Guide to the papers of Admiral Sir Lionel Halsey (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2018

Collection Summary

Halsey, Lionel, Sir, Admiral
Papers of Admiral Sir Lionel Halsey (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1905 - 1923
Collection Number
6 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

Letters 1905-08 written by Halsey to his parents while serving on Australian Station, referring to: movements of officers; battle practice; Australian defence; federal-State relations; economic conditions; politicians; social and sporting activities.

Letters 1913 written by Halsey to his parents while the battle cruiser New Zealand was visiting Australia and New Zealand referring to: Australian naval policy; receptions; speeches; and meetings with Lord Denman and Lord Liverpool.

Letters 1918 written by Halsey to his parents while commanding HMAS Australia.

Letters 1920 written by Halsey to his parents while commanding HMS Renown; referring to: receptions for Prince of Wales; press criticsims; and railway accident in Western Australia.

Correspondence 1920-23 between Halsey and E. Lee of Masterton, New Zealand.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Material selectively filmed at the Hertfordshire Record Office as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1981 (AJCP Reel: M1179). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

Formerly Hertfordshire Record Office, now Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies, County Hall, Hertford SG13 8DE.

For further information see Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies (

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding-aid Notes

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2018. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.


Australia, HMAS (ship); Australia: defence; Australia: economic conditions; Australia: Federal and State relations; Australia: politics and government; Australia: visits to; Denman, Sir Thomas, 3rd Baron; Edward VIII, King of England; Foljambe, Sir Arthur W., 2nd Earl of Liverpool; Halsey, Sir Lionel, Admiral; Lee, E.; Masterton, New Zealand; New Zealand, HMS (ship); New Zealand: visits to; Powerful, HMS (ship); Renown, HMS (ship); Royal Navy: Australian Station; Royal Navy: voyages; Royal visits; Sport; Western Australia


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 206, p. 77.

Biographical / Historical

Naval officer, son of Sir Frederick Halsey, Bt., M.P of Gaddesden. Entered the Navy in 1885, promoted to Lieutenant in 1893, Commander in 1901, Captain in 1905, Rear-Admiral in 1917, Vice Admiral in 1921 and Admiral in 1926. Served on Australian Station as flag captain of HMS Powerful 1905-08. Between 1912-1913 he commanded HMS New Zealand on a tour around the world. In 1915 he joined the staff of Sir John Jellicoe, served at the Battle of Jutland, and in December 1916 he joined the Board of Admiralty as Fourth Sea Lord. In September 1918 he was seconded to the Australia Government to command the second battle cruiser squadron. In 1919 he commanded the HMS Renown as chief of staff to Prince of Wales on tours of Canada, United States, Australia, New Zealand and West Indies. Sir Halsey retired from the Navy in 1922. He was appointed Comptroller and Treasurer to the Prince of Wales in 1920 and remained on his staff until 1936. Sir Halsey was knighted in 1918.

Item Descriptions

Fonds D/EH1. Papers of Halsey Family of Great Gaddesden, Herts.

88 letters written by Lionel Halsey to his parents Sir Frederick and Lady Halsey while serving on the Australian Station as Flag Captain to Admiral Sir Wilmot Fawkes on H.M.S. Powerful, 20 October 1905 - 6 April 1908 (File F58 - F59)

The letters were written at Pt. Said, Colombo, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Camden, Katoomba, Queanbeyan, Albany, Auckland, Christchurch, Suva and Singapore. They deal with the voyage to Australia in 1905, navigation, movements of officers, court martials, battle practice, the meeting of the Australian, China and East Indies Squadrons at Singapore in January 1907, the Naval Agreement, Australian defences, Federation and interstate rivalries, Alfred Deakin, disturbances on Norfolk Island, family matters, the cost of living, life at Government House, Sydney, social events, servants, fishing, cricket, the appointment of Fawkes to the Plymouth Command, the voyage home to England in 1908. There is a copy of Fawkes' inspection report of H.M.S. Powerful, 20 March 1907

29 letters written by Lionel Halsey to his parents while commanding the battle cruiser New Zealand on a voyage round the world in 1913 (File F60)

Letters written at Melbourne, Wellington, Auckland, Lyttleton, Timaru, Dunedin, New Plymouth and Suva, February 1913 - 29 June 1913 (Item 1-14, 12)

They deal with the voyage to Australia and the visit to Durban, the weaknesses of Australian naval policy, Lord Denman, the reception given to the ship in Australia and New Zealand, including a Maori reception, speeches, Lord Liverpool, letters from New Zealanders who had known the Halseys or who came from Hertfordshire, and the voyage to Canada.

Filmed selectively.

Letters written by Lionel Halsey to his parents while commanding H.M.A.S. Australia, September - December 1918. (File F64)

6 items

Filmed selectively.

Halsey's appointment as Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Fleet, 25 September 1918 (Item 4)
Wilson's peace terms; inspection of H.M.A.S. Australia; patriotic speech to Australians, 20 October 1918 (Item 7)
Future movements of Australian ships; telegram from W.M. Hughes, 16 November 1918 (Item 14)
Take-over of German battle cruisers; offer of Australian appointment, 22 November 1918 (Item 15)
Appointment as Commander-in-Chief in Australia, 1 December 1918 (Item 16)
Orders to sail to Baltic, 5 December 1918 (Item 17)

Letters written by Lionel Halsey to his parents while commanding H.M.S. Renown on Prince of Wales' tour of Australia, New Zealand and the West Indies, 1920 (File F66)

7 items

Filmed selectively.

E. Lee (Masterton, N.Z.) to Sir F. Halsey. Meeting with L. Halsey; association with Halseys, 23 May 1920 (Item 3)
Reception in New Zealand; family matters, 24 May 1920 (Item 4)
Reception in Melbourne and Sydney; exhaustion; offer of appointment as 1st Naval Member; weakness of Australian Fleet, 14 June 1920 (Item 5)
Railway accident in Western Australia, 7 July 1920 (Item 6)
Baronetcy; press criticisms of Halsey, 18 July 1920 (Item 7)
Success of Royal Tour in Australia, 25 August 1920 (Item 8)
Visit to Hawaii; cancellation of Indian tour; health of Prince of Wales, 5 September 1920 (Item 9)

Letters written by Lionel Halsey to his parents during the tour of India and Malaya by the Prince of Wales, 1922 (File F67)

2 items

Filmed selectively.

Reception in Ceylon; conflict between High Commissioner and Chief Secretary of Federated Malay States; strenuous tour, 29 March 1922 (Item 12)
Reception at Singapore, 4 April 1922 (Item 13)

Letters written by E. Lee of Masterton, New Zealand, to Sir Frederick Halsey, 1922 - 1923 (File F74)

3 items
Retirement of L. Halsey from Navy; his visit to New Zealand; reminiscences of hunting at Gaddesden in 1860s, 10 November 1922 (Item 16)
Death of Lady Halsey, 18 March 1923 (Item 17)
Acknowledges letter; hopes L. Halsey will visit New Zealand again; weather, 10 August 1923 (Item 18)