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Sleeve lace
The flag of an Admiral of the Fleet is the Union Flag, and is in 1:2 rather than the 2:3 of other admirals' flags.[1]

Admiral of the Fleet is a rank of the British Royal Navy and other navies, which equates to the NATO rank code OF-10.

The rank evolved from the ancient sailing days of the Royal Navy. The fleet was divided into three divisions and each designated a colour, that of Red, White, or Blue. Each coloured division was assigned an Admiral, who in turn had command over a Vice-Admiral and a Rear Admiral. The Admiral of the Fleet, therefore, commanded the Admirals of the various divisions and thus, the entirety of the Fleet.

Between 1795 and 1827 the head of the Royal Navy was known as the Admiral of the Fleet, a position later given the name First Sea Lord.

Routine appointments to the rank (and its equivalents in the other British services) ceased in 1996; however, it does still exist and those who have already been appointed are unaffected by this cessation.

Admiral of the Fleet is equivalent to a 5 star rank and has a NATO ranking code of OF-10, equivalent to a Marshal of the Royal Air Force or a Field Marshal in the British Army.

Admiral of the Fleet is also used as a title in some of the world's militaries for the most senior officer of the fleet or Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. In the German Kriegsmarine of the Second World War, the equivalent rank was Grand Admiral.

Admirals of the Fleet

Appointed Name
1690 Russell EdwardEdward Russell (later Earl of Orford) (1652–1727)
1696 Rooke GeorgeSir George Rooke (c. 1650–1709)
13 January 1705 Shovell CloudesleySir Cloudesley Shovell (1650–1707)
21 December 1708 Fairborne StaffordSir Stafford Fairborne (c. 1666–1742)
14 March 1718 Byng GeorgeSir George Byng (later Viscount Torrington) (1663–1733)
20 February 1734 Norris JohnSir John Norris (1670–1749)
1 July 1749 Ogle ChallonerSir Chaloner Ogle (1681–1750)
22 November 1751 Steuart JamesJames Steuart (1690–1757)
March 1757 Clinton GeorgeGeorge Clinton (1686–1761)
30 July 1761 AnsonThe Lord Anson (1697–1762)
17 December 1762 Rowley WilliamSir William Rowley (c. 1690–1768)
15 January 1768 Hawke EdwardSir Edward Hawke (later Lord Hawke) (1705–1781)
24 October 1781 Luke O'KeefeJohn Forbes (1714–1796)
12 March 1796 HoweThe Earl Howe (1726–1799)
16 September 1799 Parker PeterSir Peter Parker (1721–1811)
24 December 1811 Clarence and Saint AndrewsHRH The Duke of Clarence and St Andrews (later King William IV) (1765–1837)
19 July 1821 Saint VincentThe Earl of St Vincent (1735–1823)
28 June 1830 Williams-Freeman WilliamWilliam Williams-Freeman (1742–1832)
22 July 1830 GambierThe Lord Gambier (1756–1833)
22 July 1830 Pole CharlesSir Charles Pole (1757–1830)
24 April 1833 Nugent CharlesSir Charles Nugent (1759–1844)
8 January 1844 Whitshed JamesSir James Whitshed (1762–1849)
9 November 1846 Martin GeorgeSir George Martin (1764–1847)
13 October 1849 Martin ThomasSir Thomas Martin (1773–1854)
1 July 1851 Cockburn GeorgeSir George Cockburn (1772–1853)
8 December 1857 Ogle CharlesSir Charles Ogle (1775–1858)
25 June 1858 West JohnSir John West (1774–1862)
20 May 1862 Gage WilliamSir William Gage (1777–1864)
