Admiral of the Fleet
Sir Andrew Browne Cunningham
K.T., G.C.B., O.M., D.S.O. (2 Bars)
Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope

Updated 18-Oct-2007

Admiral of the Fleet Sir Roger Blackhouse

Personal Details
Event Date / details Source
Date of Birth 7 January 1883 1
Place of Birth Dublin 1
Name of father D.J. Cunningham 1
Profession of father M.D., F.R.S., T.C.D. 1
Wife's Name Nora Christine Byatt 1
Date of Marriage 21 December 1929 1
Place of Marriage All Saints' Church, Hockerill, Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire 1
Date of Death 12 June 1963 3
Place of Burial    

Rank History
Rank Date attained Source
Naval Cadet 15 January 1897 1
Midshipman 15 June 1898 1
Sub-Lieutenant 07 January 1902 1
Lieutenant 31 March 1904 1
Lieutenant-Commander 31 March 1912 1
Commander 30 June 1915 1
Captain 31 December 1919 1
Rear-Admiral 24 September 1932 1
Vice-Admiral 22 July 1936 1
Acting Admiral 01 June 1939 1
Admiral 03 January 1941 1
Admiral of the Fleet    

Honours and Knighthoods
Honour or Knighthood Date awarded Date Gazetted Source
Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.) 14 March 1916 14 March 1916 4
Belgian Croix de Guerre 17 January 1919 Not found 1
Bar to Distinguished Service Order 18 February 1919 18 February 1919 4
Second Bar to Distinguished Service Order 8 March 1920 5 March 1920 4
Aide de Camp to His Majesty King George V 13 February 1932 Not found 1
Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (C.B.) 4 June 1934 1 June 1934 4
Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (K.C.B.) 2 January 1939 30 December 1938 4
Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (G.C.B.) 4 March 1941 4 March 1941 4
Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle (K.T.) 1 January 1945 29 December 1944 4
Created Baron (Birthday Honours) 11 June 1942 5 June 1942 4
Created Viscount 1 January 1946 28 December 1945 4
Order of Merit (O.M.) (Recipient number 79) 13 June 1946 4 June 1946 4

Rewards & Distinctions
Source: ADM 196/47 - Service History
Gained 7 mos time on passing out of Britannia
Awarded D.S.O. Gaz 14-Mar-16
Belgian Croix de Guerre Gaz 17-Jan-19
Bar to D.S.O. Gazette 20-Feb-19
2nd Bar to D.S.O. Gaz 8-Mar-20
CW 3156-31 Awarded G.S.P. £150p.a. 8-Apr-31
Second Class of Order of the Icelandic Falcon Restricted permiossion CW 5838/30
CW1369/32 Apptd A.D.C. 13-Feb-32
C.B. Ldn Gaz of 4-Jun-34
Invalid at B.P. on 9-Jul-35
K.C.B. New Year Honours Jan 1939 Gazette 2-Jan-1939
G.C.B. L Gazette 4-Mar-41
Baronetcy conferred 11-Jun-42
K.T. Gazette 1-Jan-45
Baron - 17-Aug-45
Viscount 1-Jan-46
Order of Merit 13-Jun-46
Gazette 2-Jul-46 The Navy Distinguished Service Medal (U.S.A.)
Supp Gaz 11-Apr-47 Grand Cross of the Royal Order of George I with Swords (1st Cl.)

Source: ADM 196/47 - Service History
Rated Mid without exam
Passed Seamanship 7-Jan-02 1st Cl. 915 mks
Passed Navigation Pt I Mar-02 2nd 902 mks
Passed Navigation Pt II Jun-02 2nd 91345/2000
Passed Pilotage Oct-02, 2nd Cl. 860/1000
Passed Gunnery Jan-03, 2nd 830/1000
Passed Torpedo Mar-03, 1st 184/200
Passed (N) for cd. of (T) Craft April 1911

