Admiral Beatty, The Last Naval Hero

A career nothing short of meteoric, Beatty became the youngest rear-admiral for over 100 years in 1910. His twin loves of hunting and society life led him into a passionate affair with a married American heiress, Ethel Tree, whom after divorce he married , helping to maintain his high profile.

It was Beatty’s role as 1st Battlecruiser Squadron in the 1916 Battle of Jutland on which his fame controversially rests : supporters arguing his actions drew the German High Seas Fleet out and onto the guns of the British Grand Fleet; opponents claiming his reckless action led to huge losses. Nonetheless, the German fleet remained in port thereafter. Beatty’s death in 1936 was followed by a state funeral and burial in St Paul’s Cathedral, yards from Nelson.

Our speaker, Roy Smart, succeeded in bringing out the flaws of a man whose reputation has recently been subject to revision .

Remaining with the subject of water, although in a very different context, our next meeting is ‘Curing with Water’, at the Crawford Hall, at 7.30pm on Friday, February 16.