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Skelton, Reginald William

Skelton, Reginald William

Alias: Skellie

Title: Mr

Rank: Engineer Vice-Admiral and Engineer-in-Chief of the Fleet (Royal Navy)

Dates: 1872-1956

Nationality: British

Awards: Polar Medal (silver); Distinguished Service Order; Companion of the Bath; Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (1918-19); Knight Commander of the Bath (1931)

Reginald William Skelton was born in Long Sutton, Lincolnshire in 1872. He was a senior engineer in the Royal Navy, serving in HMS Majestic with Robert Falcon Scott, when he joined the British National Antarctic Expedition 1901-04 (Discovery), led by Scott, as the ship's chief engineer. He supervised the fitting-out of the expedition ship Discovery and took part in several sledge journeys during the expedition, discovering the first known breeding place of Emperor Penguins while sledging to Cape Crozier. He also became an accomplished photographer.

In the First World War, Skelton was in charge of dockyard facilities and installations at Archangel, Russia. He took part in the Battle of Jutland, for which he won the DSO. In 1928, he was appointed Engineer Vice-Admiral and Engineer-in-Chief of the Fleet. He was created KCB in 1931 and retired from the Navy in 1932, becoming a director of John I. Thornycroft and Co., shipbuilders and engineers. He died at Adlingbourne on 5 September 1956.


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