Harold Granville Grenfell

Harold Granville Grenfell

b: DEC 1869
d: 29 FEB 1948
From a contemporary newspaper cutting (source unknown):

CMDR HAROLD GRENFELL

Lord Strabolgi writes: -

The death, briefly reported in The Times, of Commander Harold Grenfell, RN, removes an unusual type of naval officer, who performed valuable services to his country in the 1914-18 war. Grenfell was Naval Attache at our Embassy in Petrograd, and I believe I am right in saying that only he and Colonel Knox, the Military Attache, were fluent Russian linguists. Grenfell, who had Socialist sympathies, was in touch with the popular movement in Russia, knew many of the revolutionary leaders, and gave early warning of the events of March, 1917. His Ambassador was sceptical, as were most of the embassy staff, but our Admiralty had early and valuable warning.

When the October Revolution broke out, discipline completely collapsed in the Baltic Fleet, many of the officers being murdered by the sailors, and nearly all the warships were immobilised while the Sailors' Committees quarrelled amongst themselves. The Germans, who were well informed, took advantage of this to mount a large-scale combined operation in the Gulf of Riga with the then capital as their objective. Grenfell, at the risk of his life, went on board of the Russian flagship, invited the leaders of the Sailors' Committee of the Fleet to meet him and haranged them, in Russian, to such effect that they accepted his advice to put to sea and engage the common enemy. Some success followed in the subsequent fighting, the German advance was considerably delayed, and valuable time gained. Grenfell's efforts were unknown to the general public for security reasons; but I submit that they deserve to be more widely known than in the unpublished files of the Admiralty War Staff.

END
Biography
From a contemporary newspaper cutting (source unknown):

CMDR HAROLD GRENFELL

Lord Strabolgi writes: -

The death, briefly reported in The Times, of Commander Harold Grenfell, RN, removes an unusual type of naval officer, who performed valuable services to his country in the 1914-18 war. Grenfell was Naval Attache at our Embassy in Petrograd, and I believe I am right in saying that only he and Colonel Knox, the Military Attache, were fluent Russian linguists. Grenfell, who had Socialist sympathies, was in touch with the popular movement in Russia, knew many of the revolutionary leaders, and gave early warning of the events of March, 1917. His Ambassador was sceptical, as were most of the embassy staff, but our Admiralty had early and valuable warning.

When the October Revolution broke out, discipline completely collapsed in the Baltic Fleet, many of the officers being murdered by the sailors, and nearly all the warships were immobilised while the Sailors' Committees quarrelled amongst themselves. The Germans, who were well informed, took advantage of this to mount a large-scale combined operation in the Gulf of Riga with the then capital as their objective. Grenfell, at the risk of his life, went on board of the Russian flagship, invited the leaders of the Sailors' Committee of the Fleet to meet him and haranged them, in Russian, to such effect that they accepted his advice to put to sea and engage the common enemy. Some success followed in the subsequent fighting, the German advance was considerably delayed, and valuable time gained. Grenfell's efforts were unknown to the general public for security reasons; but I submit that they deserve to be more widely known than in the unpublished files of the Admiralty War Staff.

END
Facts
  • DEC 1869 - Birth - ; Rugby, Warwickshire (1881 Census)
  • 29 FEB 1948 - Death - ; Bath at his home, buried at Cossington
  • BET 1885 AND 1899 - Fact -
  • BET 1910 AND 1912 - Fact -
  • BET 1912 AND 1920 - Fact -
Ancestors
   
 
 
Edward Frederick Grenfell
1841 - 29 DEC 1870
  
  
  
 
Harold Granville Grenfell
DEC 1869 - 29 FEB 1948
  
 
  
Henry Pyne
2 JAN 1809 - 9 FEB 1885
 
 
Helen Sophia Pyne
27 MAY 1844 - 1931
  
  
  
Harriet James
25 DEC 1819 - 13 MAR 1895
 
Family Group Sheet - Child
PARENT (M) Edward Frederick Grenfell
Birth1841
Death29 DEC 1870 Rugby, of 'fever'. 'Bagley' according to MAC's diary for 1870
Marriage1865to Helen Sophia Pyne
FatherAlgernon Grenfell , Rev
MotherMaria Guerin Price
PARENT (F) Helen Sophia Pyne
Birth27 MAY 1844
Death1931 The Manor House, Stawell
Marriage1865to Edward Frederick Grenfell
Marriage1878to Allen Dowdeswell Graham
FatherHenry Pyne
MotherHarriet James
CHILDREN
MArthur Pascoe Grenfell
Birth24 APR 1868Clifton, Bristol (but according to the 1881 Census - see note on Ayrton Chaplin, he was born in Rugby, Warwickshire)
Death25 NOV 1932Mental hospital at Wells, Somerset
MHarold Granville Grenfell
BirthDEC 1869Rugby, Warwickshire (1881 Census)
Death29 FEB 1948Bath at his home, buried at Cossington
MarriageJUL 1905to Alice Dixon at St George's, Hanover Square London
Marriageto Mme Levoshkina
Family Group Sheet - Spouse
PARENT (M) Harold Granville Grenfell
BirthDEC 1869Rugby, Warwickshire (1881 Census)
Death29 FEB 1948 Bath at his home, buried at Cossington
MarriageJUL 1905to Alice Dixon at St George's, Hanover Square London
Marriageto Mme Levoshkina
FatherEdward Frederick Grenfell
MotherHelen Sophia Pyne
PARENT (F) Alice Dixon
Birth
Death
MarriageJUL 1905to Harold Granville Grenfell at St George's, Hanover Square London
Father?
Mother?
CHILDREN
Family Group Sheet - Spouse
PARENT (M) Harold Granville Grenfell
BirthDEC 1869Rugby, Warwickshire (1881 Census)
Death29 FEB 1948 Bath at his home, buried at Cossington
MarriageJUL 1905to Alice Dixon at St George's, Hanover Square London
Marriageto Mme Levoshkina
FatherEdward Frederick Grenfell
MotherHelen Sophia Pyne
PARENT (F) Mme Levoshkina
Birth
Death
Marriageto Harold Granville Grenfell
Father?
Mother?
CHILDREN
Evidence
[S12758] Ann Gregory (Mendell)'s copy of 'A short account of the Families of Chaplin and Skinner........' with annotations by Ayrton Chaplin & others
Descendancy Chart
Harold Granville Grenfell b: DEC 1869 d: 29 FEB 1948