Special Attainments or Qualifications

Service / Appointments History
Ship Station Date of
Date of
Cause Source
Britannia T. Ship 15-Jan-97     1
Fox Cape 15-May-98 May 99 Doris 1
Doris (by C in C) Cape May 99 Oct 00   1
Hannibal Channel 15 Dec 00 15 July 01 Martin 1
Martin (St. Vincent) Portsmouth 15 July 01 1 Nov 01   1
Diadem Ch. S 1 Nov 01 27 Jan 02 Coll 1
Implacable Medn 27 Mch 03 16.9.03   1
Orion add for Locust Medn 16.9.03 21.12.03 P.O. 1
Orion add for Orwell Medn 21.12.03 31.3.04 prom 1
?Southampton?   04 11.04   1
Hawke Tg Ship 11.04 14.4.06 P.O. 1
Suffolk Med 3.7.06 27.4.08 P.O. 1
Scylla ?Maurs?
----- June 1906-----
?Hecla? for T.B. 14 in cd. PO 13.5.08 24.1.10   1
?Toparze? for Vulture in cd PO 24.1.10 15.8.10   1
Hecla for Roebank in cd.   15.8.10 16.12.10 P.O. 1
Blenheim for Scorpion in cd.   10.1.00 24.7.16 P.O. 1
Reappd in promotion   30.6.16     1
Blenheim for Rattlesnake in Cd.   4.8.16 2.10.16   1
Blenheim for Scorpion in Cd. - by C in C   2.10.16 29.1.18
Hecla for Ophelia ?Tempy? 11-2-18 29.3-18   1
???? for ?Tomaquant? in cd.   29.3.18 20.2.19   1
????? for Seafire   20.2.19     1
"Vivid" addl. for unemployed time not exceeding 6 mos   1.12.19     1
President addl as President of Sub Commission "C" of the Naval Inter Allied Commission of Control   29.9.20 4.10.21 Ceased 1
Victory addl for Senior Officers Technical Course   24/4/22     1
"Wallace" in command & as Captain (D) 1st Destroyer Flot   19/12/22     1
Reappointed on recomg     1.7.24 Supd 1
Columbine in cd. & as Capt. in Charge ?Vot? Edgar Base   15.10.24     1
& as K.H.M. Rosyth   1.4.26     1
Calcutta addl   9.5.26     1
Calcutta in comd on recomg & as Flag Capt & Chief of Staff to C in C NH & WI on transfer of Flag   11.5.26     1
Despatch in Cd & as Flag Capt & chief of Staff to CinC America & West Indies on transfer of Flag   1.28 7/28 Supd 1
President addl for Senior Offrs Course at Army School Sheerness   1.10.28     1
Victory Addl for 2 days   5.8.28     1
President addl for Imperial Defence Co   14.1.29 15.12.29   1
Rodney in Cd. & on recomg   15.12.29 16.12.30 Supd 1
President for S.O.W.C.   16.3.31   Cancelled 1
Pembroke in Cd. and as Commodore 2nd Cl in Cd. of RN ??? ???????   6.7.31 30.1.33 Supd 1
Senior Officers Tactical Cse   8.5.33     1
Senior Offrs Technical Cse 5/7/33   14.8.33     1
Rear Admiral (D) Cdg Destroyer Flotillas Mediterranean in succession to FF Rose   2.12.33     1
(To assume Cd abt. 30/12/33)     29.4.36 (Date ascertained from P.M. 20/10/38)   1
Assumed Comd   1.1.34 12.35 Supd
(DL 29/6/35)
Victory addl SO Tech Crse DL 16/12 11.1.37     1
V.A.C. B.C.S. & 2nd in cd. Medn. tempy vice VA In S Blake (Jul) (DL 3/7/37)   3.7.37 21.8.38   1
Assumed command Acqt 100/37 15.7.37     1
(?? DL of 29/12/37)
To be a Lord Comr of the Admy & D.C.N.S. (C.W. 5936/38) DL 16/5
  11.38 5.39 Supd DL 18/5 1
To be Commander-in-Chief Mediterranean with acting rank of Adml in succession to Adl Sir Dudley Pound (CW 9501/39) (DL 18/5)   1.6.39     1

