Eustace Tennyson d'Eyncourt

Sir Eustace Henry William Tennyson d'Eyncourt, 1st Baronet KCB FRS[1] (1 April 1868 – 1 February 1951)[2] was a British naval architect and engineer. As Director of Naval Construction for the Royal Navy, 1912–1924, he was responsible for the design and construction of some of the most famous British warships. He was also chairman of the Landship Committee at the Admiralty, which was responsible for the design and production of the first military tanks to be used in warfare.[3]

Sir Eustace Tennyson d'Eyncourt, Bt
Sir Eustace Tennyson d'Eyncourt (Bain Collection)
Born1 April 1868
Hadley House, Barnet, Hertfordshire
Died1 February 1951 (aged 82)
Westminster, London
Alma materCharterhouse
Known forDirector of Naval Construction
Spouse(s)Janet Finlay (married about 1898, Scotland)
AwardsFellow of the Royal Society[1]

Personal life

D'Eyncourt was born in April 1868 at Hadley House, Barnet, Hertfordshire. He was the sixth child of Louis Charles Tennyson d'Eyncourt (1814–1896) and his wife Sophia Yates (d. 1900). Through his father, he was a cousin of Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

He was educated at Charterhouse before becoming an apprentice in naval architecture at the shipyard of Armstrong, Whitworth & Co. in Elswick. By 1898, he was employed as a naval architect in Govan, Glasgow. There he met Janet Burns (née Watson Finlay), a widow whom he married that same year. She had two children from her first marriage, Kingsley and Gwyneth; together she and d'Eyncourt had a son and daughter, Cecily and Gervais. Janet Tennyson d'Eyncourt died in 1909 when accompanying her husband on a business trip to Buenos Aires.

D'Eyncourt received a number of awards and honours: in 1921, he was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society, in 1930, he was created a baronet, and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1946. He was succeeded in the baronetcy by his son Gervais (d. 1971). The writer Adam Nicolson is Eustace d'Eyncourt's great grandson.

Career

Eustace Tennyson d'Eyncourt Grave
Grave of Eustace Tennyson d'Eyncourt (central cross) in Brookwood Cemetery

As an apprentice at Armstrong, Whitworth & Co., d'Eyncourt worked on the design of warships for the Austrian, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Turkish governments. He joined the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company of Govan in 1898, before returning to Armstrong, Whitworth & Co. in 1902. In 1904, he undertook consultancy work on the state of the Turkish navy which earned him the Order of the Medjidie, Third Class.

In 1912, d'Eyncourt was appointed director of naval construction with the Royal Navy. He pioneered new forms of ship construction that helped provide protection from torpedo attack.

On 20 February 1915, First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill asked him to be Chairman of the Landship Committee, a group of Royal Naval Air Service officers and engineers assembled to design a vehicle capable of crossing No Man's Land and suppressing the enemy machine guns that had caused heavy casualties in the first six months of the First World War. The machine that was eventually developed was given the name "tank".

D'Eyncourt resigned from the Admiralty in 1924 and rejoined his former company, Armstrong, Whitworth & Co. However, the firm failed in the late 1920s owing to the building slump following the end of the war. In 1928, d'Eyncourt joined the board of Parsons Marine Steam Turbine Company until he retired in 1948. He lived for most of his retirement in Hailsham, Sussex, but died in London in 1951.

He is buried in Brookwood Cemetery.

Design characteristics

In his battlecruisers, "large light cruisers" and the Hawkins-class cruisers, d'Eyncourt evolved a novel hull form: in cross-section the hull was an isosceles trapezoid, with the ship's sides sloping inboard at an angle of 10 degrees from the vertical, while outboard of this, external bulges extended over the full length of the machinery spaces. The result was a hull structure of great strength, and the sloping sides increased the possible spread of impact of shells, thus giving greater resistance to penetration.

