Commander-in-Chief, The Nore

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Commander-in-Chief, The Nore
Peter Monamy - The flagship Royal Sovereign saluting at the Nore.jpg
The flagship HMS Royal Sovereign saluting at the Nore
Active 1695–1961
Country  United Kingdom
Branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Type Fleet
Garrison/HQ Chatham, Kent
Commanders
Notable
commanders
John Tovey

The Commander-in-Chief, The Nore was an operational commander of the Royal Navy. His subordinate units, establishments, and staff were sometimes informally known as the Nore Station or Nore Command.

History[edit]

The Admiral's House, Chatham

The Nore is a sandbank at the mouth of the Thames Estuary and River Medway.[1] The origins of this post can be traced to the first naval commander covering the same area that being the Commander-in-Chief, Thames from 1695 to 1696 however this command appointment was initially known by different names until finally becoming known as the Nore Command or Nore Station.[2]

From 1698 to 1699 the appointment was known as Commander-in-Chief, Medway. In 1707 the post holder was known as Commander-in-Chief, Thames and Medway and between 1711 and 1745 the office was known as the Commander-in-Chief, Thames, Medway and Nore

In 1745 the post for the first time was simply called the Commander-in-Chief, Nore established at Chatham[3] and became responsible for sub-commands at Chatham, London (less the Admiralty), Sheerness, Harwich and Humber.[1] Between 1747 and 1797 the post holder was known as the Commander-in-Chief, Medway and at the Nore

From 1827 the Commander-in-Chief was accommodated in Admiralty House, Sheerness, built as part of the renewal of Sheerness Dockyard. From 1834 to 1899 the command was known as the Commander-in-Chief, Sheerness. In 1907 he moved to a new Admiralty House alongside the naval barracks (HMS Pembroke) in Chatham, the Sheerness house being given over to the Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet.[4] In 1938 an underground Area Combined Headquarters was built close to Admiralty House to accommodate the Commander-in-Chief together with the local Air Officer Commanding (AOC No. 16 Group RAF, Coastal Command) and their respective staffs;[5] similar headquarters were built close to the other Royal Dockyards. During the Second World War, the Nore station assumed great importance: it was used to guard the east coast convoys supplying the ports of North Eastern England.[1]

During the Second World War, Nore Command at Chatham included eight sub commands called (Naval stations) each of which was usually commanded by a Flag Officer either a Rear Admiral or Vice Admiral, the other seven included; Brightlingsea station, Harwich station, Humber, London (not including the Admiralty), Lowestoft, Sheerness station, Southend and Yarmouth. [6] These sub-commands were then sub-divided into Base areas usually commanded by a Naval Officer in Charge (NOIC) or a Residential Naval Officer (RNO) these included HM Naval Bases at Boston, Burnham-on-Crouch, Felixstowe, Gravesend, Grimsby, Immingham, and Queensborough.

Between 1952 and 1961 the Commander-in-Chief, The Nore double hatted as Nore Sub-Area Channel Command (NORECHAN) commander in NATO's Allied Command Channel. With the onset of the Cold War, the station and command diminished in importance as the navy decreased in size. The Nore Command was finally closed on 31 March 1961.[7] The underground Headquarters went on to serve as a Royal Naval Reserve training and communications centre (HMS Wildfire) from 1964 to 1994.[1]

Commanders-in-Chief[edit]

Commanders-in-Chief have included:[8][9][10]

Commander-in-Chief Thames, (1695-1696)[edit]

Commander-in-Chief, Medway, (1698-1699)[edit]

Commander-in-Chief, Thames and Medway, (1707-1711)[edit]

Commander-in-Chief, Thames, Medway and Nore, (1711-1745)[edit]

  • Rear-Admiral Thomas Hardy, 1711-1715 [13]
  • Rear-Admiral William Caldwell, 1717
  • Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Hardy, 1732-1737
  • Vice Admiral Sir Chaloner Ogle 1745 [14]

Commander-in-Chief, Nore, (1745-1747)[edit]

Post holders known as:[15]

  • Vice-Admiral Edward Durnford King 1745-1747

Commander-in-Chief, Medway and at the Nore, (1747-1797)[edit]

Commander-in-Chief, Nore, (1797-1834)[edit]

Post holders known as:[23]

Commander-in-Chief, Sheerness, (1834-1899)[edit]

Post holders known as:[24]

Commander-in-Chief, Nore, (1899-1961)[edit]

Post holders known as:[25]

Administration HQ, the Nore[edit]

Flag Captain, the Nore[edit]

