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20th Century Portraits Catalogue

Sir Cecil Burney, 1st Bt (1858-1929), Admiral of the Fleet

Born in Jersey and educated at the Royal Navy Academy, Gosport, before entering the Britannia training ship as a naval cadet in 1871; Burney started out as a midshipman in 1873 and served for three years in the Pacific and American stations; he was promoted sub-lieutenant in 1877 and spent the following three years in educational courses and short appointments; for over five years he served as gunnery lieutenant in the North American reserve and channel squadrons, before becoming commander in 1893; he was then promoted captain in 1898 and to flag rank in 1909; in 1913 took over command of the Second and Third fleets, which were to become the Channel Fleet on the outbreak of war in 1914; Burney went, in this year, to the 1st battle squadron of the Grand Fleet, as second in command under Lord Jellicoe; he saw action at the battle of Jutland and was promoted admiral a few days after its close; Burney joined the Board of Admiralty as a second sea lord in 1916 but, when the board was reorganised the following year, he was relieved of his duties; in 1919 he became commander-in-chief at Portsmouth but was again relieved shortly after because of ill health; Burney was created a baronet for his war services in 1921; he died in Hampshire in 1929.