Admiral Francis Arden Close - 1829 - 1918 (Sheriff 1901)


Francis Close was born in Cheltenham in 1829, his father was the founder of Cheltenham College.  He joined the Royal Navy in 1842 and was made a lieutenant in 1850.  In the 'Russian war' he was promoted and decorated then followed a three year commission as senior Commander on the west coast of Africa.  In 1858 he "carried out important duties on secret service at Lagos" and was recommended for "very judicious conduct".  After he retired from the Navy he became a city councillor and served as Sheriff in 1901.  He continued to work on behalf of the Navy, devising schemes to improve its organisation and provisions in times of war and he was a prominent supported or the 'conservative cause'.  He died in 1918 at the age of 89.   

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