Alfred Francis Blakeney Carpenter(1881-1955), Vice-Admiral; recipient of the Victoria Cross
Sitter in 12 portraits
Carpenter entered the Navy in 1897 and saw active service in Crete and during the Chinese Boxer uprising in 1900. During World War One, on 22/23 April 1918, he was in command of HMS Vindictive which was to land a force of two hundred Royal Marines on the mole at Zeebrugge, Belgium at the start of the Zeebrugge Raid designed to block the vital strategic port of Bruges. According to reports, Carpenter's 'great bravery when the ship came under heavy fire, did much to encourage similar behaviour on the part of the crew'. His power of command, personal bearing, and encouragement to those under him greatly contributed to the success of the operation and he was awarded the Victoria Cross. After a lecturing tour through the USA and Canada in 1918–19 he published his first-hand account of the war, The Blocking of Zeebrugge (1921).He retired in 1934 with the rank of Vice-Admiral.