Ralph Frederick Seymour

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Commander Ralph Frederick Seymour, C.M.G., D.S.O., Royal Navy (6 January, 1886 – 5 October, 1922) was an officer of the Royal Navy during the First World War, where he served as Flag Lieutenant to Sir David Beatty in the Battle Cruiser Fleet and then in the Grand Fleet.

Life & Career

Seymour was promoted to Lieutenant-Commander on 15 December, 1914.[1]

On 30 June, 1917, he was promoted to Commander.[2]

In recognition of his services during the war he was appointed an Additional Member of the Third Class, or Companion, in the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (C.M.G.) on 5 April, 1919.[3]

He was appointed to President on 22 March, 1920, working in the Tactical Section.[4]

After a series of hospitalisations commencing in June, 1921 for psychasthenia, Seymour was finally discharged from Haslar Hospital on 7 September, 1922 and placed on the Retired List as medically unfit, to be accorded a step in rank in 1925. He was gone within the month, however, his death recorded simply as "Died suddenly 4th October, 1922 at Brighton."[5]


Seymour's service as signal officer to David Beatty through major actions resulted in serial errors of omission and commission that receive considerable attention in historical analyses. Beatty's faithfulness to his flag lieutenant was belatedly replaced by reproach and blame-laying. No matter how one may assign the balance of fault in the events, Beatty's spurning of his subordinate was keenly felt. Seymour committed suicide in 1922 after being invalided for a nervous condition.


See Also

Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Hamnet H. Share
Additional Naval Assistant to the First Sea Lord
3 Nov, 1919 – 22 Mar, 1920[6]
Succeeded by


  1. The Navy List. (April, 1917). p. 73.
  2. The Navy List. (March, 1920). p. 169.
  3. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31274. p. 4516. 5 April, 1919.
  4. The Navy List. (November, 1920). p. 831.
  5. Seymour Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50. Unnumbered folio.
  6. Seymour service record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/49.