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 1752–1961
Country  United Kingdom
Branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Type Fleet
Garrison/HQ Chatham, Kent
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 Command.


The Admiral's House, Chatham

The Nore is a sandbank at the mouth of the River Medway.[1] The command was established at Chatham in 1752[2] and became responsible for sub-commands at Chatham, London (less the Admiralty), Sheerness, Harwich and Humber.[1]

From 1827 the Commander-in-Chief was accommodated in Admiralty House, Sheerness, built as part of the renewal of Sheerness Dockyard. 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.[3]

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 and their respective staffs; 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]

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.[4] The underground Headquarters went on to serve as a Royal Naval Reserve training and communications centre (HMS Wildfire) from 1964 to 1994.[1]

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.


Commanders-in-Chief have included:[5][6][7]


  1. ^ a b c d Area Combined Headquarters Chatham & HMS Wildfire
  2. ^ Royal Naval events
  3. ^ Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Monday, 17 December, 1906. Issue 38205, col D, p. 10
  4. ^ Sea Your History
  5. ^ Whitaker's Almanacks 1869 - 1961
  6. ^ William Loney RN
  7. ^ Royal Navy Flag Officers 1904-1975