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Sir Dudley Pound
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Dudley Pound
Birth name Alfred Dudley Pickman Rogers Pound
Born (1877-08-29)29 August 1877
Ventnor, England
Died 21 October 1943(1943-10-21) (aged 66)
Royal Masonic Hospital, London, England
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Navy
Years of service 1891–1943
Rank Admiral of the Fleet
Commands held First Sea Lord
Mediterranean Fleet
Battle Cruiser Squadron
HMS Repulse
HMS Colossus
Battles/wars First World War
Arab revolt in Palestine
Second World War
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Member of the Order of Merit
Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
Mentioned in Despatches
Officer of the Legion of Honour (France)
Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (Poland)
Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav
Navy Distinguished Service Medal (United States)

Sir Alfred Dudley Pickman Rogers Pound, GCB, OM, GCVO (29 August 1877 – 21 October 1943) was a British senior officer of the Royal Navy. He served in the First World War as a battleship commander, taking part in the Battle of Jutland with notable success, contributing to the sinking of the German cruiser Wiesbaden. He served as First Sea Lord, the professional head of the Royal Navy, for the first four years of the Second World War. In that role his greatest achievement was his successful campaign against the German U-boats and the winning of the Battle of the Atlantic but his judgment has been questioned over the failed Norwegian Campaign in 1940, his dismissal of Admiral Dudley North in 1940, and Japan's sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse in late 1941. His order in July 1942 to disperse Convoy PQ 17 and withdraw its covering forces, to counter a threat from heavy German surface ships, led to its destruction by submarines and aircraft. His health failed in 1943 and he resigned, dying shortly thereafter.

Early life

Born the son of Alfred John Pound, an Eton-educated barrister, by his marriage to Elizabeth Pickman Rogers, an American from Boston, Pound's maternal grandfather was Richard Saltonstall Rogers, but was also descended on his mother's side from Dudley Leavitt Pickman, an early Salem, Massachusetts, merchant. He was educated at Fonthill School in East Grinstead, Sussex.

Naval career

The Royal Navy during the Second World War A16722
Pound on board the RMS Queen Mary sailing to the United States
Prince of Wales-5
Admiral Pound (standing, far right) at the Atlantic Conference in 1941

Pound joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in the training ship HMS Britannia in January 1891 and was posted as a midshipman to the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign in the Channel Squadron in January 1893. He transferred to the cruiser HMS Undaunted in May 1894 on the China Station and then joined HMS Calypso in the Training Squadron. Promoted to sub-lieutenant on 29 August 1896, he joined the destroyer HMS Opossum in October 1897 and the battleship HMS Magnificent in January 1898. Promoted to lieutenant on 29 August 1898, he joined the torpedo school HMS Vernon in September 1899 and qualified as a torpedo specialist in December 1901. He served as a torpedo officer in the cruiser HMS Grafton on the Pacific Station before transferring to the battleship HMS King Edward VII in the Atlantic Fleet in January 1905 and then to the battleship HMS Queen in the Mediterranean Fleet in March 1907.

Pound joined the staff at the Ordnance Department of the Admiralty in January 1909 and then, having been promoted to commander on 30 June 1909, he transferred to the battleship HMS Superb in the Home Fleet in May 1911. He joined the staff of the Royal Naval War College in early 1913 and then transferred to the battleship HMS St Vincent in the Home Fleet in April 1914.

The battlecruiser HMS Repulse, which Pound commanded in the early 1920s

Pound served throughout the First World War. After being promoted to captain on 31 December 1914, he became an Additional Naval Assistant to the First Sea Lord before being given command of the battleship HMS Colossus in May 1915. He led her at the Battle of Jutland with notable success, contributing to the sinking of the German cruiser Wiesbaden. He returned to the Admiralty in July 1917 to become Assistant Director of Plans and then Director of the Operations Division (Home) and was closely involved in the planning for the Zeebrugge Raid.


Dudley Pound memorial in All Saints' Church, Godshill, Isle of Wight
Dudley Pound memorial in All Saints' Church, Godshill, Isle of Wight

He died from the tumour at the Royal Masonic Hospital in London on 21 October (Trafalgar Day) 1943 and, after a funeral service in Westminster Abbey, followed by cremation at Golders Green Crematorium, his ashes were buried at sea in The Solent.


In 1908 Pound married Betty Whitehead; they had two sons and a daughter, Barbara.

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