Vice Chief of the Naval Staff (United Kingdom)

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Vice Chief of the Naval Staff
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Ensign of the Royal Navy
Department of the Admiralty, Ministry of Defence
Member ofBoard of Admiralty, Admiralty Board
Reports toDeputy Chief of the Naval Staff
NominatorFirst Lord of the Admiralty, Secretary of State for Defence
AppointerPrime Minister
Subject to formal approval by the Queen-in-Council
Term lengthNot fixed (typically 2–3 years)
First holderSir Henry Moore
Final holderSir Peter Stanford

The Vice Chief of the Naval Staff (V.C.N.S.) [1] was a senior appointment in the Royal Navy usually a three-star rank and had a NATO ranking code of OF-8 that existed from 1941 to 1985 and was a member of the Admiralty Naval Staff.


In October 1941 the post of Vice-Chief of the Naval Staff was created when the Admiralty abolished the title of Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff in line with changes that were also taking place within the army and air force. It was essentially the same role as the Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff: the post holder initially was the operational head of the Royal Navy[2] and reported directly to the First Sea Lord.

In 1946 the office of the Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff was revived and the Vice Chief of the Naval Staff from that point reported to the Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff.

Following internal re-structuring within the Ministry of Defence the position of Vice Chief of the Naval Staff was abolished in 1985.

Vice Chiefs of the Naval Staff[edit]

Vice Chiefs of the Naval Staff included:[3]
Note: reports to the First Sea Lord from 1941 to 1946 [4] then reports to the DCNS from 1947 until 1985

No. Portrait Chief-of-Staff Took office Left office Time in office Ref.
Sir Henry Ruthven Moore
Moore, MooreVice Admiral
Sir Henry Ruthven Moore
21 October 19417 June 19431 year, 7 months[5]
Sir Edward Neville Syfret
Syfret, EdwardVice Admiral
Sir Edward Neville Syfret
8 June 1943October 19452 years, 3 months[6]
Sir Rhoderick McGrigor
McGrigor, RhoderickVice Admiral
Sir Rhoderick McGrigor
October 1945October 19472 years[7]
Sir John Edelsten
Edelsten, JohnVice Admiral
Sir John Edelsten
October 1947November 19492 years, 1 month[8]
Sir George Creasy
Creasy, GeorgeVice Admiral
Sir George Creasy
November 1949October 19511 year, 11 months[9]
Sir Guy Grantham
Grantham, GuyVice Admiral
Sir Guy Grantham
October 1951April 19542 years, 6 months[10]
Sir William Davis
Davis, WilliamVice Admiral
Sir William Davis
April 1954May 19573 years, 1 month[11]
Sir Caspar John
John, CasparVice Admiral
Sir Caspar John
May 1957February 19602 years, 9 months[12]
Sir Walter Couchman
Couchman, CouchmanVice Admiral
Sir Walter Couchman
February 1960November 19609 months[3]
Sir Varyl Begg
Begg, VarylVice Admiral
Sir Varyl Begg
January 1961February 19632 years, 1 month[13]
Sir John Frewen
Frewen, JohnVice Admiral
Sir John Frewen
February 1963April 19652 years, 2 months[3]
Sir John Bush
Bush, JohnVice Admiral
Sir John Bush
April 1965August 19672 years, 4 months[14]
Sir Peter Hill-Norton
Hill, PeterVice Admiral
Sir Peter Hill-Norton
August 1967December 19681 year, 4 months[3]
Sir Edward Ashmore
Ashmore, EdwardVice Admiral
Sir Edward Ashmore
December 1968January 19712 years, 1 month[15]
Sir Terence Lewin
Ashmore, EdwardVice Admiral
Sir Terence Lewin
January 1971October 19732 years, 9 months[3]
Sir John Treacher
Treacher, JohnVice Admiral
Sir John Treacher
October 1973April 19751 year, 6 months[3]
Sir Raymond Lygo
Lygo, RaymondVice Admiral
Sir Raymond Lygo
April 1975January 19782 years, 9 months[16]
Sir Anthony Morton
Morton, AnthonyVice Admiral
Sir Anthony Morton
January 1978July 19802 years, 6 months[3]
Sir William Staveley
Staveley, WilliamVice Admiral
Sir William Staveley
July 1980October 19822 years, 3 months[3]
Sir Peter Stanford
Stanford, PeterVice Admiral
Sir Peter Stanford
October 1982October 19853 years[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Friedman, Norman (2010). British Cruisers: Two World Wars and After. Barnsley: Seaforth Publishing. p. 15. ISBN 9781848320789.
  2. ^ Callo, Joseph F.; Wilson, Alastair (2004). Who's Who in Naval History: From 1550 to the present. Routledge. p. 13. ISBN 9781134395392.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Mackie, Colin. "Royal Navy - Senior Appointments" (PDF). Gulabin, p.14 2010-2014. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  4. ^ Axelrod, Alan (2007). Encyclopedia of World War II 2-Volume Set. New York: Infobase Pub. p. 402. ISBN 9780816060221.
  5. ^ Alexiades, Platon (2015). Target Corinth Canal: 1940-1944. Pen and Sword. p. 88. ISBN 9781473827561.
  6. ^ Stewart, William (2009). Admirals of the world : a biographical dictionary, 1500 to the present. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. p. 270. ISBN 9780786438099.
  7. ^ Rose, editor, Susan (2008). The naval miscellany. Aldershot: Ashgate. p. 8. ISBN 9780754664314. {{cite book}}: |first1= has generic name (help)
  8. ^ Office, H.M. Stationery (1950). The British Imperial Calendar and Civil Service List ... Or: General Register of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Its Colonies. Warrington & Company. p. 84.
  9. ^ Heathcote, T. A. (2002). British Admirals of the Fleet: 1734-1995. Pen and Sword. p. 56. ISBN 9781473812703.
  10. ^ Dod, Charles Roger; Dod, Robert Phipps (12 October 2007). Dod's Parliamentary Companion, Parts 1-2. Dod's Parliamentary Companion Ltd., 1967, Original University of Michigan. p. 534.
  11. ^ Kennedy, Greg (2007). Imperial Defence: The Old World Order, 1856–1956. Routledge. p. 151. ISBN 9781134252466.
  12. ^ Stewart, William (Sep 28, 2009). Admirals of the World: A Biographical Dictionary, 1500 to the Present. McFarland. p. 182. ISBN 9780786482887.
  13. ^ Cook, Chris (2012). The Routledge Guide to British Political Archives: Sources since 1945. Routledge. p. 16. ISBN 9781136509612.
  14. ^ "Admiral Sir John Bush: Naval officer who saw distinguished action in". The Independent. The Independent, 10 July 2013. 10 July 2013.
  15. ^ Roberts, John (2009). Safeguarding the Nation: The Story of the Modern Royal Navy. Barnsley: Seaforth Publishing. p. 111. ISBN 9781848320437.
  16. ^ Adeney, Martin (5 April 2012). "Sir Raymond Lygo obituary". The Guardian. The Guardian, 5 April 2012.
  17. ^ "The Naval Review" (PDF). Naval Review Society, Vol 79, No.3, p.187, July 1991.

General references[edit]

External links[edit]