George Edwin Patey

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Sir George Edwin Patey
File:George Patey EN0385.JPG
Vice Admiral Sir George Patey
Born 24 February 1859
Montpellier, near Plymouth, United Kingdom
Died 5 February 1935(1935-02-05) (aged 75)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Navy
Royal Australian Navy
Rank Admiral
Commands held HM Australian Fleet
2nd Battle Squadron
HMS Implacable
HMS Venerable
Battles/wars Anglo-Zulu War
World War I
Awards Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George

Admiral Sir George Edwin Patey KCMG, KCVO (24 February 1859 – 5 February 1935) was a senior officer in the Royal Navy.

Early years

Patey was born on 24 February 1859 at Montpellier, near Plymouth, United Kingdom. His father, also named George Edwin Patey, was a Royal Navy officer.[1] Patey entered the Royal Navy as a cadet on 15 January 1872, aged 12.[2][3][4]

Naval career

Patey served as a midshipman aboard HMS Shah as part of the British Pacific Squadron under Admiral de Horsey during the Battle of Pacocha, an action in company with the corvette HMS Amethyst on 29 May 1877 with the Peruvian armoured turret ship Huáscar which had been taken over by rebels opposed to the Peruvian Government and, it was feared, could be used to attack British shipping. He was promoted to Sub-Lieutenant on 21 March 1878, and while upon the voyage home HMS Shah was diverted to South Africa to assist in the Anglo-Zulu War. Patey served in the naval brigade which was formed to fight ashore, for which he received the Zulu Medal.[1][2]

Promoted to Lieutenant on 10 August 1881,[5] he went to gunnery school at HMS Excellent between February 1889 and February 1892.[4] Assigned to naval intelligence, he was promoted to Commander on 31 December 1894[6] and became Assistant Director of Naval Intelligence.[2] Serving upon HMS Barfleur as part of the British Mediterranean Squadron, he participated in the Allied occupation of Candia, Crete on 15 February 1897, and was part of the International Squadron blockading Crete during the Greco-Turkish uprising on Crete.[7]

After being promoted to Captain on 1 January 1900,[8] he went on to serve as Assistant Director of Naval Intelligence until 5 May 1901. He was awarded the Order of the Redeemer from George I, King of Greece in 1903. In command of HMS Venerable, he was appointed Member of the Royal Victorian Order[9] by Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom during his visit to Naples on 23 April 1903. Later he went on to command HMS Implacable between 1905 and 1907.[2] He was awarded the Cross of the Order of the Naval Merit and Cross of the Order of Military Merit from Alfonso XII, King of Spain. On 22 March 1908, he became a Naval Aide-de-camp to King Edward VII.[10]

On 2 January 1909, he was promoted to Rear Admiral in the British Home Fleet and was commander of the 2nd Battle Squadron until 1911.[2] In 1913, he was loaned from the Royal Navy to be the first Rear Admiral Commanding HM Australian Fleet and was awarded a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order[11] on his flagship HMAS Australia, when King George V visited the Australian Fleet at Spithead on 30 June 1913 to review the fleet and watch them depart for Australia.

At the outbreak of World War I, he commanded the Australian naval squadron as part of the New Zealand Samoa Expeditionary Force that captured German Samoa and the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force that captured German New Guinea. Sailed with HMAS Australia to join the 2nd Battlecruiser Squadron at Rosyth, Scotland and on 8 February 1915, became the flagship of the Squadron.[12] He was promoted to Vice Admiral on 21 September 1914[13] and became Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station the following year.[14][15]

He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George on 1 January 1916.[16] On 22 September 1916, he transferred to another ship of the Royal Navy and command of His Majesty's Australian Fleet was transferred to Rear Admiral William Pakenham.[12]

He died on 5 February 1935.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Admiral Sir George Patey—The Australian Navy" (Obituaries). The Times (London). Wednesday, 6 February 1935. (46981), col E, p. 14.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday 7 February 1935, p.12 (Obituary). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "smh" defined multiple times with different content
  3. "RN Officer's Service Records—Image details—Patey, George Edwin—ADM 196/39" (fee usually payable to view full pdf of original service record). DocumentsOnline. The National Archives. Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "RN Officer's Service Records—Image details—Patey, George Edwin—ADM 196/20" (fee usually payabel to view full pdf of original service record). DocumentsOnline. The National Archives. Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  5. The London Gazette: no. 25004. p. 4185. 12 August 1881. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
  6. The London Gazette: no. 26585. p. 7. 1 January 1895. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
  7. Burt, p. 99
  8. The London Gazette: no. 27150. p. 3. 2 January 1900. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
  9. The London Gazette: no. 27560. p. 3525. 2 June 1903. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
  10. The London Gazette: no. 28122. p. 2262. 24 March 1908. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
  11. The London Gazette: no. 28734. p. 4734. 4 July 1913. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Stevens, in The Royal Australian Navy, p. 37
  13. The London Gazette: no. 28910. p. 7478. 22 September 1914. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
  14. Bermuda's Royal Navy base at Ireland Island from 1815 to the 1960s
  15. Obituary: Sir George Patey Evening Post, Volume CXIX, Issue 31, 6 February 1935, Page 12
  16. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29423. p. 83. 31 December 1915. Retrieved 23 August 2009.


  • The Sydney Morning Herald. - Thursday 7 February 1935 p. 12 (Obituary).
  • Burt, R. A. British Battleships 1889-1904. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1988. ISBN 0-87021-061-0.
  • Stevens, David (2001). "The Genesis of the Australian Navy (pp. 5-27); World War I (pp. 29-53)". In Stevens, David. The Royal Australian Navy. The Australian Centenary History of Defence. III. South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-555542-2. OCLC 50418095. 

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
C R Keppel
Captain of HMS Implacable
June 1905–May 1907
Succeeded by
M E F Kerr
Preceded by
New Creation
Rear Admiral Commanding HM Australian Fleet
1913 – 1915
Succeeded by
William Pakenham
Preceded by
(last held by Sir Day Bosanquet)
Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station
Succeeded by
Sir Montague Browning