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Uncatalogued: Ballard, George Alexander, Admiral, 1862-1948


Object connections:

Collection Archive
Gallery locationNot on display

Record details:

Biographical details After studying at Dr Burney's academy, Gosport, Hampshire, Ballard entered the training ship BRITANNIA in January 1875. He served in the ironclads RESISTANCE and the ACHILLES in 1877, in the Channel and Mediterranean. He joined the TOURMALINE in September 1878 which made a twenty-one month voyage around the world. He became acting sub-lieutenant in July 1882 and then was appointed to the HECLA. In 1884 he was promoted to lieutenant and then joined the gunboat WOODLARK at Rangoon in May 1885. Between 1887 and 1895 he served in the Mediterranean and the China Station, and received his first command in 1895 of the JANUS at Sheerness. In May 1896 he commanded the torpedo gunboat RENARD; he was officially made Commander in December 1897. Ballard served as commander of the ISIS, then joined the naval intelligence division in February 1902 and was promoted captain the following year. He commanded the large cruisers TERRIBLE and HAMPSHIRE between 1906 and 1907 and the battleships COMMONWEALTH (1909) and BRITANNIA (1910). Under Sir John Fisher he was used as an unofficial adviser, and when Winston Churchill took office in October 1911 he pressed for Ballard to be the next director of naval intelligence. He became Commodore in May 1914; rear-admiral in August and admiral commanding the defences of the east coast. His flottilas were in the front line after the Grand Fleet had abandoned the southern North Sea. He held the position of Admiral Superintendent of Malta Dockyard from September 1916 until September 1919, being made a vice-admiral. Ballard retired in June 1921 and became an admiral on the retired list. After retirement, he occupied himself with historical research, writing ‘The Influence of the Sea on the Political History of Japan’ in 1921 and ‘Rulers of the Indian Ocean’ in 1927. He also published several illustrated articles for the Mariner’s Mirror on the subject of warships of the mid-Victorian Navy. He died on 16 September 1948.
Description The collection includes:

Box 1: Journals: 1886 to 1895; 'Personal Reminiscences' handwritten manuscript copy (160 pages); 1901 to 1945: records of business letters in summary form; press cuttings on the life of General J A Ballard, CB, events of his public life.

Box 2: Correspondence: Admiral Ballard's mother to him, 1872; letters to General J A Ballard, CB; General J A Ballard to his son, circa 1870s; family correspondence, pre-1862; General and Mrs J A Ballard; letters by Admiral G A Ballard, 1899-1919; letters by Mrs G A Ballard, 1897-1911; Admiral Ballard's correspondence, 1899-1911 and 1870-1897.

Box 3: Service documents and official papers: including a folder entitled 'Patrol Flotillas Operations Orders, 1/6/1915' and report of the Committee of the Armaments of Defence Ports Abroad, 1906. Also includes some watercolours (various).

Please contact archive staff for more information about ordering from this collection.
Date made circa 1870-1920

Finding Reference MSS/80/200
Access conditions Please contact archive staff for more information about ordering from this collection.
Catalogue section Uncatalogued material
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Extent 3 boxes
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