Reserve Fleet (United Kingdom)

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Reserve Fleet
Activec. 1700–1960
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Navy
TypeFleet
Garrison/HQPortsmouth

The Reserve Fleet was a Royal Navy formation of decommissioned vessels which could be brought to a state of readiness at time of war.

History[edit]

In the early years of the 18th century ships were "laid up in ordinary" at various British naval bases so establishing the Reserve Fleet as a repository for serviceable but decommissioned ships.[1]

The Reserve Fleet was brought to readiness for the First World War.[2] It continued to exist in the inter-war years but in 1930 the Admiralty reduced it in size on the basis that war was unlikely in the ensuing 10 years.[3] At the start of the Second World War the Reserve Fleet, under the command of Vice Admiral Sir Max Horton,[4] was again brought to a state of readiness.[5] Some 15,000 men were called up in May 1939 to man the Reserve Fleet which became ready for service on 15 June 1939.[6] During the 1950s ships were regularly 'cocooned' for the Reserve Fleet[7] and it ceased to exist in 1960.[8]

Vice-Admirals commanding[edit]

Admirals commanding included:[9]

command then disbanded until 1944

Flag Officers commanding[edit]

Included:[10]

Reserve divisions under Admiral Commanding, Reserve Fleet[edit]

Subordinate officers included[11][12]

Portsmouth Division[edit]

Rear Admiral Commanding Portsmouth Reserve[edit]
  • Rear-Admiral Edward F. Bruen, 1 February 1919 – 23 April 1919
  • Rear-Admiral Cole C. Fowler, 23 April 1919 – 23 April 1920
  • Rear-Admiral Clement Greatorex, 23 April 1920 – 1 October 1921
  • Rear-Admiral Edmond H. Parker, 1 October 1921

Devonport Division[edit]

Rear Admiral Commanding Devonport Reserve[edit]
  • Rear-Admiral Douglas R. L. Nicholson, 1 February 1919 – 18 March 1919
  • Rear-Admiral James A. Fergusson, 18 March 1919 – 9 April 1919
  • Rear-Admiral Maurice Woollcombe, 9 April 1919 – 9 April 1920
  • Rear-Admiral Philip H. Colomb, 9 April 1920
  • Rear-Admiral Charles D. Johnson, 9 April 1921

Captain Commanding

  • Captain Alfred A. Ellison, 16 May 1922 – 1 November 1922
  • Captain Rowland H. Bather, 15 April 1922 – 1 July 1922 (temporary)
  • Captain John E. Cameron, 1 November 1922 – April, 1924
  • Captain Herbert A. Buchanan-Wollaston, 25 July 1927 – 17 April 1928
  • Captain Edward B. Cloete, 3 November 1929 – 4 May 1931

Nore Division[edit]

Rear Admiral Commanding Nore Reserve[edit]
  • Rear-Admiral A. Thomas Hunt, 1 February 1919 – 8 March 1919
  • Rear-Admiral Henry L. Mawbey, 17 March 1919 – 17 March 1920
  • Rear-Admiral Vivian H. G. Bernard, 17 March 1920 – 17 March 1921
  • Rear-Admiral William J. S. Alderson, 17 March 1921 – 15 April 1922
Captain Commanding Nore Reserve[edit]
  • Captain Lawrence W. Braithwaite, 24 April 1925 – 17 August 1926
  • Captain Arthur L. Snagge, c. 1927
  • Captain Claude C. Dobson, 17 October 1931 – 17 October 1933
  • Captain Richard M. King, 17 October 1933 – 16 January 1935 (and as Captain of Cardiff)
  • Captain Hamilton C. Allen, 16 January 1935 – 24 July 1935
  • Captain John H. Young, 1 October 1935 – 1 September 1936

Rosyth Division[edit]

Vice-Admiral/Rear Admiral Commanding Rosyth Reserve[edit]
  • Vice-Admiral Sir Trevylyan D. W. Napier, 1 February 1919 – 1 May 1919
  • Rear-Admiral Charles F. Corbett, 1 May 1919 – 1 May 1920
  • Rear-Admiral Crawford Maclachlan, 1 May 1920
  • Captain Henry P. Boxer, 28 January 1937 – 1 June 1938

Portland Division[edit]

Rear Admiral Commanding Portland Reserve[edit]
  • Rear-Admiral Sir Douglas R. L. Nicholson, 1 November 1919 – 1 April 1920

Vice-Admiral Reserve Fleet destroyers[edit]

Vice-Admiral Commanding

  • Vice-Admiral Sir R. H. T. Balkes (1939-1945) (retired)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pinnock, William (2012). "The Guide to Knowledge, Volume 1". Rare Books Club. p. 420. ISBN 978-1153734462.
  2. ^ "Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Fisher, 1st Baron Fisher of Kilverstone 1841–1920". National Archives. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  3. ^ Moretz, p. 82
  4. ^ "Reserve Fleet". Orbat. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  5. ^ "Britain's Reserve Fleet 1939". British Pathe. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  6. ^ "Maritime War-The British Shore Organisation". The War at Sea. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  7. ^ "Reserve Fleet 1950". British Pathe. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  8. ^ "Royal Navy Maintenance and Supply Ships". Royal Navy Ships. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  9. ^ Senior Royal Navy Appointments Archived 15 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Naval Commands and Flag Officers (Hansard, 10 April 1946)". hansard.millbanksystems.com. Hansard, vol 421 cc1897-9. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  11. ^ Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony. "Reserve Fleet (Royal Navy)". dreadnoughtproject.org. The Dreadnought Project.Org, 5 September 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  12. ^ Mackie, Colin. "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865" (PDF). gulabin.com. Colin Mackie, pp.143-144, December 2017. Retrieved 29 December 2017.

Sources[edit]