Post holders supporting the senior naval officer at the Nore included:[26]

  • Captain William G. Luard: July 1860-July 1863
  • Captain John Fulford: July 1863-April 1866
  • Captain Donald McL. Mackenzie: April 1866-June 1869
  • Captain Thomas Miller: June 1869-June 1870
  • Captain John C. Wilson: June 1870-January 1872
  • Captain George W. Watson: January 1872-January 1875
  • Captain Charles T. Curme: January 1875-February 1876
  • Captain St. George C. D’Arcy-Irvine: February 1876-September 1877
  • Captain Thomas B. Lethbridge: September 1877-January 1879
  • Captain Thomas B.M. Sulivan: January 1879-July 1881
  • Captain John D’Arcy: July 1881-September 1883
  • Captain James A. Poland: September 1883-September 1886
  • Captain Frederick C.B. Robinson: September 1886-July 1887
  • Captain Arthur C. Curtis: July 1887-July 1890
  • Captain Leicester C. Keppel: July 1890-August 1892
  • Captain Henry H. Boys: August 1892-October 1894
  • Captain William H.C. St.Clair: October 1894-February 1896
  • Captain James L. Hammet: February 1896-January 1898
  • Captain William F.S. Mann: January 1898-July 1899
  • Captain Charles Campbell: July-October 1899
  • Captain Henry C. Bigge: October 1899-February 1901
  • Captain Archibald Y. Pocklington: February 1901-December 1902
  • Captain Arthur Y. Moggridge: January 1907–April 1908
  • Captain Clement Greatorex: April-December 1908
  • Captain Henry J. L. Clarke: December 1908-August 1911
  • Captain Philip H. Colomb: August 1911-January 1915
  • Captain Ernest A. Taylor: January 1915-May 1916
  • Captain William Bowden-Smith: May-July 1916
  • Captain Alexander V. Campbell: July 1916-April 1918
  • Captain Cecil M. Staveley: April-October 1918

Chief of Staff, the Nore[edit]

Post holders supporting the CINC, Nore included:[26]

  • Captain Theobald W.B. Kennedy: October 1918-May 1921
  • Captain Wilfred Tomkinson: May 1921-June 1923
  • Captain Herbert W.W. Hope: June 1923-December 1924
  • Captain the Hon. William S. Leveson-Gower: December 1924-May 1927
  • Captain the Hon. E. Barry S. Bingham: May 1927-May 1929
  • Captain Douglas B. Le Mottee: May 1929-May 1931
  • Captain Reginald V. Holt: May 1931-August 1933
  • Captain Hector Boyes: August 1933-November 1934
  • Captain Robert B. Ramsay: November 1934-December 1935
  • Captain Reginald B. Darke: December 1935-August 1937
  • Captain Philip Esmonde Phillips: August 1937-July 1938
  • Captain the Hon. George Fraser: July 1938-May 1940
  • Rear-Admiral Alfred H. Taylor: May 1940-March 1943
  • Commodore George H. Creswell: March-October 1943
  • Commodore Robert G.H. Linzee: October 1943-April 1946
  • Captain Albert L. Poland: April 1946-July 1948
  • Captain Lennox A. K. Boswell: July 1948-May 1949
  • Captain Arthur M. Knapp: May 1949-June 1951
  • Captain Herbert F.H. Layman: June 1951-January 1953
  • Captain Ronald E. Portlock: January 1953-December 1954
  • Captain John A. W. Tothill: December 1954-July 1956
  • Captain William A.F. Hawkins: July 1956-December 1957
  • Captain Roger B.N. Hicks: December 1957-April 1960
  • Captain Barry J. Anderson: April 1960-March 1961

Offices under the Chief of Staff[edit]

Included:[27]

  • Deputy Chief of Staff
  • Assistant Secretary
  • Duty Staff Officer
  • Flag Lieutenant-Commander
  • Secretary to Chief of Staff
  • Staff Officer (Minesweeping)
  • Staff Officer A/P & Deputy Staff Officer (Minesweeping)
  • Staff Officer (Convoys)
  • Staff Officer (Intelligence)
  • Staff Officer (LD)
  • Staff Officer (Operations)
  • Staff Officer (Plans)
  • Staff Signal Officer
  • Staff Torpedo Officer
  • Maintenance Captain

Nore Command[edit]

Chatham Dockyard[edit]

Chatham Dockyard was a Royal Navy Dockyard located on the River Medway in Kent. Established in Chatham in the mid-16th century, the dockyard subsequently expanded into neighbouring Gillingham (at its most extensive, in the early 20th century, two-thirds of the dockyard lay in Gillingham, one-third in Chatham)

Captain-Superintendent, Chatham Dockyard[edit]

Admiral-Superintendent, Chatham Dockyard[edit]

Nore Reserve Division[edit]

Note: There was no Home Fleet between 1905 and 1907 remaining ships at a lesser state of readiness were split into 3 reserve divisions: Devonport Division, Nore Division, and Portsmouth Division [28] In 1909 the division is brought out of reserve status and becomes operational as part of the 3rd and 4th Division of the Home Fleet.

