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Lord Charles Beresford
also known as
Charles William de la Poer Beresford
was a British Admiral and Member of Parliament

Beresford had a reputation
for kindness to his men,
saying ‘Any smart action performed
by an officer or man
should be appreciated publicly by signal
Everyone is grateful for appreciation’

He became a household name
for his actions in Egypt and the Sudan
and his efforts at expanding the navy
Eventually Beresford was given fleet command,
but the relationship between him and
the First Sea Lord, Sir John Fisher,
descended into a bitter feud
which threatened to tear the navy in half
in the early years of the Twentieth Century

Beresford had been captivated
by the sight of the Channel Fleet at age twelve
and joined the Royal Navy in 1859 at the age of 13
He started his training as a cadet
at the naval training academy HMS Britannia,
successfully completing his passing-out examination in March 1861

He was immediately appointed a midshipman on the flagship
of the Mediterranean fleet, the steam three-decker
HMS Marlborough
Beresford described Marlborough as
“the smartest and happiest ship that ever floated”

Beresford left Marlborough in early 1863
and was appointed to HMS Defence
in the summer of 1863.
Defence was one of four new ironclads
serving in the Channel Squadron;
Beresford was unhappy in Defence,
which he described as “a slovenly, unhandy tin kettle,
which could not sail without steam…
and which took minutes instead of seconds
to cross topgallant yards”

He entered Parliament as a Conservative in 1874,
representing County Waterford and retained his seat until 1880
Some difficulties arose with the Lords of the Admiralty,
who objected to a junior officer debating the navy
publicly in the House of Commons
Beresford’s parliamentary career was saved
by the intervention of the Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli,
who feared the loss of the seat to an opposition party,
should Beresford be forced to resign
Whilst an MP he continued to serve in the navy,
becoming a commander in 1875

He combined the two careers of
the navy and a member of parliament,
making a reputation as a hero in battle
and champion of the navy in the House of Commons
He was a well-known and popular figure
who courted publicity, widely known
to the British publicas “Charlie B”
He was considered by many
to be a personification of John Bull,
indeed was normally accompanied
by his trademark, a bulldog

On 19 March, he was in Winnipeg,
where he went on record as being
“greatly pleased at the prospects for Western Canada.”
He arrived back in Britain at Liverpool with his daughter Kathleen
in the Teutonic on 10 April
His flagship was, ironically,
the new battleship King Edward VII
and he “lived in great style”, attended by his Irish servants
and his bulldog bitch Kora, with whom he was repeatedly photographed

Lord Beresford died in 1919 at the age of 73,
at which point his title became extinct.
After a ceremonial funeral at St Paul’s Cathedral,
he was buried at Putney Vale Cemetery, south London

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