AIM25 : Click here to go back to the AIM25 homepage
Archives in London and the M25 area

DICKENS, Adm Sir Gerald Charles (1879-1962)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0099 KCLMA Dickens
Held at: Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King's College London
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at ›
Full title: DICKENS, Adm Sir Gerald Charles (1879-1962)
Date(s): Created 1925-1962
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 box or 0.01 cubic metres
Name of creator(s):


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born 1879; educated at Beaumont College, Foster's, Stubbington House, Hampshire; joined training ship HMS BRITANNIA, Dartmouth, Devon, as Naval Cadet, 1894; service on HMS BLAKE, Channel Fleet, 1896-1897, and HMS ECLIPSE, East Indies Station, 1897-1899; Sub Lt, 1899; HMS CLEOPATRA, 1899; Royal Naval College, Greenwich, 1899-1900; served on HMS GRIFFON and HMS DESPERATE, Mediterranean Fleet, 1900-1901; service on HM Torpedo Boats 92, 89 and 96, 1901-1902; Lt, 1902; HMS CRUISER, 1902; served on HMS VENGEANCE, China Station, 1902-1905; HMS BARFLEUR, 1905; served on HMS KING ALFRED, HMS HART and HMS HAWKE, China Station, 1906-1909; HMS CHELMER, Home Fleet, 1910; HMS GARVY, 1911; served on HMS CHELMER and HMS ALBATROSS, Mediterranean Fleet, 1911-1913; Cdr, 1914; commanded HMS HARPY, Mediterranean Fleet, 1913-1915; served in World War One, 1914-1918; service on HMS HARPY, Dardenelles, 1915; Flag Cdr to Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean, 1917-1918; Capt, 1919; awarded CMG, 1919; Deputy Director, Plans Division, Admiralty, 1920-1922; commanded HMS CARLISLE, 1922-1924; Capt Auxiliary Patrol, Fishery Protection, HMS HAREBELL, 1925-1926; Directing Staff, Imperial Defence College, 1926-1929; commanded HMS REPULSE, 1929-1931; Naval Aide de Camp to King George V, 1931-1932; R Adm, 1932; Director of Naval Intelligence Division, 1932-1935; awarded CB, 1934; R Adm, 10 Cruiser Sqn, HM King George V Jubilee Review, Spithead, 1935; R Adm commanding Reserve Fleet, 1935-1937; V Adm, 1936; created KCVO, 1937; retired list, 1938; served in World War Two, 1939-1945; Naval Attaché, The Hague, Netherlands, 1940; Principal Liaison Officer with Allied Navies, 1940; Flag Officer, Tunisia, 1943-1945; Flag Officer, Netherlands, 1945-1946; died 1962. Publications: Bombing and strategy. The fallacy of total war (Sampson Low, Marston and Company, London, 1947); The dress of the British sailor (National Maritime Museum, London, 1957).


Scope and content/abstract:

Copies of papers relating to his career and the strategic significance of seapower, 1915-1962, including official and personal correspondence, 1915-1936, including letters from Adm Sir Arthur Cavenagh Leveson, Commander-in-Chief, China Station, 1923, R Adm Montagu William Warcop Peter Consett, 1923, V Adm Sir Lewis Clinton-Baker, 1926, Lt Gen John Greer Dill, 1929-1936, Adm Sir Herbert William Richmond, 1929, Maj Gen William Henry Bartholomew, 1929, R Adm Ragnar Musgrave Colvin, Chief of Staff, Home Fleet, 1931, Cdre Andrew Browne Cunningham, 1932; manuscript narrative diary, HMS HAREBELL, Fishery Protection, 1925-1926; typescript copies of lectures given at the Imperial Defence College, 1927-1935; manuscript notes on the history of the Peninsular Campaigns, Napoleonic Wars, 1807-1814 [1928]; published articles by Dickens, letters to the press and book reviews, mainly relating to the Royal Navy and the projection of seapower, 1929-1962; manuscript narrative war diary, 1940-1945, with manuscript notes on the Korean War, 1950; official and personal correspondence, 1940-1945, including letters from Rt Hon Maurice Paschal Alers Hankey, 1st Baron Hankey of The Chart, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, 1940, letter from Capt Wilfrid Rupert Patterson, Captain of HMS KING GEORGE V, on the sinking of the German battleship BISMARCK, 1941, letters from Adm Sir Andrew Browne Cunningham, 1st Bt, 1941-1944, letter from Augustus (Edwin) John, 1943, letter from R Adm John Anthony Vere Morse, 1943, letter from AF Sir John Cronyn Tovey, Commander-in-Chief, the Nore, 1945, also, typescript report by Dickens to the Admiralty on the German attack on the Netherlands, 22 May 1940 and copy of Adm Cunningham's official signal to the Admiralty on the surrender of the Italian Fleet, Malta, 10 Sep 1943; newspaper cuttings and correspondence relating to Bombing and strategy. The fallacy of total war (Sampson Low, Marston and Company, London, 1947), including letters of congratulation from Adm Cunningham, US Adm Richard L Conolly, Maj Gen John Frederick Charles Fuller, and Cdre Guy Willoughby, 1947; personal correspondence, 1947-1962, including letters from AF Andrew Browne Cunningham, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope, 1947-1959, Adm Bruce Austin Fraser, 1st Baron Fraser of North Cape, 1948, Adm Sir (Eric James) Patrick Brind, Commander-in-Chief, Far East Station, 1949, Rt Hon Maurice Paschal Alers Hankey, 1st Baron Hankey of The Chart, 1949, AF Louis (Francis Albert Victor Nicholas) Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean, 1954, AF Alfred Ernie Montacute Chatfield, 1st Baron Chatfield of Ditchling, 1959, R Adm George Pirie Thomson, 1959; manuscript notes and annotated typescript draft chapters for projected autobiography [1960].

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The collection is arranged in sections as above.

Conditions governing access:

Open, subject to signature of reader's undertaking form.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, attention of the Director of Archive Services.

Finding aids:

Summary guide available on-line at, and in hard copy in the Centre's reading room.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Copies made by the Centre from originals lent by the family in 1984.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The papers of Capt Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart include correspondence with Dickens, 1931-1953 (Ref: LH 1/236). The Imperial War Museum, London, hold originals and copies of papers, 1896-1959, including material relating to Dickens' command of HMS HARPY, Mediterranean, 1914-1915, a memoir of shore appointments, private correspondence and a microfilm copy of a diary, letters and memoirs (Ref: 90/35/2, PP/MCR/93). The papers of AF Louis (Francis Albert Victor Nicholas) Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, in Southampton University Library, include correspondence relating to an article for The Naval Review, 1950-1954 (Ref: MB1/H79). Thirty eight letters by Dickens to V Adm Kenneth Gilbert Balmain Dewar, 1950-1956, are in the Manuscripts Section, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich (Ref: Dew/28). The papers of Capt Caspar Silas Balfour Swinley RN, held at Churchill College, Cambridge University, include correspondence with Dickens.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
Sep 1998

Related Subject Search

* To search for other records with similar subjects, tick any subjects above then click "Run New Search"

Related Personal Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"

Related Corporate Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"

Related Placename Search

* To search for other records with similar placenames, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"