New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy
|New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy|
The cruiser HMS Philomel, "Cradle of the Navy"
The New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy was formed in 1921 and remained in existence until 1941. It was the precursor to the Royal New Zealand Navy. Originally, the British Royal Navy was solely responsible for the naval security of New Zealand. The passing of the Naval Defence Act 1913 created the New Zealand Naval Forces as a separate division within the Royal Navy.
At its establishment in 1848, the Australia Station encompassed Australia and New Zealand. Under the Australasian Naval Agreement 1887 the colonial governments of Australia and New Zealand secured a greater naval presence in their waters, agreed that two ships would always be based in New Zealand waters and agreed contributions to funding that presence.
The Australian Squadron was disbanded in 1911 and the Australia Station passed to the Commonwealth Naval Forces. The Australia Station was reduced to cover Australia and its island dependencies to the north and east, excluding New Zealand and its surrounds, which became part of the China Station and called the New Zealand Naval Forces.
On 1 January 1921, the New Zealand Naval Forces, which had formerly been under the command of the China Station, were renamed the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy. Funded by Wellington and increasingly manned by New Zealanders, it operated 14 ships over a period of 21 years, including the cruisers HMS Achilles and HMS Leander, the training minesweeper HMS Wakakura, and the cruiser HMS Philomel which was recommissioned as a base training establishment.
The Commodore's appointment was abolished and forces brought directly under the New Zealand Chief of the Naval Staff from October 1940. The New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy became the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) from 1 October 1941, in recognition of the fact that the naval force was now largely self-sufficient and independent of the Royal Navy.
Ships of the New Zealand Division
Sortable list covering the period from the inception of the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in 1921 to the formation of the Royal New Zealand Navy on 1 October 1941.
|HMS Achilles||70||Cruiser||Leander-class||1936||1941||1941–1946 was HMNZS Achilles in the RNZN|
|HMS Auckland||L61||Convoy sloop||Egret-class||1938||1939||Nominated only.|
|HMS Chatham||Cruiser||Town-class||1920||1924||Replaced by Dunedin in 1924|
|HMS Diomede||D92||Cruiser||Danae-class||1926||1935||Replaced by Achilles in 1936|
|HMS Dunedin||D93||Cruiser||Danae-class||1924||1937||Replaced by Leander in 1937|
|HMS Laburnum||T48||Convoy sloop||Acacia-class||1922||1935||Flower class sloop|
|HMS Leander||Cruiser||Leander-class||1937||1941||1941–1944 was HMNZS Leander in the RNZN|
|HMS Leith||L36||Convoy sloop||Grimsby-class||1934||1939||Acquired by the Royal Danish Navy in 1949 and renamed HMDS Galathea. Circumnavigated the world in 1950–52 doing deep-sea oceanographic research.|
|RFA Nucula||L61||Fleet oiler||1924||1937||oil hulk 1937–1947|
|HMS Philomel||Cruiser||Pearl-class||1921||1941||"Cradle of the Navy." 1914–1921 was HMS Philomel in the NZ Naval Forces. 1941–1947 became HMNZS Philomel in the RNZN|
|HMS Puriri (T02)||T02||Minesweeper||Converted merchant ship||1941||1941||14 May 1941 struck a German mine 9 miles NE of the Whangarei heads and sank with the loss of five crew members.|
|HMS Torch||Convoy sloop||1921||1924||1914–1921 was HMS Torch in the NZ Naval Forces. Also called a gunboat. Wrecked in Chatham Islands.|
|HMS Veronica||T67||Convoy sloop||Acacia class||1920||1934||Flower class sloop|
|HMS Wellington||L65||Convoy sloop||Grimsby class||1935||1939|
|HMS Wakakura||T00||Minesweeper||Castle-class||1926||1941||1941–1945 was HMNZS Wakakura in the RNZN|
Officers who commanded the New Zealand Division include:
|Commodore||Alan Hotham||March 1921|
|Commodore||Alister Beal||August 1923|
|Commodore||George Swabey||18 June 1926|
|Commodore||Geoffrey Blake||19 July 1929|
|Rear Admiral||Fischer Watson||26 February 1932|
|Rear Admiral||Edmund Drummond||March 1935|
|Commodore||Irvine Glennie||June 1938|
|Commodore||James Rivett-Carnac||December 1938|
|Commodore||Henry Horan||December 1939|
|Commodore||Edward Parry||May 1940|
When Britain went to war against Germany in 1939, New Zealand promptly declared war and expanded its naval forces. In recognition that the naval force was now largely self-sufficient and independent of the Royal Navy, the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy became the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) in 1941.
In 1941 there were:
- 2 Cruisers
- 2 Escort Vessels
- 1 Survey Vessel
- 1 Minesweeping Vessel
The prefix "royal" was granted by King George VI on 1 October 1941, and ships thereafter were prefixed with HMNZS (His/Her Majesty's New Zealand Ship).
- Dennis 2008, p. 54.
- "Australian Naval Defence and the 1887 Colonial" (PDF). Sheffield Hallam University. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
- Dennis 2008, p. 53.
- McGibbon 2000, pp. 45–46.
- McGibbon 2000, p. 353.
- New Zealand Electronic Text Centre, Appendix Vi — Members Of New Zealand Naval Board|Appendix VI: Members of the New Zealand Naval Board
- "The Royal New Zealand Navy". New Zealand History. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
- "Danish Naval History: HMDS Galathea". Navalhistory.dk. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
- Tonson, A.E. HMS Puriri 1938, NZ Navy, article in Naval Historical Review – March 1983
- HMNZS Puriri
- Senior Royal Navy Appointments
- "Royal Navy History". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- Dennis, Peter; Grey, Jeffrey; Morris, Ewan; Prior, Robin (2008). The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History (2nd ed.). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-551784-2. OCLC 271822831.
- Hocken Collections, 75 Years of the New Zealand Navy bulletin 17, August 1996
- McDougall, R J (1989) New Zealand Naval Vessels. Page 9-21. Government Printing Office. ISBN 978-0-477-01399-4
- McGibbon, Ian (2000). The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Military History. Auckland: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-558376-0.
- Walters, Sydney David (1956) The Royal New Zealand Navy: Official History of World War II, Department of Internal Affairs, Wellington. Chapter 1b: Genesis of Royal New Zealand Navy