Saumarez, Thomas (DNB12)

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SAUMAREZ, THOMAS (1827–1903), admiral, born at Sutton, Surrey, on 31 March 1827, was grandnephew of James, first Baron de Saumarez, and was son of Captain (afterwards Admiral) Richard Saumarez. After a few years at the Western Grammar School, Brompton, he entered the navy in 1841, and was actively employed during the whole of his junior time on the east coast of South America, at Buenos Ayres, Monte Video, and in Parana. He was made a lieutenant in March 1848. As a lieutenant he served principally on the west coast of Africa, where on 31 March 1851 he saved a man from drowning and received the Royal Humane Society's silver medal. Later in the year he commanded a division of gunboats at Lagos and was severely wounded; in September 1854 he was promoted to commander. In May 1858 he had command of the Cormorant, and served with rare distinction at the capture of the Taku forts, where the Cormorant led the attack, broke through a really formidable boom, and with her first broadside, fired at the same moment, dismounted the largest of the enemy's guns. He afterwards took part in the operations in the river Peiho and in the occupation of Tientsin, and on the coast of China. His promotion to the rank of captain was dated 27 July 1858. He had no further active service, but his brilliant advance on 20 May 1858 is worthy to be held in remembrance. On 12 April 1870 he was retired, and was nominated a C.B. in 1873. He became by seniority a rear-admiral in 1876, vice-admiral in 1881, and admiral in 1886. He died at his residence, 2 Morpeth Mansions, Westminster, on 22 Jan. 1903. He married (1) in 1854 a daughter (d. 1866) of S. R. Block of Greenhill, Barnet; and (2) in 1868, Eleanor, daughter of B. Scott Riley, of Liverpool. He left no issue.

[Royal Navy List; Debrett's Peerage; Who's Who, 1902; The Times, 23 Jan. 1903; Clowes, The Royal Navy, vol. vii.; personal knowledge.]

J. K. L.