Third Sea Lord

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Office of the Third Sea Lord
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Department of Admiralty
Navy Department
Member ofBoard of Admiralty (1904-1964)
Admiralty Board (1964-1965)
Navy Board (1964-1965)
Reports toFirst Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff
AppointerFirst Lord of the Admiralty (1904-1964)
Minister of State for the Royal Navy (1964-1965)
Subject to formal approval by the Queen-in-Council
Term lengthNot fixed (typically 3–4 years)
PrecursorThird Naval Lord
First holderRear-Admiral Sir Henry Jackson
Final holderAdmiral Sir Michael Le Fanu
SuccessionController of the Navy

The Third Sea Lord (abbreviated as 3SL) replaced the earlier office of Third Naval Lord in 1904 due to a name change and retained the joint title of Controller of the Navy. In 1917 his joint title Controller of the Navy was altered to Chief of Naval Materiel before reverting back again in 1918. In 1965 the office of the Third Sea Lord was abolished.[1]

The post holder is responsible for procurement and matériel in the British Royal Navy, and was originally he was a member of the Board of Admiralty and later a member of the Admiralty Board.

Office Holders


  1. Rear-Admiral Sir Henry Jackson, 1904–1908
  2. Rear-Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, 1908–1910
  3. Rear-Admiral Charles Briggs, 1910–1912
  4. Rear-Admiral Gordon Moore, 1912
  5. Rear-Admiral Gordon Moore, 1912–1914
  6. Rear-Admiral Frederick Tudor, 1914–1917
  7. Rear-Admiral Lionel Halsey, 1917–1918 and as Chief of Naval Materiel
  8. Rear-Admiral Sir Charles de Bartolomé, 1918–1919
  9. Rear-Admiral Sir William Nicholson, 1919–1920
  10. Rear-Admiral Sir Frederick Field, 1920–1923
  11. Rear-Admiral Cyril Fuller, 1923–1925
  12. Vice-Admiral Sir Ernle Chatfield, 1925–1928
  13. Vice-Admiral Roger Backhouse, 1928–1932
  14. Vice-Admiral Charles Forbes, 1932–1934
  15. Admiral Sir Reginald Henderson, 1934–1939
  16. Vice-Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser, 1939–1942
  17. Admiral Sir Frederic Wake-Walker, 1942–1945
  18. Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Daniel, 1945–1949
  19. Admiral Sir Michael Denny, 1949–1953
  20. Admiral Sir Ralph Edwards, 1953–1956
  21. Admiral Sir Peter Reid, 1956–1961
  22. Admiral Sir Michael Le Fanu, 1961–1965


  1. Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony (8 December 2018). "Third Sea Lord - The Dreadnought Project". Harley and Lovell. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  2. Mackie, Colin (January 2020). "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865" (PDF). gulabin. C. Mackie. p. 9. Retrieved 24 January 2020.