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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, in 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 Five albums containing photographs, cuttings and orders relating to Admiral Ballard, circa 1865-1955. Also two volumes relating to his father General John Archibald Ballard, circa 1855-1857.
Date made 1855-1955

Finding Reference MSS/81/006
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 5 packets
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