CRESWELL, Sir William Rooke (1852-1933)

CRESWELL, Sir William Rooke (1852-1933)
was born at Gibraltar on 20 July 1852. His father, Edmund Creswell, was head of the postal service at Gibraltar and for the Mediterranean, his mother was Mary Margaret Ward, daughter of the Rev. W. Fraser. Educated at Gibraltar and Eastman's Academy, Southsea, Creswell entered the navy in January 1866 as a cadet on the Britannia. He first went to sea in the Phoebe, and on 20 October 1871 became a sub-lieutenant. On 16 September 1873 he was especially promoted lieutenant for his work against pirates near Penang. He was afterwards on the Topaze and the London in connexion with the suppression of the slave trade off the cast coast of Africa between 1875 and 1878. He was known as a capable and zealous officer and received the thanks of the foreign minister for his services. His health having broken down he was given a harbour appointment at Devonport. He, however, found it necessary to resign from the service on 6 September 1878, and he then went to Australia and took up land in Queensland and the Northern Territory. On 24 October 1885 he entered the naval service of South Australia, in 1891 became a commander, and in 1894 captain. He was naval commandant for some years, strongly advocated the formation of an Australian fleet, and in 1899 with the secretary of the Victorian defence department drew up a report on the future of Australian sea defence. As commander of the Protector he took this warship to the China Seas in 1900, and in the same year was given command of the marine defence forces of Queensland. In 1902 he revived his proposals for an Australian navy but his report was overshadowed by the agreement reached at the colonial conference in that year. In 1904 Creswell was appointed director of the Commonwealth naval forces, and in 1909, in company with Colonel J. F. G. Foxton (q.v.), he attended the Imperial conference, as a result of which the naval defence act of 1910 was passed which created the Australian navy. Creswell became rear-admiral in 1911 and first naval member of the Commonwealth naval board. The efficiency of his training was shown in the good work of the Commonwealth ships and seamen during the 1914-18 war. He retired in 1919 and was promoted vice-admiral in 1922. He lived in retirement in the country in Victoria and died on 20 April 1933. He married in 1888 Adelaide Elizabeth, daughter of Mr Justice Stow (q.v.), who survived him with two sons and a daughter. He was created C.M.G. in 1897, K.C.M.G. in 1911 and K.B.E. in 1919.
The Times, 21 April 1933; The Advertiser, Adelaide, 21 April 1933; The Argus, Melbourne, 21 April 1933; Debrett's Peerage, etc., 1933.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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  • William Rooke Creswell — Infobox Military Person name= Sir William Rooke Creswell lived= 20 July1852 – 20 April1933 placeofbirth= Gibraltar placeofdeath= caption= nickname= allegiance= United Kingdom serviceyears= 1865 1919 rank= Vice Admiral branch= Royal Navy Royal… …   Wikipedia

  • Creswell — /ˈkrɛzwəl/ (say krezwuhl) noun Sir William Rooke, 1852–1933, Australian naval officer, born in Spain; appointed vice admiral in 1922 …  

  • 1933 in Australia — Infobox Australian year year = 1933 monarch = George V governor general = Isaac Isaacs pm =Joseph Lyons population = 6,629,839 australian = elections =SA, WA See also: 1932 in Australia, other events of 1933, 1934 in Australia and the Timeline of …   Wikipedia

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