Admiral of Patrols
Rear-Admiral John M. de Robeck was appointed on 8 April, 1912. On 1 May he hoisted his flag in the St. George at Harwich upon taking command of the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Destroyer Flotillas, formerly the Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Flotillas of the Third and Fourth Divisions of the Home Fleet. It was publicly announced on 16 April that the office of the Admiral of Patrols would be at the Admiralty.
In the words of de Robeck's assistant, Captain (later Admiral Sir) Walter H. Cowan:
We had an old Cruiser for Flagship[,] 'St. George' … but we were very seldom in her except when John de Robeck wanted to give a dinner-party. We soon learnt to combine business with pleasure - we were both very fond of playing gold and hunting the FOX.
In 1914, the Board of Admiralty ordered the Admiralty War Staff to devise, in Dr. Nicholas Lambert's words, a "different organisation" for the patrol flotillas on the East Coast of Great Britain. The First Sea Lord, Prince Louis of Battenberg, directed that the doctrine of patrol was to be replaced by that of coast defence. The War Staff contemplated the use of fifty aeroplanes, equipped with W/T equipment, capable of searching up to one hundred miles distant from their bases. Rear-Admiral de Robeck was replaced by the architect of the new doctrine, Captain George A. Ballard. Ballard assumed the duties of Admiral of Patrols on 1 May, 1914, with the rank of Commodore, First Class.
- ↑ "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Wednesday, 17 April, 1912. Issue 39875, col A, p. 17.
- ↑ "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Tuesday, 16 April, 1912. Issue 39874, col C, p. 4.
- ↑ Cowan Memoirs. f. 252.
- ↑ Lambert. Sir John Fisher's Naval Revolution. p. 286.
- ↑ "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Friday, 1 May, 1914. Issue 40512, col B, p. 6.
- Lambert, Nicholas A. (1999). Sir John Fisher's Naval Revolution. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 1-57003-277-7.