Royal Naval College, Greenwich
Royal Naval College, Greenwich
Preceded by None
Country United Kingdom
Founded 1873
Abolished 1998
Headquarters Greenwich, London, England
Head President of the College
Role Senior Officer Training
Affiliations Royal Navy
Parent Department Navy Department (MOD)
Succeeded by Britannia Royal Naval College

The Royal Naval College, Greenwich, was a Royal Navy training establishment between 1873 and 1998, providing courses for naval officers. It was the home of the Royal Navy's staff college, which provided advanced training for officers. The equivalent in the British Army was the Staff College, Camberley and the equivalent in the Royal Air Force was the RAF Staff College, Bracknell.

1) History

The Royal Naval College, Greenwich, was founded by an Order in Council dated 16 January 1873. The establishment of its officers consisted of a President, who was always a Flag Officer; a Captain, Royal Navy; a Director of Studies; and Professors of Mathematics, Physical Science, Chemistry, Applied Mechanics, and Fortification. It was to take in officers who were already Sub-Lieutenants and to operate as "the university of the Navy". The Director of Studies, a civilian, was in charge of an Academic Board, while the Captain of the College was a naval officer who acted as chief of staff.

The Royal Naval War College, which had been established at Portsmouth in November 1900, transferred its activities to the college at Greenwich in 1914. During the First World War the Royal Naval College was requisitioned as a barracks and for scientific experiments. The training of officers was not resumed until 1919. On 30 October 1939 the college began to train officers of the Women's Royal Naval Service.[6] During the Second World War, the College increased the number of officers of both sexes trained for an expanded Navy. Its major task was the training of fighting officers, and around 35,000 men and women graduated during that period. In 1943, the beautiful Admiral's House on the north wing of King Charles Court was damaged by a direct hit from a German bomb; another bomb hit the front of the building.

The Navy's Department of Nuclear Science and Technology opened on the college premises in 1959, and JASON, the department's research and training reactor, was commissioned in the King William building in 1962. In 1967 Queen Elizabeth II knighted Francis Chichester on the river steps of the College, honouring his achievement in circumnavigating the world as a solo yachtsman, using the old route of the clippers, becoming the first to do so. His was also the fastest such circumnavigation, taking nine months and one day.

The Royal School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, which had been part of the College since 1873, transferred to University College London in 1967. The Royal Naval College continued to train women until 1976, when their courses were transferred to the Britannia Royal Naval College. From 1983 the relocated Joint Services Defence College also occupied much of the King Charles building. With a shrinking Royal Navy, the decision was taken to close RNC Greenwich in 1998. All initial officer training is now carried out at the Britannia Royal Naval College, and the new Joint Services Command and Staff College, created in 1997, took over the staff college functions.

2) Key Officials

The President of the College was a full-time post until 1982 when it became an honorary role held by the Second Sea Lord (and from 1994 an honorary role held by the Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff).

2.1) President of the College

  1. Vice-Admiral Sir Astley Cooper Key (1873–1875)
  2. Admiral Sir Edward Gennys Fanshawe (1875–1878)
  3. Admiral Sir Charles Frederick Alexander Shadwell (1878–1881)
  4. Admiral Sir Geoffrey Phipps Hornby (1881–1882)
  5. Admiral William Garnham Luard (1882–1885)
  6. Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Brandreth (1885–1888)
  7. Admiral Sir William Graham (1888–1891)
  8. Admiral Sir Richard Vesey Hamilton (1891–1894)
  9. Admiral Sir Walter James Hunt-Grubbe (1894–1897)
  10. Admiral Sir Richard Tracey (1897–1900)
  11. Admiral Sir Robert More-Molyneux (1900–1903)
  12. Admiral Sir Robert Hastings Penruddock Harris (1903–1906)
  13. Admiral Sir Arthur Dalrymple Fanshawe (1906–1908)
  14. Admiral Sir John Durnford (1908–1911)
  15. Admiral Sir Frederic William Fisher (1911–1914)
  16. Vice-Admiral The Hon. Sir Alexander Edward Bethell (1914–1915)
  17. Vice-Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly (1915–1916)
  18. Admiral Sir Henry Bradwardine Jackson (1916–1919)
  19. Vice-Admiral Sir William Christopher Pakenham (1919–1920)
  20. Vice-Admiral Sir Frederick Tudor (1920–1922)
  21. Rear-Admiral Herbert Richmond (1922–1923)
  22. Admiral Sir George Hope (1923–1926)
  23. Admiral Sir Richard Webb (1926–1929)
  24. Vice-Admiral John McClintock (1929)
  25. Vice-Admiral Sir William Henry Dudley Boyle (1929–1932)
  26. Vice-Admiral Sir Barry Domvile (1932–1934)
  27. Vice-Admiral Sir Ragnar Colvin (1934–1937)
  28. Vice-Admiral Sir Sidney Bailey (1937–1938)
  29. Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Kennedy-Purvis (1938–1940)
  30. Vacant (1940–1943)[18]
  31. Commodore Augustus Willington Shelton Agar VC (1943–1946)
  32. Vice-Admiral Sir Patrick Brind (1946–1948)
  33. Vice-Admiral Geoffrey Oliver (1948–1950)
  34. Admiral Sir Harold Kinahan (1950–1952)
  35. Vice-Admiral Sir Aubrey Mansergh (1952–1954)
  36. Admiral Sir William Andrewes (1954–1956)
  37. Vice-Admiral Sir Geoffrey Barnard (1956–1958)
  38. Rear-Admiral David Cairns, 5th Earl Cairns (1958–1961)
  39. Rear-Admiral Sir Alexander Gordon-Lennox (1961–1962)
  40. Rear-Admiral Morgan Morgan-Giles (1962–1964)
  41. Vice-Admiral Sir Ian Lachlan Mackay McGeoch (1964–1965)
  42. Rear-Admiral Patrick Bayly (1965–1967)
  43. Vice-Admiral Sir Horace Lyddon (1967–1968)
  44. Rear-Admiral Edward Gueritz (1968–1970)
  45. Rear-Admiral Martin Noel Lucey (1970–1972)
  46. Rear-Admiral Edward William Ellis (1972–1974)
  47. Rear-Admiral Derek Willoughby Bazalgette (1974–1976)
  48. Rear-Admiral Charles Weston (1976–1978)
  49. Rear-Admiral Anthony John Cooke (1978–1980)
  50. Rear-Admiral John Hildred Carlill (1980–1982)
  51. Admiral Sir Simon Cassels (1982–1986)
  52. Admiral Sir Richard George Alison Fitch (1986–1988)
  53. Admiral Sir Brian Brown (1988–1991)
  54. Admiral Sir Michael Livesay (1991–1993)
  55. Admiral Sir Michael Henry Gordon Layard (1993–1994)
  56. Admiral Sir John Richard Brigstocke (1994–1995)
  57. Vice-Admiral Sir Jeremy Joe Blackham (1995–1997)

3) Sources

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License