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Lord Louis Mountbatten

1955 - 1960

One of Churchill’s last acts as Prime Minister, was to appoint Mountbatten to the post of First Sea Lord in 1955, making him the only person to have appointed both father and son to the post of First Sea Lord.  A truly remarkable feat and Mountbatten’s life ambition was fulfilled.  He was now the professional head of the Royal Navy, the very post his father (Louis, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven) had been humiliated out of office in 1914. Family honour had now been upheld.  Mountbatten set about reform of the Royal Navy, reducing the amount of shore establishments and updating the Fleet with modern technology and weapons.  Mountbatten was a successful First Sea Lord and did much to raise the morale of the Royal Navy - whose supremacy at sea had long been overtaken by the world superpowers, which Britain was no longer.


The de László portrait of Mountbatten’s father - Louis,

1st Marquess of Milford Haven

In July 1959, Mountbatten was appointed Chief of the Defence Staff (having been promoted to the 5* rank of Admiral of the Fleet in 1956). This new post was created in 1956 for the professional head of the Armed Forces and now Mountbatten was given the task of reorganising Britain’s defence organisation.  


Mountbatten in his office at the Admiralty -

behind him - the de László portrait of his father

Louis, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven


The flag of the Chief of the Defence Staff

Following his appointment as Chief of the Defence Staff, one senior officer regarded his appointment as “the greatest disaster which had befallen the British Defence Services within his memory.”   The Rt Hon. Julian Amery, later Lord Amery of Lustleigh (1919-1996), Under-Secretary of State for War in 1957 said of Mountbatten “he was grand in his position, and grand in his conceit of himself.”

1960 - Marriage of Pamela & death of Edwina