Skip to main content

The Papers of Admiral Sir Doveton Sturdee

Reference Code: GBR/0014/SDEE

Scope and Contents

Papers comprising correspondence, log books, scrapbooks, press cuttings, drawings and photographs.
Also with some papers about Admiral Sturdee's death, 1925-35.


  • Creation: 1873 - 1973

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

Frederick Charles Doveton Sturdee was born at Charlton, Kent, 9 June 1859, the son of Frederick Rannie Sturdee and Anna Frances Hodson. He was educated at the Royal Naval School, New Cross, 1870-1. He married Marion Adela Andrews in 1882, with whom he had one son and one daughter.

He entered HMS Britannia as a naval cadet, 1871-3. He served as a Midshipman in the Channel Squadron and on the East India Station, 1873-8. He was promoted Sub-Lieutenant and took various courses in the gunnery school ship HMS Excellent, 1878-80. He was promoted Lieutenant, 1880, and served in HMS Hecla on the Mediterranean Station, 1881-2, taking part in operations at Alexandria, 1882.

He was a student in the torpedo school HMS Vernon, 1882-5, and then served as a torpedo officer in HMS Bellerophon on the North American and West Indies Station, 1885-9. He was on the staff of HMS Vernon, 1889-93, and gained extensive experience of torpedo boats. He was promoted Commander, 1893, and worked as a torpedo specialist in the Naval Ordnance Department of the Admiralty, 1893-7.

He commanded HMS Porpoise on the Australian Station, 1897-9, and took command of the British force in Samoa, 1899, during hostilities between Germany and the United States. He was promoted Captain and returned to the Admiralty as Assistant Director of Naval Intelligence, 1900-2. He commanded various ships in home waters, 1902-5. He was Chief of Staff to Lord Charles Beresford, Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet, 1905-7, and the Channel Fleet, 1907-8. He commanded the battleship HMS New Zealand, 1908-9, the First Battle Squadron, 1910, and various cruiser squadrons, 1912-13. He also returned to the Admiralty to chair the Submarine Committee, 1911. He was promoted Vice-Admiral, 1913.

He was Chief of the War Staff, 1914, and Commander-in-Chief of the Atlantic and South Pacific Stations, 1914-15, where he scored a decisive victory in the Falkland Islands, 1914. He commanded the Fourth Battle Squadron, 1915-18, and was present at the Battle of Jutland, 1916. He was promoted Admiral, 1918, and became Commander-in-Chief at the Nore, 1918-21. He was promoted Admiral of the Fleet, 1921.

He retired to Camberley, in Surrey, and died there on 7 May 1925.

He was created CMG, 1900, CVO, 1906, KCB, 1913, KCMG, 1916, GCB, 1921, and a hereditary baronet, 1916.


25 archive box(es)

Language of Materials



Admiral Sturdee burnt many of his papers before his death.

Other Finding Aids

Copies of the collection level description and catalogue are available at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge and the National Register of Archives, London.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were deposited in Churchill Archives Centre by Admiral Sir William Staveley, 1993.


This collection level description was prepared by Sophie Bridges, December 2004. The papers were catalogued by Tamsin Pert, 1995. Biographical information was obtained from the website of the "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography" and Admiral Sturdee's obituary in "The Times", 8 May 1925.


Sturdee, Sir Frederick Charles Doveton, 1859-1925, 1st Baronet, Admiral of the Fleet

2004-11-29 16:17:36+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087