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Cyprian Arthur George Bridge

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Cyprian Arthur George Bridge (1839-1924)

1924 Obituary[1]


The death of Admiral Sir Cyprian Arthur George Bridge, G.C.B., which we regret to state occurred on Saturday last at his Kingston residence in his 85th year, brings to an end a long and useful career, which has been devoted entirely to the naval service of the country. Sir Cyprian, in recent years, has done much to stimulate naval thought and to enlighten public opinion upon matters connected with the policy of naval defence, having been a frequent contributor to the Press when naval questions were under discussion. He also took part -on many occasions in discussions on strategy and tactics at the meetings of the Institution of Naval Architects, from which his views will probably he familiar to our readers. His paper entitled “ Fifty Years’ Architectural Expression of Tactical Ideas,” read at the Jubilee meetings of that Institution in 1911, was also reprinted in our issue of July 7, 1911, on page 37.

The subject of our memoir, who was born in Newfoundland on March 13, 1839, entered the navy as a cadet in January, 1853, when less than 14 years of age, serving in the White Sea in the following year in the war with Russia, and afterwards in the Bay of Bengal during the Indian Mutiny. He became a lieutenant in 1859 and a commander 10 years later, attaining, the rank of captain in 1877. Periods of service at sea interspersed with committee work on shore, mainly in connection with ordnance, armour and intelligence matters, occupied him at about this time, and some years later, viz., in 1889, he was appointed Director of Naval Intelligence at the Admiralty. While occupying this position, which he held until 1894, he was promoted to flag rank, and later to the rank of vice-admiral. His next appointment was as Com-mander-in-Chief on the Australian Station, and in .1901 he took over the command of the China Squadron, being appointed Admiral in 1903.

This was his last command, but his retirement in 1904, after -over 51 years of service, by no means severed his connection with naval work, since, in the same year, he presided over the Commission entrusted with the investigation of the circumstances in which the Russian Fleet, -on its way-to the Far East during the Russo-Japanese war, fired on some British fishing vessels on the Dogger Bank. His more extensive leisure, however, allowed him time for literary work and for the public discussion of naval matters. Among other publications he was the author of “ The Art of Naval Warfare,” and “ Sea Power and Other Studies,” while a volume of reminiscences, published as recently as 1918, gives an interesting account of his early experiences in the service and throws much light on conditions in the Navy in the middle of last century. He was a frequent contributor to the journal of the Society for Nautical Research, in the work of which he took a very active interest, having been a member of the original council as well as of that of the Navy Records Society.

Technically, his most- important work for the Navy was in connection with the various committees on heavy guns, explosives, armour plates and projectiles on which he served between 1878 and 1881, but.his life’s work, first as an efficient and energetic officer and afterwards as an accurate and judicious writer, must have contributed materially to its development.

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