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Sir Rosslyn Wemyss


(Baron Wester Wemyss)

1864 - 1933

Noble and naval officer. Born in London, the son of son of James Hay Erskine-Wemyss and Millicent Anne Mary Erskine, and younger brother of Randolph Wemyss of Wemyss (1858 - 1908), Wemyss was raised at the family home Wemyss Castle in Fife. He went on to a highly successful naval career. In peacetime he served the Royal family including as naval aide-de-camp to King Edward VII and as equerry to King George V. In the years immediately before the First World War he was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral and appointed Commander of the 2nd Battle Squadron of the Home Fleet. During the war, he was sent to Greece to support the Dardanelles campaign. He was knighted in 1916 and remained in the Mediterranean supporting the campaign in Palestine. Later in 1916 he was promoted to Vice Admiral and, in 1917, returned to the Admiralty in London becoming Deputy First Sea Lord and then soon after First Sea Lord.

Alongside Marshal Foch, the Allied supreme commander, it was Wemyss who was the British representative at the signing of the Armistice which brought the fighting of the First World War to an end. It was Wemyss' decision to stop hostilities at 11am on the 11th November, which annoyed Prime Minister Lloyd George who wanted the war to stop a few hours later so he could make the announcement in Parliament in the afternoon.

In 1919, Wemyss was promoted to Admiral-of-the-Fleet and raised to the peerage as Baron Wester Wemyss. He died at his home in Cannes and was buried in the family vault at Wemyss Castle.


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