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Home-Loney-Background-The Royal Navy-Obituaries

The following obituary for Robert O'Brien Fitzroy appeared in the Times newspaper.

Obituary from the Times newspaper
DateObituary
8 May 1896

Vice-Admiral Sir R. Fitz-roy.

Vice-Admiral Sir Robert O’Brien Fitz-Roy, K.C.B., F.R.G.S., who recently relinquished the command of the Channel Squadron owing to ill-health, died yesterday morning at the White Hart Hotel, Beaminster, Dorset, where he had been lying for some days, having caught a chill while visiting in the neighbourhood.

Sir Robert Fitz-Roy was born on April 2, 1839. He was the son of the late Vice-Admiral Robert Fitz-Roy, of the Meteorological Office, some time M.P. for Durham, and kinsman of the Dukes of Grafton, by Maria Henrietta, daughter of Major-General Edward James O'Brien, of York. He was educated privately, and entered the Navy in 1853. He served in the Baltic in 1854-55 (medal) and as midshipman in the Sans Pareil during the China War, 1857-58. In January, 1859, he received his sub-lieutenant's commission, and in September of the same year that of lieutenant. He was present at the capture of Canton (China medal, Canton clasp) and at the capture of the Peiho forts, 1860 (Taku clasp), and was promoted to be commander in 1866 and captain in 1872. During the Egyptian War of 1882 he was captain of the Orion, when he was in charge of Ismailia and rendered valuable services in the Canal (mentioned in despatches, Egyptian medal, Khedives bronze star, Third Class of the Order of the Osmanieh, and C.B.). As commodore of the second class, he commanded the Flying Squadron, September, 1885. He was A.D.C. to the Queen from April, 1886, to May, 1888, being appointed rear-admiral in the latter year, and was admiral superintendent of Naval Reserves from May, 1891, to April, 1894. He commanded the Blue Fleet in the naval manoeuvres of 1893. He was senior officer in command of the Channel Squadron, May 10, 1894; commanded the Red Side, consisting of the "A" and "B" fleets, at the naval manoeuvres of 1894, in which year he was raised to the rank of vice-admiral; and was made a K.C.B. on May 25, 1895. He recently succeeded to the late Lady Oglander's Parnham estates, near Beaminster.

Sir Robert Fitz-Roy was an officer of exceptional talent and promise. He was thought most highly of in the service, particularly by the late Sir Geoffrey Hornby, with whom he had served as flag-captain. Very few flag officers have had as much experience in the handling of fleets or the advantage of participating more frequently in the annual manoeuvring. He it was who, in 1888, when second-in-command to the late Sir George Tryon, escaped from Lough Swilly and raided the north-east coast of Scotland, while more recently his appointments at the Reserves Office and in the Channel have afforded him additional opportunities for the practical study of tactics and strategy. General regret was expressed when, owing to his weak state of health, the Admiral resigned his command of the Channel Squadron, and by his death the country loses an exceedingly able and zealous servant.

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