Admiral of the Fleet
Sir Charles Morton Forbes
G.C.B., D.S.O.

Updated 18-Oct-2007

Admiral of the Fleet Sir Roger Blackhouse

Personal Details
Event Date / details Source
Date of Birth 22 November 1880 1
Place of Birth Colombo, Ceylon 1
Name of father  J Forbes Esq 1
Profession of father Merchant 1
Wife's Name Agnes Millicent Ewen (one son, one daughter) 1 / 4
Date of Marriage 4 March 1909 1
Place of Marriage    
Second Marriage Marie Louise Berndtson (one daughter) 4
Date of second Marriage 1921  
Date of Death 28 August 1960 4
Place of Burial    

Rank History
Rank Date attained Source
15 July 1894 Naval cadet 1
15 July 1896 Midshipman 1
15 January 1900 Sub-Lieutenant 1
15 January 1900 Lieutenant 1
31 December 1912 Commander 1
30 June 1917 Captain 1
05 October 1928 Rear-Admiral 1
21 January 1933 Vice-Admiral 1
19 August 1936 Admiral 1
8 May 1940 Admiral of the Fleet 1

Honours and Knighthoods
Honour or Knighthood Date awarded Date Gazetted Source
Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.) 15 September 1916 15 September 1916 4
Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (CB (Military))
(Battle of Jutland)
3 June 1929 31 May 1929 4
Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (K.C.B.) 3 June 1935 31 May 1935 4
Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (G.C.B.) 11 July 1940 9 July 1940 (No. 34893) 4

Rewards & Distinctions
Source: ADM 196/45 - Service History
Gained 12 mos. time on passing out of Britannia
Awarded prize £10 for obtaining 5 first cl certs
RHS Testimonial on Vellum Awarded Dec 1912 CW 14616
D.S.O. for Battle of Jutland Gaz 15.9.16
Order St. Stanislas 2nd Class (with swords) Gaz 5.6.17
16 Jan 1928 Awarded Good Service ???? £159 pa CW 625/28
7 April 1928 Apptd Naval Aide de Camp to the King CW 3689/28
CB (Military) Gaz 3.6.29
KCB (Mil) Gaz 3/6/35 - Invested at BP on 9.7.35
DL 8/5 G.C.B. L. Gaz. 11.7.40

Source: ADM 196/45 - Service History
Passed in Seamanship Jan 00, 1st Cl. Cert 932 marks
Passed College, Part I Apr 00, 2nd Cl Cert. 901 marks
Passed College, Part II June 00, 1st Cl Cert. 1642 marks
Passed Pilotage Oct 00, 1st Cl Cert. 946 marks
Passed Gunnery Jan 01, 1st Cl Cert. 887 marks
Passed Torpedo Mch 01, 1st Cl Cert. 177 marks

Special Attainments or Qualifications
Source: ADM 196/45 - Service History
June 03: 1 cl Gunnery Cert. at Greenwich
Compd OrdnanceCourse 23.1.04
June / 04 Qual for G Lieut 1st Class
Apptd to War Staff
W/S qualification - Aug 1922

