• Swimming in the ‘fishpond’ or solidarity with the ‘Beresfordian Syndicate’: An analysis of the inquiry by the subcommittee of imperial defence into Naval policy, 1909

      McLay, Keith; Canterbury Christ Church University (IJN, 2015-01-15)
      Modern histories of the army and navy have long recognised that these institutions are in respect of their external and internal relationships, sui generis, political. The former relations, typically manifest in a competition for resources and prominence in campaign, have retained headline currency but it is arguably the latter associations which have proved more pointed and historically significant. 1 For the Royal Navy, the Edwardian period was especially divisive with the high command, and the officer corps more generally, split into two groups. A dominant collection of officers coalesced around the First Sea Lord, 1904-11, Sir John Arbuthnot Fisher, thereby forming the ‘Fishpond’, while the opposition faction was known as the ‘Syndicate of Discontent’ and fostered by Admiral Lord Charles Beresford, who between 1903 and 1909 served successively as Commander-in-Chief of the Channel Squadron and the Mediterranean and Channel Fleets.