Source: ADM 196/47 - Service History
Date of Report General Conduct Ability Professional knowledge, specifying any particular branch Whether temperate habits Special knowledge or acquirements (Languages, Drawing, & c.) Remarks, mentioning any special defects or high qualifications as regards Zeal, Judgment, Physical Qualities, & c., and if specially recommended for advancement. Remarks
Jan 99 VGI VG   Yes     Capt. Henderson
?July? 05 VGI VGI VGI Yes Gd. comd. Recd for TBD Capt Horsley
May 06 VGI VG VG Yes Zealous and tactful. Is a promising officer. Capt. Miller
Ap 08 VGI VG VG Yes Zealous and active Capt Wemyss
12/09 Most capable TB Offr Capt. Tyrwhitt
8/10 VG VGI   Yes Zealous. Full of common sense & good judgment. Strongly recd for Running Flotilla. Capt. Tyrwhitt
2/11 VGI VG VGI Yes Very zealous officer. Excellent Destroyer Officer Capt. Silver
8/12 VGI VGI VGI Yes Zealous & capable. Handles ship well. Recd. Cdre Arbuthnot
2/13 VGI VGI VGI Yes First rate destroyer Offr. Splendid zeal & judgt. Strongly recd. Capt. Carrey
11.13 All VGI   Great zeal. Sd Judgt. Ship in excellent order. Srongly recd. Capt. Fox
11.16 Sat Expl a   Exceptional Destroyer Offr - every neessary qualification. Capt. Coode
3.5.19 Sat Ex (b)   Exceedingly sealous & capable C.O. Has brought his vessel highly efficient. Fine personality. G. Leader & disciplinarian. G. judgement. Ex capable ship handler. V/A Keyes

Special Reports or Service
Source: ADM 196/47 - Service History
Landed at Cape - to accompany Major Peile RML as ??? (Tel 17 Mch/00)
Left for England 15 Oct 00 in SS "Lake Erie"
Arrived in England 10 Nov 00
A.L.N. 18142/01 of 2.1.02 - Excused writing up log & journal for period 28 Feb 00 to 15 Dec 00, whilst landed with Naval Brigade & on passage home.
NH 26/02 Joined R.N. College for study 21 Jan 1902
L. 15212 5 Nov 02 Reported for having with other created a disturbance in Tea Room of RN Coll Ports causing damage to extent of £7-10/0
NL 4292 Mch 03 Conduct to compln of courses generally satisfactory. Cap. Barrow
Watchkeeping certificate granted March 04
Return to England
1/05 Noted to qual in G duties
NL12210/08 Blame due in connection with dangerous night firing of TB 14, shots falling ashore at Bembridge. Cautioned.
NL 6308/09 Very sat Inspn of TB 14 Nov 08
Very sat inspn TB14 by Capt Tyrwhitt N.L. 10752/9/09
To exchange tempy with Lt. Callaghan of Racehorse 7/9/10
NL 11168 Sep 10 Very satis Inspn of Vulture TL apprecn expressed
Subject to passing necy exams within 3 mths
Ct. of Inquiry to investigate punishment of a leading signalman of "Scorpion" - informed that T.L.s are highly displeased with his conduct (losing his temper and making use of improper and exasperating language to a subordinate); warned to be more careful of his language in future. N.L. 3733/11
N.L. 9882/11 Satis inspn of Scorpion
NL 7614 July 12 Vy Satis Inspn of Scorpion excpr drill
NL 6633 Jan 13 Satis Inspn of Scorpion
Recd addl by Adl Callaghan Oct 13
Recd by V Adl Carden Oct 14
Approached within 1000 yards of E. 15 wne grounded in an attempt to destroy her under heavy fire at close range (operations 19.3.15 24.4.15 M. 03928/15)
MO 1332/16 An officer of the Destroyer Flotilla specially recommended for good services performed
Commended for service in action. Dardinelles to 20/26 April 1915. Ran his destroyer close in shore after dark on night of 4th March 1915 & sent whalers ashore to bring off officers & men after landing operations in a skilful manner. ?Gazette? 16.8.15 (MO 2657/15)
Mentioned for service during Gallipoli landing. 20/26 April 1915
Carried out minesweeping operations inside Dardinelles in saty manner, frequently under heavy fire. Gazette 16.8.15 MO 533/15
Recd. for promotion 6.16 VA de Robeck
CW 56852/18 Granted Belgian Croix de Guerre Gaz. 17.1.19
C.W. 2174/19 Awarded Bar to D.S.O. for services in Destroyers of the Dover Patrol between 1.7 & 11.11.18 Gazette 20.2.19
For details see Gazette of 2.5.9
Invested by the King with Bar to D.S.O. at Buckingham Palace on 31.7.19