Rear Admiral, Commanding Chatham Sheerness Reserve Division[edit]

Post holders included:[29]
# Rank Flag Name Term
Rear Admiral, Commanding Chatham Sheerness Reserve Division
1 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Walter H. B. Graham, 3 January, 1905 – 3 January 1906
2 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Charles H. Adair 3 January 1906 - 3 January, 1907
3 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Frank Finnis 3 January, 1907 - 4 January, 1909

Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham[edit]

The Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham were purpose-built to provide accommodation and training facilities for the men of the reserve fleet who were waiting to be appointed to ships. Designed by Colonel Henry Pilkington, construction of the barracks began in 1897 and completed in December 1902.[30]

Commodore-in-Command, Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham[edit]

Sheerness Dockyard[edit]

Sheerness Dockyard was a Royal Navy Dockyard located on the Sheerness peninsula, at the mouth of the River Medway in Kent. It was opened in the 1660s and closed in 1960.

Admiral-Superintendent, Sheerness Dockyard[edit]

Nore, sub-area commands[edit]

Nore command consisted of nine shore sub-commands usually administered by either a retired vice or rear admiral or an active captain sometimes style as Senior Naval Officer or Flag Officer.[31]

Stations Flag Ship or Ships borne in Flag Officers/Officers commanding Dates Ref
Brightlingsea Station HMS Wallaroo Rear Admiral, Brighlingsea 1914 - 1915
Brightlingsea Station HMS City of Perth then HMS Nemo Senior Naval officer, Brighlingsea 1914-1945 [32][33][34]
Dover Station HMS Nemo Naval Officer-in-Charge, Dover & CO HMS Lynx 1945-1946 [35]
Harwich Station HMS Badger Flag Officer-in-Charge, Harwich 1914-1944
Humber Station HMS Beaver Flag Officer-in-Charge, Humber 1939 - 1946 [33]
London Station HMS Yeoman Flag Officer-in-Charge, London 1938-1946 [33]
Lowestoft Station HMS Minos Naval Officer-in-Charge, Lowestoft 1914-1918, 1942-1946 [33]
Southend Station HMS Leigh Commander-in-Charge, Southend 1914-1918, 1942-1946 [33]
Yarmouth Station HMS Watchful Flag Officer-in-Charge, Yarmouth 1942-1945 [33]

Facilities in this commmand[edit]

Various units that served in this command included:

Facility Based at Date Notes
Chatham Chatham, Kent 1914-1918 chain of command was to the Grand Fleet
HM Naval Base, Immingham Immingham 1914-1918 chain of command was to the SNO/FO, Humber Station
Sheerness Dockyard Sheerness, Isle of Sheppey, Kent 1914-1918
RNTE Shotley Chatham 1914-1918 Shotley Training Establishment

Naval formations that served under this command[edit]

Various units that served in this command included:[36][37][38]

