Transport Board
Transport Office
Type Government Office
Preceded by None
Country United Kingdom
Founded 1686
Abolished 1817
Headquarters Somerset House, Whitehall, London, England
Role Medical Services
Part of Navy Office
Succeeded by Transport Branch

The Transport Board also called the Transport Office and later known as the Transport Department was a subsidiary board of the Navy Board responsible for the provision of transportation services to the Royal Navy and the transportation of troops overseas. It was established in 1686 and abolished in 1817 when its functions were transferred to a new Transport Branch within the Navy Office.

1) History

Commissioners for Transport, whose main responsibility was the transport of troops overseas, were first appointed in 1686, were abolished in 1687, revived in 1688 and abolished again in 1724. In 1794 the Transport Board was re-formed; in 1796 it took over responsibility for prisoners of war from the Sick and Hurt Board. The Transport Board (after some initial confusion) kept the business of prisoners in a separate series of records from those of the transport service.In 1806 the Sick and Hurt Board was abolished and the naval medical service entrusted likewise to the Transport Board.

Some of the former Commissioners for Sick and Wounded Seamen joined the Transport Board and formed a Medical Committee, which administered medical affairs without interference from the Transport Board proper. The Transport Office now maintained three series of records for its three responsibilities.

In 1817 the Transport Board was itself abolished, its duties being divided between the Navy Board, which set up its own Transport Branch, and the Victualling Board, which took over the medical commissioner as well as setting up its own Transport Service.

A Transport Account Committee, presided over by one of the former Transport Commissioners, continued until 1818 clearing up the residual business of the Board. The remaining business of the Prisoner-of-War Department was attached to the Medical Department (now under the Victualling Office), which continued as before to be administered by a semi-autonomous Medical Committee.

3) Departments and Offices of the Transport Office

  1. Prisoner of War Department, (1796-1817), Responsibility for naval hospitals was transferred to the Transport Board from the Sick and Hurt Board.
  2. Royal Naval Hospital, (1806-1817), Responsibility for naval hospitals was transferred to the Transport Board from the Sick and Hurt Board.

3) Timeline

  1. Navy Board, Transport Board, 1686-1817
  2. Navy Board, Transport Branch, 1817-1832
  3. Board of Admiralty, Comptroller of Victualling and Transport Services, 1832-1862
  4. Board of Admiralty, Transport Department, 1862-1916
  5. Ministry of Shipping, Naval Transports Service, 1917-1921
  6. Board of Trade, Mercantile Marine Department, Sea Transport Service, 1921-?

4) Sources

Archives, National: Records of Transport Departments:

5) Attribution

  1. This article includes copied content from available under the Open Government Licence (OGL) version 3
  2. Flag of the Transport Board By Navops47 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
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