David Beatty final years


David Beatty
1st Earl Beatty of Brooksby and the North Sea
The Final Years


Bust of David Beatty in Trafalgar Square

In retirement David remained active and involved. He attended the Committee of Imperial Defence, spoke effectively in the House of Lords and supported naval charities. He still rode with the reckless daring of a subaltern and suffered accordingly. His jaw was shattered by a horse’s hoof, which also broke an arm and several ribs. After Ethel’s death in 1932 he continued to hunt with the vigour of youth rather than the wisdom required by advancing years and failing health.

By the late 1920’s the feud over Jutland had subsided, though David was still certain he was right. When John Jellicoe died in November 1935, David insisted in leaving his sick bed to attend the funeral as a pall- bearer. When George V died in January 1936 David once again left his sick bed to attend the funeral. This time he caught pneumonia and died of heart failure at home in London on 12th March 1936, aged 65.funeral

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David’s will stated that he wished to buried with Ethel in the churchyard at Dingley but the Admiral still belonged to the nation and he  was buried in the crypt of St Paul’s cathedral with full military honours.IMG_2250

After his death the navy decided to name two battleships that were in production after David and John Jellicoe. By the time the ships were ready to launch in February 1940 Churchill felt that the proposed names would only revive old squabbles and so the ships were named Anson and Howe. The Jutland admirals had to make do with busts in Trafalgar Square.