Open main menu

Vice Admiral Sir Peveril Barton Reiby Wallop William-Powlett KCB KCMG CBE DSO (5 March 1898 – 10 November 1985) was a Royal Navy officer who went on to be Commander-in-Chief, South Atlantic Station.

Sir Peveril William-Powlett
Born(1898-03-05)5 March 1898
Abergavenny, Monmouthshire
Died10 November 1985(1985-11-10) (aged 87)
Honiton, Devon
AllegianceUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Years of service1914–1954
Commands heldHMS Frobisher
HMS Fiji
HMS Newcastle
South Atlantic Station
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Service Order
Rugby union career
Position(s) Prop
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
United Services Portsmouth ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1922[1] England 1 (0)

Naval careerEdit

William-Powlett attended Cordwalles School[2] and joined the Royal Navy as a Midshipman in 1914 and served in World War I specialising in signals.[3] A keen sportsman, he played rugby for England in 1922.[4] He saw service with the New Zealand Division from 1931 to 1936 and then commanded the cadet training ship HMS Frobisher in 1939.[3]

In 1935, he was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal.[5]

He served in World War II as Director of Manning at the Admiralty and then commanded the cruiser HMS Fiji which was sunk during the Battle of Crete in 1941.[3] He was appointed Chief of Staff of Force H at Gibraltar in 1941 and then commanded HMS Newcastle from 1942.[3] He became Captain of the Fleet in the Home Fleet in 1944.[3]

After the War he commanded the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth and then became Naval Secretary in 1948.[3] He went on to be Flag Officer (Destroyers) in the Mediterranean Fleet in 1950 and Commander-in-Chief, South Atlantic in 1952.[3] He retired in 1954.[3]

In retirement he served as Governor of Southern Rhodesia from 1954 until 1959.[3]


In 1923, he married Helen Constance Crombie; they had three daughters.[6] Following the death of his first wife he married Barbara Patience William-Powett, widow of his brother, in 1966.[6]

His second daughter, Helen, married Henry Bruce of Salloch, and was the mother of the royal commentator Alastair Bruce of Crionaich.[7]


  1. ^ Peveril William-Powlett profile at
  2. ^ "WILLIAM-POWLETT, Vice-Admiral Sir Peveril (Barton Reibey Wallop)". Who Was Who. A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2008; online edn, Oxford University Press. November 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2012. (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  4. ^ ESPN Scrum
  5. ^ "Official jubilee medals". Evening Post. 6 May 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  6. ^ a b Unit Histories
  7. ^ Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. pp. 1297–1298. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
Military offices
Preceded by
Maurice Mansergh
Naval Secretary
Succeeded by
William Davis
Preceded by
Sir Herbert Packer
Commander-in-Chief, South Atlantic Station
Succeeded by
Sir Ian Campbell
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Robert Tredgold
Governor of Southern Rhodesia
Succeeded by
Sir Humphrey Gibbs