Charles Little (Royal Navy officer)

Admiral Sir Charles James Colebrooke Little GCB GBE (14 June 1882 – 20 June 1973)[1] was a senior Royal Navy officer who went on to be Second Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Personnel.

Sir Charles Little
Admiral Charles Little.png
Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Little in 1937, Commander-in-Chief of the China Station
Born14 June 1882
Died20 June 1973 (1973-06-21) (aged 91)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Navy
Years of service1897–1945
Commands heldHMS Fearless
HMS Cleopatra
HMS Iron Duke
China Station
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire

Naval careerEdit

Little joined the Royal Navy at the Royal Naval College Dartmouth in 1897.[2] He served in World War I and commanded the cruiser HMS Fearless and the Grand Fleet Submarine Flotilla from 1916 to 1918.[2]

After the War he commanded the cruiser HMS Cleopatra in the Baltic Sea and then, in 1920, became Director of the Trade Division at the Admiralty.[2] He was appointed Captain of the Fleet for the Mediterranean Station in 1922 and then became a Senior Staff Officer at the Royal Naval War College in 1924.[2] He became Captain of the battleship HMS Iron Duke in 1926 and Director of the Royal Naval Staff College in 1927.[2] He became Commander of the 2nd Battle Squadron in 1930 and Rear Admiral Submarines in 1931.[2] He was appointed Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff in 1932 and Commander-in-Chief of the China Station in 1936.[2] In 1938 he became Second Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Personnel.[2] In this capacity he was instrumental in establishing the Admiralty Torpedo, Mining and Electrical Training Establishment at Roedean School in Brighton.[3]

He served in World War II becoming Head of British Joint Staff Mission to Washington D. C. in 1941 and Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth in 1942.[2] He retired in 1945.[2]

He lived at Thakeham in West Sussex.[4]


  1. ^ Kemp, Peter. "Sir Charles James Colebrooke Little" (Requires subscription). Oxford DNB. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  3. ^ Royal Navy Research Archive Archived 15 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "'Thakeham: Church', A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 2: Bramber Rape (North-Western Part) including Horsham (1986), pp. 45-48". Retrieved 10 July 2010.
Military offices
Preceded by
Martin Dunbar-Nasmith
Rear-Admiral Submarines
Succeeded by
Noel Laurence
Preceded by
Sir Frederic Dreyer
Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff
Succeeded by
Sir William James
Preceded by
Sir Frederic Dreyer
Commander-in-Chief, China Station
Succeeded by
Sir Percy Noble
Preceded by
Sir Martin Dunbar-Nasmith
Second Sea Lord
Succeeded by
Sir William Whitworth
Preceded by
Sir William James
Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth
Succeeded by
Sir Geoffrey Layton