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Kelly, Sir John Donald, Admiral Of The Fleet,1871-1936


Object connections:

Collection Archive
Gallery locationNot on display

Record details:

Biographical details John (known as 'Joe') Kelly, brother of Sir (William) Howard Kelly (q.v.), entered the Navy in 1884, became a lieutenant in 1893, commander in 1904 and captain in 1911, serving on the Australian, Cape and China Stations. In 1914 he was captain of the light cruiser Dublin in the Mediterranean and attempted to locate and attack the Goeben. The Dublin later went to the Dardanelles and was for a short time in the Adriatic. Subsequently Kelly commanded the Devonshire and Weymouth on the South American Station and the Princess Royal in the Grand Fleet. After the war he became Director of the Operations Division in the Admiralty and was made rear-admiral in 1921. As such he commanded a force in the Dardanelles and the Sea of Marmora before going back to the Admiralty as Fourth Sea Lord. Two years as second-in-command, Mediterranean, followed this appointment and then a similar period as Admiral Commanding Reserves. After this Kelly expected to retire but in 1932 he was called upon to take over the command of the Atlantic Fleet (which was renamed the Home Fleet during this time) after the mutiny at Invergordon. His final command was as Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth, from 1934 to 1936.
Description The papers were deposited on permanent loan by the Hon. David St. Clair Erskine in 1967. They consist of reports on the unsuccessful attack on the Goeben; on the Dardanelles, February to May 1915, and on a German raider in West Indian and South American waters, December 1916 to March 1917. There are orders relating to the Dardanelles, 1915, to the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet, 1918, to the Chanak incident of 1922, to the Invergordon mutiny in 1931 and to Kelly's final commands. The letters are mainly official but the private correspondents include Prince Louis of Battenburg (1854-1921), 1903, Earl Beatty (1871-1936), 1918 and 1932, Lord Louis Mountbatten (1900- ), 1929, Sir Roger Keyes (1872-1945), 1930 to 1931, and Lord Chatfield (q.v. ), 1932 to 1936. In addition, a small collection of fifteen letters, 1831 to 1847, relate to Captain, later Vice-Admiral, William Kelly (ca. 1795-1874), and are mostly concerned with the attack on the forts of Tamatave, Madagascar, in 1845. William Kelly is believed to have been a relative of Sir John Kelly.
Date made 1871-01-01 - 1936-12-31

Finding Reference KEL/101-120
Catalogue section Personal collections
Creator Kelly, Sir John Donald, Admiral Of The Fleet,1871-1936
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Extent Overall: 30 cm
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