The aesthetic side of naval architecture has seldom been given much attention, though it is as much of an art as the architecture of buildings; in general appearance (in terms of harmonious proportion as regards length, beam, and freeboard, as well as the size of the superstructure and funnels in relation to the hull), the opinion has been expressed that d'Eyncourt created some of the most elegant and eye-pleasing warships ever designed, the prime example being the battle cruiser Hood.[4]

Ship designs

D'Eyncourt was not necessarily the principal designer of the vessels listed below, but had ultimate responsibility for them.

Battleships and Battlecruisers

Cruisers

"Large light cruisers", later aircraft carriers

Destroyers

Submarines

Other types

Monitors, Patrol boats, Minesweepers, Sloops, Gunboats for China Station, Merchant ship conversions into seaplane carrier

Tanks

D'Eyncourt was chairman of the Landship Committee, created by Winston Churchill, which oversaw the design and production of Britain's first military tanks during World War 1.[3]

Writings

D'Eyncourt summarized his World War I work in an article "Naval Construction During the War", published in Engineering, 11 April 1919, pp. 482–490. He also published an autobiography entitled A Shipbuilder's Yarn (London: Hutchinson, 1948).

Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
New creation
Tennyson-d’Eyncourt baronets
(of Carter's Corner Farm)
1930–1951
Succeeded by
Sir Eustace Gervais Tennyson d'Eyncourt, 2nd Baronet

References

  1. ^ a b Lillicrap, C. S. (1951). "Eustace Tennyson d'Eyncourt. 1868-1951". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society. 7 (20): 341–354. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1951.0005. JSTOR 769023.
  2. ^ http://auden.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/auden/individual.php?pid=I10672&ged=auden-bicknell.ged&tab=0
  3. ^ a b Churchill, p. 316
  4. ^ Oscar Parkes, British Battleships

Bibliography

  • Churchill, Winston. The World Crisis (Abridged). 1992; Macmillan Publishing Company. ISBN 0-684-19453-8.
  • Leigh Rayment's list of baronets
  • D'Eyncourt. A Shipbuilder's Yarn; The Record of a Naval Constructor (London: Hutchinson, 1948).
Adam Nicolson

Adam Nicolson, 5th Baron Carnock, FRSL, FSA (born 12 September 1957) is an English author who has written about history, landscape, great literature and the sea.

He is noted for his books Sea Room (about the Shiant Isles, a group of uninhabited islands in the Hebrides); God's Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible; The Mighty Dead (US title:Why Homer Matters) exploring the epic Greek poems; and The Seabird's Cry about the disaster afflicting the world's seabirds.

Anti-torpedo bulge

The anti-torpedo bulge (also known as an anti-torpedo blister) is a form of defence against naval torpedoes occasionally employed in warship construction in the period between the First and Second World Wars. It involved fitting (or retrofitting) partially water-filled compartmentalized sponsons on either side of a ship's hull, intended to detonate torpedoes, absorb their explosions, and contain flooding to damaged areas within the bulges.

Baron Tennyson

Baron Tennyson, of Aldworth in the County of Sussex and of Freshwater in the Isle of Wight, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1884 for the poet Alfred Tennyson. His son, the second Baron, served as Governor-General of Australia, and his grandson, the third Baron, as a captain for the English cricket team. On the death in 2006 of the latter's younger son, the fifth Baron, the line of the eldest son of the first Baron failed. The title was inherited by the late Baron's second cousin once removed, the sixth and present holder of the peerage. He is the great-grandson of Hon. Lionel Tennyson, second son of the first Baron.

Another member of the Tennyson family was the naval architect Sir Eustace Tennyson-d'Eyncourt, 1st Baronet. He was the grandson of Charles Tennyson-d'Eyncourt, uncle of the first Baron Tennyson.

