Naval Assistant to the First Sea Lord

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Office of the
Naval Assistant to the First Sea Lord
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Department of Admiralty
NominatorFirst Lord of the Admiralty
Term lengthnot fixed
usually 1-4 years
FormationDecember 1905
First holderCaptain Charles E. Madden
Final holderCaptain John F. Coward
AbolishedSeptember 2014

The Naval Assistant to the First Sea Lord also known as the Executive Assistant to the First Sea Lord was a senior appointment of the British Royal Navy established in 1905 until 2014.[1] The post holder was responsible for assisting the First Sea Lord in the discharging of his duties and responsible for administrative and secretarial work within the private office of the First Sea Lord.


Prior to 1905 the Sea Lords were without a specific naval officer responsible for secretarial duties within their respective offices, that particular duty was undertaken by random secretaries selected from within the secretarial pool at the Admiralty.[2] The first incumbent was Captain, Charles E. Madden. The post holder was primarily responsible for administrative and secretarial duties within the private office of the First Sea Lord. Occasionally they were referred to as the Executive Assistant to the First Sea Lord. They were occasionally in attendance with 1SL at Navy Board meetings.[3] The final incumbent was Commander, David J.D. Dominy.[4] Until 2010 the naval assistant usually held the rank of Captain later Commander.[5]

Office Holders


  1. Captain Charles E. Madden: December 1905-August 1907
  2. Captain Archibald G.H.W. Moore: August 1907-December 1908
  3. Captain Henry F. Oliver: December 1908-January 1912
  4. Captain Charles M. de Bartolome: January 1912-August 1914
  5. Captain T. Percy H. Beamish: August–October 1914
  6. Captain Thomas E. Crease: October 1914-May 1915
  7. Captain A. Dudley P.R. Pound: January–October 1915
  8. Captain Allan F. Everett: July 1915-December 1916
  9. Captain Edward M. Phillpotts: December 1916-October 1917
  10. Captain John P.R. Marriott: April 1918-November 1919
  11. Captain Roger M. Bellairs: November 1919-October 1925
  12. Captain Sidney R. Bailey: October 1925-November 1927
  13. Captain William M. James: November 1927-March 1929
  14. Captain Herbert Fitzherbert: March 1929-? 1930
  15. Captain Guy Grantham: June 1939-May 1940
  16. Captain Cecil C.A.Allen: May 1940-May 1941
  17. Captain John W.A. Waller: May 1941-March 1942
  18. Captain Francis H.W. Goolden: March 1942-February 1943
  19. Captain Geoffrey Thistleton-Smith: February 1943-January 1945
  20. Captain George K. Collett: January 1945-February 1946
  21. Captain Sir Charles E. Madden, Bt.: February 1946-July 1947
  22. Captain Walter A. Adair: July 1947-September 1948
  23. Captain Christopher T. Jellicoe: September 1948-September 1950
  24. Captain Peter W. Gretton: September 1950-May 1952
  25. Captain Charles W. Malins: May 1952-April 1954
  26. Captain F. Brian P. Brayne-Nicholls: April 1954-December 1955
  27. Captain Peter N. Howes: December 1955-December 1957
  28. Captain L. Derek Empson: December 1957-August 1959
  29. Captain J. Anthony R. Troup: August 1959-August 1961
  30. Captain David Williams: August 1961-January 1964
  31. Captain David G. Roome: January 1964-March 1966
  32. Captain Michael R. Collins: March 1966-April 1968
  33. Captain Martin La T. Wemyss: April 1968 – 1970
  34. Captain John F. Cadell: 1970-August 1972
  35. Captain David G. Armytage: August 1972-July 1974
  36. Captain Richard G.A. Fitch: July 1974-May 1976
  37. Captain D. Benjamin Bathurst: May 1976-June 1978
  38. Captain John F. Coward: June 1978-June 1980
  39. Captain George M. Tullis: June 1980-January 1983
  40. Captain John F.S. Trinder: January 1983-September 1984
  41. Captain Thomas M. Le Marchand: September 1984-August 1986
  42. Captain Peter M. Franklyn: August 1986-April 1988
  43. Captain William C. McKnight: April–December 1988
  44. Captain R. John Lippiett: December 1988 – 1990
  45. Captain Michael G. Wood: 1991-1992
  46. Captain A. James G. Miller: 1993-1998
  47. Captain Ian F. Corder: 1999-2001
  48. Captain James A. Morse: 2002-November 2004
  49. Captain Jeremy J.F. Blunden: November 2004-November 2006
  50. Commander William N. Entwisle: 2007-2008
  51. Captain James D. Morley: 2009-2010
  52. Commander Iain S. Lower: 2010-2011
  53. Commander David J.D. Dominy: September 2012-September 2014


  1. Mackie, Colin (October 2018). "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865: Naval Assistant to First Sea Lord" (PDF). Scotland, United Kingdom: C. Mackie. p. 59. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  2. Jellicoe, John Rushworth (2018). "Admiralty Organisation the Changes In". The Crisis of the Naval War: British Royal Navy in World War I: Admiralty Organization, Submarine & Anti-Submarine Operations, Entry of the United States in the War, Minesweeping Services. London, England: e-artnow. ISBN 9788026882732.
  3. Hayman p.45.
  4. Mackie p.60.
  5. Mackie p.59.
  6. Mackie pp.59-60.