When the United States began to expand her navy in the 1930s, she would surpass Britain as the world's premier naval power.

After 1924 Beatty, supported by the First Lord of the Admiralty Bridgeman, clashed with the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Winston Churchill, over the number of cruisers required by the Royal Navy. At this stage of his career Churchill was opposed to what he saw as excessive defence spending. This may seem in odd in light of his previous and subsequent reputation, but in the 1920s no major war seemed to be on the horizon, although Beatty correctly warned that Japan should be treated as an enemy going forward. The dispute dragged on until after Beatty's retirement, and a further naval disarmament treaty, (the London Treaty of 1930) would limit the numbers of cruisers.

In 1927 Beatty, who had become the first chairman of the Chiefs of Staff, retired from active service. On the 24 July he was made a Freeman
Freedom of the City
Freedom of the City is an honour bestowed by some municipalities in Australia, Canada, Ireland, France, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom, Gibraltar and Rhodesia to esteemed members of its community and to organisations to be honoured, often for service to the community;...

 of Huddersfield
Huddersfield
Huddersfield is a large market town within the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees, in West Yorkshire, England, situated halfway between Leeds and Manchester. It lies north of London, and south of Bradford, the nearest city....

.

Controversy

The battle of Jutland was the major naval engagement of the First World War and marked a turning point in the naval war. Although it was tactically inconclusive, with significantly higher losses in the British fleet but with the German fleet fleeing the field of battle, it was effectively a strategic defeat for Germany. The Royal Navy could much more readily replace its losses with ships already under construction, while the engagement ended with the German fleet retreating as fast as possible from the British. Thereafter the Imperial German Navy ceased any serious attempts to engage the British fleet and remained at home as a 'fleet in being'. British public perception of the engagement was initially as a serious defeat, at a time when popular opinion expected great things from the Royal Navy. As admiral in command, Jellicoe received much of the blame for this 'defeat', despite the fact that most of the significant losses were amongst the independent battlecruiser squadron commanded by Beatty.

A number of serious errors have been identified in Beatty's handling of this squadron. These included:
  • Failing to engage the German battlecruiser squadron with all his ships, thus throwing away a two to one numerical superiority and instead fighting one-to-one. Beatty was given command of the 5th Battle Squadron to replace a squadron of battlecruisers away for training. These were four of the most powerful ships in the world, but he positioned them so far away from his six battlecruisers that they were unable to take part in most of the engagement with Admiral Hipper's squadron of five battlecruisers.
  • Failing to take advantage of the time available to him between sighting the enemy and the start of fighting, to position his battlecruisers to most effectively attack the enemy. At the point the German ships opened fire with accurately determined ranges for their guns, Beatty's ships were still maneuvering, some could not see the enemy because of their own smoke, and hardly any had the opportunity of a period of steady course as they approached to properly determine target range. As a result the German ships had a significant advantage in early hits, with obvious benefit. During this time he also lost the potential advantage of the larger guns on his ships: they could commence firing at a longer range than the German ships.
  • Failing to ensure that signals sent to his ships were handled properly and received by the intended ships. Lost signals added to the confusion and lost opportunities during the battle. This issue had already arisen in previous battles, where the same signals officer had been involved, but no changes had been made.
  • Failing in his role as fast armoured scout to report to Jellicoe the exact position of the German ships he encountered, or to keep in contact with the German fleet while he retreated to the main British Grand Fleet. This information was important to Jellicoe to know how best to position the main fleet to make the most of its eventual engagement with the German High seas fleet. Despite this, Jellicoe succeeded in positioning his ships to good advantage, relying on other closer cruisers for final knowledge of the German's position, but necessitating last-minute decisions.
  • The gunnery of his ships was generally poor compared to the rest of the fleet. This was partly a consequence of his ships being stationed at Rosyth, rather than Scapa Flow with the main fleet, since local facilities at Rosyth were limited, but this was a problem identified months before Jutland which Beatty had failed to correct. He preferred to trust to rapid close-range fire rather than deliberate ranging and operating at extreme range, a failing which had also been pointed out to him previously. His battlecruisers achieved few hits on the enemy, with most of the damage being inflicted by the battleships when they eventually came close enough to take part.


