NEW COMMANDER IN CHIEF HOME FLEET. DECEMBER 1940, ON BOARD THE FLAGSHIP HMS NELSON. ADMIRAL JOHN CRONYN TOVEY, CB, DSO, TAKING UP HIS COMMAND AS C IN C HOME FLEET. (Photo and caption courtesy of Imperial War Museum)
Tovey was given command of the battleship HMS Rodney in April 1932. This ship had been heavily involved in the recent Invergordon mutiny and elements of its crew were among the most vociferous protestors and Tovey was seen as a “safe pair of hands” to restore the battleship’s efficiency. Tovey quickly transformed the ship’s crew into an efficient and confident unit and in his confidential personnel report, AdmiralSir John Kelly judged that Tovey “… has brought his ship to a high state of fighting efficiency“. He stayed with Rodney until August 1934.