Covid-19 Update

Due to the latest government update the College is now closed to all but essential staff. If you are a staff member and are unsure about your status, please remain at home and contact your head of department. If you need help with logging into the Staff Area with your Raven ID, please click here.

A Veritable Volcano: The Life and Legacy of Admiral Lord ‘Jacky’ Fisher (1841-1920)

20 Oct 2020
Location: Churchill College
Start time: 10:30
End time: 18:30

A one-day symposium organised by the Churchill Archives Centre to commemorate and debate the life and legacy of Admiral Lord ‘Jacky’ Fisher (1841-1920). The event is being held to mark the centenary of Fisher’s death and to celebrate the transfer of new material to the Churchill Archives Centre. Fisher became First Sea Lord for the first time on 20 October 1904.

Fisher was one of the most famous men of his age; an innovator who drove the transformation of the Royal Navy prior to the First World War, introducing the new big gun battleships while reforming gunnery, training and conditions. Born in Ceylon, he was sent away to live with his maternal grandfather in London and worked his way up through the ranks to become First Sea Lord. He was a colourful character with firm opinions, capable of inspiring loyalty and enmity in equal measure. Having retired in 1910, he was brought back as First Sea Lord for a second term by Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, in October 1914. Yet within the space of six months, the relationship between the two men had broken down over the failure of the Dardanelles operation, ultimately costing them both their jobs. Perhaps because he died so soon after the war, perhaps because popular history has focused on the Western Front, or maybe because he did not command a fleet in battle, Fisher is now either forgotten or seen only as a footnote in biographies of Winston Churchill. This symposium will put the focus firmly back on the life and legacy of this ‘veritable volcano’.

Speakers include:

Professor Andrew Lambert, Dr John Brooks, Professor Matthew Seligmann, Dr Aimee Fox, Captain Peter Hore, Professor Barry Gough, Nick Jellicoe, Dr David Morgan-Owen, Penelope Fisher (filmmaker and Fisher’s great great granddaughter), Rear Admiral Dr Chris Parry and Dr Laura Rowe.



10:00am – 10:30am Arrival

10:30am – 10:45am Welcome: Allen Packwood, Director of the Churchill Archives Centre and the current Lord Fisher (great grandson) will welcome assembled participants and guests.

10:45am – 12:15pm Fisher’s role prior to WWI

Chair: Professor Andrew Lambert

Dr John Brooks, Professor Matthew Seligmann, Dr Aimee Fox

(15 minutes each, including Chair, then 30 mins chaired Q & A)

12:15pm – 1:30pm Lunch

1:30pm – 3:00pm Fisher’s role in WWI:

Chair: Captain Peter Hore

Professor Barry Gough, Nick Jellicoe, Dr David Morgan-Owen

(15 minutes each, including Chair, then 30 mins chaired Q & A)

3:00pm – 3:30pm: Tea break in the bar (tea and coffee provided)

3:30pm – 4:00pm Barry Gough – ‘Fisher’s Final Years’

4:00pm – 5:30pm Fisher’s Legacy

Chair: tbc

Penelope Fisher, Rear Admiral Dr Chris Parry, Dr Laura Rowe

(15 minutes each, including Chair, then 30 mins chaired Q & A)

5:30pm – 6:30pm:  Drinks Reception & Archives Centre display in the Wolfson Foyer


Bookings are available via Eventbrite

Email Amanda Jones for more information.