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Philip Nelson Ward

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Name  Philip Nelson-Ward
Service/branch  Royal Navy

Relations  Horatia Nelson (grandmother) Lord Nelson (great grandfather)
Died  June 27, 1937, London, United Kingdom

Commands held  Director of Navigation

Admiral Philip Nelson-Ward (1866–27 June 1937) was a British Royal Navy officer and courtier.


Naval service

Nelson-Ward was the son of a clergyman who was a grandson of Lord Nelson through his daughter Horatia. He entered the Royal Navy at the age of thirteen. In 1882, while a midshipman in the Bacchante class corvette HMS Euryalus, he saw active service in Egypt. In 1886, he was commissioned sub-lieutenant. In April 1887 he joined HMS Tourmaline and in October 1887 HMS Comus. In April 1889 he was promoted lieutenant and specialised in navigation, remaining a navigating officer throughout his career. In April 1889 he rejoined HMS Tourmaline, in February 1890 he joined HMS Sphinx, in November 1893 the protected cruiser HMS Thames, in January 1894 the protected cruiser HMS Aeolus, and in July 1897 the battleship HMS Barfleur.

He served in the Barfleur during the Boxer Rebellion, after which he was promoted commander in June 1900. In February 1901 he was appointed navigating officer of the liner HMS Ophir, which was commissioned by the Royal Navy for the tour of the British Empire conducted by the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York. After the tour had ended, he was in March 1902 appointed navigating officer of the battleship HMS Bulwark, which was to become flagship of the Mediterranean Fleet two months later. In February 1904 he joined the battleship HMS Albion, flagship of the China Station.

In January 1905 he was promoted captain. He commanded the cruiser HMS Indefatigable in the West Indies from 1906 to 1908, the Admiralty yacht HMS Enchantress from 1908 to 1911, and the battleship HMS Formidable with the Atlantic Fleet from April 1911 to 1912. In December 1912 he was appointed Assistant Hydrographer of the Navy. In September 1913 he was appointed to the new post of Director of Navigation, a post he held until his retirement in June 1916, when he was promoted rear-admiral.

In 1917 he was recalled to service in the organisation of the North Atlantic convoys, where he remained until the end of the First World War. In 1918 he became manager of the Lord Roberts Memorial London Workshops, holding the post until 1921. In 1919 he was also appointed Gentleman Usher to the King, holding the post until the death of George V in 1936. He also devoted considerable time to the welfare of Merchant Navy personnel, and was president of the Officers' (Merchant Navy) Federation, which he was instrumental in setting up, from 1928.

Nelson-Ward was appointed Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO) in December 1901 for his services in HMS Ophir, and promoted to Commander (CVO) in the 1936 Birthday Honours. He was promoted vice-admiral on the retired list in July 1920 and admiral in May 1925.


He was married to the Honourable Dorothy Caulfeild, daughter of Viscount Charlemont. She was killed with her sister Rachel during an air raid on Bath on 27 April 1942.


Philip Nelson-Ward Wikipedia

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