Service / Appointments History
Ship Station Date of
Date of
Cause Source
Britannia T Ship 15 July 94 11 Sept 96 Magnificent 1
Magnificent Chan' Squadron 11 Sept 96 1 June 97 ?Superience? 1
?Superience? Pacific 1 June 97     1
Majestic Ch Sq 24 Oct 99 15 Jan 00 Coll 1
?Sans Parel? lent ??? 10 July ?00?     1
?Sent for ??? tempy   14 Mar 01 24 May 01 R Oak 1
Royal Oak Medn 24 May 01 14 Sep 01 RO as Lt 1
Royal Oak Medn 14 Sept 01 ----02 Aboukir 1
Aboukir Medn -----02     1
Excellent addl to qualify as (G) Lieut   30.9.02 18.6.04 Staff 1
Leopard in Commd, lent for Manrs   21.7.03 18.8.03 Xlent 1
?Caulridge? Junior Staff Asst   18.6.04 3.1.05   1
Qual in cd lent T.B. Manes   14.7.04     1
Blake (G) Dev 3.1.05 18.1.05   1
?Caulridge? Junior Staff G   18.1.05 20.3.05   1
Blake (G) Dev 20.3.05 28.5.05 P.O. 1
Carnarvon (G) 2 Cr 29.5.05 17.2.08   1
Vivid for RN Bks (G) Dev 17.2.08 5.5.08   1
Dominion (G) Chan 5.5.08 6.6.10   1
Albion (G)   24-6-10 ????   1
Sullej? (G) addl for record party with I.T.P.   2.8.10 12.10.10   1
President (G) addl record party with I.T.P.   12.10.10 12.12.10 H.P. 1
Excellent (G) to requaly   5.1.11 18.2.11   1
Hannibal (G) tempy   16.2.11 Cand   1
Superb (1st of G) H.F. 18.2.11 8.1.13 Supd 1
Excellent addl & for Experimental duties   3.3.13     1
Experimental Duties   3.2.13 13.11.14   2
Victory for Queen Elizabeth   14.11.14 14.11.14   1
Queen Elizabeth on comg   14 9.10.15   1
Q. Elizabeth   14.11.14 8.10.15   2
Iron Duke as Flag Commander to Admiral Sir John R. Jellicoe & War Staff duties   9.10.15 28.11.16   1
Iron Duke   9.10.15 27.11.16   2
Marlborough as Flag Cdr to Adml Sir CE Madden & for W/A duties   28.11.16     1
???linger as Flag Cdr to Adml Sir CE Madden & for W/A duties   2-17     1
?Queen? addl as Capt on the staff pf Adl Sir CE Madden   30.6.17 10.7.17   1
Reapptd Revenge as Capt. on Staff of Adm. Madden   30.6.17 10.7.17   2
Galatea   10.7.17 8.19 Supd 1
    14.8.19   2
President as Naval Member of the Ordnance Committee   25.10.19 7.3.21   1
    6.3.21   2
Granted permission to proceed to Denmark, Norway & Sweden on leave from 19.7120 to 14.8.20         1
President addl for R.N. Staff College   7.3.21 8/7/21 Ind 1
War Course   7.3.21     2
President addl for R.N. Staff College Greenwich   9/7/21     1
& as Deputy Director of the Staff College, Greenwich   1/8/21 28.6.23 Supd 1
Queen Elizabeth in comd & as Flag Capt to Adml Sir John de Robeck G.C.B., K.C.M.G. C in C Atlantic Fleet   28.6.23     1
Queen Elizabeth in cd. on recommg   24.9.24     1
Iron Duke in cd & as Flag Capt to Rear Adml H.D.R. Watson CB, CVO, CBE on transfer   25.10.24 29.5.25 Supd 1
    4/25   2
President alld.   24.6.25     2
President addl for duty inside Admy as DNO Vice Blount   23.7.25 23.7.28 Supd 1
A.D.C.   7.4.28     2
Tactical Course   5.5.30 Cancelled   1
Rear Admiral (D) Comdg Destroyer Flotilla of Medn Fleet (to assume cd abt)   1/8/30 13.12.31   1
    20.11.31   2
President addl for duty inside Adlty r   1.2.32     1
& a Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty and Controller   1.3.32 supd abt 22.Apr 34   1 / 4
3S.L. & Controller   1.3.32     2
V.A.C. 1BS & 2nd in Cd Mediterranean in succession to V. Ad Sir RRC Blackhouse to date abt Apr 34   23.4.34     1
DL 9/2/34 To assume cd   21.5.34     1
V/A Cmdg 1st Battle Sqdn.   23.4.34 25.7.36   2
& 2nd in cmd Medn.   21.5.36     2
Re-apptd on promotion   19.8.36 Supd 26.8.36 1
To be C in C Home Fleet in succession to Adml. Sir Roger R.C. Blackhouse to date March 38
(DL 7/10/37) (AO DL 25/1)
  12.4.38 2-12-40   1
Re-apptd on promotion (DL 8/5)   8.5.40 2-12-40   1
25/11. To be C in C Plymouth in succession to Adml. Sir Martin E. Dunbar Nasmith VC, KCB   1.5.41 24.8.43 Supd
DL 22/6

