Admiral Sir Henry Byam Martin, K.C.B., was the second son of Admiral Sir Thomas Byam Martin and entered the Royal Naval College as a cadet in October 1816. First going to sea as a Midshipman in the Liffey in 1818, he was promoted Lieutenant in 1823 and then Commander in 1825. Although made Captain in 1827, he was unable to secure a sea command until 1836 when he was appointed to the frigate Carysfort and sent to the Mediterranean. Retaining this command for five years, he took an active part in the operations off the coast of Syria in 1840, including the attacks on both Tortosa and St. Jean d'Acre, for which he was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath and also received the gold medal for Acre from the Sultan of Turkey. Indeed, for the attack on Tortosa, he was commended by Captain Houston Stewart, the senior officer present, "for the support and assistance he afforded him, as well as for the astonishing precision of his fire in covering the boats and men employed on shore." Sent to the Baltic with the rank of Commodore early in 1854, he was made Rear-Admiral in July and hoisted his flag in the new steam frigate Leopard the following month. After serving throughout the Baltic campaign with distinction, including the successful demolition of the huge fortifications at Bomarsund, he was made K.C.B. in July 1855 and received further promotion that December. Made Vice-Admiral in 1860, he received his final promotion to full Admiral in 1864.