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National Maritime Museum

Smith-Dorrien, Rear-Admiral Arthur Hale (1856-1933)


Reference code(s): GB 0064 SMD

Held at: National Maritime Museum

Title: Smith-Dorrien, Rear-Admiral Arthur Hale (1856-1933)

Date(s): [1865-1904]

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 1 1/2ft; 46cm

Name of creator(s): Dorrien | Arthur Hale | Smith- | 1856-1933 | Rear-Admiral


Administrative/Biographical history:

Smith-Dorrien entered the BRITANNIA in 1870 and then went to the TRAFALGAR, which was the cadet training ship at that time. His first service was in the ENDYMION between 1872 and 1873, after which he joined the VOLAGE during an expedition, 1874 to 1875, to observe the transit of Venus at Kerguelen Island, Indian Ocean. He then served in the SULTAN, Channel Squadron, before taking his gunnery and Greenwich courses. In 1876 he was appointed to the SHAH on her commission as flagship in the Pacific and was present at the action with the Peruvian turret-ship HUASCAR. During the Zulu War of 1879 he was in the Naval Brigade and was also promoted to lieutenant. From 1880, he was in the ECLIPSE, East Indies Station, operating against the slave trade; he ended the commission by service in the Naval Brigade in Egypt, 1882. On his return home he was appointed Flag-Lieutenant to the Commander-in-Chief, Devonport. From 1884 to 1885 he served in the Mediterranean and then in China in the INVINCIBLE; from 1886 to 1887 he was in the Red Sea in the CONDOR; from 1887 to 1889 he was in the ESPIEGLE, in the Pacific and then from 1889 to 1893 was in the PHAETON on the Mediterranean Station. He was appointed commander in 1893, going to the BRITANNIA and in 1897 to the ALACRITY, Admiral's despatch vessel on the China Station. Having become a captain in 1900, in 1901 he commanded the RAINBOW. He retired in 1904 and was promoted to rear-admiral on the retired list in 1909.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Arthur Hale Smith-Dorrien, comprising four volumes of watercolours, photographs, newscuttings and documents covering his career from his schooldays in 1865 until the end of his naval service, together with three volumes of caricatures and sketches.


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 Rear-Admiral Smith-Dorrien' s nephew, Mr D. Smith-Dorrien, in 1952.



Archivist's note: Edited by Sarah Drewery, Sep 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: 2011-04-19

Naval affairs | Military affairs | Military science | Social sciences
Watercolour painting | Painting | Fine arts

Personal names
Dorrien | Arthur Hale | Smith- | 1856-1933 | Rear-Admiral

Corporate names
Royal Navy