Charles Tennyson d'Eyncourt

Charles Tennyson d'Eyncourt (20 July 1784 – 21 July 1861), born Charles Tennyson, was a British politician, landowner and Member of Parliament (MP) for Stamford from 1831 to 1832 and for Lambeth from 1832 to 1852. He is also known for his social pretensions and his graceless behaviour towards his nephew, the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson. He was educated at St John's College, Cambridge.He was the younger son of George Tennyson, who bought the family seat of Beacons, in the village of Tealby, Lincolnshire, along with 2,000 acres (8 km²) of land, and came in time to own a large part of the village. George, as is well known, disinherited his elder son George Clayton Tennyson, the poet’s father, at the age of 12, putting him into a career in the Church, for which he felt no calling; and bestowed all his fortune on Charles.

As a result, there was bad blood between the penurious Tennysons of Somersby, where George Clayton Tennyson had the living until he succumbed to drink and depression, and the opulent Tennysons of Beacons, who fancied themselves not only the wealthy but the socially superior side of the family. Old George’s wife Elizabeth Clayton was supposed to have descended from the Lords of Lovel and d’Eyncourt, and also from King Edward III.

A ruined castle was part of the property, and Charles wished to establish a noble lineage for himself with a title and a castle. When his father died he changed his family’s name to Tennyson d'Eyncourt. Beacons was renamed Bayons, to make it sound like a Norman castle, and it was extensively enlarged and rebuilt in the style of a Gothic castellated manor-house.

In public life Charles Tennyson d'Eyncourt was for many years MP for Lambeth, and was made a Privy Counsellor in 1832. Also in the 1830s, along with Augustus, Duke of Sussex and Admiral Sir Sidney Smith, he was one of the prime movers in a plan to have the Order of Knights Templar revived as a British order of chivalry. In this he failed, and he also failed during 1839–1841 in an attempt to revive the d'Eyncourt peerage for himself and his heirs. In February 1829 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society He published, in 1850 a book of poems, Eustace, in memory of his youngest and favourite son who had died abroad; it had the misfortune to appear at the same time as Tennyson's In Memoriam, and suffered greatly by the comparison. Charles thoroughly disapproved of the poetry of his nephew Alfred (Horrid rubbish indeed . . . a discredit to British taste), and the latter’s appointment as Poet Laureate in the same year and subsequent offer of a baronetcy caused him outrage and chagrin. He did not live long enough to have to endure a 'Somersby Tennyson' being elevated to the peerage.

The Tennyson d'Eyncourt family eventually gained its baronetcy at the beginning of the 20th century and still continues. Two of its later members had notable maritime roles. Charles's second son Edwin Tennyson d’Eyncourt (1813–1903) entered the Royal Navy and became an Admiral. Undoubtedly the most significant member of the family was the naval architect Sir Eustace Tennyson d'Eyncourt (1868–1951), the First Baronet, who was the Royal Navy's Director of Naval Construction in the first decades of the 20th century.

Director of Naval Construction

The Director of Naval Construction (DNC) also known as the Department of the Director of Naval Construction and Directorate of Naval Construction and originally known as the Chief Constructor of the Navy was a senior principal civil officer responsible to the Board of Admiralty for the design and construction of the warships of the Royal Navy. From 1883 onwards he was also head of the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors, the naval architects who staffed his department from 1860 to 1966. The (D.N.C.'s) modern equivalent is Director Ships in the Defence Equipment and Support organisation of the Ministry of Defence.

F. Tennyson Jesse

Fryniwyd Tennyson Jesse Harwood (born Wynifried [also recorded as Winifred] Margaret Jesse, 1 March 1888 – 6 August 1958) was an English criminologist, journalist and author (she also wrote as Wynifried Margaret Tennyson).

Gervais Tennyson d'Eyncourt

Sir Eustace Gervais Tennyson d'Eyncourt, 2nd Baronet (19 January 1902–21 November 1971).

