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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0099 KCLMA Eaton
EATON, V Adm Sir John Wilson Musgrave (1902-1981)
Level of description
Collection (Fonds)
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
3 boxes or (0.03 cubic metres)


Name of creator(s)
Eaton, Sir, John Wilson Musgrave, 1902-1981, Knight, Vice Admiral
Administrative / Biographical history

Born 1902; educated at Temple Grove, Eastbourne, Royal Naval College Osborne and the Royal Naval College Dartmouth; Midshipman, HMS BARHAM, Flagship of V Adm Sir William Coldingham Masters Nicholson, commanding 1 Battle Sqn, Atlantic Fleet, 1919-1922; Promotion Course, Portsmouth, 1922; HM Destroyers, 1922-1925; Sub Lt, 1923; served on HMS WIVERN, 3 Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean Fleet, 1924-1926; Lt, 1925; HM Submarine H50, 6 Submarine Flotilla, 1926-1929; HMS MALAYA, 2 Battle Sqn, Atlantic Fleet, 1929-1930; HMS BOREAS, 4 Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean Fleet, 1931-1933; Lt Cdr, 1933; commanded HMS RESTLESS, Portsmouth,1934-1935; commanded HMS WESTMINSTER, 21 Flotilla, Home Fleet, 1935-1936; commanded HMS BOREAS, 4 Flotilla, Home Fleet, 1936-1939; Cdr, 1937; Student, RN Staff College, Greenwich, 1939; commanded HMS VENETIA, Reserve Fleet, Devonport, 1939; served in World War Two, 1939-1945; service in HM Destroyers, including HMS MOHAWK, HMS SOMALI and HMS ESKIMO, 1939-1943; awarded DSC, 1941; awarded DSO, 1941; Capt (Destroyers), HMS SOMALI, 6 Destroyer Flotilla, Scapa Flow, Orkney Islands, 1942; commanded HMS SOMALI, attached to 1 Cruiser Sqn, the covering force for convoy PQ17, Jul 1942; Admiralty, 1944; Capt of HMS SHEFFIELD, 1945; Capt of HMS ST VINCENT, RN BoysTraining Establishment, Gosport, Hampshire, 1946-1948; Imperial Defence College, 1948-1949; Admiralty and Ministry of Defence, 1949; Director, RN Staff College, Greenwich, 1949-1951; R Adm, 1951; Flag Officer Commanding HM Australian Fleet, HMAS AUSTRALIA, 1951-1953; awarded CB, 1953; Flag Officer Commanding Reserve Fleet, HMS CLEOPATRA, 1954-1955; Commander-in-Chief, America and West Indies Station, HMS KENYA, 1955-1956; Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, 1955-1957; created KBE, 1956; retired 1958; died 1981.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Presented to the Centre by the family in 1982.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Papers relating to V Adm Sir John Wilson Musgrave Eaton's life and career, 1945-1972, including typescript copy of Night Order Book, HMS SHEFFIELD, May-Jun 1945; photographs, press cuttings and printed material relating to Eaton's service as Capt of HMS ST VINCENT, RN Boys Training Establishment, Gosport, Hampshire, 1947; typescript volume entitled 'Naval Staff Handbook', Royal Naval Staff College, Greenwich, 1950; texts of lectures by Eaton, RN Staff College, Greenwich, including 'Grand strategy: its background and application in a future war' and 'The principles of war', 1950-1951; typescript texts of speeches and lectures, [1952]-1960, including Empire Day speech to the Royal Yacht Sqn, Australia [1952], and lecture on the capture of Gibraltar, 1704, to the RN Club, 1960; newspaper cuttings relating to the Court Martial of Able Seaman James McNiven McSporran for an assault on V Adm Eaton during an inspection, 1955; Civil Defence manuals and naval publications, 1956-1958; edition of Log of the President's cruise in the USS CANBERRA (CAG2), edited by Capt E P Aurand, US Navy, Naval Aide to US President Dwight David Eisenhower, 14-20 Mar 1957; photographs of Eisenhower with Eaton and US Adm Jerauld Wright, Supreme Allied Commander's Headquarters, Norfolk, Virginia, USA [1957]; typescript letters to retired senior officers from the First Sea Lord, 1959, 1970 and 1972, from AF Louis (Francis Albert Victor Nicholas) Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, 23 Apr 1959, Adm Sir Michael Le Fanu, 1 Jun 1970, and Adm Sir Michael (Patrick) Pollock, 2 Nov 1972; printed plan of Admiralty organisation, Jan 1960; typescript statement of evidence by Eaton, as then commanding destroyer HMS SOMALI, on Cdr (Jack) John Egerton Broome's command of convoy PQ.17, 4 Jul 1942, statement prepared for a libel action brought by Broome against David John Cawdell Irving, Jan 1970, in relation to his book The destruction of convoy PQ.17 (Cassell, London, 1968).

System of arrangement

The papers are arranged in sections according to chronology and subject matter.

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, attention of the Director of Archive Services

Language/scripts of material

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals
King's College London College Archives

Description control

Archivist's Note
Compiled by Iain Mutch
Rules or conventions

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

Date(s) of descriptions
Dec 1999

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  • Administration of justice
  • Armed forces
  • Civil defence
  • Courts
  • Courts martial
  • Defence
  • History
  • International relations
  • Maritime warfare
  • Military engineering
  • Military organizations
  • Naval history
  • Organizations
  • State security
  • Warfare

Personal names

  • Broome, John Egerton, 1901-1985, Commander, RN
  • Eaton, Sir, John Wilson Musgrave, 1902-1981, Knight, Vice Admiral
  • Eaton, Sir, John Wilson Musgrave, 1902-1981, Knight, Vice Admiral
  • Eisenhower, Dwight David, 1890-1969, US President and General
  • Irving, David John Cawdell, b 1938, author
  • McSporran, James McNiven, fl 1955, Able Seaman, RN

Corporate names

  • HMS Sheffield
  • HMS Somali
  • HMS St Vincent
  • RN, Royal Navy
  • Royal Naval Staff College, Greenwich
  • USS Canerra


  • Gibraltar

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