Royal Navy obituary in the Times newspaper
Royal Navy obituary in the Times newspaper

Royal NavyObituaries

The following obituary for John Corbett appeared in the Times newspaper.

Obituary in the Times newspaper
12 December 1893Admiral Sir John Corbett died on Sunday at his residence in Roland-gardens, South Kensington. He had been ill for some time. Admiral Corbett, fourth son of Mr. Uvedale Corbett-Winder, of Cotsbrooke, Shropshire, was born in 1822, and entered the Royal Navy in 1835. During the whole of the operations on the coast of Syria in 1840 he served in the Carysfort, 26, and was present at the bombardment of St. Jean d'Acre and the blockade of Alexandria. As mate he joined the Queen, 110, flagship in the Mediterranean of Sir E.C.R. Owen, whom he accompanied into the Formidable, 84. At the time of his promotion in 1846 to the rank of lieutenant he was senior mate of the Excellent, gunnery ship at Portsmouth, and there he remained until he returned to the Mediterranean on appointment to the Vengeance, 84, Captains Stephen Lushington and the Earl of Hardwicke. In 1851 he joined the Penelope, 16, bearing the broad pennant of Commodore W.H. Bruce on the West Coast of Africa, and in December of that year commanded the rocket-boat Victoria on the occasion of the destruction of the slave stronghold at Lagos. In his official despatch Commodore Bruce wrote:- "Lieutenant John Corbett, in command of Mr. Beecroft's iron boat with rockets, with his own hands spiked the guns, receiving a shot in his arm after doing so, and had five severe wounds before the affray ended." This gallant service procured Mr. Corbett's immediate promotion to the rank of commander, and the grant to him in 1853 of a pension for wounds. After holding command of a contract steam vessel, he commissioned the Wolverene, 12, in 1854, and in her proceeded to the North American Station. In 1856 he was given command of the Inflexible, 6, on the East India and China Station, where in the year following he assisted in the destruction of Chinese war junks in Escape Creek, and at the further action in Fatshan Creek. For these services he was posted on August 10, 1857. In 1859 he again went to China, this time as captain of the Scout, 21, and took part in some of the operations of 1860. He remained on the station until 1863, and not long after his return was appointed to the Hastings, 50, flagship at Queenstown of Sir Lewis Tobias Jones. The ship was superseded in 1866 by the Black Prnce, to which Captain Corbett and some of his officers and men turned over. In 1867 he assumed the responsible post of captain of the Britannia at Dartmouth, and while there was rewarded with a C.B. From 1870 until promoted to flag rank in 1875 he was a naval aide-de-camp to the Queen. From 1877 to 1879 he was commander-in-chief in the East Indies, with his flag first in the Undaunted and then in the Euryalus, and in the latter year he was promoted to be vice-admiral. Advancement to admiral's rank followed in 1885, at which time this distinguished officer was commander-in-chief at the Nore. in May, 1886, he was made a K.C.B., and in July, 1887, having attained the age of 65, he retired. Sir John Corbett, who was a J.P. for Norfolk, where he occasionally resided, married, in 1864, Georgina Grace, eldest daughter of Mr. G.J. Holmes, of Brooke-hall, in the same county. Not only as a capable and gallant seaman, but also as a genial host, and a kind friend to all young officers who sought his advice, the deceased admiral occupied a position which won him great respect and affection, and his death will be widely lamented both in and out of the service.

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