HMS Renown (1916)

HMS Renown was the lead ship of her class of battlecruisers of the Royal Navy built during the First World War. She was originally laid down as an improved version of the Revenge-class battleships. Her construction was suspended on the outbreak of war on the grounds she would not be ready in a timely manner. Admiral Lord Fisher, upon becoming First Sea Lord, gained approval to restart her construction as a battlecruiser that could be built and enter service quickly. The Director of Naval Construction (DNC), Eustace Tennyson-D'Eyncourt, quickly produced an entirely new design to meet Admiral Lord Fisher's requirements and the builders agreed to deliver the ships in 15 months. They did not quite meet that ambitious goal, but the ship was delivered a few months after the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Renown, and her sister HMS Repulse, were the world's fastest capital ships upon completion.

Renown did not see combat during the war and was reconstructed twice between the wars; the 1920s reconstruction increased her armour protection and made other more minor improvements, while the 1930s reconstruction was much more thorough. The ship frequently conveyed royalty on their foreign tours and served as flagship of the Battlecruiser Squadron when Hood was refitting.

During the Second World War, Renown was involved in the search for the Admiral Graf Spee in 1939, participated in the Norwegian Campaign of April–June 1940 and the search for the German battleship Bismarck in 1941. She spent much of 1940 and 1941 assigned to Force H at Gibraltar, escorting convoys and she participated in the inconclusive Battle of Cape Spartivento. Renown was briefly assigned to the Home Fleet and provided cover to several Arctic convoys in early 1942. The ship was transferred back to Force H for Operation Torch and spent much of 1943 refitting or transporting Winston Churchill and his staff to and from various conferences with various Allied leaders. In early 1944, Renown was transferred to the Eastern Fleet in the Indian Ocean where she supported numerous attacks on Japanese-occupied facilities in Indonesia and various island groups in the Indian Ocean. The ship returned to the Home Fleet in early 1945 and was refitted before being placed in reserve after the end of the war. Renown was sold for scrap in 1948.

HMS Repulse (1916)

HMS Repulse was a Renown-class battlecruiser of the Royal Navy built during the First World War. Originally laid down as an improved version of the Revenge-class battleships, her construction was suspended on the outbreak of war because she would not be ready in a timely manner. Admiral Lord Fisher, upon becoming First Sea Lord, gained approval to restart her construction as a battlecruiser that could be built and enter service quickly. The Director of Naval Construction (DNC), Eustace Tennyson-D'Eyncourt, quickly produced an entirely new design to meet Admiral Lord Fisher's requirements and the builders agreed to deliver the ships in 15 months. They did not quite meet that ambitious goal, but the ship was delivered a few months after the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Repulse, and her sister ship Renown, were the world's fastest capital ships upon completion.

Repulse participated in the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight in 1917; the only combat she saw during the war. She was reconstructed twice between the wars; the 1920s reconstruction increased her armour protection and made lesser improvements, while the 1930s reconstruction was much more thorough. Repulse accompanied the battlecruiser Hood during the Special Service Squadron's round-the-world cruise in 1923–24 and protected international shipping during the Spanish Civil War in 1936–39.

The ship spent the first months of the Second World War hunting for German raiders and blockade runners. She participated in the Norwegian Campaign of April–June 1940 and searched for the German battleship Bismarck in 1941. Repulse escorted a troop convoy around the Cape of Good Hope from August to October 1941 and was transferred to East Indies Command. She was assigned in November to Force Z which was supposed to deter Japanese aggression against British possessions in the Far East. Repulse and her consort Prince of Wales were eventually sunk by Japanese aircraft on 10 December 1941 when they attempted to intercept landings in British Malaya.

Landship Committee

The Landship Committee, also known as the Director of Naval Construction's Committee, was a small British committee formed during the First World War to develop armoured fighting vehicles for use on the Western Front. The eventual outcome was the creation of what is now called the tank. Established in February 1915 by First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, the Committee was composed mainly of naval officers, politicians and engineers. It was chaired by Eustace Tennyson d’Eyncourt, Director of Naval Construction at the Admiralty.

List of Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1921

This page lists Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1921.

List of people buried in Brookwood Cemetery

The following is a list of notable burials at Brookwood Cemetery near Woking in Surrey.

