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Noel, Sir Gerard Henry Uctred, Admiral Of The Fleet, 1845-1918.


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Collection Archive
Gallery locationNot on display

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Biographical details Noel entered the Navy in 1859. He served as a midshipman in the HANNIBAL, Mediterranean, from 1859 to 1861 and in the SHANNON in the Mediterranean and West Indies from 1862 to 1865. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1866 and served in the RATTLER, on the China Station, until 1869. Following this he took courses in the EXCELLENT and at the Royal Naval College, Portsmouth. He was appointed Gunnery Lieutenant of the MINOTAUR, Channel Squadron, in 1871. In 1873 he went in the ACTIVE to the West Coast of Africa, where he commanded the seamen landed with the force under Sir Garnet Wolseley (1833-1913). He was promoted to commander in 1874 and appointed to the IMMORTALITE, Detached Squadron. From 1878 to 1881 he served in the Royal Yacht, VICTORIA and ALBERT, and was promoted to captain in 1881, but then had several years on half-pay. In 1884 he served on the Admiralty Torpedo Committee and in 1885 was appointed Captain of the ROVER, Training Squadron, until 1888. The following year he became Captain of the TEMERAIRE, on the Mediterranean Station. In 1891, on the same station, he commissioned the NILE, which ship was the next astern when the VICTORIA and CAMPERDOWN collided. He was appointed a junior Sea Lord in 1893 and was promoted to rear-admiral in 1896. In 1898 he was appointed second-in-command, Mediterranean, and was involved in settling the disturbances in Crete. Noel was made Superintendent of Naval Reserves and commanded the Home Fleet from 1900 to 1903. He was promoted to vice-admiral in 1901 and was Commander-in-Chief, China, 1904 to 1906, and at the Nore from 1907 to 1908. He was promoted to admiral in 1905 and Admiral of the Fleet in 1908, retiring in 1915.
Description The papers were presented by Noel's son, Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Noel, in 1938 and 1943 They consist of some volumes and a large collection of correspondence, papers and printed material. The volumes include Noel's midshipman's log, 1861 to 1865,' the captain's letterbook of the IMMORTALITE, 1877; for the TEMERAIRE and NILE, a night order book, 1889 to 1893; Noel's admiral's journal, 1898 to 1900, and three letter-books, 1904 to 1906. There are papers for Noel's service on the torpedo committee, 1884, for his time at the Admiralty; his command in the Mediterranean, in particular for Crete, 1898; and for his commands at home, 1901 to 1903; in China, including reports on the Russo-Japanese War, 1904 to 1906; and at the Nore. There are papers and printed reports for the National Service League, of which Noel was an active member, and many printed pamphlets, some by Noel himself who wrote on education and various other naval topics. His personal papers include diaries, 1880 to 1918, student's notebooks, personal notebooks, press cuttings and a large amount of private and semi-official correspondence, for all his career. There are also letters by Noel to his wife and letters written by his son, Francis Noel, to Admiral Noel's wife during the 1914-1918 war.

The papers numbered NOE/50-58 were presented by Noel’s great-granddaughter in 2013. They mainly relate to Noel’s appointments from 1893 onwards and include correspondence discussing his opposition to the reforms of Admiral of the Fleet Sir John A. Fisher as First Sea Lord. The important aspects of these papers are discussed in ‘A Difficult Person to Tackle’ by Admiral Richard Hill in ‘The Mariners Mirror’, Volume 98, Number 4, November 2012.
Date made 1845-01-01 - 1918-12-31

Finding Reference NOE
Catalogue section Personal collections
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Extent Overall: 650 cm
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