Royal Naval Armaments Depot

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A Royal Naval Armament Depot (RNAD) was a group of armament depots dedicated to supplying the needs of the Royal Navy as well as the Royal Air Force, British Army and foreign/commonwealth governments; they were sister depots of Royal Naval Cordite Factories, Royal Naval Torpedo and Royal Naval Mine Depots. Between 1965 and 1994, they were part of the Royal Naval Supply and Transport Service (RNSTS).

Most RNADs were located near to Royal Navy Dockyards to facilitate the transfer of armaments between the depot and the warships; but not too close to minimise the risk of any accident or explosion in the depot causing damage to warships. The term RNAD is no longer in use, except for RNAD Coulport which is the UK Strategic Weapon Facility for the Trident Missile System. The RNSTS has also ceased to exist firstly being renamed the 'Warship Support Agency' and, presently, known as part of the 'Defence Equipment and Support' (DE&S) conglomerate. Those RNADs (except Coulport) that are still in use today are known as Defence Munitions centres (DM), e.g. DM Beith.

History[edit]

Predecessors[edit]

The earliest Naval Ordnance Depots, which later became RNADs, were built by the Board of Ordnance. Many were former forts with large gunpowder magazines and other facilities, such as at Priddy's Hard and Upnor Castle. The Board of Ordnance was responsible for all forts and armaments within the United Kingdom as well as the British Empire.[1] When the Board of Ordnance was abolished in 1855, control passed first to the War Office, then in 1891 to the Admiralty.[2]

On 1 January 1965 control of the armament depots passed to the Ministry of Defence and they became part of the Royal Naval Supply and Transport Service (RNSTS).[2] The RNSTS was formed from an amalgamation of the Directorates of Naval Stores, Victualling, Armament Supply, and Movements.[3]

Royal Naval Armaments Depots[edit]

Disbandment of the RNSTS[edit]

On 1 April 1994, the RNSTS ceased to exist and was absorbed into the Naval Support Command. The RNADs also lost their independence.

List of RNADs and their status[edit]

Name County Country Years active Status Notes
RNAD Alexandria Egypt Closed
RNAD Antrim Closed
RNAD Beith operational as DM Beith
RNAD Auchemade Quarry Ayrshire Closed - (sub depot of RNAD Beith)[4]
RNAD Broughton Moor Decommissioned
RNAD Bull Point Closed
RNAD Butcher Island Bombay Closed
RNAD Charlesfield Closed
RNAD Chattenden Closed
RNAD Colombo Closed
RNAD Coulport Operational
RNAD Crombie Operational as DM Crombie
RNAD Bandeath Closed sub depot of RNAD Crombie.[5]
RNAD Grangemouth Closed sub depot of RNAD Crombie)[6]
RNAD Leadburn Closed (sub depot of RNAD Crombie)[7]
RNAD Dalbeattie Closed
RNAD Dean Hill Closed
RNAD Ditton Priors 1968 Closed now an industrial estate
RNAD Ernesettle Closed
RNAD Glen Douglas Closed
RNAD Fort William Closed (sub depot of RNAD Crombie)[8]
RNAD Achdalieu Closed (sub depot of RNAD Fort William)[9]
RNAD Annat Closed (sub depot of RNAD Fort William)[10]
RNAD Caol Farm Closed (sub depot of RNAD Fort William)[11]
RNAD Corpach Closed (sub depot of RNAD Fort William)[12]
RNAD Lochailort Closed (sub depot of RNAD Fort William)[13]
RNAD Locheilside Closed (sub depot of RNAD Fort William)[14]
RNAD Gosport Operational as DM Gosport
RNAD Bedenham Closed
RNAD Elson Operational as DM Gosport
RNAD Frater Operational as DM Gosport
RNAD Priddy's Hard Closed used for housing and a museum - Explosion (see Priddy's Hard)
RNAD Grain Closed
RNAD Haifa Closed
RNAD Kilnappy Closed
RNAD Lodge Hill Closed now Defence Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Munitions and Search School (DEMSS South)
RNAD Marchwood Closed
RNAD Mombasa Closed
RNAD Port Said Closed
RNAD Trecwn Closed
RNAD Spectacle Island Sydney Closed
RNAD Singapore Closed
RNAD Trincomalee Closed
RNAD Upton Closed
RNAD Upnor Closed
RNAD Woolwich Closed
RNAD Wrabness Closed
RNCF Holton Heath Closed Cordite Factory
RNMD Milford Haven Closed Mine Depot
RNPF Caerwent Closed Propellant Factory
RNTD Chatham Closed Torpedo Depot
RNTD Weymouth Closed
RNTF Alexandria Dunbartonshire Closed Torpedo Factory
RNTF Greenock Closed Torpedo Factory

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • W N Mansfield (1995), "Priddy's Hard 1846 - 1906 - The site impact of the introduction of modern chemical explosives" - BSc (Hons) Archaeology dissertation.
  • Semark, H.W. (1997). The Royal Naval Armaments Depots of Priddy's Hard, Elson, Frater and Bedebham (Gosport, Hampshire) 1768 to 1977. Winchester: Hampshire County Council. ISBN 1-85975-132-6.