After the war a report of the battle was prepared by the Admiralty under First Sea Lord Wemyss. Before the report was published, Beatty was himself appointed First Sea Lord, and immediately requested amendments to the report. When the authors refused to comply, he ordered it to be destroyed and instead had prepared an alternative report, which proved highly critical of Jellicoe. Considerable argument broke out as a result, with significant numbers of servicemen disputing the published version, including Admiral Bacon, who wrote his own book about the battle, criticising the version sponsored by Beatty and highly critical of Beatty's own part in the Battle. Many books and reviews were published as the debate continued over which version of events was correct. Beatty was critical of Jellicoe's cautious approach to the Grand Fleet, arguing this had thrown away the opportunity for a decisive numerical victory. Defenders of Jellicoe argued that he did no more than protect the body of his fleet, which outnumbered the German ships while steadily pressing the attack. The German strategy was one which relied upon chance to create opportunities for local victories, such as had happened against Beatty, whereas Jellicoe considered a careful approach always favoured the larger force. Ultimately it was not clear that Jellicoe made any mistakes in his management of the fleet, nor departed from procedures which had been agreed upon by all concerned in advance.

Later life and legacy

David Beatty spent much of his life (when not at sea) in Leicestershire
Leicestershire
Leicestershire is a landlocked county in the English Midlands. It takes its name from the heavily populated City of Leicester, traditionally its administrative centre, although the City of Leicester unitary authority is today administered separately from the rest of Leicestershire...

, and lived at Brooksby Hall
Brooksby Hall
Brooksby Hall is a 16th century manor house in 3.2 square kilometres of land between Leicester and Melton Mowbray and is northeast of Leicester.It was the home of Admiral Beatty. Many other famous and influential people have also lived at the hall...

 and Dingley Hall. During the First World War, he and his wife performed many services for the public of Leicestershire, including opening up their home first as a VAD Hospital under the 5th Northern General Hospital, and later as a hospital for Naval Personnel.

In 1930 the Scottish artist Cowan Dobson
Cowan Dobson
David Cowan Dobson , referred to as 'Cowan' Dobson ARBA , RBA , was a leading Scottish portrait artist who mainly worked in London...

 painted a full-length portrait of Beatty in white-tie and tails.

A (perhaps apocryphal) story is sometimes told of Beatty's retirement, that he canvassed in uniform in support of Conservative candidates in dockyard constituencies, presumably in the 1929 or 1931 General Elections. On knocking on one door the lady of the house, presuming him to be a sailor in search of "horizontal refreshment", directed him to the local brothel several doors down the road. Another version of the story is that he canvassed with Nancy, Lady Astor, MP for Plymouth Sutton, and received an embarrassingly friendly welcome at boarding houses who were used to renting rooms by the hour to sailors and their lady companions.

Beatty died after catching a chill as pallbearer at the funeral of his old commander Admiral Jellicoe. He had been advised not to leave his bed, but he went anyway saying, "What will the Navy say if I fail to attend Jellicoe's funeral?" Beatty had requested in his will that he would like to be buried next to his wife Ethel at Dingley. Instead he was buried at St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. St Paul's sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the mother...

. Thus the double grave at Dingley Church only has Beatty's wife buried there.

In Germany, Beatty had ruined his reputation when he told the crews of his ships that were receiving the German High Seas Fleet for its internment at Scapa Flow
Scapa Flow
right|thumb|Scapa Flow viewed from its eastern endScapa Flow is a body of water in the Orkney Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom, sheltered by the islands of Mainland, Graemsay, Burray, South Ronaldsay and Hoy. It is about...

, "Don't forget that the enemy is a despicable beast," and arranged the surrender of the German Fleet as a grand spectacle of humiliation. The German navy thus ignored Beatty's request that its Commander-in-Chief, Erich Raeder
Erich Raeder
Erich Johann Albert Raeder was a naval leader in Germany before and during World War II. Raeder attained the highest possible naval rank—that of Großadmiral — in 1939, becoming the first person to hold that rank since Alfred von Tirpitz...

, attend his funeral – as Raeder had done at Jellicoe's funeral earlier. Raeder merely sent the German navy attache. Admiral Sir Dudley Pound
Dudley Pound
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Alfred Dudley Pickman Rogers Pound GCB OM GCVO RN was a British naval officer who served as First Sea Lord, professional head of the Royal Navy from June 1939 to September 1943.- Early life :...

 commented: 'Who wants these sinkers-of-hospital-ships and machine-gunners-of-sailors-in-the-water at Admiral Beatty's funeral anyway?'.

