Rear Admiral John McBeath, CB, DSO, DSC, RN – CNS May 1955 – February 1958 Royal New Zealand Navy – Chief of Naval Staff & First Naval Member Rear Admiral John E.H. McBeath RN was born in the Transvaal, South Africa, on 27 September 1907, and educated in the USA at the Hilton College, Natal. He joined the Royal Navy at Simonstown as a fourteen year old boy sailor in 1921. He served on HMS Hood as OD and AB for three years and was promoted to Warrant Officer rank in 1928. McBeath was CO of Venomous in May and June 1940, the most dramatic period in her history when the Welsh and Irish Guards were evacuated from Boulogne under close fire from enemy tanks and shore batteries and the BEF from the beaches and north mole of Dunkirk. After four months on the Harwich patrol Venomous was ordered to the Clyde and escorted the elderly carriers, HMS Argus and HMS Furious, with fighter reinforcements for the besieged island of Malta to Gibraltar.
A young Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and Captain John Edwin Home McBeath DSO, DSC, RN on HMS Chequers, Valetta Harbour, Malta
Soon after Venomous was transferred to Western Approaches Command and joined the First Escort Group at Londonderry John McBeath fell ill and was replaced as CO by Cdr H. Pitcairn RN on Christmas Eve 1940. McBeath went on to command HMS Oribi as part of the 17 Destroyer Flotilla escorting Arctic Convoys to northern Russia. After the war he achieved Flag rank as Rear Admiral and after retirement in 1958 was Honorary Commodore of the Sea Cadet Corps and High Sheriff of Surrey. Rear-Admiral Mcbeath died on the 28 March 1982, having resided at his home at Bracken House, Crooksbury Hill, in Farnham, Surrey, England.
Able Seaman (1923)
Mate 04.12.1929, seniority 01.12.1928
S.Lt. ?, seniority 01.12.1928
Lt. 01.12.1931 07.03.1932, seniority 01.10.1931
Cdre. 2nd cl. 27.01.1953
R.Adm. 07.07.1955 (retd 07.07.1958)
16 Aug 1940 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
27 Aug 1940 DSO
6 Jan 1942 DSC
1 Jan 1957 CB
HMS Venomous (D 75) Destroyer 8 Jan 1940 – 23 Dec 1940
HMS Oribi (G 66) Destroyer 1 May 1941 – 23 Feb 1943