David Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty (1871-1936), born in County Wexford, Ireland, was an admiral in the Royal Navy.
After joining the Royal Navy in 1884, Beatty gained recognition in the recapture of the Sudan (1896-1899) and the Boxer Rebellion (1900). Beatty was appointed private secretary to the First Lord of the Admiralty (Winston Churchill, who would later become Prime Minister) in 1911, and he commanded the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron between 1912, and 1916.
During the Great War, he took part in actions at Heligoland Bight (1914), Dogger Bank (1915) and Jutland (1916).
Jutland proved to be decisive in Beatty's career, although it meant massive losses for the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron. Beatty is reported to have remarked "there appears to be something wrong with our bloody ships today" during the battle.
Admiral John Jellicoe, the man who could "lose the war in an afternoon" was not the dashing, popular man that was David Beatty. He was criticised for his caution at Jutland, and in addition refused to institute the convoy system. This led to his replacement by David Beatty. He was made commander of the Grand Fleet in 1917.
However, he disappointed many of his supporters by continuing many of Jellicoe's policies. Although, he did support David Lloyd George in the introduction of convoys in the Atlantic. In 1919, he was appointed Admiral of the Fleet and First Sea Lord until his retirement in 1927. Also during 1919, he was created 1st Earl Beatty, Baron Beatty of the North Sea and Brooksby.
David Beatty spent much of his life (when not at sea) in Leicestershire, and lived Brooksby Hall (now an agricultural college), and during the war he and his wife performed many services for the public of Leicestershire, including opening up their home first as a VAD Hospital under the 5th Northern General Hospital, and later a hospital for Naval Personnel.