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Admiral Rosslyn Wemyss’ Royal Connection, 1877-1933

Posted by John Johnson-Allen , on June 6th, 2022

Abstract

This post presents a series of letters exchanged between Captain Rosslyn Wemyss and Prince George (the future King George V). The documents are held in the Churchill Archives, in the Wemyss archive, in WYMS 2/8 and WYMS10/2

Rosslyn Wemyss was born in 1864 and went on to become a most distinguished Admiral, who commanded the landings and evacuations at the Gallipoli campaign, the East Indies and Red Sea station during the Arab Revolt, and served as the Allied Naval Representative at the Armistice negotiations on 11 November 1918. It was Wemyss’ idea for the ceasefire to begin at 11 a.m. on the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

His paternal family, the Wemyss’s, had a lineage which was directly traced to Michael of Methil and Wemyss in the 12th century. On his mother’s side, his grandmother was one of the issues of the liaison of Duke of Clarence, who became King William IV, and Mrs Jordan. So, when, in the autumn of 1877, he joined Britannia Naval College as a cadet, amongst his year were his distant cousins Princes George and Albert Victor, the sons of the then Prince of Wales. Rosy, as he became known throughout the navy, and Prince George became close friends. Their friendship strengthened when they both joined HMS Bacchante in 1879 and spent two years as midshipmen sailing around the world.

 

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