Osmond de Beauvoir Brock
Admiral of the Fleet
Sir Osmond de Beauvoir Brock
CB, CMG, GCB, KCB, KCMG, KCVO
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Osmond de Beauvoir Brock November 1934 © National Portrait Gallery, London.
|Born||5 January 1869|
|Died||15 October 1947 (aged 78)|
|Service Branch||Royal Navy|
|Highest Rank||, Admiral of the Fleet|
|Commands held||HMS Alacrity|
HMS King Edward VII
HMS Princess Royal
1st Battlecruiser Squadron
Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief, Grand Fleet
Deputy Chief of Naval Staff
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Osmond de Beauvoir Brock, CB, CMG, GCB, KCB, KCMG, KCVO (5 January 1869 – 15 October 1947) was a Royal Navy flag officer who went on to serve as Deputy Chief of Naval Staff from 1919 to 1921; Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Station, from 1922 to 1925 and finally Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth Station, from 1926 to 1929.
On 1 January 1882 he joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in the training ship Royal Naval College, Dartmouth (HMS Britannia). Promoted to Midshipman on 18 August 1884, he was posted to the corvette HMS Carysfort in the Mediterranean Fleet, to the barbette battleship HMS Temeraire also in the Mediterranean Fleet and then to the frigate HMS Raleigh on the Cape of Good Hope and West Coast of Africa Station. While on that station he was awarded a certificate from the Royal Humane Society for saving a man from drowning. He joined the corvette HMS Active in the Training Squadron in November 1887 before being promoted to Sub-Lieutenant on 14 August 1888. Promoted to Lieutenant, after first classes in every subject and maximum seniority, on 14 February 1889, Brock joined the battleship HMS Trafalgar, flagship of the Second-in-Command, Mediterranean Station, in April 1890.
After attending the gunnery school HMS Excellent, he became gunnery officer in the turret ship HMS Devastation at Devonport in August 1894. He went on to be gunnery officer in the cruiser HMS Cambrian in the Mediterranean Fleet in October 1894 and gunnery officer in the battleship HMS Ramillies, flagship of the Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Station, in November 1895. Promoted to Commander on 1 January 1900, he became executive officer in the battleship HMS Repulse in the Channel Squadron in January 1901 and executive officer in the battleship HMS Renown, flagship of the Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Station, in August 1901. In July 1902 it was announced that he was appointed to HMS Albion, second flagship of the China Station, but the appointment was cancelled the following week. He was briefly posted to HMS Empress of India, serving in the Home Fleet, in early November 1902, but in January 1903 he became commanding officer of the despatch vessel HMS Alacrity, serving on the China Station.
Promoted to Captain on 1 January 1904, Brock became commanding officer of the yacht HMS Enchantress in May 1904 and then became Flag Captain to the Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Station in the battleship HMS Bulwark in May 1905. He went on to be Assistant Director of Naval Intelligence, Naval Intelligence Department at the Admiralty (HMS President) in Autumn 1906 and then became Flag Captain to the Vice-Admiral Commanding, Second Division of the Home Fleet in the battleship HMS King Edward VII in March 1909 before returning to the Admiralty as Assistant Director of Naval Mobilisation Naval Mobilisation Department in August 1910. After that he became commanding officer of the battlecruiser HMS Princess Royal in August 1912. He was appointed an Aide-de-Camp to King George V on 24 October 1913. During the First World War Brock commanded HMS Princess Royal at the Battle of Heligoland Bight in August 1914 and the Battle of Dogger Bank in January 1915. Appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath on 3 March 1914.
- Flag Appointments
He was promoted to Rear-Admiral on 5 March 1915, he became commander of the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron with his flag in HMS Princess Royal and saw action in that capacity at the Battle of Jutland in May 1916. During that battle Brock played an important role repeating messages from Vice Admiral Sir David Beatty, Commander of the Battle Cruiser Fleet, whose radio was out of action. Brock was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George on 31 May 1916.] When Beatty was appointed Commander-in-Chief, Grand Fleet in November 1916, he took Brock with him as his Chief of Staff. Brock was appointed a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order on 25 June 1917, advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George on 1 January 1918[ and advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 5 April 1919.
In July 1919 Brock was appointed Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, Admiralty Naval Staff in London and a member of the Board of Admiralty. On 3rd October 1919 he was promoted to Vice-Admiral. In April 1922 he was next appointed Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Station with his flag in the battleship HMS Iron Duke. Following the Turkish victory in Anatolia at the end of the Greco-Turkish War in August 1922, Brock organised the rescue of fleeing Greek civilians and, by skillful deployment of his ships, he dissuaded the advancing Turks, led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, from attacking the British garrison at Chanak in the Dardanelles neutral zone in September 1922. For his diplomatic handling of the Chanak Crisis, Brock was commended by Leo Amery, the First Lord of the Admiralty, in the House of Commons in 1923.
On 31st July 1924 he was advanced to the rank of Admiral, and moved his flag to the battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth later that year. In July 1926 he was appointed Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth Station, having been advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 1 March 1929 and promoted to Admiral of the Fleet on 31 July 1929. He retired in July 1934. He attended the funeral of King George V in January 1936 and died at his home in Winchester on 14 October 1947.
- "Brock, Adm. of the Fleet Sir Osmond de Beauvoir, (5 Jan. 1869–14 Oct. 1947), JP West Sussex; Trustee of National Maritime Museum since 1936". WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO (2020). London and Oxford: A & C Black and Oxford University Press. 1 December 2007. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u223046. Retrieved 9 October 2020.