The Churchill Archives Centre will commemorate the life and legacy of Admiral Lord “Jacky” Fisher (1841–1920) with a day of online talks and panel discussions on Tuesday, October 20. The event is being held to mark the centenary of Fisher’s death and to celebrate the transfer of new material to the Churchill Archives Centre. Fisher became First Sea Lord for the first time on 20 October 1904.
Fisher was one of the most famous men of his age; an innovator who drove the transformation of the Royal Navy prior to the First World War, introducing the new big gun battleships while reforming gunnery, training, and conditions. Born in Ceylon, he was sent away to live with his maternal grandfather in London and worked his way up through the ranks to become First Sea Lord. He was a colourful character with firm opinions, capable of inspiring loyalty and enmity in equal measure.
After retiring in 1910, Fisher was brought back as First Sea Lord for a second term by Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, in October 1914. Yet within the space of six months, the relationship between the two men had broken down over the failure of the Dardanelles operation, ultimately costing them both their jobs. Perhaps because he died so soon after the war, perhaps because popular history has focused on the Western Front, or maybe because he did not command a fleet in battle, Fisher is now either forgotten or seen only as a footnote in biographies of Winston Churchill. This symposium will put the focus firmly back on the life and legacy of this “veritable volcano.”
Speakers will include:
Professor Andrew Lambert, Dr John Brooks, Professor Matthew Seligmann, Captain Peter Hore, Professor Barry Gough, Penelope Fisher (filmmaker and Fisher’s great great granddaughter) and Rear Admiral Chris Parry.
All times in BST
15:00 Welcome by Allen Packwood, Director of the Churchill Archives Centre
15:05 Introduction by Professor Barry Gough (Professor Emeritus, Wilfrid Laurier University) on the significance of Fisher’s Life and Legacy
15:20 Panel 1: The career of Admiral Lord Fisher
Chair: Professor Andrew Lambert (Laughton Professor of Naval History, King’s College, London)
Panellists: Dr John Brooks (Naval Historian), Captain Peter Hore (Naval Historian), Professor Matthew Seligmann (Brunel University)
16:00 Presentation by Great Grandson Lord Fisher and his daughter Penelope from Kilverstone Hall
Penelope Fisher is producer of “Sea Lord”, Trident Films www.tridentfilms.co.uk
16:15 Panel 2: The Legacy of Admiral Lord Fisher
Chair: Allen Packwood
Panellists: Penelope Fisher (Producer of “Sea Lord”), Rear Admiral Dr Chris Parry (strategic forecaster, broadcaster, author, and former Visiting Fellow of Churchill College), Dr Laura Rowe (Exeter University), Tom Williams (Scriptwriter of “Sea Lord”)
16:55 Final words from Admiral Sir Jock Slater (former First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff)
Email Amanda Jones for more information.
Register for this FREE event on Eventbrite.