Source: ADM 196/45
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 98 VG VG VG Yes   Zealous Captain Kirby
Jan 99 VG VG VG Yes Draws & Sketches Very Zealous Captain Adair
Apr 02 VGI VGI VG Yes   Sealous, good judgment & physical qualities Capt. Prothero
Apr 06 VGI VGI VGI Yes   Recd for early advt. as a very able young officer Capt. Warender
Apr 07 VGI VGI VGI Yes   Zealous & most capable. Recd Capt de Robeck
2/08 VGI VGI VGI (G) Yes   Zealous & reliable Capt de Robeck
1/10 VGI VGI VGI (G) Yes   Zealous & capable. Recd. Capt de Robeck
6/10 VGI VG VGI (G) Yes   V. zealous Singer
5.11 All VGI Yes Gd Phys Capt Heath
9.11 All VGI Yes. Very able & successful G Officer Capt ?Gaunt?
8.15 Satis Except. Zealous & able offr. Capable. Good Physique. Good sportsman Capt. Singer
10.16 Satis Ab. Av. V Capable officer. Great knowledge of Gunnery. VP Ex Offe zealous & hd wkg. Recd. Adl Jellicoe

Special Reports or Service
Source: ADM 196/45 - Service History
15 Jan 1898 From Phaeton to Impreuse - C in C
9 Feb 1900 Joined College to study in Navigation
N/N.P. 1286/01 paid command ?money? ???? rate 2/- a day
18 Mar 4 ????
11 Sept 01 awarded cert of efficiency Capt Prothero
Selected to qualify for G lieutenant 1902 Arrived in ENgland 8.8.02
G 7454 Contributed to Good Battle Practice Carnarvon 1905
Granted leave from 3 to 31 Mch 09 to be married & leave to continent from 4th t0 31 Mch
Appt to President (G) addl for duty with ITP antedated from 12th to 6th October to prevent HP for 6 days
Recd (asal) by Vaal ?Sluille? (endorsed by Adl Callagham) Decr 1912
G 16463/13 Specially contributed to good results of "Superb" in Heavy GL test 1912
G 11296/13 Specially contributed to good Battle Practice of "Superb" 1912
M 05331/15 Mentioned ?by? Captain of Q Elizabeth for services between 25th April & 3rd May 1915
?????? Battle Gaz 18.9.16 ??? ?Cdg? Lieut Cdr who always afforded me great assistance Adlm Jellicoe
Decorated D.S.O. at Bickingham Palace 5.2.17
Entitled to cmd money of 5/- per diem from date of appointment as Captain & 12/- pd on apptmt to Galatea
Recd by Adm Madden, June 1917
N.L. 45057/18 Loss of C.B. 1182 S Germany Navy Book, apparently destroyed in error. Informed by R.A.C. 1st L.C.S. Sufficient care not taken to account for secret & confidential books 18.9.18
Mentioned in Despatches Gaz 6.7.16
Mentioned in despatches Gazette 9.4.20
Vacated appt. as Deputy Director Staff College Greenwich 27 June. Captain Astley-Rushton, the Director states, "His duties as Dy. Director comprised inter alia the preparation and revision of all schemes, as task which demands unremitting attention and quiet industry. The demands upon his time in connection with the Combined Scheme carried out at Camberly in March last was especially exacting. Capt. Forbes' ??perimal? qualities are too well known to require any comment from me, but I may be permitted to place on recd my appreciation not only of the manner in which he carried out the above mentioned duties but also of the loyal unstinted support which he gave to me, his contemporary in the Service" Vice Adml Hope in forwarding the forgoing adds "Captain Forbes did valuable work at the Staff College & will be much missed". July 1923 C.W. 7017/23
G.D. 4603/24 T.L.s apprecn conveyed on Queen Elizabeth winning 15" competitive firing of 1st Battle Squadron on 19/3/24
N 1252/29 Appointed President of Committee to examine the Communication requirements of the Fleet
October 1929 C in C Med for exceptional services during Emergency 1935/6
X Jutland Battle Gaz 15.9.16 "?Key? Flag Cdr who has always afforded me great assistance" Admiral Jellicoe/
Flag Struck in Nelson 2/12/40 HF 2250/30/4
C.W. 2056/41 Full pay as Admiral of the Fleet between appts. C in C. Home Fleet & C in C Plymouth
Sig C in C Plymouth 1119/ 1/5/41 Assumed Command of Plymouth Station in succession to Admiral Sir Martin E Dunbar-Nasmith V.C. KCB - 1-5-41

