Deafened at age 15; at the time, this was blamed on a rifle's going off too close to his ear, but today diphtheria is considered a more likely cause. His deafness forced him to abandon a planned military and political career. Went to India with the Royal Astronomical Society in 1899, becoming the first person to film a solar eclipse. Also fought in the Boer War (South Africa) in 1900, earning a medal. Ran unsuccessfully for the South African Parliament, then returned home and made two other unsuccessful runs for Parliament. At the beginning of World War I, revived the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and became its Commodore. Designed the first aircraft carrier, HMS Argus, and the first sea-going heavy-oil-powered [Diesel] motor ship. One-time president of the Royal National Institute for the Deaf; wrote My Ditty Box. Died near Loch Lomond, Scotland.
Deaf Lives, p.80; Who Was who, 1951-1960, vol.V, p.780.
1878-20 January 1954