Graphical version

National Maritime Museum

Godfrey, Admiral John Henry (1888-1971)


Reference code(s): GB 0064 GOD

Held at: National Maritime Museum

Title: Godfrey, Admiral John Henry (1888-1971)

Date(s): [1903-1971]

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 27 boxes and 1 wrapped volume

Name of creator(s): Godfrey | John Henry | 1888-1971 | Admiral


Administrative/Biographical history:

John Henry Godfrey entered the Royal Navy as a Cadet in 1903. He was promoted to Midshipman in 1904, to Sub-Lieutenant in 1908 and to Lieutenant of the light cruiser BLANCHE in 1913. He served on HMS EURYALUS during the Dardenelles campaign in 1915, and in 1916 Godfrey was promoted to Lieutnenant-Commander. Between 1916-19, Godfrey was on the staff of C-in-C Mediterranean, Admiral Wemyss, after which he was a Junior War Staff officer on the staff of Sir Charles Madden, C-in-C Home Fleet. In 1920, Godfrey was promoted to Commander, at the time, one of the youngest to hold that rank. From 1923 to 1931, Godfrey was on the directing staff of the Royal Naval Staff College, Greenwich, with a brief break in between from 1925-28, when he served as second in command of HMS DIOMEDE. (After this he was promoted to Captain and returned to the Royal Naval Staff College in 1929 as Deputy Director.) Godfrey then commanded HMS KENT, HMS SUFFOLK and from 1936-39, was in command of HMS REPULSE in the Mediterranean Fleet. Promoted to Rear-Admiral in 1939, Godfrey took up the postition of Director of Naval Intelligence (DNI), which he held until 1942, when he was made Vice-Admiral. He was then appointed Flag Officer Commanding, Royal Indian Navy (FOCRIN) in 1943, being responsible for its organisation, training, administration, etc. In 1945, Godfrey was placed on the retired list and promoted to Admiral. However, he continued to serve as FOCRIN until March of 1946, thereby completing a full 3 years service in that position.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of John Henry Godfrey covering the majority of Godfrey's long career in the Royal Navy, as well as his very active retirement. Amongst the wide-ranging collection, present are official records of Godfrey's early service, copies of lectures given at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, and various papers relating to his time as DNI, including several NID monographs that offer detailed analysis of various wartime and post war topics. There is also present a large amount of material relating to Godfrey's time as FOCRIN, including letters, reports, promotional recruitment publications, etc. There are also diaries from 1931-1971, and a complete set of Godfrey's unpublished memoirs in 8 volumes.


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 to the National Maritime Museum first by Admiral Godfrey between 1931 and 1964, and then by Mrs Margaret Godfrey between 1980 and 1981.



Archivist's note: Edited by Sarah Drewery, Jun 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: 2011-01-31

Diaries | Nonfiction
Naval affairs | Military affairs | Military science | Social sciences
Naval operations | Military operations | Military engineering
World War Two (1939-1945) | World wars (events) | Wars (events)
Primary documents

Personal names
Godfrey | John Henry | 1888-1971 | Admiral

Corporate names
Royal Naval College | Greenwich
Royal Navy