10 November 1862 Hamond GrahamSir Graham Hamond (1779–1862)
27 April 1863 Austen FrancisSir Francis Austen (1774–1865)
27 April 1863 Parker WilliamSir William Parker (1781–1866)
11 January 1864 Curtis LuciusSir Lucius Curtis (1786–1869)
12 September 1865 Cochrane ThomasSir Thomas Cochrane (1789–1872)
30 November 1866 Seymour GeorgeSir George Seymour (1787–1870)
30 January 1868 Gordon JamesSir James Gordon (1782–1869)
15 January 1869 Bowles WilliamSir William Bowles (1780–1869)
3 July 1869 Sartorious GeorgeSir George Sartorius (1790–1885)
21 January 1870 Moresby FairfaxSir Fairfax Moresby (1786–1877)
20 October 1872 Stewart HoustonSir Houston Stewart (1791–1875)
22 January 1877 Codrington HenrySir Henry Codrington (1808–1877)
5 August 1877 Keppel HenrySir Henry Keppel (1809–1904)
11 December 1877 Wallis ProvoSir Provo Wallis (1791–1892)
27 December 1877 LauderdaleThe Earl of Lauderdale (1803–1878)
27 December 1877 Mundy GeorgeSir George Mundy (1805–1884)
15 June 1879 Hope JamesSir James Hope (1808–1881)
15 July 1879 Symonds ThomasSir Thomas Symonds (1813–1894)
10 June 1881 Milne AlexanderSir Alexander Milne (1806–1896)
1 December 1881 Elliot CharlesSir Charles Elliot (1818–1895)
29 April 1885 Ryder AlfredSir Alfred Ryder (1820–1888)
18 July 1887 WalesHRH The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) (1841–1910) (honorary)
1 May 1888 Hornby GeoffreySir Geoffrey Hornby (1825–1895)
8 December 1888 Hay JohnLord John Hay (1827–1916)
2 August 1889 William IIHIM German Emperor William II (1859–1941) (honorary)
13 February 1892 Commerell JohnSir John Commerell (1829–1901)
3 June 1893 EdinburghHRH The Duke of Edinburgh (later Duke Alfred of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha) (1844–1900)
20 February 1895 ClanwilliamThe Earl of Clanwilliam (1832–1907)
23 August 1897 Lyons AlgernonSir Algernon Lyons (1833–1908)
29 November 1898 Richards FrederickSir Frederick Richards (1833–1912)
13 January 1899 Salmon NowellSir Nowell Salmon (1835–1912)
3 October 1902 Erskine JamesSir James Erskine (1838–1911)
30 August 1903 Hotham CharlesSir Charles Hotham (1843–1925)
16 June 1904 Kerr WalterLord Walter Kerr (1839–1927)
20 February 1905 Seymour EdwardSir Edward Seymour (1840–1929)
5 December 1905 Fisher JohnSir John Fisher (later Lord Fisher) (1841–1920)
1 March 1907 Wilson ArthurSir Arthur Wilson (1842–1921)
11 June 1908 Nicholas IIHIM Tsar Nicholas II of Russia (1868–1918) (honorary)
2 December 1908 Noel GerardSir Gerard Noel (1845–1918)
27 January 1910 Heinrich of PrussiaHRH Prince Heinrich of Prussia (1862–1929) (honorary)
30 April 1910 Fanshawe ArthurSir Arthur Fanshawe (1847–1936)
20 March 1913 May WilliamSir William May (1849–1930)
5 March 1915 Meux HedworthSir Hedworth Meux (1856–1929)
2 April 1917 Callaghan GeorgeSir George Callaghan (1852–1920)
3 April 1919 JellicoeThe Viscount Jellicoe (later Earl Jellicoe) (1859–1935)
3 April 1919 Beatty DavidSir David Beatty (later Earl Beatty) (1871–1936)
31 July 1919 Jackson HenrySir Henry Jackson (1855–1929)
1 November 1919 Wemyss RosslynSir Rosslyn Wemyss (later Lord Wester Wemyss) (1864–1933)
24 November 1920 Burney CecilSir Cecil Burney (1858–1929)
5 July 1921 Sturdee DovetonSir Doveton Sturdee (1859-1925)