N.L. 2980/19 Report of ????? of H.M.S. Seafire on 15.7.19 speed combined with shallow water direct cause. Cautioned as to care when in difficult navaigational waters; no further disciplinary action

CW 1259/20 Awarded a Second Bar to D.S.O. for distinguished services in Command of H.M.S. Seafire in the Baltic 1919 Gaz 8.3.20
Recd for promotion Dec 1919 - Cdre Tweedie & R/Ad Cowan
19/8/20 Noted for S.O.'s Technical Course
Tel to Naval Control Berlin 1.10.20 Leaving Grimsby for Hamburg & Heligoland p.m. 2.10.20
Mentioned in Despatches Gaz 14.3.16
4.10.21 Admtd Chatham, Haemordoids, 1 month
18.10.21 Placed on Victory 28 days ??? 4.10.21 to 31.10.21 incl
21.11.21 Dischgd fit
Appln for SO courses 1922 noted 26.11.21
28.11.21 Contd on Victory 20 days ???? from 1.11.21 to 20.11.21 incl
for ????? 2 months from 21.11.21 (date of discharge) at Chatham
12.12.21 Contd on Victory 43 days ???? 21.11.21 to 2.1.22
30.1.22 ?Survey? ??? at Queensferry forthwith
6.2.22 Resurveyed at South Queensferry & found fit
17/2/22 Contd on ??? Victory for 34 days ???? 3/1/22 - 5.2.22 Incl
?NIACC? ALCW / M 42301/22 of 2.9.22
8 days leave from 14/4/24 approved
NL 5754/23 Wallace inspection Report 19/10/23 by RA (D) Brand. Great credit for the efficiency, cleanliness & good order in all depts. is due to C.O.
CW2465/26 Sick on shore 6.3.26- in nursing home in Edinburgh - 3 weeks
Resumed duty 3/4/26
N>1131/26 apptd Admy representative on Dundee Harbour Trust & ?Forth? Conservancy Board vice Captain A Cochrane 1/4/26
NL1419/26 succeeded by Rear Adl ?Bowing? 2/6/26
Joined Army School Sheerness 1/10/28
CW 5838/30 FO infd no ?? to acceptance of Icelandic Decoration (Order of Icelandic Falcon) provided King granted permisson to accept & wear it.
CW 10900/30 - Admitted Plymouth Hospital 15/12/30 Discharged for 10 weeks sick leave on 16/12/30 for treaatment (at ?????????)
Resurvey AT Haslar 24/2/31
CW 1959/31 Found fit 24/2/31
CW 1959/31 Placed on Victory for ?fpsl? for the period 27/1/31 to 23/2/31 incl
CW 2343/31 - ??? on Victory for ??? for the period 24/2/31 to 27/5/31 incl
Resume? at ?Stanlie? on 28/5/31
CW 5756/31 - Found fit 28/5/31
M. 02266/36 Mentioned by C in C Med. for exceptional services during the emergency 1935/3
M.F./M.D.0/10376/35 Secret. O.A. G./37 To be chairman of Committee to consider various questions of ventilation in warships
CW 2101/37 To be paid ??? & ??? expenses while at SOTC, and afterwards Comttee pay & allcs for duty with Ventilation Cmttee
See Daily List of 29.12.37 as to cessation of "temporary" command
Invested with K.C.B. at B. Palace 14.2.1939
Awarded G.C.B. for the powerful supporting and offensive operations conducted by the Fleet in the operations under his able leadership without which the brilliant victories of the Imperial Armies in North Africa could never have been won.
Gazette 11.6.42 Baronetcy conferred
Gazette 1.1.45 Knight of the most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle
Gazette 17.8.45 Created Baron
Gazette 1.1.46 Created Viscount
Gazette 13.6.46 Awarded Order of Merit (Birthday Honours)
Supp Gaz 11/4/47 Citation on Book 26/217