William Addison (VC)

Alexis Theodorovich Aladin

Omar Ali-Shah

Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Naji al-Ali

Syed Ameer Ali

Abdul Rahman Andak

Richard Ansdell

Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll

Muhammad al-Badr

Robert Nisbet Bain

Daniel Marcus William Beak

Dudley Beaumont

John Hay Beith

Boris Berezovsky (businessman)

Mancherjee Bhownagree

Charles Bradlaugh

Benjamin Thomas Brandreth-Gibbs

Harold Brown

Robert Ashington Bullen

Bennet Burleigh

Llewellyn Cadwaladr

Frederic Chase

Sir James Charles Chatterton, 3rd Baronet

Styllou Christofi

Willy Clarkson

Lord Edward Clinton

Edward Compton

Richard Congreve

Admiral Robert Coote

Alexander Angus Croll

Arthur Cumming (Royal Navy officer)

Dadiba Merwanji Dalal

Evelyn De Morgan

John Eugène, 8th Count de Salis-Soglio

William De Morgan

Dugald Drummond

John Lowther du Plat Taylor

Cosmo Duff-Gordon

Gai Eaton

Charles Edmonds

Thomas Farrer, 1st Baron Farrer

Maurice Fitzmaurice

William Forsyth

Douglas Freshfield

Cyril Frisby VC

John Augustus Fuller

James Galloway (physician)

Reginald Ruggles Gates

Carroll Gibbons

Charles Tyrrell Giles

Henry Goldfinch

Robert Freke Gould

Ramadan Güney

Foulath Hadid

Mohammed Hadid

Zaha Hadid

William Henry Hadow

Aylmer Haldane

Sir Archibald Hamilton, 5th Baronet

Dudley Hardy

Edmund Hartley VC

Thomas Hawksley

Rowland Allanson-Winn, 5th Baron Headley

Henry Heath

Christopher Hewett, actor best known for his role of the title character on Mr. Belvedere

Frank Hoar

James Hollowell VC

Emma Hosken

Thomas Humphrey

Alfred William Hunt

Violet Hunt

Edgar Inkson VC

Rebecca Isaacs

Samuel Swinton Jacob

Jeejeebhoy Piroshaw Bomanjee Jeejeebhoy

Samuel Johnson (comedian)

William Kenny (VC)

Johanna Kinkel

Robert Knox

Lady Henry Somerset

Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner

Dugald McTavish Lumsden

Alexander Mackonochie

Mahmoud Kahil

Mary Horner Lyell

Louis Mallet

Andrew Mamedoff

Thomas Manders

Ross Mangles VC

John Charles Oakes Marriott

Buck McNair

Homi Maneck Mehta

Matthew Fontaine Maury Meiklejohn

Hamid Mirza

Ernest William Moir

Margaret, Lady Moir

Francis David Morice

Daniel Nicols

Sir Michael O'Dwyer

John Humffreys Parry

General Sir Robert Phayre

Marmaduke Pickthall

Zdeňka Pokorná

Abdullah Quilliam

Margaret Raine Hunt

Sir Henry Rawlinson, 1st Baronet

William Reynolds (VC)

Sir William Robertson, 1st Baronet

William Stewart Ross

Said bin Taimur

Shapurji Saklatvala

Nowroji Saklatwala

John Singer Sargent

Edward Saunders

Shelley Scarlett

Harry Seeley

Idries Shah

Ikbal Ali Shah

Saira Elizabeth Luiza Shah

John Sherwood-Kelly VC

Daniel Solander

Newton John Stabb

Jane Stephens (actress)

Marie Spartali Stillman

William James Stillman

James T. Tanner

Dorabji Tata

Jamsetji Tata

Ratanji Tata

Eustace Tennyson d'Eyncourt

Edith Thompson - removed to the City of London Cemetery in 2018

Edward Maunde Thompson

John Tiller

Montagu Towneley-Bertie

J. H. A. Tremenheere

Thomas Twisden Hodges

Joe Vandeleur

Douglas Vickers

Albert Visetti

Charles Warne

David Waterlow

Rebecca West

Dennis Wheatley*John Wolfe Barry

Henry Saint Clair Wilkins

Adolphus Williamson

Bernhard Wise

Bernard Barham Woodward

Wallace Duffield Wright

John Wrightson

F. F. E. Yeo-Thomas

Mark IX tank

The Mark IX tank was a British armoured fighting vehicle from the First World War. It was the world's first specialised armoured personnel carrier (APC).

