Andrew Cunningham, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope

Admiral of the Fleet Andrew Browne Cunningham, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope, KT, GCB, OM, DSO & Two Bars (7 January 1883 – 12 June 1963) was a senior officer of the Royal Navy during the Second World War. He was widely known by his initials, "ABC".[1]

The Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew Cunningham, 1947
Birth nameAndrew Browne Cunningham
Nickname(s)"ABC"
Born(1883-01-07)7 January 1883
Rathmines, Ireland
Died12 June 1963(1963-06-12) (aged 80)
London, England, United Kingdom
Place of burial
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Navy
Years of service1897–1946
RankAdmiral of the Fleet
Commands heldHMS Scorpion
HMS Rodney
Battlecruiser Squadron
Mediterranean Fleet
First Sea Lord
Battles/warsSecond Boer War
First World War

British campaign in the Baltic
Second World War

AwardsViscountcy of Hyndhope
Knight of the Order of the Thistle
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Member of the Order of Merit
Distinguished Service Order & Two Bars
RelationsGeneral Sir Alan Cunningham (brother)
Other workLord High Commissioner to General Assembly of Church of Scotland
Lord High Steward

Cunningham was born in Rathmines in the south side of Dublin on 7 January 1883. After starting his schooling in Dublin and Edinburgh, he enrolled at Stubbington House School, at the age of ten. He entered the Royal Navy in 1897 as a naval cadet in the officers' training ship Britannia, passing out in 1898. He commanded a destroyer during the First World War and through most of the interwar period. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and two Bars, for his performance during this time, specifically for his actions in the Dardanelles and in the Baltics.

In the Second World War, as Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet, Cunningham led British naval forces to victory in several critical Mediterranean naval battles. These included the attack on Taranto in 1940, the first completely all-aircraft naval attack in history,[2] and the Battle of Cape Matapan in 1941. Cunningham controlled the defence of the Mediterranean supply lines through Alexandria, Gibraltar, and the key chokepoint of Malta. He also directed naval support for the various major Allied landings in the Western Mediterranean littoral. In autumn 1943, with the incumbent, Sir Dudley Pound, dying, Cunningham was promoted to First Sea Lord, the professional head of the Royal Navy, a position he held until his retirement in 1946. He was ennobled as Baron Cunningham of Hyndhope in 1945 and made Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope the following year. After his retirement, Cunningham enjoyed several ceremonial positions, including Lord High Steward at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. He died on 12 June 1963, aged 80.