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20th Century Portraits Catalogue

Sir Hugh Evan-Thomas (1862-1928), Admiral

Born in Wales and entered the Royal Navy’s training ship Britannia as a cadet in 1876; he was promoted sub-lieutenant during a three year cruise as a midshipman in the Bacchante and lieutenant at the end of 1884; in 1897, Evan-Thomas became a commander and was promoted captain after two years in command of the Pioneer in the Mediterranean; he was appointed to act as temporary naval secretary to the first lord of the Admiralty, Earl Cawdor, in 1905 and, although he was considered to be very young for this important post, held the office until 1908; in 1910, he became captain of the naval college at Dartmouth and was aide-de-camp to the king from 1911 until he was promoted to flag rank in 1912; at the outbreak of the war he was second in command of the 1st battle squadron but was transferred to the command of the 5th battle squadron the following year; at the battle of Jutland Evan-Thomas’s squadron acted with the Battle-Cruiser Fleet under the command of Admiral Sir David Beatty and saw both success and failure as many German ships were severely damaged, whilst several British cruisers were lost; Evan-Thomas was promoted vice-admiral in 1917 and retained command of his squadron until 1918; he was appointed commander-in-chief at the Nore in 1920 and made the decision to retire in 1924; he died in 1928 in Bedfordshire.