Naval Units Based at Date Notes
Reserve Fleet Chatham 1900-1905 4 protected cruisers
Reserve Fleet Chatham 1906-1914 13 cruisers from the Aeolus, Arrogant, Astraea, Diadem, Eclipse, Edgar classes.
Reserve Fleet Chatham 1939 inc: 6 cruisers, 15 destroyers, and 5 minesweepers
3rd Battle Squadron Chatham May 1916-April 1918 ex Grand Fleet
2nd Cruiser Squadron Chatham 1939-1940
5th Cruiser Squadron Chatham 1908-1909
7th Cruiser Squadron Chatham 1912
HMS Curacoa (D41) Chatham 1939 C-class cruiser (light)
HMS London (69) Chatham 1939 County-class cruiser
1st Destroyer Flotilla Harwich December 1939-June 1940
4th Destroyer Flotilla Humber August - December, 1916
5th Destroyer Flotilla Chatham 1939-1940
7th Destroyer Flotilla Humber/Chatham August 1914 - November 1918, 1939-1940 WWI part of AOPs
8th Destroyer Flotilla Chatham 1911-1914 1 cruiser leader, 2 scout cruisers and 24 torpedo boat destroyers
9th Destroyer Flotilla Nore 1911-1914 1 cruiser leader, 2 scout cruisers and 27 destroyers
16th Destroyer Flotilla Harwich June 1940-May 1945
18th Destroyer Flotilla Harwich June-December, 1940 disbanded
19th Destroyer Flotilla Chatham September-October, 1939 transferred to Dover Command
20th Destroyer Flotilla Immingham 1914-1918, 1941
21st Destroyer Flotilla Sheerness July 1940-May 1945 formed the southern force for the escort of east coast convoys
22nd Destroyer Flotilla Harwich November-December, 1939 inc: renamed 1st Destroyer Flotilla
Nore Flotilla Harwich 1895-1909 43 torpedo boat destroyers
Nore Local Flotilla Harwich 1912-1914 was a Destroyer Flotilla
20th Minelaying Destroyer Flotilla Harwich 1939-1940
4th Minesweeper Flotilla Harwich September 1939-July 1942
5th Minesweeper Flotilla Harwich September 1939-April 1941 absorbed into 4MSF
6th Minesweeper Flotilla Harwich May-September 1940
7th Minesweeper Flotilla Harwich March 1944-January 1945
8th Minesweeper Flotilla Chatham 1939
10th Minesweeper Flotilla Chatham April 1945
11th Minesweeper Flotilla Chatham April 1945
15th Minesweeper Flotilla Chatham February 1944
18th Minesweeper Flotilla Chatham May 1943
40th Minesweeper Flotilla Harwich 1945
44nd Minesweeper Flotilla Harwich August 1944
117 Minesweeper Flotilla Sheerness 1944
133 Minesweeper Flotilla Sheerness 1944
140 Minesweeper Flotilla Sheerness & Harwich 1944 divided between two naval bases
163 Minesweeper Flotilla Lowestoft 1944
202 Minesweeper Flotilla Lowestoft 1944
203 Minesweeper Flotilla Harwich 1944
5th Motor Topedo Boat Flotilla Immingham 1939 - 1941
11th Motor Topedo Boat Flotilla Felixstowe 1944
21st Motor Topedo Boat Flotilla Felixstowe 1944
22nd Motor Topedo Boat Flotilla Felixstowe 1944
29th Motor Topedo Boat Flotilla Felixstowe 1939
2nd Submarine Flotilla Immingham August 1916 - February 1917 coastal defence C Class
3rd Submarine Flotilla Immingham/Humber/Harwich September 1916-1918, October 1939-May 1940
4th Submarine Flotilla Sherness August 1916-September 1917 Disbanded
5th Submarine Flotilla Sherness August 1914-August 1916 renamed 4th Submarine Flotilla
6th Submarine Flotilla Humber August 1914 - August 1916

Naval formations that received shore support from this command[edit]

Various units that served in this command included:[39]

Naval Units Based at Date Notes
Admiral of Patrols Chatham 1914-1918 chain of command was to the Grand Fleet
Dover Patrol Chatham 1914-1918
Harwich Force Chatham 1914-1918
Humber Force Grimsby/Hull 1914-1918, 1939-1940
Southern Force Chatham 1914-1918

