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

Royal NavyObituaries

The following obituary for Richard Edward Tracey appeared in the Times newspaper.

Obituary in the Times newspaper
9 March 1907

Admiral Sir Richard Tracey.

We regret to announce the death of Admiral Sir Richard Edward Tracey, K.C.B., which took place on Thursday at 8, Sloane-gardens, London.

Sir Edward Tracey was born in 1887, a son of Commander Tracey, R.N., and entered the naval service in 1852 as a cadet. Two years later, as a midshipman of the Boscawen, he sailed to the Baltic, in the fleet which, under the command of Sir Charles Napier, engaged in operations against the Russian forces in that sea. There he earned the only medal for war services he was entitled to wear, although later on, as a lieutenant of the Euryalus, the flagship of the China Squadron, he participated in two engagements which Sir Augustus Kuper directed against the Japanese Daimios of Satsuma and Chosen in 1863-64. At Kagosima the forts of the first named Prince were bombarded, and his small fleet was taken and burnt. This taught his powerful clan a lesson which led to their taking the lead in general progress and in the introduction of European methods and appliances. Unfortunately, a chance shot from the batteries killed Captain Josling and Commander Wilmot on the bridge of the Euryalus. The second event occurred just a year later, when a naval force, in which Great Britain, France, Holland, and the United States were associated, bombarded the forts of the Prince of Chosen in the Straits of Simonoseki, and then landed a brigade, which destroyed the works and took away the guns. For his services on these occasions Lieutenant Tracey was promoted to commander in November, 1864, and on his return home married, in 1865, his first wife, Janet, a daughter of the Rev. W. Wingate, who died in 1875. Commander Tracey's next work was to take charge of a naval mission to Japan, that nation having appealed to this country for assistance in creating a navy on modem lines. Out of that mission and partly as a consequence of Tracey's tact and teaching there grew the system of training and organization by which, under other British naval officers, notably Sir Archibald Douglas, Admiral John Inglis, and Commander C.W. Jones (who died when Director of the Japanese Naval College in 1877), the Japanese navy has developed into what it is to-day. Tracey also rendered similar service to China, and was given by the Emperor the Insignia of the First Class of the Second Grade of the Imperial Order of the Double Dragon. He was promoted to captain in 1871, and in charge, of the Spartan on the east coast of Africa performed good service in the suppression of the slave trade. From 1885 to 1887 he was an A.D.C. to Queen Victoria, and in the latter year married his second wife, the Hon. Adelaide Constance Rohesia de Courcy, a daughter of Lord Kingsale. In January, 1888, he was advanced to flag rank, and as rear-admiral was second in command of the "A" Fleet under Sir George Tryon during the naval manoeuvres of 1896 [sic; should be 1889]. He held this command [sic; presumably second in command of the Channel squadron] until 1890, and two years later was appointed Admiral-Superintendent of Malta Dockyard. Advanced to vice-admiral in 1893, he was next employed as an umpire during the manoeuvres of 1869 [sic; 1896?], and a year later was made President of the Royal Naval College at Greenwich, a post which he held until 1900. In the meantime, in 1898, he had become an admiral, and had been made a Knight Commander of the Bath. He retired from the active list in 1901. Sir Richard was an officer of distinguished service, high scientific attainments, and a linguist, and, although he never held any office at the Admiralty, he was frequently chosen for special missions, and his advice and counsel were gladly welcomed by his brother officers.

The funeral service will be held at Holy Trinity Church, Sloane-street, on Monday at noon.

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