Transport Department
Transport Department
Preceded by Transport Service
Country United Kingdom
Founded 1862
Abolished 1916
Headquarters Somerset House, Whitehall, London, England
Head Director of Transports
Role Transportation Services
Part of Department of Admiralty
Succeeded by Naval Transports Service

The Transport Department was established in 1862 and was a logistical branch of the Royal Navy responsible for the provision of transportation services. In 1916 it was abolished and replaced by the Naval Transports Service . The department was administered by a civilian head called the Director of Transports.

1) History

The origins of the department began with the Transport Board established in 1686. 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. When the Navy and Victualling Boards were abolished in 1832 transport duties were assigned to the Comptroller of Victualling and Transport Services, but in 1862 that office was divided and a separate Director of Transports appointed. He was responsible, under the superintendence of the Fourth Sea Lord, for transporting troops and seamen and Navy and Army stores. In March 1917 the Transport Department was incorporated in the Ministry of Shipping as the Naval Transports Service and subsequently in April 1921 its functions were transferred to the Mercantile Marine Department of the Board of Trade where it became the Sea Transport Service, although the Fourth Sea Lord continued to have an interest in the planning and operations of the Transport Service, and especially during the Second World War under the Ministry of War Transport.

2) Head of Department

2.1) Director of Transports

  1. Graeme Thompson, Esq., C.B. 1918.

2.1.1) Assistant Director of Transports

  1. W. F. Baughan 1888

2.1.1) Naval Assistant to the Director of Transports

  1. Captain W. A. De V.Brownlow 1888
  2. Captain (retired) Hubert Stansbury, 1 April, 1915 – early 1917
  3. Commodore, Second Class George P. Bevan, 1 April, 1918 – November, 1919

2.1.3) Consulting Officer for Indian Troop Service

  1. Captain A. W. Chitty I.N. 1888

2.1.4) Inspectors of Shipping

  1. Mr Edward G. Farrell and W. H. Johns R.N. 1888

3) Structure of the Transport Department

At various ports both in the United Kingdom and overseas responsibility for the provision of transportation service lay with appointed officials called a Principal Naval Transport Officer or a Divisional Naval Transport Officer these positions were often filled by a retired officer – as conditions required.

3.1) Ports and Stations

  1. Cardiff
  2. Mudros
  3. Southampton
  4. Salonika
  5. Newcastle
  6. Newhaven
  7. Port of London
  8. Avonmouth
  9. Dieppe
  10. Rouen
  11. Taranto
  12. Dunkirk
  13. Liverpool

4) 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-?

5) Sources

  2. Admiralty, Great Britain (January 1888) Civil Service. HM Stationery Office, London, England. p.300.

6) Attribution

  1. Flag of the Board of Admiralty by Martin Grieve at
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