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Area Combined Headquarters Chatham & HMS Wildfire
  2. ^ Rodger, N. A. M. (2006). The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain 1649-1815. Penguin Books Limited. p. 88. ISBN 9780141915906.
  3. ^ Royal Naval events
  4. ^ "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Monday, 17 December 1906. Issue 38205, col D, p. 10
  5. ^ "Subterranea Britannica: Sites:HMS Wildfire". Subbrit.org.uk. Retrieved 2018-07-08.
  6. ^ Niehorster, Dr. Leo. "Nore Command, Royal Navy, 06.06.1944". www.niehorster.org. L. Niwhorster, 14 June 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  7. ^ Sea Your History
  8. ^ Whitaker's Almanacks 1869 - 1961
  9. ^ William Loney RN
  10. ^ Royal Navy Flag Officers 1904-1975
  11. ^ a b Stewart, William (2009). Admirals of the World: A Biographical Dictionary, 1500 to the Present. Jefferson, NC, USA: McFarland. p. 181. ISBN 9780786438099.
  12. ^ The Georgian Era: Military and naval commanders. Judges and barristers. Physicians and surgeons. London, England: Vizetelly, Branston and Company. 1833.
  13. ^ Laughton, John Knox. "Hardy Thomas (1666-1732)". Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900. Smith, Elder & Co, 1885-1900. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  14. ^ Elder.), Charles FEARNE (the (1746). Minutes of the proceedings of a court-martial, assembled on the 23d of September, 1745 ... to enquire into the conduct of Admiral Mathews, Vice-Admiral Lestock, and several other officers ... Containing the proceedings upon the opening of the court, and the trials at large of the lieutenants of the Dorsetshire, and of Captain Burrish. London, England: HM Government. pp. 3–4.
  15. ^ Donnithorne, Christopher. "Naval Biographical Database: Commander-in-Chief, Nore, 1742-1745". www.navylist.org. The National Museum of the Royal Navy (Portsmouth) Library. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  16. ^ Charnock, John (1797). Biographia Navalis: Or, Impartial Memoirs of the Lives and Characters of Officers of the Navy of Great Britain, from the Year 1660 to the Present Time; Drawn from the Most Authentic Sources, and Disposed in a Chronological Arrangement. London, England: R. Faulder. p. 301.
  17. ^ Woodard, David (1804). The narrative of captain David Woodard and four seamen, who ... surrendered themselves up to the Malays, in the island of Celebes [&c. Ed. by W. Vaughan]. Oxford, England: Johnson. p. 176.
  18. ^ Schomberg, Isaac (1802). Naval Chronology, Or an Historical Summary of Naval and Maritime Events from the Time of the Romans, to the Treaty of Peace 1802: With an Appendix. London, England: C, Roworth. p. 235.
  19. ^ The Literary Panorama: Biographical Memoirs Roddam. London, England: Cox Son and Baylis. 1808. p. 1330.
  20. ^ The Gentleman's Magazine (London, England). London, England: F. Jefferies. 1828. p. 569.
  21. ^ (hon.), Thomas Keppel; (visct.), Augustus Keppel (1842). "XI". The life of Augustus, viscount Keppel. London, England: Henry Colburn. p. 289.
  22. ^ The Annual Register: World Events .... 1797. London, England: R. Gilbert and Sons. 1797. p. 394.
  23. ^ Donnithorne, Christopher. "Naval Biographical Database: Commander-in-Chief, Nore, 1797-1834". www.navylist.org. The National Museum of the Royal Navy (Portsmouth) Library. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  24. ^ Donnithorne, Christopher. "Naval Biographical Database: Commander-in-Chief, Sheerness, 1834-1899". www.navylist.org. The National Museum of the Royal Navy (Portsmouth) Library. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  25. ^ Donnithorne, Christopher. "Naval Biographical Database: Commander-in-Chief, Nore, 1899-1955". www.navylist.org. The National Museum of the Royal Navy (Portsmouth) Library. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  26. ^ a b Mackie, Gordon. "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865" (PDF). gulabin.com. G. Mackie, pp.77-78, June 2018. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  27. ^ Houterman, J.N. "Royal Navy Nore Command 1939-1945". www.unithistories.com. Houterman and Koppes, 2010-2014. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  28. ^ Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployments 1900-1914: January 1905-February 1907". www.naval-history.net. Graham Smith, 8 August 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  29. ^ Mackie. 2017
  30. ^ "History of Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham" (PDF). campus.medway.ac.uk. University of Medway, p,2, 2018. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  31. ^ Niehorster, Dr. Leo. "Nore Command, Royal Navy, 06.06.1944". niehorster.org. L.Niehorster, 14 June 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  32. ^ Houterman, J.N. "Royal Navy Nore Command 1939-1945: Brighlingsea". unithistories.com. Houterman and Koppes. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  33. ^ a b c d e f The Navy List. London, England: H. M. Stationary Office. January 1919. p. 2255.
  34. ^ The Navy List. London, England: H. M. Stationary Office. January 1920. p. 693.
  35. ^ Houterman, J.N. "Royal Navy Nore Command 1939-1945: Dover". www.unithistories.com. Houterman and Kloppes. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  36. ^ Niehorster, Dr. Leo. "Nore Command, Royal Navy, 06.06.1944". www.niehorster.org. L. Niehorster, 14 June 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  37. ^ Niehorster, Dr. Leo. "Nore Command, Royal Navy, 3.09.39". www.niehorster.org. L. Niehorster, 1 May 2001. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  38. ^ Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Orgnisation in World War 2, 1939-1945: Nore Command". naval-history.net. G. Smith, 19 September 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  39. ^ Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployment, Inter-War Years 1914-1918". www.naval-history.net. Gordon Smith, 27 October 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2018.

External links[edit]