Who's Who - Rosslyn Wemyss

Rosslyn Wemyss Admiral Rosslyn Wemyss (1864-1933) served as in active naval command positions during World War One, with postings to the Mediterranean and Egypt, and was appointed First Sea Lord in December 1917.

With a reputation as an effective administrator Wemyss' war began with command of a cruiser squadron.  The following February he was despatched to Lemnos, in the Mediterranean, with a brief to prepare the then largely unused harbour of Mudros for operations against the Dardanelles.

Having completed the task with admirable skill Wemyss was handed command of a battle squadron working along the Gallipoli Front.  However with the evacuation of the Gallipoli operation Wemyss was given a new command in January 1916, as head of the Egyptian Squadron where he aided operations on the Palestine Front (and in devising anti-submarine weapons).

Returning to the admiralty in 1917 Wemyss - by now Vice-Admiral - accepted an appointment as Deputy to the similarly energetic Naval Minister Eric Geddes.  Shortly before Christmas the same year, following Geddes' decision to dismiss First Sea Lord Sir John Jellicoe given the latter's continuing opposition to the adoption of naval convoys, Wemyss was appointed Jellicoe's replacement.

Although Wemyss enjoyed cordial relations with Geddes he was regarded warily by colleagues given the nature of Jellicoe's ousting from office.

As First Sea Lord Wemyss was in favour of the Zeebrugge raid that ultimately failed in April 1918 and also sponsored the Northern Barrage.

Wemyss attended the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 as Britain's naval representative but resigned later the same year, in November, following persistent calls for Sir David Beatty to be given his job.

Around one million Indian troops served in WW1, of which some 100,000 were either killed or wounded.

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