View Full Version : Admiral Sir Herbert Heath

23-10-2009, 16:48
Admiral Sir Herbert Heath

Admiral Sir Herbert Leopold Heath, K.C.B., M.V.O., who in the 1914-18 War served in charge of Portsmouth Dockyard, in the Grand Fleet, and as Second Sea Lord of the Admiralty, and who was the senior admiral of the cruiser line at the battle of Jutland, died on Friday, after a very short illness, at the age of 92. He was the son of Admiral Sir Leopold George Heath, K.C.B., who saw fighting in Borneo in 1846 and during the war with. Russia, and was born on December 27, 1861. He entered the Royal Navy as a cadet in the Britannia in July, 1874, and his first ship as midshipman was the screw frigate Shah, flagship of Admiral Sir Algernon de Horsey in the Pacific. In her he took part in the engagement with the Peruvian rebel turret ship Huascar. Off the town of Ylo, on May 29, 1877. The action was indecisive, but the Huascar surrendered to the Peruvian Fleet next day. Promoted Sub-Lieutenant in 1880, Heath, after study at Greenwich and Portsmouth, joined the brig Seaflower, employed in training seaman boys at Portland, and, in 1882, the iron armour-plated ship Northampton, flagship of Admiral Commerell in the West Indies. Returning three years later as a Lieutenant, he elected to specialise in the torpedo branch, and joined the Vernon for this purpose in company with Sir Reginald Bacon, Sir Charles Madden, Sir Alexander Duff, and other officers who became famous in the 1914-18 War. At the time he completed his course, a torpedo expert was needed in the Victorian Naval Defence Force, and early in 1888 he went to Australia for this service.

Three years later he became torpedo Lieutenant of the battleship Nile in the Mediterranean, and in July, 1892, he joined the flagship on the station, the ill-fated Victoria. He survived the destruction of that ship by collision with the Camperdown on June 2, 1893, when 372 officers and men were drowned, and with other officers who were equally fortunate he eventually joined the new flagship Ramillies. Sir George Aston, who was then a captain of Marines in the latter ship, said that he thought Ramillies held the record on that commission for. harbouring embryo admirals; and in his reminiscences he gave a list of 11 officers, then captains, commanders, or lieutenants, who all became admirals on the active list and served either in the 1914-18 War or in the years immediately preceding it. Promoted to commander in June, 1896, Heath was appointed in that year to the Camperdown, in the Mediterranean, and in 1899 to the Powerful, cruiser, from which he returned for duty in the Naval Intelligence Department at the Admiralty.

On January 1, 1902, he was promoted to captain and, appointed Assistant-Director of Naval Intelligence for two years; returning to sea service as captain of the torpedo dep6t-ship Vulcan in the Mediterranean. He afterwards commanded the Repulse, in reserve at Chatham, and the cruiser Lancaster, in the Mediterranean, where he received the M.V.O. in commemoration of escort duty with the royal yacht during King. Edward's visit to Malta in April, 1907. From August, 1908, to August, 1910, he held the important post of Naval Attache at Berlin. On his return he commanded the battleship Superb until advanced to Rear-Admiral on September 19, 1911. In the following May Heath was appointed Admiral-Superintendent of Portsmouth Dockyard, and was so employed when war broke out. Although very successful in administrative work, he was anxious to perform active service, and accordingly on October 24, 1915, he hoisted his flag in the Minotaur in command of the Second Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet. Lord Jellicoe's dispatch on the battle of Jutland shows that "during the action between the battle fleets, the Second Cruiser Squadron, ably commanded by Rear-Admiral Herbert L. Heath, occupied a position at the van of the battle fleet and acted as a connecting link between the battle fleet and the battle cruiser fleet. This squadron, although it carried out useful work, did not have an opportunity of coming into action." Heath was awarded the C.B. for his services in the Second Cruiser Squadron, and in December 1916, was made an acting Vice-Admiral and appointed to the command of the Channel Fleet, with his flag in the Dreadnought. The K.C.B. was conferred upon him in June 1917.

In September of that year he took office as Second Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Personnel, and it was under his direction that after the armistice the work of demobilising the Fleet was begun. On March 30, 1919, he hoisted his flag as Commander-in-Chief at Rosyth. He retired at his own request in June 1922. He married, as a lieutenant in 1891, Elizabeth Catherine, the daughter of the late Colin Simson, of Mongadal, Hay, New South Wales. She died in 1951. They had two daughters.

dennis a feary
26-10-2009, 16:56
QPR - awards to Adm. Heath ;

HEATH Herbert L CB., MVO Rear Admiral RN 78A145 N/E
C-in-C Grand Fleet 15.09.16 Gazetted
Battle of Jutland 31.05.16 Mentioned in Despatches
Would have been recommended for an honour had he not so recently received the C.B.

HEATH Herbert L CB., MVO Vice Admiral RN 78A080
Commanding 3rd Battle Squadron N/E 04.06.17 Gazetted
Grand Fleet KCB
For services in command of the 3rd Battle Squadron.

HEATH Herbert L MVO Rear Admiral RN 78A080
Commanding 2nd Cruiser Squadron N/E 03.06.16 Gazetted
Grand Fleet CB
For services in command of the 2nd Cruiser Squadron.