Captain's Confidential Reports
Source: ADM 196/91 -Captain's Confidential Report
Remarks Reporting Officer
Gaz 13:8:15 Commended for service in action between 19:2:15 & 24:4:15 Dardinelles V/A De Robeck 14:3:16
Jan 16 Destructn of sunken vessels at "V" & "IO" Beaches Gallipoli Peninsula. Mentd for taking part in the opern wh was carried out wityh the highest precision & good judgmt.  
June 1916 V/A de Robeck recd fot promtn (*)  
Nov 1916 Sat exceptl. A most exceptl Dest offr possessing every necess qualificn. His assistance & advice to me invaluable. A fine example to others. Always cheery & always ready. Has rendered excellent service throughout the war. I cannot speak too highly of him. Capt. Coode
20:2:19 Gaz 20:2:19 Awarded Bar to D.S.O. for service in Dov. Pat.  
17:3:19 Sat Ex ab Spec recded for avancet. An exceedingly zealous and capable C.O. Has brought his vessel to a high state of efficiency. A fine personality. Good leader & disciplinarian & has good judgmt. An exceptionally capable ship handler. Capt Tomkinson
17:3:19 A very fine offr who shd do well in the higher ranks of the service. V/A Keyes
Sept 1919 Grounding of HMS "Seafire" 15:7:19 cautiond by Ad Madden to be more careful when in difficult navigational waters.  
Dec 1919 Cdre Tweedie recd for promn (7) Dec 1919 R/A Cowan recd for promn (1)  
8:3:20 Gazette 8:3:20 Second Bar to D.S.O. for distinguished services in comd of "Seafire"  
24.10.21 Capable & tactful. Has supervised the completion of the work of destruction of fortifications & war harbour of Heligoland with complete success, enabling the Sub Commission situated there to be withdrawn at a much earlier date than was anticipated. Adm Charlton
Apr 1923 An excellent Destroyer offr. Very able, energetic & efficient. Strong personality, but not very tactful with juniors. Ability above average. R/A Waistell
19.10.23 Inspn of Wallace by R/A Baird who considers great credit to Capt. C for the efficiency, cleanliness & good order in all departments of the ship. R/A Baird
July 1924 Most exceptional ability & has kept his Flotilla in the highest state of efficiency. His seamanlike qualities havew been brought to my notice on several occasions, especially when he got HMS Warwick off a lee shore in Gutter Sound in a very heavy gale in Sept 1923. He has great comd of men, initiative & tact, as well as being quick in action in emergency/ I have no hesitation in saying that he will do well in the higher ranks.
Adm de Robeck entirely agrees with this report and adds "He proved himself a vg Comdr of Destroyers in the war.
R/A (D) G. Baird
10/24 to 6/25 Has carried out his duties most satisfactorily. Is a strict disciplinarian & has greatly improved the general attitude & discipline at Port Edgar. He is very hardworking & very popular with both officers and men. Recomd for more important seagoing ship, also for employt as Flag Offr afloat or ashore. V/A Tyrwhitt
10.11.26 V Satisfactory inspn of Calcutta. V/A Cowan
16.11.27 Inspn of Calcutta by Adm Cowan who remarks "It would be hard to achieve a higher state of efficiency or morale than has been found in Calcutta. V/A Cowan
6/26 to 7/28 Exceptional. As a Capt. of a ship & leader of men in peace or war. I have not met this offr's equal amongst his contemporaries. As a C.O.S. he has infinite tact, discrimination & worldly wisdom, besides having a v. wide & thorough knowledge of the Service in all its branches and invariably correct judgment. He has an instinctive aptitude for handling ships of squadrons & for very quickly grasping a tactical or strategic situation. Has a sound & comprehensive knowledge of G & T also of the Training Service. His nerve, health, endurance & temper are never failing, & he wins the confidence & regard of every class of foreigner with whom he is thrown, as well as those under his command in the squadron. I ahve learnt to rely on & trust this offr beyond anyone else who has ever served under me, still living. Recommended for employt as F.O. afloat. Adm Cowan
20:12:29 An offr with sound knowledge & balanced views which he expresses clearly & concisely either on paper of verbally. He will be a good staff of but I can say much more. During the year no offr. has impressed me more by his personality & strength of character and though I have never seen him when charged with executive duties, I should pick him out as a natural leader of high order. Maj. Gen. Bartholomew
Commandant of the Imperial Defence College
12/29 to 5/30 (c) - above average: (e), (g), (li) - exceptional. A very fine offr who should also make a fine admiral. A strong character but with a pleasing personality. Determined without being obstinate. A student of naval affairs & also a practical seaman. I consider he is marked out for higher responsibilities. (k) & (l ii) - Yes. Definitely recommended for employment as a Flag Officer, Adm Chatfield
May to Dec 1930 (c), (d) exceptional; rest above average. An outstanding offr. As Capt. of Rodney, I have always had complete confidence that he would do the right thing at the right time. Handles his ship fearlessly & with excellent judgment & is a first class seaman. 'Rodney' is in first class condition - a happy & efficient unit of the fleet. I have no hesitation in giving it as my opinion that he will make a first rate F.O. Strong character, popular with everybody, plays games & keeps himself extremely fit. (k) & (m) - Yes. Adm Hodges
6/7/31 to 29/1/33 (c) - (h) 9; (j) - Yes; (l) exceptional; (m) Yes. Rear-Admiral Cunningham has served as Commodore R.N. Barracks for the last 18 months. He is a very outstanding officer - a strict disciplinarian and a just one. He leaves the Barracks in a very high state of efficiency and I know his departure will be greatly regretted by all who know him. He has a charming manner and is an officer with an assured career. I can only speak personally of his qualities on shore, of which I cannot speak too highly, but there are plenty who will vouch for his seagoing abilities. Adml Sir R Tyrwhitt
  Rear Admiral A.B. Cunningham, C.B., D.S.O.

