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20th Century Portraits Catalogue

Sir Walter Henry Cowan, 1st Bt (1871-1956), Admiral

Born at Crickhowell, Brecknockshire and passed into the navy in 1884; he was invalided twice within the first ten years of his career, but was promoted sub-lieutenant in 1890 and lieutenant two years later; he became Lord Kitchener’s aide-de-camp and spent the whole of 1900 in the field; promoted commander in 1901, at the age of just thirty, and captain in 1906; during the war he saw action in the battle of Jutland, but was involved in little other activity; following a period of unemployment he accepted the America and West Indies command and was promoted admiral in 1927; he became first and principal naval aide-de-camp to the king in 1930 and retired from the active list the following year; on the outbreak of war in 1939 he returned to service and was allowed to act in the rank of commander; he took part in many operations in Egypt, India and Italy throughout this time; he was made honorary colonel, the 18th King Edward VII’s Own cavalry in 1946 and reverted back to retirement; he died in Leamington Spa in February 1956.