The Royal Navy named a King George V-class battleship
King George V class battleship (1939)
The King George V-class battleships were the most modern British battleships used during World War II. Five ships of this class were built and commissioned: King George V , Prince of Wales , Duke of York , Howe , and Anson .The Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 limiting all of the number,...

 after Beatty, but this ship was renamed HMS Howe
HMS Howe (1940)
HMS Howe was the last of the five British King George V-class battleships of the Royal Navy . Laid down in 1937 and commissioning in 1942, Howe operated during World War II as part of the British Home Fleet, the Mediterranean Force H, and the British Pacific Fleet.Following the end of the war,...

 before completion, as another battleship of the same class, intended to be named after Jellicoe, was renamed HMS Anson.
A public house in Motspur Park
Motspur Park
Motspur Park, also known locally as West Barnes is a suburb in South West London situated across the boundary between the London Borough of Merton and the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. It owes its identity to the railway station of the same name, which has six trains an hour to London's...

 is named The Earl Beatty in his honour.

A bust of Beatty rests on Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square is a public space and tourist attraction in central London, England, United Kingdom. At its centre is Nelson's Column, which is guarded by four lion statues at its base. There are a number of statues and sculptures in the square, with one plinth displaying changing pieces of...

 in London, alongside those of Jellicoe and Andrew Cunningham, Admiral of the Fleet in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.

In Toronto, Canada at 55 Woodington Blvd. there is a school named Earl Beatty Junior and Senior Public School. The school belongs to the Toronto District School Board (commonly referred to as the TDSB). The school is an active member of the eastern Toronto community and celebrates his legacy.

A street called Beattytown was built in Galway
Galway
Galway or City of Galway is a city in County Galway, Republic of Ireland. It is the sixth largest and the fastest-growing city in Ireland. It is also the third largest city within the Republic and the only city in the Province of Connacht. Located on the west coast of Ireland, it sits on the...

, Ireland in the 1920s by the Irish Soldiers' and Sailors' Land Trust
Irish Free State (Consequential Provisions) Act 1922
The Irish Free State Act 1922 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed on 5 December 1922...

 and named after Admiral Beatty, following their policy of naming streets after notable commanders of the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

.

In Singapore, a public school that was established in 1953, was named after Admiral Beatty. Beatty Secondary School adopted David Beatty's coat of arms, "Non Vi Sed Arte" and te colours as the official school colours.

Styles

  • 1871–1889: David Beatty
  • 1889–1892: Sub-Lieutenant
    Sub-Lieutenant
    Sub-lieutenant is a military rank. It is normally a junior officer rank.In many navies, a sub-lieutenant is a naval commissioned or subordinate officer, ranking below a lieutenant. In the Royal Navy the rank of sub-lieutenant is equivalent to the rank of lieutenant in the British Army and of...

     David Beatty
  • 1892–1896: Lieutenant
    Lieutenant
    A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in many nations' armed forces. Typically, the rank of lieutenant in naval usage, while still a junior officer rank, is senior to the army rank...

     David Beatty
  • 1896–1898: Lieutenant David Beatty, DSO
    Distinguished Service Order
    The Distinguished Service Order is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the British Commonwealth and Empire, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat.Instituted on 6 September...

  • 1898–1900: Commander
    Commander
    Commander is a naval rank which is also sometimes used as a military title depending on the individual customs of a given military service. Commander is also used as a rank or title in some organizations outside of the armed forces, particularly in police and law enforcement.-Commander as a naval...

     David Beatty, DSO
  • 1900–1905: Captain
    Captain (Royal Navy)
    Captain 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 or Royal Marines and to a Group Captain in the Royal Air Force. The rank of Group Captain is based on the...

     David Beatty, DSO
  • 1905–1908: Captain David Beatty, MVO, DSO
  • 1908–1910: Captain David Beatty, MVO, DSO, ADC
    Aide-de-camp
    An aide-de-camp is a personal assistant, secretary, or adjutant to a person of high rank, usually a senior military officer or a head of state...

  • 1910–1911: Rear-Admiral David Beatty, MVO, DSO
  • 1911–19 June 1914: Rear-Admiral David Beatty, CB
    Order of the Bath
    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 mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

    , MVO, DSO
  • 19 June–September 1914: Rear-Admiral Sir
    Sir
    Sir is an honorific used as a title , or as a courtesy title to address a man without using his given or family name in many English speaking cultures...

     David Beatty, KCB
    Order of the Bath
    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 mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

    , MVO, DSO
  • September 1914–1915: Rear-Admiral (Actg. Vice-Admiral) Sir David Beatty, KCB, MVO, DSO
  • 1915–27 November 1916: Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty, KCB, KCVO
    Royal Victorian Order
    The Royal Victorian Order is a dynastic order of knighthood and a house order of chivalry recognising distinguished personal service to the order's Sovereign, the reigning monarch of the Commonwealth realms, any members of her family, or any of her viceroys...