22 August 1921 Milford HavenThe Marquess of Milford Haven (1854–1921)
31 July 1924 Madden CharlesSir Charles Madden (1862–1935)
8 May 1925 Calthorpe SomersetSir Somerset Calthorpe (1864–1937)
24 November 1925 de Robeck JohnSir John de Robeck (1862–1928)
21 January 1928 Oliver HenrySir Henry Oliver (1865–1965)
31 July 1929 Brock OsmondSir Osmond Brock (1869–1947)
8 May 1930 Keyes RogerSir Roger Keyes (later Lord Keyes) (1872–1945)
20 January 1933 Field FrederickSir Frederick Field (1871–1945)
31 July 1934 Tyrwhitt ReginaldSir Reginald Tyrwhitt (1870–1951)
8 May 1935 Chatfield ErnleSir Ernle Chatfield (later Lord Chatfield) (1873–1967)
21 January 1936 Edward VIIIHM King Edward VIII (1894–1972)
12 July 1936 Kelly JohnSir John Kelly (1871–1936)
11 December 1936 George VIHM King George VI (1894–1952)
21 January 1938 CorkThe Earl of Cork and Orrery (1873–1967)
7 July 1939 Backhouse RogerSir Roger Backhouse (1878–1939)
31 July 1939 Pound DudleySir Dudley Pound (1877–1943)
8 May 1940 Forbes CharlesSir Charles Forbes (1880-1960)
21 January 1943 Cunningham AndrewSir Andrew Cunningham (later Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope) (1883–1963)
22 October 1943 Tovey JohnSir John Tovey (later Lord Tovey) (1885–1971)
8 May 1945 Somerville JohnSir James Somerville (1882–1949)
21 January 1948 Cunningham JohnSir John Cunningham (1885–1965)
22 October 1948 Fraser of North CapeThe Lord Fraser of North Cape (1888–1981)
20 March 1949 Willis AlgernonSir Algernon Willis (1889–1976)
22 April 1952 Power ArthurSir Arthur Power (1889–1960)
1 June 1952 Vian PhilipSir Philip Vian (1894–1968)
15 January 1953 EdinburghHRH The Duke of Edinburgh (born 1921)
1 May 1953 McGrigor RhoderickSir Rhoderick McGrigor (1893–1959)
22 April 1955 Creasy GeorgeSir George Creasy (1895–1972)
22 October 1956 Mountbatten of BurmaThe Earl Mountbatten of Burma (1900–1979)
1960 Lambe CharlesSir Charles Lambe (1900–1960)
23 May 1962 John CasparSir Caspar John (1903–1984)
12 August 1968 Begg VarylSir Varyl Begg (1908–1995)
30 June 1970 Le Fanu MichaelSir Michael Le Fanu (1913–1970)
12 March 1971 Hill-Norton PeterSir Peter Hill-Norton (later Lord Hill-Norton) (1915–2004)
1 March 1974 Pollock MichaelSir Michael Pollock (1916–2006)
25 June 1975 Carl XVI GustafHM Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden (born 1946) (honorary)
9 February 1977 Ashmore EdwardSir Edward Ashmore (born 1919)
6 July 1979 Lewin TerenceSir Terence Lewin (later Lord Lewin) (1920–1999)
1 December 1982 Leach HenrySir Henry Leach (born 1923)
2 August 1985 Fieldhouse JohnSir John Fieldhouse (later Lord Fieldhouse) (1928–1992)
25 May 1989 Staveley WilliamSir William Staveley (1928–1997)
2 March 1992 Oswald JulianSir Julian Oswald (born 1933)
10 July 1995 Bathhurst BenjaminSir Benjamin Bathurst (born 1936)
The practice of ordinarily promoting retiring First Sea Lords or Admirals becoming Chief of the Defence Staff to the rank of Admiral of the Fleet was then stopped.

References

  1. ^ Prothero, David (2002-12-03). "United Kingdom: Royal Navy rank flags" (in EN). Flags of the World. http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/gb%5Enrank.html. Retrieved 2006-07-28.  
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