Who runs this site?

Royal Navy Flag Officers 1904-1945 (www.admirals.org.uk) is a sister site to the H.M.S. Hood Association’s web site at www.hmshood.com . Both sites are run primarily by Frank Allen and Paul Bevand, though the Hood site, having been in existance for getting on for a decade, has developed a large number of contributors.

Why another site?

The Hood site offers probably the largest resource of transcribed Admiralty documents on the web. On reviewing the Hood site, we found that a number of the ADM documents we had were, in fact, only tenuously linked to Hood and began to question whether they should be on the site at all. Having said that, they were of potential interest to many people who follow naval history. Few transcribed ADM documents are available on other sites which is a pity as there is much interesting material at the National Archives which remains unavailable to anyone not able to get there in person.

There is also a definite shortfall in the information available about the careers of Flag Officers. Some articles exist on the more famous men but no site exists where the coverage can be considered extensive either in the detail offered or the breadth of coverage. We have a strong interest in the careers of Flag Officers which has grown as a result of research into the Captains and Admirals who had served in Hood. We decided to expand this work to fill the gap mentioned in the previous paragraph. We therefore decided to set up another site.

What do you hope to do with the new admirals site?

Our aim is “to provide a comprehensive on line resource for archival Admiralty documents and information on Royal Navy Flag Officers during the years 1904 to 1945.”

We intend to do this by making available previously unpublished information, mainly from the service records of individual officers.

Additionally, we will be offering transcriptions of ADM documents. Other sections of the site will develop in due course. We hope to include transcriptions of books which have gone out of copyright, a database of published works and a section for younger enthusiasts to help with school projects etc.

Why 1904 to 1945?

1904 is significant as it saw ‘Jackie’ Fisher appointed as First Sea Lord. Fisher’s influence over the Royal Navy in the early 20th century was immense. The end of World War 2 in 1945 represents the end to the age of the Battleship and Battle Cruiser.

How will the site develop?

Slowly, we imagine. Our priority will remain as the Hood Association site www.hmshood.com Progress will be more rapid if we get some help – see ‘How can I help?’ below.

Initially we intend to develop the site as follows:

Short term

  • Move across from www.hmshood.com any ADM documents not relating directly to H.M.S. Hood
  • Post full service histories and Captain’s Confidential Reports for ‘significant’ officers. i.e. Officers such as Beatty, Jellicoe, Fisher, Madden, Somerville, Fraser etc. We already have these pages on for Backhouse, Cunningham, Pound, Forbes, Pound and Whitworth.
  • Try to assemble a full list of Despatches. This will be less time consuming as we are just providing links to the original documents on the London Gazette site
  • Complete the lists of appointees to the various appointments which comprised the Board of Admiralty – First Lord, First Sea Lord etc.
  • Complete the page detailing the various ‘commissions’ of the Board
  • Develop a page which details how the naval staff developed during the period 1904 to 1945

Longer term

  • Offer transcriptions of the ‘Battle History’ series of ADM documents
  • Develop the pages which details the appointment holders for the Naval Staff – Director of Naval Ordnance, Director of Plans etc.
  • Develop the pages which detail the appointment holders for the Commander-in-Chief of Fleets and Stations
  • Develop the pages which detail the appointment holders for the Commanding Officers of H.M. Ships. We will start here with capital ships but hope eventually to include cruisers
  • Develop our thoughts on what we can include in the ‘For Kids’ section of the site. Neither Frank or I have a background in education (we did both have an education though!) so we are unsure of how to progress this. If you are a history teacher with a knowledge of the curriculum for various ages and could offer us professional guidance on how best we could move this aspect of the site forward, do please contact us.
  • Offer a ‘Books database’ – this (we hope) will be searchable by topic, period etc. It will also include images of the cover, chapter titles and possibly reviews. (See ‘How can I help?’ below)
  • Offer transcriptions of books which have gone out of copyright. This normally happens 70 years after the death of the author. We want to identify all such books which relate to the subject of the site and, over a period of time, offer the text here. First among these are likely to be the books written by Jellicoe


How can I help?

The site will progress more quickly if there are more than two of us working on it. Anyone wishing to help us is most welcome. There are many ways in which you may be able to help us.

Transcription work

  • If you can help with transcription work that would be ideal – you just need a PC and some spare time. We are not looking for a massive commitment – you can do as much or as little as your own schedule allows. If you have any knowledge of html that would be good as well but it’s certainly not a requirement to get involved. Anyone helping with transcription work will be credited on any pages which they have transcribed as well as here on the general ‘Staff’ page.


  • We are always on the look out for photos of Admirals. If you have any postcards etc. which you would be willing to scan, please let us know. We will credit you with any photos you send.

Book reviews

  • We hope to offer a ‘Books Database’ in due course. If you have read any books relating to the history of the Royal Navy from 1904 to 1945 and could offer a short review please let us know.

Development of the ‘For Kids’ Section

  • If you are a history teacher who could help with professional knowledge of the curriculum and how we could best develop a resource that would be useful to children please contact us.

If you could help out in any of the ways described above, please contact us for more details.