    , DSO
  • 27 November 1916 – January 1917: Vice-Admiral (Actg. Admiral
    Admiral
    Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

    ) Sir David Beatty, KCB, KCVO, DSO
  • January–25 June 1917: Vice-Admiral (Actg. Admiral) Sir David Beatty, GCB, KCVO, DSO
  • 25 June 1917 – 1 January 1919: Vice-Admiral (Actg. Admiral) Sir David Beatty, GCB, GCVO, DSO
  • 1 January – 1 May 1919: Admiral Sir David Beatty, GCB, GCVO, DSO
  • 1 May – 3 June 1919: Admiral of the Fleet
    Admiral of the Fleet
    An admiral of the fleet is a military naval officer of the highest rank. In many nations the rank is reserved for wartime or ceremonial appointments...

     Sir David Beatty, GCB, GCVO, DSO
  • 3 June – 18 October 1919: Admiral of the Fleet Sir David Beatty, GCB, OM
    Order of Merit
    The Order of Merit is a British dynastic order recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture...

    , GCVO, DSO
  • 18 October 1919–1936: Admiral of the Fleet the Right Honourable
    The Right Honourable
    The Right Honourable is an honorific prefix that is traditionally applied to certain people in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Anglophone Caribbean and other Commonwealth Realms, and occasionally elsewhere...

     the Earl Beatty
    Earl Beatty
    Earl Beatty is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1919 for the prominent naval commander Admiral of the Fleet David Beatty. He was created Baron Beatty, of the North Sea and of Brooksby in the County of Leicester, and Viscount Borodale, of Wexford in the County of...

    , GCB, OM, GCVO, DSO

British

  • Companion of the Distinguished Service Order
    Distinguished Service Order
    The Distinguished Service Order is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the British Commonwealth and Empire, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat.Instituted on 6 September...

     (DSO)-17 November 1896
  • Member Fourth Class (present-day Lieutenant) of the Royal Victorian Order
    Royal Victorian Order
    The Royal Victorian Order is a dynastic order of knighthood and a house order of chivalry recognising distinguished personal service to the order's Sovereign, the reigning monarch of the Commonwealth realms, any members of her family, or any of her viceroys...

     (MVO)-28 April 1905

  • Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB)-January 1917 (Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB)-19 June 1914; Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB)-19 June 1911)
  • Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO)-25 June 1917 (Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO)-1915)
  • Member of the Order of Merit
    Order of Merit
    The Order of Merit is a British dynastic order recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture...

     (OM)-3 June 1919
  • Earl Beatty
    Earl Beatty
    Earl Beatty is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1919 for the prominent naval commander Admiral of the Fleet David Beatty. He was created Baron Beatty, of the North Sea and of Brooksby in the County of Leicester, and Viscount Borodale, of Wexford in the County of...

    , Viscount Borodale of Wexford in the County of Wexford, Baron Beatty of the North Sea and of Brooksby in the County of Leicester-18 October 1919

Foreign

  • Order of Majid, 4th Class (Nishan-i-Majidieh) of the Ottoman Empire
    Ottoman Empire
    The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

    -1898
  • Order of St George, Fourth Class of the Russian Empire
    Russian Empire
    The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

    -1916
  • Grand Cross of the Legion d'Honneur
    Légion d'honneur
    The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the Consulat which succeeded to the First Republic, on 19 May 1802...

     of France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

    -23 May 1919(Grand Officer-15 September 1916)
  • Croix de Guerre of France-15 February 1919
  • Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Romania
    Order of the Star of Romania
    The Order of the Star of Romania is Romania's highest civil order. It is awarded by the President of Romania...

     of the Kingdom of Romania
    Kingdom of Romania
    The Kingdom of Romania was the Romanian state based on a form of parliamentary monarchy between 13 March 1881 and 30 December 1947, specified by the first three Constitutions of Romania...

    -17 March 1919
  • Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer
    Order of the Redeemer
    The Order of the Redeemer , also known as the Order of the Savior, is an order of Greece. The Order of the Redeemer is the oldest and highest decoration awarded by the modern Greek state.- History :...

     of the Kingdom of Greece
    Kingdom of Greece
    The Kingdom of Greece was a state established in 1832 in the Convention of London by the Great Powers...

    -21 June 1919
  • Distinguished Service Medal
    Distinguished Service Medal (United States)
    The Distinguished Service Medal is the highest non-valorous military and civilian decoration of the United States military which is issued for exceptionally meritorious service to the government of the United States in either a senior government service position or as a senior officer of the United...

     (United States) 16 September 1919.

Quotations

External links

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