Cyprian Arthur George Bridge

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Sir Cyprian A. G. Bridge, pictured as a Rear-Admiral.
Photo: Library of Congress.

Admiral SIR Cyprian Arthur George Bridge, G.C.B., Royal Navy (13 March, 1839 – 16 August, 1924) was an officer of the Royal Navy.

Early Life & Career

Bridge was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 28 June, 1859.[1]

He was promoted to the rank of Commander on 15 February, 1869.[2]

In April, 1872, an article by Bridge entitled On the Necessity of Forming a Naval Staff was published in the new journal Naval Science.


Bridge was promoted to the rank of Captain on 15 September, 1877.[3]

As Captain of the Colossus Bridge had both John Jellicoe as Gunnery Lieutenant and Lewis Bayly as Torpedo Lieutenant. Bayly recalled that Bridge was "a very strict skipper... a great reader and a clever writer—he seemed to have no other amusements."[4]

Like his contemporary Albert Markham, Bridge was a non-smoker, which resulted in an amusing anecdote recounted by Bayly:

I came in one evening and laid my pipe and tobacco-pouch on the table in front of me, and when he asked me to smoke I lit up at once. After that all went well... until one evening he said, unfortunately, how he envied me smoking. I went and got a new pipe, filled it, and gave it to him. But next morning he was so unapproachable that my messmates told me that if I did it again they would throw me overboard. The experiment was never repeated.[5]

Flag Rank

Bridge was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 25 February, 1892, vice Nicholson.[6]

Bridge was promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral on 29 November, 1898, vice Tracey.[7]

On the occasion of the Queen's birthday he was appointed an Ordinary Member of the Second Class, or Knight Commander, in the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (K.C.B.) on 3 June, 1899.[8]

As part of a running correspondence kept up with the Admiralty, Bridge wrote the following complaint to the First Sea Lord, Lord Walter Kerr regarding the ships in reserve at Hong Kong:

The "SWIFT", "ESK", "WIVERN", "FIREBRAND", "MIDGE", and all the torpedo-boats, (but two which might be used for carrying messages and for nothing else), are quite useless even for training stokers, and should be got rid of at once, the officers and men now wasting their time in looking after them being employed elsewhere. If these craft cannot be sold quickly, the Commander-in-chief should be ordered to take them out into deep water and sink them. Keeping caretakers in them till their fittings could be sold would cost more than the fittings would fetch.[9]

Bridge's advocation of the sale or destruction of obsolete ships demonstrates that Sir John Fisher was not the only figure in the fin de siècle Royal Navy desirous of sacrificing obsolete ships in reserve to free manpower for more modern men-of-war.

Bridge was promoted to the rank of Admiral on 30 August, 1903, vice Hotham.[10] On the occasion of the King's birthday, Bridge was appointed an Ordinary Member of the First Class, or Knight Grand Cross, in the Military Division of the Order of the Bath (G.C.B.) on 9 November.[11]

In accordance with the provisions of the Order in Council of 22 February, 1870, he was placed on the Retired List on 15 March, 1904.[12]


  • "Admiral Sir C. Bridge" (Obituaries). The Times. Monday, 18 August, 1924. Issue 43733, col C, p. 12.
  • C.A.G.B., R.N. (April, 1872). "On the Necessity of Forming a Naval Staff". In Reed, E.J., C.B. Naval Science: A Quarterly Magazine for Promoting the Improvement of Naval Architecture, Marine Engineering, Steam Navigation, and Seamanship. (London: Lockwood & Co.) (No. 1.): pp. 9–14.
  • Bridge, Admiral Sir Cyprian, G.C.B. (1907). The Art of Naval Warfare: Introductory Observations. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  • Bridge, Admiral Sir Cyprian, G.C.B. (1910). Sea-Power and Other Studies. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  • Bridge, Admiral Sir Cyprian, G.C.B. (1918). Some Recollections. London: John Murray.


Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Naval Member of the Ordnance Committee
14 Feb, 1881[13]
Succeeded by
Morgan Singer
Preceded by
Alfred T. Dale
Captain of H.M.S. Espiegle
17 Oct, 1881[14] – 22 Sep, 1885
Succeeded by
Arthur C. Clarke
Preceded by
Captain of H.M.S. Colossus
13 Apr, 1886[15] – 10 Nov, 1888
Succeeded by
Hugo L. Pearson
Preceded by
William H. Hall
Director of Naval Intelligence
1 Jan, 1889[16] – 1 Sep, 1894
Succeeded by
Lewis A. Beaumont
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Sans Pareil
8 Jul, 1891
Succeeded by
Arthur K. Wilson
Preceded by
Charles R. Arbuthnot
Captain of H.M.S. Orlando
1 Nov, 1894[17]
Succeeded by
Frederic W. Fisher
Preceded by
Nathaniel Bowden-Smith
Commander-in-Chief, Australian Station
1 Nov, 1894[18] – 1 Nov, 1897
Succeeded by
Hugo L. Pearson
Preceded by
Sir Edward H. Seymour
Commander-in-Chief, China Station
Jun, 1901
Succeeded by
Sir Gerard H. U. Noel


  1. ADM 196/36. f. 149.
  2. ADM 196/36. f. 149.
  3. ADM 196/36. f. 149.
  4. Bayly, p. 61.
  5. Bayly, p. 62.
  6. The London Gazette: no. 26263. p. 1201. 1 March, 1892.
  7. The London Gazette: no. 27029. p. 7818. 2 December, 1898.
  8. The London Gazette: no. 27086. p. 3585. 3 June, 1899.
  9. Bridge to Kerr, 5 July 1902, BRI/14, Cyprian Bridge MSS, Caird Library, National Maritime Museum.
  10. The London Gazette: no. 27593. p. 5476. 1 September, 1903.
  11. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 27613. p. 6851. 9 November, 1903.
  12. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 27659. p. 1791. 18 March, 1904.
  13. Bridge Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/36. f. 149.
  14. The Navy List. (December, 1881). p. 209.
  15. The Navy List. (February, 1888). p. 202.
  16. The Naval Staff of the Admiralty. p. 121.
  17. The Navy List. (April, 1897). p. 245.
  18. Clowes. The Royal Navy. Vol. VII. p. 90.