David Beatty

David Beatty

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An original 1915 Battle Cruiser Squadron letter on headed paper, handwritten and signed in ink by David Beatty

"HMS Lion. 30.1.1915. Dear Miss Louie Collins. Thank you for your Post-card and for your very kind congratulations which are very welcome. Yours truly ..."


HMS Lion was a battlecruiser built for the Royal Navy in the 1910s. She was the lead ship of her class  nicknamed the "Splendid Cats". They were significant improvements over their predecessors of the Indefatigable class in terms of speed, armament and armour. This was in response to the first German battlecruisers which were very much larger and more powerful than the first British battlecruisers, the Invincible class. She served as the flagship of the Grand Fleet's battlecruisers throughout World War I, except when she was being refitted or under repair. She sank the German light cruiser Cöln during the Battle of Heligoland Bight and served as Vice-Admiral Beatty's flagship at the battles of Dogger Bank and Jutland. She was so badly damaged at the first of these battles that she had to be towed back to port and was under repair for more than two months. During the Battle of Jutland she suffered a serious propellant fire that could have destroyed the ship had it not been for the bravery of Royal Marine Major Francis Harvey, the turret commander, who posthumously received the Victoria Cross for having ordered the magazine flooded. The fire destroyed one gun turret which had to be removed for rebuilding while she was under repair for several months. She spent the rest of the war on uneventful patrols in the North Sea, although she did provide distant cover during the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight in 1917. She was put into reserve in 1920 and sold for scrap in 1924 under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty. AFTAL Dealer No13 and UACC RD Memorabilia UK COA


20x13cm Letter


Average-Good. View Images. Two minor creases


About David Beatty

David Beatty

DAVID BEATTY (1st EARL) d1936. Royal Navy officer. After serving in the Mahdist War and then the response to the Boxer Rebellion, he commanded the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron at the Battle of Jutland in 1916, a tactically indecisive engagement after which his aggressive approach was contrasted with the caution of his commander Admiral Sir John Jellicoe. He is remembered for his comment at Jutland that "There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today", after two of his ships exploded. Later in the war he succeeded Jellicoe as Commander in Chief of the Grand Fleet, in which capacity he received the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet at the end of the war. He then followed Jellicoe's path a second time, serving as First Sea Lord—a position that Beatty held longer (7 years 9 months) than any other First Sea Lord. While First Sea Lord, he was involved in negotiating the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 in which it was agreed that the United States, Britain and Japan should set their navies in a ratio of 5:5:3, with France and Italy maintaining smaller ratio fleets of 1.75 each. He died in London aged 65 on March 12th 1936


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