This officer is eminently suitable for the rank of Vice Admiral and above.

He has all the qualities enumerated in para. 4 of Admiralty letter C.W. 2569/31 of 26th March, 1931, and I consider him likely to succeed to the command of one of the Main Fleets and to be qualified for a sea on the Board.

Of the thirty-nine Rear-Admirals (im Thurn to Calvert) I would place Rear Admiral Cunningham in the first five and I award him a percentage of 95.

(Sgd.) W.W. FISHER
  A Flag Officer of the finest quality. He possesses all the attributed of a Commander-in-Chief of the Main Fleet to an exceptional degree.

Wherever he leads his officers and men will follow in implicit trust. They know, as I know, that he will lead to victory.
Sir W.W. Fisher
1934 C.B. Birthday 1934  
  Italio - Abyssinian dispute 1935-36

Brought to the notice of Their Lordships by Admiral Sir. W.W. Fisher, C-in-C Mediterranean, for the exceptional services rendered during the Italio - Abyssinian dispute 1935-36, as follows:
"In Admiral Cunningham I had a born leader & the Destroyer forces & Flotillas knew it. He combines sagacity with great dash & these qualities he has consistently shown not only during the last few months but in many important exercises that we have carried out together for the last two yers.
M. 02266/36
9 Septmeber 1938 Vice Admiral A.B. Cunningham, C.B., D.S.O.

9th September, 1938

A sea officer of the highest capabilities.

Has been an exceptionally good second-in-command of the Mediterranean Fleet and has been of the greatest assistance to me.

Has done very well whenever he has been in command of one side in Fleet Exercises.

A strong and determined character and a proved leader.

There is no doubt that Vice Admiral Cunningham is fitted in all respects for the highest commands afloat and his appointment as D.C.N.S. will show whether he is also fitted for the highest administrative appointments.

1939 K.C.B. New Year 1939  
1941 G.C.B. February 1941  
1942 Created a Baronet - Birthday Honours 1942  
?17/11/42? Mention in Despatches for gallant distinguished service in Middle East (L.G. 17/11/42)  
26/1/43 Distinguished Service Medal awarded by the President of the U.S.A. for services as Naval Commander Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in the N. African campaign. (L.G. 26/1/43)  
20.4.43 Mention in Despatches for distinguished services in the operation which led to the landing of Allied Forces in N. Africa (20.4.43)  
  Chief Commander of Legion of Merit - President of the U.S.A.  
15.10.43 First Sea Lord & Chief of Naval Staff in succession to AF Sir A. Dudley Pound 15.10.43

1 ADM 196/47 - Service History National Archives
2 ADM 196/91 - Captain's Confidential report National Archives
3 Times, 13 June 1963 Worcestershire County Council Library Service
4 London Gazette (various dates)