Who's Who - Sir William Pakenham

Sir William Christopher Pakenham (1861-1933) served with the Royal Navy during the Battle of Jutland in June 1916 and thereafter as Commander-in-Chief of the Battle Cruiser Fleet.

Pakenham entered the Royal Navy in 1874.  During the 1904 Russo-Japanese War Pakenham served with the Japanese fleet.

An intelligent, shrewd and witty officer, Pakenham was promoted in due course to Rear-Admiral in 1914, the year war broke out in Europe.  He was given command of the 3rd Cruiser Squadron, and subsequently led 2nd Battle Cruiser Squadron during the Battle of Jutland.

During the famous encounter with the German High Seas Fleet Pakenham was aboard HMS New Zealand, which remarkably emerged from the fighting undamaged.  He was knighted the same year.

With Sir David Beatty's promotion as commander of the Grand Fleet in December 1916 Pakenham was given the former's post as Commander-in-Chief of the Battle Cruiser Fleet, a position he retained until the end of the war.

Having been promoted to Vice-Admiral in 1918 Pakenham subsequently served as President of the Royal Naval College from 1919-20 and then as Commander-in-Chief in the North Atlantic and West Indies.

He died in 1933.

The first zeppelin raid on London was on 31 May 1915.  Earlier raids in January 1915 had avoided London.  The London raid resulted in 28 deaths and 60 injuries.

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Who's Who