Historian and writer Peter Welsh talks about Sir Hedworth Meux (Lambton) during the Great War.
Meux was a distinguished Royal Navy officer whose legacy is marked by a lifetime of service and leadership. Born as Hedworth Lambton, he embarked on a remarkable career that spanned from 1870 to 1916. Notably, Meux played a pivotal role in significant historical events, including the Anglo-Egyptian War, the Second Boer War, and the First World War.
Meux’s early days in the Royal Navy saw him at the bombardment of Alexandria during the Anglo-Egyptian War, where his dedication and valiance were evident. His moment of heroism came during the Second Boer War in 1899 when he displayed remarkable initiative and courage. While stationed at Mauritius, Meux picked up a battalion of soldiers and led a naval brigade to aid British forces at Ladysmith. His quick thinking and leadership, along with the delivery of much-needed artillery, earned him widespread recognition and made him a celebrated figure back in Britain.
His reputation continued to flourish as he assumed key command roles, including Commander of the Third Cruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean Fleet and ultimately rising to the prestigious position of Commander-in-Chief of the China Station. During the First World War, Meux, now recognized as a prominent leader, served as Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth. In this capacity, he played a vital role in safeguarding cross-Channel communications and orchestrating a life-saving patrol service of small boats, demonstrating his unwavering commitment to his country and its security.