Royal Navy obituary in the Times newspaper
Royal Navy obituary in the Times newspaper

Royal NavyObituaries

The following obituary for Michael Culme-Seymour appeared in the Times newspaper.

Obituary in the Times newspaper
12 October 1920



We regret to announce the death of Admiral Sir Michael Culme-Seymour, Bt., which occurred last evening at Wadenhoe House, Oundle, at the age of 84. He had been ill since January.

Sir Michael was the eldest son of the Rev. Sir John Hobart Culme-Seymour, Bt., and grandson of Rear-Admiral Sir Michael. Seymour, who was made a baronet for the capture of the French frigates Thetis and Niemen in the Napoleonic war. He was born on March 13, 1836, and entered the Navy in 1850, when he was sent out to the East India station and joined the Hastings in time to take part in the Burmese War. In the early part of 1854 he was in the Baltic, and being sent home in command of a prize, was sent out to the Black Sea, where he joined the Naval Brigade in the Crimea, and later on took part in the reduction of Kinburn. His Crimean medal had the Inkerman and Sebastopol clasps; he received also the Turkish medal and the Medjidie, 5th class. After the peace he was sent out to join his uncle, Sir Michael Seymour, in China, and served as his uncle’s flag-lieutenant during the whole of the second China War, receiving, together with the China medal, the clasps for Fatshan, Canton, and Taku Forts, 1858.

In 1859 he was promoted commander, and captain in 1865. In the following year he married Mary, daughter of the Hon. Richard Watson. From 1874 to 1876 he was private secretary to Mr. Ward Hunt, then First Lord of the Admiralty. It was at this time that he was first thrown in close contact with Sir Geoffrey Hornby, under whom he shortly afterwards (1878-80) commanded the Temeraire in the Mediterranean. It was a critical time, and Hornby formed a high opinion of Seymour’s character and ability. By the death of his father, in 1880, he succeeded as third baronet; and in 1882 he was promoted to rear-admiral. At a very anxious period, the spring of 1885, he was appointed to the command of an occasional squadron, and a few months later took over the command in the Pacific. Sir Michael became a vice-admiral in 1888, and from 1890 to 1892 commanded the Channel Fleet, in which capacity it fell to him, in the summer manoeuvres of 1890, to command the hypothetical enemy’s fleet and to prove the possibility of coaling the fleet at sea. In 1893 he attained the rank of admiral, and in the same year was nominated a K.C.B.

From June, 1893, to December, 1896, he was commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean, during which time, in 1804, he visited Constantinople and was received by the Sultan, who conferred on him the Medjidie of the First Class. From 1897 to 1900 he was commander-in-chief at Portsmouth, and on the occasion of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee received the G.C.B. As principal naval aide-de-camp, he had an important part in the ceremonies connected with the funeral of the Queen, in recognition of which the Grand Cross of the Victorian Order was conferred on him. In March, 1901, he was retired under the age limit. He was afterwards associated with Lord Mount Edgcumbe in a special mission to the Courts of Belgium, Bavaria, Italy, Würtemberg, and the Netherlands, to announce the death of the Queen and the accession of Edward VII. He was appointed Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom in July, 1901. Of late years he had resided chiefly in the country, though keeping up his interest in current affairs.

Sir Michael is succeeded in the baronetcy by his oldest son, Rear-Admiral Sir Michael Culme-Seymour. K.C.B. In a recent letter in The Times Admiral of the Fleet Sir E.H. Seymour pointed out that there have been four generations running of Admirals Sir Michael Seymour oh the active Flag List of the Navy, and all four officers have flown their flags in sea-going ships. A similar recurrence of names and high rank in one family is probably unknown in either of the Services.

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