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The Papers of Admiral Sir William Fisher

Reference Code: GBR/0014/WWFI

Scope and Contents

The papers chiefly consist of Fisher's Midshipman's logs, and also letters written to his family during his early career and the First World War.


  • Creation: 1888 - 1959


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

William Fisher was born in 1875, the son of Herbert Fisher, Vice-Warden of the Stannaries [Cornwall]; he married Cecilia, youngest daughter of F. Warre Cornish; they had one son and two daughters.

Fisher joined the Navy as a Cadet in 1888, being educated on HMS Britannia. He was promoted to Midshipman in 1890, then became Sub-Lieutenant in 1894, full Lieutenant in 1896, Commander in 1906 and Captain in 1912. In the First World War, Fisher commanded HMS St Vincent during the Battle of Jutland, then from 1917-18 served as Director of the Admiralty Anti-Submarine Division. After the war he became Chief of the Staff for the Mediterranean Fleet, (1919-22) and also Naval Aide de Camp to King George V, (1921-22). Following his promotion to Rear-Admiral in 1922, Fisher moved to be Chief of the Staff to the Atlantic Fleet, (1922-24), then Rear-Admiral of the 1st Battle Squadron, Mediterranean Fleet, (1924-25). He served as 4th Sea Lord from 1927 to 1928, then as a Vice-Admiral, became Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, (1928-30), Vice-Admiral commanding the 1st Battle Squadron and Second in Command of the Mediterranean Fleet, (1930-32). Fisher was made a full Admiral in 1932 and took over as Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet, (1932-36). His final position was as Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth [Hampshire], from 1936 until his death on 24 June 1937.

Fisher's honours included: Officer of the Legion of Honour and Order of the Rising Sun of Japan, 3rd Class; United States Distinguished Service Medal; GCB, 1935; GCVO, 1935; KCB, 1929; CB 1918; CVO 1924; MVO 1908.


2 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

A copy of this finding aid is available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge and the National Register of Archives, London.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were deposited at Churchill College by Admiral Fisher's daughter in 1981. A further accession was received from another source in 1990.


This catalogue was produced by Katharine Thomson of Churchill Archives Centre in November 2004 using an existing list and information from the papers themselves. Biographical information was taken from Admiral Fisher's entry in Who Was Who (A&C Black).


Fisher, Sir William Wordsworth, 1875-1937, Knight, Admiral


2004-11-11 10:05:43.513000+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