Captain's Confidential Reports
Source: ADM 196/90 -Captain's Confidential Report
Remarks Reporting Officer
5.8.14 Sat. Exceptl. For experimental duties is a v. zealous & able offr in every way. Thoroughly capable of dealing with the latest patters of guns & mountings. G. physique & g. sportsman. Catp. Singer
May 1915 Specially mentioned for services in Dardinelles operations by C.O. Q. ELIZA.  


Gaz 15.9.16 R'mended by Ad. Jellicoe for honour for service in B of Jutld My Flag Cdr. who has always afforded me great assistance. This offr was Exec. Offr. of Queen ELIZA. during the whole period the ship was employd at the Dardinelles. Awarded DSO.  
4.10.16 Sat. Above av. Fitted for promotn now. A v. capable offr. Possesses a great knowledge of Gunnery, sound & practical & a v.g. exec. offr. Most zealous & hardwrkng. Active & strong physically. Ad. Jellicoe
June 17 Ad. Maddent r'mends for promn (1) Ad. Madden
31.7.17 An offr of exceptional energy, ability & strength of character. He has performed his G. & Staff duties to my entire satisn. Capt. F. will do well in any appt. in wh. it may please T.L. to employ him. Hi s G. knowledge and powers of organizn are exceptional. Adm. Sir C. Madden
4.5.19 A thoroughly experienced, well trained & efficient Capt. in every degree of his profession. & his services for 2 years with me have been invaluable. Gunnery. R. Adm. W. Cowan
5.7.22 Most energetic & able offr. Always cheerful: easy and pleasant to work with & popular with everyone. Has performed duties of Deputy Director with much skill & entire success. Hunts regularly & good at games. Exceptional ability. No opportunity for remarking on executive duties afloat. Capt. Drax
(Dir. of Staff Coll.)
9.7.23 On vacating post of Dep. Dir. of Staff Coll. the Director (Capt. Astley-Rushton) records his apprecn of the manner in which Capt. F has carried out his duties at Greenwich & of the loyal support given him at all times. Capt. Astley-Rushton
9.7.23 Capt. Forbes did valuable work at the Staff Coll., & will be much missed. V/A Sir G. Hope
26.5.24 T.L. apprecn expressed to Capt. F. on winning 15-inch competitive firings by Q.E. & ships of 1st B.S. on 19.3.24. (M/G. D 4603/24)  
6/23 - 8/24 V.G. Capt of Battleship. Has shown great zeal & ability in developing the efficiency of the ship, especially in G.: also in the working of the Divisional system which has proved such a great succecss in the Q. Elizabeth. He shd. do very well in higher comds. later in his career. A valuable offr. with high G. knowledge. Recomd. Adm. de Robeck.
10/24 - 5/25 An extraordinarily able offr. in all respects both as Capt. of a battleship & as C.S.O. He will make a very valuable Flag Offr. Most able in dealing with personnel; close knowledge of materiel. Excellent tactical & strategic appreciation. ((d) & (e) of Report ansd in affermative.) Rear-Adm Watson
  Concur and thnk Capt. F will make an able Flag Offr. Adm Brock
7/25 - 7/28 Exceptional. An exceptional D.N.O. During a most harrowing period of G. production in all its branches, he has acted with great wisdom & a judgment that has inspired my complete confidence. Probably the ablest G. Offr. on the materiel side in this or any other service. Safe rather than imaginitive & prefers to advance cautiously, step by step. For this reason I doubt his special suitability for the N. Staff but he would make in all probability a brilliant Controller & a fine Flag Offr. for empoyment in which he is recomd afloat or ashore. V/A Chatfield
