Graphical version

National Maritime Museum

Tennant, Sir William George, Admiral, (1890-1963)


Reference code(s): GB 0064 TEN

Held at: National Maritime Museum

Title: Tennant, Sir William George, Admiral, (1890-1963)

Date(s): [1905-1949]

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 5ft; 182cm

Name of creator(s): Tennant | Sir | William George | 1890-1963 | Admiral


Administrative/Biographical history:

Tennant joined the BRITANNIA in 1905, from 1906 to 1909 was in the Channel in the PRINCE OF WALES, VENERABLE, IMPLACABLE and QUEEN and was promoted to lieutenant in 1912. After specialising in navigation he served from 1914 to 1916 in the LIZARD and FERRET, Harwich Force, and in the Grand Fleet in the CHATHAM and NOTTINGHAM. Still in 1916, he returned to the Harwich Force in the CONCORD and remained in her as navigator until 1919. He was navigator during the two Royal tours around the world in the RENOWN, 1921 and the REPULSE, 1925, the year he was promoted to commander. He was made Captain in 1932. From 1935 to 1937 he was on the Mediterranean Station in the ARETHUSA followed by two years (1937 to 1939), as naval instructor at Imperial Defence College. At the beginning of the Second World War, Tennant organized the embarkation of the allied armies at Dunkirk. He next commanded the REPULSE and survived her sinking off Singapore by Japanese air attack at the end of 1941. In 1942 he was promoted to rear-admiral and commanded a cruiser squadron of the Eastern Fleet. He joined the staff for 'Overlord' , the Allied invasion of Nazi occupied Europe, in 1943 and was responsible for the 'Mulberry' harbours. In 1945 he went as Flag-Officer, Levant and Eastern Mediterranean, was promoted to vice-admiral in that year and to admiral in 1949 at the end of his term as Commander-in-Chief, America and West Indies, 1946 to 1949.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Sir William George Tennant, including official service documents; midshipman's logs, 1905 to 1909; diaries of war service, written up in 1919, and one for the cruises of 1925; a work book, 1927; papers on the loss of the REPULSE , 1941; tactical and secret papers on the 'Mulberry' operations, 1944, and engagement diaries, visitors' books, notes for speeches and lectures, 1946 to 1949, as well as many general papers and notebooks relating to Tennant's historical interests and the role of the three services in defence strategy.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue online at the: National Maritime Museum website .


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The papers were presented by Lady Tennant in 1967.



Archivist's note: Edited by Sarah Drewery, Oct 2011.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: 2011-05-16

Naval affairs | Military affairs | Military science | Social sciences
Operation Overlord (1944) | Military operations | Military engineering
Ships logs | Primary documents | Documents | Information sources
World War One (1914-1918) | World wars (events) | Wars (events)
World War Two (1939-1945) | World wars (events) | Wars (events)

Personal names
Tennant | Sir | William George | 1890-1963 | Admiral

Corporate names
HMS Revenge