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20th Century Portraits Catalogue

David Richard Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty (1871-1936), Admiral

Born in Nantwich, Cheshire and entered the Britannia at the age of thirteen to begin his naval training; he started his career in the Mediterranean Fleet and was rated midshipman in 1886; Beatty was promoted to lieutenant in 1892; by 1898, he had achieved a promotion to commander and was now well ahead of his contemporaries on the career ladder; in 1900 he became a captain, taking up his first command two years later after undergoing prolonged medical treatment for an injury sustained in battle in China. His prompt action in August 1914 at Heligoland Bight averted naval disaster, and his advance initiatives secured victory for the British Fleet under Admiral Jellicoe at the Battle of Jutland in 1916. As Commander of the Grand Fleet, Beatty accepted the surrender of the German High Sea Fleet in 1918. He served as First Sea Lord from 1921 to 1927.