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Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty Signed Presentation Photograph, 1916
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Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty Signed Presentation Photograph, 1916

Measurements: Overall: 28.5cm (11.25in) x 33.5cm (13.25in)



A Great War gelatin silver photograph of the 1st Earl Beatty (1871-1936) taken at the time of the Battle of Jutland. Signed in ink in the admiral’s hand ‘David Beatty’ lower right.

Following a meteoric rise that made him the youngest admiral since Nelson, the start of the First World War found Beatty in command of the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron. With his flag in H.M.S. Lion, he was present at the battles of Heligoland Bight (1914), Dogger Bank (1915) and Jutland (1916) where his actions succeeded in drawing the German High Seas Fleet into to action against the British Grand Fleet. During the battle, he famously commented "There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today" after two of his ships exploded within half an hour. His aggressive approach was contrasted sharply with the caution of his superior Admiral Jellicoe. He succeeded Jellicoe as Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Fleet in November 1916, and transferred his flag to H.M.S. Iron Duke, which at the time was in dry dock upgrading the armour so plainly lacking at Jutland. Iron Duke remained his flagship until January 1917 when he transferred to H.M.S. Queen Elizabeth in which he received the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet on 18 November 1918.