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

Royal NavyObituaries

The following obituary for George Tryon appeared in the Times newspaper.

Obituary in the Times newspaper
24 June 1893

Admiral Sir George Tryon, K.C.B.

Vice-Admiral Sir George Tryon, K.C.B., was born on January 4,1832, was the second son of the late Mr. Thomas Tryon of Bulwick-park, Northamptonshire, and nephew of the present Admiral Robert Tryon (retired). He entered the Royal Navy in 1848, and as midshipman and mate, to which rank he was promoted in 1854, served with the Naval Brigade before Sebastopol, and while in the trenches was wounded. He was at that time attached to the Vengeance, 84, Captain Lord Edward Russell, but was in the course of the year transferred to the Britannia, 120, Captain T.W. Carter, bearing the flag of Vice-Admiral J.W.D. Dundas; and, in October, 1854, was promoted to be lieutenant. He was present at all the operations against Sebastopol, and in the Royal Albert, 121, Captain W.R. Mends, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Lyons, witnessed the bombardment and capture of Kinburn in October, 1855. For these services he received the Crimean medal with the Inkermann and Sebastopol clasps, the Turkish medal, and the 3rd class of the Medjidieh. He remained in the Royal Albert for some time after the conclusion of the war; but in 1858 was appointed to a lieutenancy in the Royal yacht Victoria and Albert, Captain the Hon. Joseph Denman. Upon leaving her in 1860 he was promoted to be commander, and in 1861 joined the Fisgard, flagship at Woolwich, for service in the ironclad Warrior, which was then completing in the Victoria Docks. When, in the late summer of the same year, that ship was commissioned by Captain the Hon. A.A. Cochrane, George Tryon became her first commander, and in her served in the Channel Squadron. He was transferred thence, in August, 1864, to command the gun vessel Surprise, 4, in the Mediterranean, and, having paid off that ship, was in April, 1866, made a captain. After little more than a year of halfpay he was appointed as additional captain, for transport service, to the Octavia, 35, bearing the broad pennant of Commodore Leopold G. Heath on the East India Station. His position during the of the Abyssinian expeditionExternal link of 1868 was that of director of transports, and in consequence of the very valuable services which he rendered during the campaign he was specially mentioned in despatches and rewarded with a C.B. in addition to the Abyssinian medal. From 1871 to 1874 Captain Tryon was private secretary to Mr. Goschen, who was then First Lord of the Admiralty; and when Mr. Gladstone’s Ministry went out of office, he was given command of the Raleigh, which belonged successively to the Detached Squadron and to the Mediterranean Fleet, and in which he remained until 1877. In 1878 he became captain of the Monarch in the Mediterranean, where he was upon the coast of Tunis at the time of the French operations against the Regency; and, in 1881, served on the Sfax Inquiry Commission. When, in 1881, he paid-off the Monarch he had the well merited satisfaction of being officially complimented by the Admiralty upon the excellent state of the ship. While in command of her he had, in 1879, been appointed a naval aide-de-camp to her Majesty; and this honourable position he retained for nearly five years. After his return from the Mediterranean, Captain Tryon was, until his promotion to flag-rank in 1884, first acting and then regular Permanent Secretary to the Admiralty; and about six months after his promotion he was made commander-in-chief on the Australian Station, where he flew his flag in the first-class cruiser Nelson, with Captain Atwell Lake, who had for a time been commander under him in the Raleigh, and who was his captain of the fleet in the manoeuvres of 1890, as his flag-captain. In Australia Admiral Tryon did work of Imperial importance in connexion with the organization of local naval defence; and it is owing to his influence there that Australia now has a squadron of modern vessels for the protection of its floating trade. He returned in 1887, and in June of that year was created a K.C.B. He was in July, 1887, induced to offer himself as a Parliamentary candidate for the Spalding division of Lincolnshire; but he had little or no interest in the constituency, and he was easily defeated by his Gladstonian opponent, Mr. Halley Stewart, who polled 5,110 votes to his 4,363. That Sir George was not returned is for many reasons to be regretted, for no man was ever better qualified to explain the needs of the Navy. At the same time, he probably rendered equally good service to his country in his next appointment, which was given him in April, 1888, and which was that of Admiral Superintendent of Naval Reserves. That he had a genius for what one of his brother admirals described as "knee-hole table work" is recognized by every naval officer, and in Springgardens Sir George was able to exercise it. He practically reorganized our system of coast-signals, which is in the hands of the Coastguard; he encouraged and much improved the efficiency of all branches of the reserves; and in the summers of 1888,1889, and 1890, when he commanded fleets during the manoeuvres, he had other opportunities of demonstrating his high capacity, both as an organizer and as a tactician. On these occasions he was seldom seen, but perpetually felt. Every day for many hours he wrote or dictated in his cabin; and it is not too much to say that, in grasp of situation, rapidity of decision, and correctness of view, no naval commander of our day is, or has been, his superior. Of a habit of body which must have inclined him to indolence, he was, nevertheless, the most hardworking and tireless officer in any of his squadrons, and, provided only that he could smoke to his heart’s content, he seemed to never weary of his often very arduous duties. When, in 1891, he was sent as commander-in-chief —having been promoted in 1889 to be a vice-admiral — to the Mediterranean, it was generally felt throughout the Navy that, so long as Sir George Tryon was eligible, there was no other officer for the post. He assumed command in September, 1891, hoisting his flag in the unhappy VictoriaExternal link, where he kept it, save for very brief intervals, until the day of his death. He even kept it flying there for the greater part of the tedious time last year when the ironclad was ashore on the coast of Greece, and during the subsequent months when she was in dock undergoing repair at Malta, for in his cabin of the ship were all the books, charts, plans, and papers which he loved to be in the midst of, and he was never happier than when he was at his desk. During his rare periods of half-pay Sir George contributed articles upon various naval subjects to several magazines and reviews. His writing was always clear and cogent; and it is yet probable that the far-reaching scheme of national maritime insurance which, about three years ago, he advocated in the pages of the United Service Magazine will bear fruit.
Sir George Tryon married, in 1869, the Hon. Clementina Willoughby, daughter of the first Baron Aveland and the Baroness Willoughby de Eresby, who survives him. His lamented death will also throw into mourning the families of his cousin, Lord Kesteven, and of his sister. Lady Ancestor. But, indeed, it may be said that no one who has ever known him will hear without personal sorrow of his untimely end. The loss will be felt almost as much on the lower deck of every ship that flies the white ensign as among the late Admiral’s private friends, for Sir George was an officer in whom, and with reason, the British bluejacket believed, and of whom he was very proud. As Lord George Hamilton said last night in the House of Commons, the Admiral needed only the opportunity to make for himself a name second to no name in the annals of the service to which he belonged.

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