BETHELL, Adm Hon Sir Alexander Edward (1855-1932)

Scope and Content

Papers relating to early naval career, 1872-1907 including midshipman's log books; papers relating to service as Director of Naval Intelligence, 1909-1912, Commander-in-Chief, East Indies, 1911-1918, commander of Royal Naval War College, Portsmouth, 1913-1914, commander of 3 Battle Fleet and Channel Fleet, 1914-1915 and Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth, 1916-1918; correspondence with Adm Sir Alexander Duff, 1917-1918, AF Lord Fisher, 1909-1918 and AF Lord Jellicoe, 1913-1918; personal papers and correspondence, 1865-1932; miscellaneous papers, 1901-1911; correspondence between the family and researchers using the papers, 1935-1979.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born in 1855; entered the Royal Navy in 1869; Sub Lt, 1875; Lt, 1878; Commander, 1891; Capt, 1898; Assistant Director of Torpedoes, 1903-1907; R Adm, 1908; Director of Naval Intelligence, 1909-1912; Commander-in-Chief, East Indies, 1912; Vice Adm, 1913; commander, Royal Naval War College, Portsmouth, 1913-1914; commanded battleships of 3 Fleet, 1914; commander, Channel Fleet, 1915; Adm, 1916; Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth, 1916-1918; Adm commanding Coast Guard and Reserves; retired, 1918; died in 1932.


The papers are arranged in sections according to military service. Correspondence with senior naval personnel, personal papers and correspondence, miscellaneous papers and correspondence with researchers have been grouped separately

Access Information

Open, subject to signature of reader's undertaking form.

Acquisition Information

Placed in the Centre by the family in 1986.

Other Finding Aids

Summary guide available on-line at, and in hard copy in the Centre's reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, attention of the Director of Archive Services.