Our portfolio of High-End London Clubs continues with The Army & Navy Club becoming a client.
The Army & Navy Club was founded in 1837 as a response to the popularity of other Service clubs in the area. Originally it was to be called the Army Club but the Duke of Wellington, Commander in Chief, who became the Club’s first patron declined to have any involvement unless it was also open to officers of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. Upon agreeing this, the Club was established with Lieutenant General Sir Edward Barnes, Admiral Sir Philip Durham and Lieutenant Colonel Henry Charles Russell elected as Trustees. The Army & Navy Club is one of London’s most prestigious private member clubs, originally for military and naval officers but now welcoming professional men and women from both military and civilian backgrounds who like to enjoy the benefits which membership of a historic club offers.
The first clubhouse, a rented property, was located at No 1 King Street on the north corner of St. James’s Square. In August 1847, a block of five houses was purchased on the present day site of the Club on Pall Mall and by 1851 an elegant building was ready for its members. Architects, Parnell & Smith, took as their model for the ground and first floors the Palazzo Cornaro in Venice, but based the upper storey on the Library of St. Mark.
Shortly after opening, the Club acquired its famous nickname, when Captain William (Billy) Higginson Duff, a colourful character with a brief and undistinguished military career was offended by the spartan nature of the fare offered to him on returning from a spree. He described the Club as a ‘Rag and Famish affair’ which was intended as a great insult, since the ‘Rag and Famish’ was a squalid gaming house ‘for broken down gamblers who played for coppers’. The Members were amused rather than insulted by this and formed a ‘Rag and Famish’ dining club. The name was gradually adopted as the Club’s nickname, eventually being reduced to The Rag.
Get in touch 36-39 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5JN +44 (0)20 7930 9721 [email protected]