Marshal Ney-class monitor

The Marshal Ney class was a class of monitor built for the Royal Navy during the First World War.

Philip Watts (naval architect)

Sir Philip Watts (30 May 1846 – 15 March 1926) was a British naval architect, famous for his design of the revolutionary Elswick cruiser and HMS Dreadnought.

Renown-class battlecruiser

The Renown class comprised a pair of battlecruisers built during the First World War for the Royal Navy. They were originally laid down as improved versions of the Revenge-class battleships. Their construction was suspended on the outbreak of war on the grounds they would not be ready in a timely manner. Admiral Lord Fisher, upon becoming First Sea Lord, gained approval to restart their construction as battlecruisers that could be built and enter service quickly. The Director of Naval Construction (DNC), Eustace Tennyson-D'Eyncourt, quickly produced an entirely new design to meet Admiral Lord Fisher's requirements and the builders agreed to deliver the ships in 15 months. They did not quite meet that ambitious goal, but they were delivered a few months after the Battle of Jutland in 1916. They were the world's fastest capital ships upon their commissioning.

Repulse was the only ship of her class to see combat in the First World War when she participated in the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight in 1917. Both ships were reconstructed twice between the wars; the 1920s reconstruction increased their armour protection and made lesser improvements, while the 1930s reconstruction was much more thorough, especially for Renown. Repulse accompanied the battlecruiser Hood during the Special Service Squadron's round-the-world cruise in 1923–24 and protected British interests during the Spanish Civil War between 1936–39. Renown frequently conveyed royalty on their foreign tours and served as flagship of the Battlecruiser Squadron when Hood was refitting.

Both ships served during the Second World War; they searched for the Admiral Graf Spee in 1939, participated in the Norwegian Campaign of April–June 1940 and searched for the German battleship Bismarck in 1941. Repulse was sunk on 10 December 1941 in the South China Sea off Kuantan, Pahang by Japanese aircraft. Renown spent much of 1940 and 1941 assigned to Force H at Gibraltar, escorting convoys and she fought in the inconclusive Battle of Cape Spartivento. She was briefly assigned to the Home Fleet and provided cover to several Arctic convoys in early 1942. The ship was transferred back to Force H for Operation Torch and spent much of 1943 refitting or transporting Winston Churchill and his staff to and from various conferences with various Allied leaders. In early 1944 Renown was transferred to the Eastern Fleet in the Indian Ocean where she supported numerous attacks on Japanese-occupied facilities in Indonesia and various island groups in the Indian Ocean. The ship returned to the Home Fleet in early 1945 and was refitted before being placed in reserve after the end of the war. Renown was sold for scrap in 1948.

TOG1

The Tank, Heavy, TOG 1 was a prototype British heavy tank produced in the early part of the Second World War in the expectation that battlefields might end up like those of the First World War. It was designed so it could cross churned-up countryside and trenches. A single prototype was built, and followed by an improved model (the TOG 2), but interest faded with the successful performance of another cross-country design, the Churchill tank, and the mobile war that was being fought.

Tennyson d’Eyncourt baronets

The Tennyson d'Eyncourt Baronetcy, of Carter's Corner Farm in the Parish of Herstmonceux in the County of Sussex, is a title in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom. It was created on 3 February 1930 for the naval architect Eustace Tennyson d'Eyncourt. He was a grandson of Charles Tennyson d'Eyncourt.

Another member of the Tennyson family was poet Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson. He was the nephew of Charles Tennyson d'Eyncourt.

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