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Naval Ordnance Department
[[file:United Kingdom|180px]]
Agency overview
Formed 1866
Preceding Agency Ordnance Board
Dissolved 1958
Superseding agency Weapons Department
Jurisdiction Government of the United Kingdom
Headquarters Admiralty Building
Agency executives Director of Naval Ordnance
Assistant Director of Naval Ordnance
Deputy Director of Naval Ordnance
Parent department Third Sea Lord's Department of the Admiralty

The Naval Ordnance Department,[1] also known as the Department of the Director of Naval Ordnance,[2] was a former department of the Admiralty responsible for the procurement of naval ordnance of the Royal Navy the department was managed by a Director supported by various assistants and deputy's it existed from 1866 to 1958.

History[edit | edit source]

Before 1855 the supply of guns and ammunition to the Royal Navy was the responsibility of the Ordnance Board, which was also concerned with supplying ordnance to the Army and which tended to concentrate on the latter function, although naval officers served on the board and on the Ordnance Select Committee which succeeded it. The Ordnance Board was abolished in May 1855, its responsibilities for naval ordnance passed to the War Office, where a naval officer was appointed Naval Director-General of Artillery within the Artillery Branch. He retained that title from 1858 to 1868, when he was also Director of Stores, War Office ; he was also the Vice-President of the Ordnance Select Committee.[3]

A Director-General, subsequently Director of Naval Ordnance, in the Controller's Department of the Admiralty was first appointed in 1866, but he did not take over procurement of naval ordnance from the War Office until 1888 or custody and supply until 1891, when a Naval Ordnance Department was finally established at the Admiralty[3] from inception until 1917

By stages from 1908 the Admiralty also took over responsibility from the War Office for inspecting naval ordnance when a Chief Inspector of Naval Ordnance was appointed. The Royal Ordnance Factories, under the control of the War Office, continued, however, to manufacture naval ordnance though a large proportion, including most of the heaviest guns, was let to private contract.[3]

From 1917 until the department was responsible for mines and torpedoes. Between 1918 and 1923 and again from 1939 there was a separate Armament Supply Department.The Naval Ordnance Inspection Department was set up in 1922 to control quality in the manufacture and testing of weapons and ammunition for the fleet. Chemical and metallurgical analysis was carried out at its laboratories at Sheffield (the Bragg laboratory) and Caerwent.[3]

During the First World War the directorate was divided, and a separate Department of the Director of Torpedoes and Mining was created. After the Second World War in 1946 this became the Underwater Weapons Department. The Bragg laboratory, so-called from 1938, continued unchanged until 1968, when its chemical analysis work became part of the Army Department's Directorate of Chemical Inspection at Woolwich. From 1940 to 1945 there was a Miscellaneous Weapons Development Department.[3]

In 1958 the two were re-united as divisions of the Weapons Department, under the Director General of Weapons (Director General, Weapons from 1960 to 1964). Bragg continued as the Naval Ordnance Inspection (later Service) and Metallurgical Unit (NOIMU, later NOSMU) until 1984 when it was closed and its work transferred to Woolwich. Caerwent laboratory continued investigating propellants until 1971.[3]

Directors[edit | edit source]

Included:Directors of Naval Ordnance[4]

Directors of Naval Ordnance and Torpedoes[4]

Directors of Naval Ordnance[4]

Assistant Directors[edit | edit source]

Included:Assistant Directors of Torpedoes[5]

Assistant Directors of Naval Ordnance

  • Captain Frederick C. T. Tudor, 1906–1909
  • Captain Arthur W. Craig, 1909–1911
  • Captain James C. Ley, 1911–1912
  • Captain James D. Dick, 1912–1914
  • Commander Basil E. Reinold, 1914-1915
  • Captain Herbert R. Norbury, 1915-1916
  • Captain Joseph C. W. Henley, 1917–1919

Deputy Directors[edit | edit source]

Included:Deputy Directors of Naval Ordnance[4]

