Nore Station
Nore Station
Active 1695-1961
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Navy
Type Naval Station
Part of Department of Admiralty
HQ Chatham
Preceded by Sheerness Station
Succeeded by Navy

The Nore Station originally called the Thames Station was a Naval Station of the Royal Navy. It was one of the three Home Ports of the Royal Navy. Named for the Nore sandbank at the mouth of the River Thames, it encompassed Chatham Royal Dockyard and Sheerness Royal Dockyard and ships not attached to other fleets. The station was last commanded by Commander-in-Chief, the Nore and the command was usually vested in an Admiral or a Vice-Admiral.

1) History

The Nore is a sandbank at the mouth of the Thames Estuary and River Medway. The origins of this station can be traced to the first naval command covering the same area that was called the Thames Station it was commanded by the Commander-in-Chief, Thames from 1695 to 1696. It had been known by different names until it was permanently based at Chatham in Kent England from 1899 to 1961.

From 1698 to 1699 the Admiralty established a Medway Station that was superintended by the Commander-in-Chief, Medway. That station was deactivated from 1700 until 1706. In 1707 a Thames and Medway Station was formed under the command of the Commander-in-Chief, Thames and Medway before being abolished once more. In 1711 the Admiralty reestablished a Thames, Medway and Nore Station under the command of the Commander-in-Chief, Thames, Medway and Nore until 1745. In 1745 a Commander-in-Chief, Nore established at Chatham in charge of the Nore Station . In 1747 it was renamed the Medway and Nore Station controlled by the Commander-in-Chief, Medway and at the Nore until 1797. In 1815 the North Sea Station based at Ramsgate was abolished its forces, units and staff were absorbed within this station. The name was changed back to the Nore Station until 1826. In 1827 the Commander-in-Chief Nore 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 Sheerness Station managed by the Commander-in-Chief, Sheerness.

In 1900 it was renamed back to the Nore Station , in 1907 the Commander-in-Chief moved to a new Admiralty House alongside the naval barracks (HMS Pembroke) in Chatham, Kent England the Sheerness house being given over to the Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet. 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; similar headquarters were built close to the Throughout the Second World War, it was refereed to as the Nore Command at Chatham that included eight sub commands called (Naval stations) each of which was usually commanded by a Flag Officer either a Rear Admiral or Vice Admiral, 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.The underground Headquarters went on to serve as a Royal Naval Reserve training and communications centre (HMS Wildfire) from 1964 to 1994.

2) Commanders-in-Chief

2.1) Commander-in-Chief Thames, (1695-1696)

  1. Commodore Stafford Fairborne 1695
  2. Commodore James Gother 1696

2.2) Commander-in-Chief, Medway, (1698-1699)

  1. Vice-Admiral Sir John Jennings, 1698-1699

2.3) Commander-in-Chief, Thames and Medway, (1707-1711)

  1. Vice-Admiral Sir John Jennings, (1707-1711) (promoted to Admiral in 1708)

2.4) Commander-in-Chief, Thames, Medway and Nore, (1711-1745)

  1. Rear-Admiral Thomas Hardy, 1711-1715
  2. Rear-Admiral William Caldwell, 1717
  3. Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Hardy, 1732-1737
  4. Vice Admiral Sir Chaloner Ogle 1745

2.5) Commander-in-Chief, Nore, (1745-1747)

  1. Vice-Admiral Edward Durnford King 1745-1747

2.6) Commander-in-Chief, Medway and at the Nore, (1747-1797)

  1. Rear-Admiral Henry Osborne (1747-1748) (promoted to Vice-Admiral in May 1748)
  2. Vice-Admiral Sir Francis Geary (1757–1758)
  3. Commodore William Boys (1760–1761)
  4. Commodore William Gordon (1762–1765)
  5. Commodore Christopher Hill (1770–1771)
  6. Vice-Admiral Sir Peter Denis (1771–1775)
  7. Vice-Admiral Edward Vernon (1775–1776)
  8. Vice-Admiral Robert Roddam (1778–1783)
  9. Vice-Admiral Sir Walter Stirling (1783–1785)
  10. Vice-Admiral Sir Andrew Hammond (1785–1788)
  11. Vice-Admiral Richard Edwards (1788–1792)
  12. Vice-Admiral William Locker (1792–1794)
  13. Rear-Admiral John Dalrymple (1794–1795)
  14. Vice-Admiral Sir George Collier (January 1795 – April 1795)
  15. Vice-Admiral Charles Buckner (1795–1797)

2.7) Commander-in-Chief, Nore, (1797-1834)

  1. Vice-Admiral Skeffington Lutwidge (1797–1798)
  2. Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Pasley (1798–1799)
  3. Vice-Admiral Alexander Graeme (1799–1803)
  4. Vice-Admiral Lord Keith (1803–1807) (formed part of North Sea Station)
  5. Vice-Admiral Thomas Wells (1807–1810)
  6. Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Stanhope (1810–1811)
  7. Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Williams (1811–1814)
  8. Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Rowley (1815–1818)
  9. Vice-Admiral Sir John Gore (1818–1821)
  10. Vice-Admiral Sir Benjamin Hallowell (1821–1824)
  11. Vice-Admiral Sir Robert Moorsom (1824)
  12. Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Blackwood (1827–1830)
  13. Vice-Admiral Sir John Beresford (1830–1833)
  14. Vice-Admiral Sir Richard King (1833–1834)

2.8) Commander-in-Chief, Sheerness, (1834-1899)

