Men of the Time, eleventh edition/Commerell, John Edmund

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COMMERELL, Vice-Admiral Sir John Edmund, K.C.B., V.C., second son of Mr. John W. Commerell, of Stroud Park, Horsham, Sussex, by Sophia, daughter of Mr. William Bosanquet, of Harley Street, London, was born in London in 1829. Entering the Royal Navy in 1842, he became Lieutenant in 1848, Commander in 1855, Captain in 1859, Rear-Admiral in 1877, and Vice-Admiral in 1881. He served in China and South America, and was present at all the operations in the Parana (1845–46), especially at Punta Obligado, where he assisted in cutting the chain that defended the river. Afterwards he served in the Baltic and the Gulf of Bothnia (1854), and as Lieutenant of H.M.S. Weser was present at Sebastopol, and in several operations in the Sea of Azof; he was twice mentioned in despatches, and received the Victoria Cross for hazardous service in the Putrid Sea. He commanded H.M.S. Fury in 1859, and in July of that year he led a division of seamen in the attack on the Taku Forts. For this service he was highly praised in despatches, and promoted to H.M.S. Magicienne, in which he served during the subsequent operations in China. In 1866 he was in command of H.M.S. Terrible, and rendered active service in laying the Atlantic cable. He commanded H.M.S. Monarch on particular service in 1868–69, and in 1872–73 he served as Commodore of the second class, and senior officer in command of the Cape of Good Hope and West Coast of Africa. In Aug., 1873, whilst reconnoitring up the river Prah to discover the position of the Ashantees, the boats were fired upon from the banks, and Commodore Commerell was so dangerously wounded as to necessitate his relinquishment of the command of the station. After going to Cape Town for the cure of his wounds, he returned to England, when he was nominated a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, and appointed a Groom-in-Waiting to the Queen. Sir J. E. Commerell was second in command of the Mediterranean Fleet from July, 1877. to Oct., 1878, and was a Lord of the Admiralty from Oct., 1879, to May, 1880. He was appointed Commander-in-Chief, North American and West Indies, in 1882. He married, in 1853, Matilda Maria, fourth daughter of Mr. Joseph Bushby, of St. Croix, West Indies, and Halkin Street, London.