  Concur and adds as Comdr on my staff at sea Capt Forbes performed excellent service. Adm. of the Fleet Sir C. Madden (1 S.L.)
Feb 1929 Chairman of Cee investigating system for promoting offrs. on and after retirement.  
1929 Birthday Honours awarded C.B.  
16.12.31 Has admirably fulfilled his duties as R/A (D). He is of good physique, energetic & a hard worker with very high abilities as a seaman & as a technician, & a good disciplinarian. He has se a high standard in every respect to those under his command. He is fit for higher command at sea. As an analysis of his personality & characteristics, I consider he is generally of a cautious & somewhat conservative nature, better at consolidating a position than at capturing it. He is naturally inclined to analyse new views critically rather than to espouse them readily. He is, in fact, safe & sure rather than brilliant but in saying this I do not intend to detract from the fact that his abilities are of a high order. Adm. Chatfield
Jan 33 A v. conscientious & able Controller with technical ability of a high order. A strong personaility. Possesses sound judgment. Adm. Field (1 S.L.)
1935 K.C.B. Birthday 1935  
19.3.36 A good seaman who handles his squadron with assurance & skill. Cheerful buoyant temperament, exceptional technical knowledge, most painstaking & thorough in all he does. He has been the greatest help to me & as Second in Command has relieved me of an immense amount of detailed but important work. He has shown himself eminently suitable for the appointment he has held & I look forward to his eventually commanding one of the Principal Fleets for which he has shown himself eminently qualified. Adml. Sir W.W. Fisher
21.9.36 My predecessor, Sir William Fisher, G.C.B., G.C.V.O., will have ???? on Vuce-Admiral Sir Charles M. Forbes, K.C.B., D.S.O., &, as he had 18 months' experienceof him under all conditions, his opinion should carry much greater weight than anything I could say after only 5 months. I should like to add, however, that during these 5 months he proved himself a most loyal second in command & his very sound judgment always made his advice of great assistance to me. He undoubtedly fitted for a more important sea command. Admiral Sir Dudley Pound
1935/36 Italio-Abyssinian dispute 1935/36

Brought to the notice of Their Lordships by Admiral Sir W. Fisher, Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean, for the exceptional services rendered during the Italio-Abyssinian dispute 1935/36, as follows:-

"As my Second in Command he was responsible for the verthing of the Fleet in Alexandria, for the routine duties of the port, and for co-odrinating all practice requirements in addition to command of the First Battle Squadron. To him more than to anyone else is due the smooth working of a large Fleet with a great number of auxilliaries in an improvised Base without undue interference to its important commercial activities.His common-sense, unvarying cheerfulness and unswerving loyalty were assets of immense importance to us. M. 02266/36
Adm. W.W. Fisher
1940 G.C.B. (Military) Birthday 1940  

Commander's Confidential Reports
Source: ADM 196/
Remarks Reporting Officer

1 ADM 196/45 - Service History National Archives
2 ADM 196/90 - Captain's Confidential Report National Archives
3 ADM 196/125 - Commander's Confidential Report National Archives
4 Times, 30 August 1960 Worcestershire County Council Library Service
5 London Gazette (various dates)