Who's Who - Sir Lionel Halsey

Sir Lionel Halsey Sir Lionel Halsey (1872-1949) served at the naval battles of Heligoland Bight, Dogger Bank and Jutland prior to his appointment as Fourth Sea Lord in December 1916.

Having joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1885 he was promoted to Lieutenant eight years later.  He served in the South African War of 1899-1902, during the course of which he played a role in the defence of Ladysmith.  He was promoted Commander in 1901 and Captain four years later.

In the pre-war years before 1914 Halsey served as Flag Captain to the Commander-in-Chief, Australia, Sir Wilmot Fawkes.  1912 brought Halsey command of HMS New Zealand.

Halsey saw more wartime service than many of his contemporaries.  In August 1914 he again commanded HMS New Zealand, and once more at Dogger Bank five months later.

Called upon by Sir John Jellicoe, the commander of the Grand Fleet, to be his Captain of the Fleet in June 1915, he was on board HMS Iron Duke during the Battle of Jutland on 31 May/1 June 1916.

Subsequently promoted to Rear-Admiral he became Fourth Sea Lord in December 1916 when he followed Jellicoe to the Admiralty (where the latter was appointed First Sea Lord).  Eric Geddes' appointment as First of the Admiralty in July (replacing Sir Edward Carson) brought Halsey a brief to oversee naval design.

In October 1918 - the month before the war ended - Halsey was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Navy.

Sir Lionel Halsey, who was knighted in 1918, died in 1949.

A "dogfight" signified air combat at close quarters.

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