  • Captain Cecil V. Usborne, January 1919-May 1921
  • Captain Roger R.C. Backhouse, August–September 1920
  • Captain G.T. Carlisle P. Swabey, May 1921-October 1923
  • Captain George R.B. Blount, October 1923-August 1925
  • Captain Charles A. Scott, August 1925-April 1928
  • Captain A. Ramsay Dewar, April 1928-September 1929
  • Captain Frank Elliott, September 1929-March 1932
  • Captain A. Francis Pridham, March 1932-April 1933
  • Captain Eric R. Bent, April 1933-October 1934
  • Captain Gerard W.T. Robertson, October 1934-March 1936
  • Captain Harold R.G. Kinahan, March 1936-June 1937
  • Captain Francis W.H. Jeans, June 1937-July 1938
  • Captain Michael M. Denny, July 1938-March 1940
  • Captain William R. Slayter, March 1940-January 1941
  • Captain Frederick R. Parham, January 1941-August 1942
  • Captain Patrick V. McLaughlin, August 1942-March 1943
  • Captain Robert F. Elkins, March 1943-November 1944
  • Captain Kenneth L. Harkness, April 1943-February 1945
  • Captain Henry N.S. Brown, February 1945-October 1947
  • Captain Alan F. Campbell, September 1946-September 1948
  • Captain Thomas V. Briggs, October 1947 – 1949
  • Captain William J. Lamb, September 1948 – 1950
  • Captain Desmond P. Dreyer, July 1949-September 1952
  • Captain Richard E. Washbourn, September 1950 – 1953
  • Captain F.W.R. Larken, September 1952-November 1955
  • Captain Thomas W. Best, November 1955 – 1958

Subsidiary departments[edit | edit source]

Note: At various times were under the control of the Director of Naval Ordnance.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Jellicoe, Earl John Rushworth Jellicoe (1921) (in en). The Crisis of the Naval War. Library of Alexandria. pp. Chapter 10. ISBN 9781465507914. https://books.google.lk/books?id=esBAjy_XhWsC&pg=PT296&dq=Department+of+the+Director+of+Naval+Ordnance&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiilLPtnPjSAhVLp48KHUzUCP0Q6AEIIzAC#v=onepage&q=Department%20of%20the%20Director%20of%20Naval%20Ordnance&f=false. 
  2. Admiralty, Great Britain (1913) (in en). The Navy List. H.M. Stationery Office. p. 535. https://books.google.lk/books?id=9QpHAQAAMAAJ&q=Department+of+the+Director+of+Naval+Ordnance&dq=Department+of+the+Director+of+Naval+Ordnance&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiilLPtnPjSAhVLp48KHUzUCP0Q6AEIMzAF. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Archives, The National. "Records of Naval Ordnance Departments and Establishments". National Archives, 1736-1974, ADM Division 9. http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C713. Retrieved 28 March 2017. UKOpenGovernmentLicence.svg This article contains text from this source, which is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0. © Crown copyright.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Mackie, Colin. "British Armed Forces from 1860, Senior Royal Navy Appointments from 1865". Colin Mackie, pp.51-51, January 2017. http://www.gulabin.com/. Retrieved 28 March 2017. 
  5. Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony. "Naval Ordnance Department (Royal Navy) - The Dreadnought Project" (in en). Harley and Lovell, 1 March 2017. http://www.dreadnoughtproject.org/tfs/index.php/Naval_Ordnance_Department_(Royal_Navy). Retrieved 28 March 2017. 

Attribution[edit | edit source]

The primary sources for this article is:

Sources[edit | edit source]

  • Mackie, Colin. "British Armed Forces from 1860, Senior Royal Navy Appointments from 1865". gulabin. Colin Mackie, pp. 51–51, January 2017.
  • The National. "Records of Naval Ordnance Departments and Establishments". discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk. National Archives, 1736-1974, ADM Division 9. Retrieved 28 March 2017.UKOpenGovernmentLicence.svg This article contains text from this source, which is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0. © Crown copyright.

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