A. Nelson Seaforth

A. Nelson Seaforth is a pseudonym of George Sydenham Clarke, 1st Baron Sydenham of Combe GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, GBE (1848-1933) who was a British Army officer and colonial administrator. He was born in Lincolnshire, and educated at Haileybury, Wimbledon and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich.

Clarke entered the Royal Engineers in 1868, served in the Egyptian Expedition and as Assistant Political officer during the following Sudan expedition. From 1885 until 1892 he was secretary to the Colonial Defence Committee, for which he was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in 1893. He was also secretary to the Royal Commission on Navy and Army Administration in 1888, a commission which did much to improve cooperation between the two services. In the late 1890s he was Superintendent of the Royal Carriage Department at Woolwich.

He retired from the army in 1901 when he was appointed Governor of Victoria and served in Australia until 1903. He served in India as Governor of Bombay between 1907 and 1913, the year he was elevated to the peerage as "Baron Sydenham of Combe", of Dulverton in the County of Devon, named after one of the ancient seats of the ancient de Sydenham family which originated at the manor of Sydenham, near Bridgwater in Somerset. After his last term as governor he was a member of the committee that issued the Esher Report. The biographer of the Committee's chairman describes Clarke as "...an insensitive, clumsy, uncouth and infinitely boring man...". He was also the first Secretary of the Committee of Imperial Defence. Originally a Liberal, he became increasingly reactionary in his later life and was, in the 1930s, a prominent supporter of fascist causes.

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Year  Book  Comment
  The Last Great Naval War: An Historical Retrospect An alternative history

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