  1. Vice-Admiral Charles Elphinstone Fleeming (1834–1837)
  2. Vice-Admiral Sir Robert Otway (1837–1840)
  3. Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Digby (1840–1841)
  4. Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Brace (1841–1844)
  5. Vice-Admiral Sir John White (1844–1845)
  6. Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Durnford King (1845–1848)
  7. Vice-Admiral Sir George Elliot (1848–1851)
  8. Vice-Admiral Josceline Percy (1851–1854)
  9. Vice-Admiral William Gordon (1854–1857)
  10. Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Harvey (1857–1860)
  11. Vice-Admiral Sir William Hope-Johnstone (1860–1863)
  12. Vice-Admiral Sir George Lambert (1863–1864)
  13. Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Talbot (1864–1866)
  14. Vice-Admiral Sir Baldwin Walker (1866–1869)
  15. Vice-Admiral Richard Warren (1869–1870)
  16. Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Elliot (1870–1873)
  17. Vice-Admiral George Hastings (1873–1876)
  18. Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Chads (1876–1877)
  19. Vice-Admiral Sir William King-Hall (1877–1879)
  20. Vice-Admiral Sir Reginald Macdonald (1879–1882)
  21. Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Rice (1882–1884)
  22. Vice-Admiral Sir John Corbett (1884–1885)
  23. Vice-Admiral The Prince of Leiningen (1885–1887)
  24. Vice-Admiral Charles Waddilove (1887–1888)
  25. Vice-Admiral Thomas Lethbridge (1888–1890)
  26. Vice-Admiral Charles Curme (1890–1892)
  27. Vice-Admiral Sir Algernon Heneage (1892–1894)
  28. Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Wells (1894–1896)
  29. Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Nicholson (1896–1897)
  30. Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Hotham (1897–1899)

2.9) Commander-in-Chief, Nore, (1899-1961)

  1. Vice-Admiral Sir Nathaniel Bowden-Smith (1899–1900)
  2. Vice-Admiral Sir William Kennedy (1900–1901)
  3. Vice-Admiral Sir Albert Markham (1901–1903)
  4. Admiral Sir Hugo Pearson (1903–1907)
  5. Admiral Sir Gerard Noel (1907–1908)
  6. Admiral Sir Charles Drury (1908–1911)
  7. Admiral Sir Richard Poore (1911–1915)
  8. Admiral Sir George Callaghan (1915–1918)
  9. Admiral Sir Doveton Sturdee (1918–1921)
  10. Admiral Sir Hugh Evan-Thomas (1921–1924)
  11. Vice Admiral Sir William Goodenough (1924–1927)
  12. Admiral Sir Edwyn Alexander-Sinclair (1927–1930)
  13. Admiral Sir Reginald Tyrwhitt (1930–1933)
  14. Vice Admiral Sir Hugh Tweedie (1933–1935)
  15. Vice Admiral Sir Edward Evans (1935–1939)
  16. Admiral Sir Studholme Brownrigg (January 1939 – December 1939)
  17. Admiral Sir Reginald Plunkett (1939–1941)
  18. Admiral Sir George Lyon (1941–1943)
  19. Admiral Sir John Tovey (1943–1946)
  20. Admiral Sir Harold Burrough (1946–1948)
  21. Admiral Sir Henry Moore (1948–1950)
  22. Admiral Sir Cecil Harcourt (1950–1952)
  23. Admiral Sir Cyril Douglas-Pennant (1952–1953)
  24. Admiral Sir Geoffrey Oliver (1953–1955)
  25. Admiral Sir Frederick Parham (1955–1958)
  26. Admiral Sir Robin Durnford-Slater (1958–1961)

Structure of the Nore Station/Command

3) HQ, the Nore

3.1) Office of the Flag Captain, Sheerness (1860-1899)

Main article: Flag Captain, Sheerness

3.2 Office of the Flag Captain, the Nore (1899-1918)

Main article: Flag Captain, the Nore

3.2 Office of Chief of Staff, the Nore (1918-1961)

Main article: Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief the Nore

4) Component Elements of the Nore Station

4.1) Chatham Dockyard

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).

Chatham Dockyard was superintended by the Captain-Superintendent, Chatham Dockyard (1832-1876) then the Admiral-Superintendent, Chatham Dockyard (1879-1961 ).

4.2) Nore Reserve Division

Reserve forces based at the Nore were known as the Nore Reserve Division they were commanded by the Rear Admiral, Commanding Chatham Sheerness Reserve Division

4.3) Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham

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.

Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham that formed part of the Nore Command were controlled by the Commodore-in-Command, Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham (1891-1961)

4.4) Sheerness Dockyard

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 1660's and closed in 1960.

Sheerness Dockyard was superintended by the Captain-Superintendent, Sheerness Dockyard (1860-1875), (1877-1906), (1907-1911), (1919-1943) and (1948-1960).

Then the Admiral-Superintendent, Sheerness Dockyard (1875-1877 ), (1906-1907), (1911-1919), (1943-1948)

5) Nore, sub-area commands

Nore command consisted of 9 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.

5.1) Brghtlingsea Station

Main article Brightlingsea Station

5.2) Dover Station

Main article Dover Station

5.3) Harwich Station

Main article Harwich Station

5.4) Humber Station

Main article Humber Station

5.5) Port of London Station

Main article Port of London Station (not including the Admiralty)

5.6) Lowestoft Station

Main article Lowestoft Station

5.7) Sheerness Station

Main article Sheerness Station

5.8) Southend Station

Main article Southend Station

5.9) Yarmouth Station

Main article Yarmouth Station

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.

6) Sources

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