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Lord Charles Beresford

Category: Business and political leaders

 

Charles William de la Poer Beresford, 1st Baron Beresford GCB GCVO (10 February 1846 – 6 September 1919), styled Lord Charles Beresford between 1859 and 1916, was a British admiral and Member of Parliament. 

He combined the two careers of the navy and a member of parliament, making a reputation as a hero in battle and champion of the navy in the House of Commons.

He was promoted to admiral in 1903. In the latter years he was knighted in both the Order of the Bath and the Royal Victorian Order, followed by promotion to GCVO in 1906 and GCB in 1911.

Beresford was in command of the Mediterranean Fleet from 1905 until 1907 and was transferred to command of the Channel fleet from 1907–1909. He was complimented by a then-junior officer as having 'no superior as a seaman'.

He was also a well-known and popular figure, widely known to the British public as "Charlie B". Beresford had a reputation for kindness to his men, saying 'Any smart action performed by an officer or man should be appreciated publicly by signal...Everyone is grateful for appreciation.’

Beresford also held a number of foreign honours:

  • Grand Cordon of the Order of the Medjidie of the Ottoman Empire.
  • Grand Cross of the Order of the Red Eagle of Prussia.
  • Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer of Greece.
  • Grand Cross of the Order of St Olav of Norway.
  • Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour of France.

Beresford remained an MP until 1916, after he retired from the navy in 1911. In 1916, he was raised to the peerage as Baron Beresford of Metemmeh and of Curraghmore in the County of Waterford.

Lord Beresford died in 1919 at Langwell, Berriedale, Caithness, at the age of 73, at which point his title became extinct. After a State funeral at St Paul's Cathedral, he was buried at Putney Vale Cemetery, south London.

And he had a spiritual experience.

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