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Charles Ralfe "Tommy" Thompson    1894-1966
Charles Ralfe was born on 22 November 1894, the youngest son of Richard Charles Thompson and Dorothy Clark, at Shiney Row, Penshaw, County Durham. He was educated at Osborne and Dartmouth, and went to sea as a midshipman on the battleship Monarch in 1911. He learned to pilot an airplane, and when the first world war broke out, he attempted to get into the naval aviation program, but was denied. He ended up joining the submarine service. He was in command of submarines almost continually from 1918 until 1931. In 1931 he was posted to Fort Blockhouse, the headquarters of the submarine service. Soon he was asked by Admiral Sir Arthur Waistell, Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth to join him as his Flag Lieutenant. This is a job dedicated to the smooth running of the Commander-in-Chief's daily program. "Tommy" did such a fine job, he was kept on when a new Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Sir John D. Kelly came to Portsmouth in 1934, and in all he served five years there. In August 1936, Admiral Kelly retired, and The First Lord, Sir Samuel Hoare was scheduled to pay an official visit to the Mediterranean in the Admiralty yacht Enchantress, and "Tommy" was appointed Flag Lieutenant for this cruise. When the Enchantress completed her cruise, and returned to England, it became apparent to the Board of Admiralty that a permanent Flag Lieutenant was of great value, and in 1936, this job was offered to "Tommy", whereupon he moved to London. Hoare was replaced by Duff Cooper, who was replaced by Lord Stanhope, and finally, on 3 September 1939, Winston Churchill became the First Lord of the Admiralty, again, and on 10 May 1940, he also became the Prime Minister, with the resignation of Neville Chamberlain.

Lieutenant Commander Charles Ralfe Thompson was now 45 years old, and with 29 years service, he was due to retire from the active list in a few weeks.

When Churchill moved to 10 Downing Street, "Tommy" remained at the Admiralty, however, whenever Churchill decided to go anywhere, "Tommy" was summoned to go with him. In July, a request came from Downing street for his permanent attachment to Churchill's staff, and he moved to new quarters at Storey's Gate, and from then on was rarely away from the Prime Minister's side.

The year 1945 finds the war ending in Europe, Churchill loses the election and his Prime Minister's job, and Lieutenant Commander Charles Ralfe Thompson is placed on the Retired List, with the rank of Commander (23 November).
Now a 50 year old retired private citizen, Charles accepts an appointment as a Secretary to the Stewards of the Jockey Club

Charles never married, but became very close with the widow of Lieut. Commander Ward Thompson, Royal Navy, (no relation) and her children, Simon Ward and Camilla.

Charles Ralfe Thompson b: 22 Nov 1894   Houghton le Spring
son of Richard Charles Thompson and Dorothy Clark    1895 1Q Houghton 10a 493

The president has a word with Tommy.
USS Augusta, Placentia Bay, Newfoundland.

Field Marshall Montgomery talking to Admiral Sir Phillip Vian, Tommy, and the Prime Minister during Churchill's visit to the Normandy beachhead, on June 12, 1944.

With Tommy and Field Marshall Montgomery at the latter's headquarters camp.

Watching the crossing of the Rhine.
Tommy is at the right.

Charles Ralfe Thompson Died 11 Aug 1966 Age 71
Residence: 14 Pont Street, Mews, Chelsea, London S.W.1

The Times, Monday, Aug 12, 1933   DEATHS
THOMPSON - On August 11, 1966, in London, Commander Charles Ralfe Thompson, C.M.G., O.B.E., (RN Retired).   Funeral at St. Paul's Church, Knightsbridge, S.W.1, on Monday, August 15th, at 10:30 a.m., followed by cremation, private.   Flowers may be sent to Harrods Chapel, 239 Brompton Road, S.W.3.
Read other Newspaper articles regarding his death.   OBITUARY     Another article

Newspaper   16 August 1966
Commander C. R. Thompson

Lady Spencer-Churchill attended the funeral service for Commander C. R. Thompson which was conducted by the Rev. D. B. Harris at St. Paul's, Knightsbridge, yesterday.
Others present included:

Mrs. S. Haggie (sister)
Mr. Christopher Cox
Mr. T. Parrington
Miss J. Parrington
Mrs. M. W. Roberts
Viscount Malden
the Hon. Mrs. Brandon
Vice-Admiral Sir Peter Dawnay
Brigadier J. le C. Fowle (representing Steward's Secretaries of the Jockey Club, past and present)and Mrs. Fowle
Commander C. Sclater (representing the Bath Club)
Mr. L. D. Cambridge

Mr. Simon Thompson
Major and Mrs. E. Noel
Mr. P. Burton
Colonel G. S. Courtney
Major P. Peel
Mr. Robert Harris
Mr. Norman Wright
Mr. M. Rouse
Mrs. G. M. Adlam
Mr. H. Adlam
Mr. Andrew McCarthy
Mrs. F. Baxter
Mrs. C. M. Withycombe
Miss Z. Withycombe
Miss G. Hamblin
Miss A. Prinsep
Mr. G. E. Blundell
Mrs. B. Billson
Mr. R. Lowder
Mr. J. Lowder
Miss R. Zander

Summary of the Will
of Mr. Charles Ralfe Thompson C.M.G., O.B.E.
of 14 Pont Street Mews Chelsea London S.W.1
1894 - 1966       Dated 7 March 1966
(His estate totaled £ 45,786 8s 0d)
Trustees and Executors:  Trevor Bertram Birkett, Solicitor, Portsmouth, and
Henry Adlam. Commercial Manager.
Dominic Thompson (1)
Simon Ward Thompson (2)
Christopher Cox
Camilla Brown (3)
Brigadier C. B. Harvey D.S.O.
Mildred Hazel Hunter
Norman Wright
Jean Parrington
Thomas Parrington
Various personal items
Jean Parrington
Mildred Hazel Hunter
Henry Adlam
£ 100 each
The Bath Club Servant's Fund
The Rous Memorial Fund
The Association of Retired Naval Officers
The Royal Naval Benevolent Society
King Edward VII Hospital for Officers
£ 25 each. All in Memory of Lieut. Commander Ward Thompson, Royal Navy **.
Each Domestic Servant £ 50 per year of service, with £ 500 maximum.
Simon Ward Thompson (2) All my shares in The Bath Club Company
My Leasehold House and Premises at 14 Pont Street Mews Chelsea
A Sum, equal to the Insurance Policy monies that is payable to Camilla Brown
Two Thirds of my Residuary Estate.
Camilla Brown (3) One Third of my Residuary Estate.

(1)Dominic Thompson received the Gold Watch, given to Robert Thompson (1797-1860) by Henry Graham.
(2) Simon Ward Thompson, Godson of Charles Ralfe Thompson.
(3) Camilla Brown (Nee Thompson) Goddaughter of Charles Ralfe Thompson.

** Lieut. Commander Ward Thompson    Birth    1908 4Q Medway 2a 705
H.M.S Condor, Royal Navy
who died, aged 31 on Tuesday, 8 July 1941
Son of Wilfrid Arthur Thompson and Dora Enda Thompson formerly Moore
Arbruath Western Cemetery, Grave 12, Angus, U.K.