Naval Ordnance Department (Royal Navy)

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The Naval Ordnance Department, also known as the Department of the Director of Naval Ordnance, was a department at the Admiralty responsible for the gunnery materiel of the Royal Navy. Until 1917 it was also responsible for torpedoes and mines. The department was headed by a Director. The Naval Ordnance Stores Department and the Chief Inspector of Naval Ordnance's department also came under the Naval Ordnance Department at various times.

History

A Director-General of Naval Ordnance was appointed at the Admiralty in 1866, which title became Director of Naval Ordnance by 1869. The Junior Sea Lord, Charles F. Hotham, was still using the term Director General of Naval Ordnance in 1888, however.[1]

Captain Arthur K. Wilson, appointed Assistant Director of Torpedoes on 7 March, 1887, wrote on 13 March:

… I understand I am to be called Assistant Director of Torpedoes, Captain Fisher being called Director of Naval Ordnance and Torpedoes, instead of only Director of Naval Ordnance. I made a slight protest, but was told it was all settled and could not be altered. It is rather as if they had offered me a situation as cook and then made me scullery-maid. They are going to be very liberal in the matter of pay, however, as they propose to give me £950 a year, and I was rather glad to see that in explaining the matter to get the money out of the Treasury the Admiralty were obliged to say that, although I was called Assistant Director, I should have the greater part of the work of the Director …[2]

Captain John A. Fisher, the then-Director of Naval Ordnance, became Director of Naval Ordnance and Torpedoes.

During the tenures of Captains Jackson and Bethell the Assistant Director of Torpedoes was styled the Assistant Director of Naval Ordnance, before reverting to the original title with the appointment of a gunnery officer, Captain Tudor, as Assistant Director of Naval Ordnance in 1906.

In a note of 12 December, 1911, the First Lord, Winston S. Churchill, ordered that the title of Director of Naval Ordnance be altered to "Director of Naval Armaments" as from 1 January, 1912, so that the initialism "D.N.O." could be applied to the "Director of Naval Operations Division" of the new Admiralty War Staff. However, at the suggestion of Prince Louis of Battenberg this latter title was changed to Director of the Operations Division (D.O.D.).[3]

In 1913 the department absorbed the staff and duties of the Inspector of Target Practice.

On 1 March, 1917, when Captain Frederic C. Dreyer succeeded Singer, the torpedo branch was devolved into the Department of the Director of Torpedoes and Mining under Rear-Admiral The Hon. Edward S. Fitzherbert, and Dreyer became Director of Naval Ordnance.[4]

Dreyer would tell a high-level meeting of Naval Staff officers (presided over by the Second Sea Lord) in 1920 that:

Terrible mistakes were made in pre-war days and we had very bad ammunition largely because the D.N.O.s were overloaded with work of widely different natures, such as materiel and training and requirements.
It would be grossly unfair to blame the very able D.N.O.s of the past for the mistakes made - it was the fault of the system.[5]

Staff

Directors

Directors of Naval Ordnance, 1866-1887

Directors of Naval Ordnance and Torpedoes, 1887-1917

Directors of Naval Ordnance, 1917-

Assistant Directors

Assistant Directors of Torpedoes

Assistant Directors of Naval Ordnance

Assistant to the Director of Naval Ordnance

Deputy Directors of Naval Ordnance

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Fourth Report from the Select Committee on Navy Estimates. H.C. 328 (1888). Q. 8796. p. 407.
  2. Quoted in Bradford. The Life of Admiral of the Fleet Sir Arthur Wilson. p. 107.
  3. Churchill to the Permanent Secretary to the Board of Admiralty. The National Archives. ADM 1/8377/120. f. 46.
  4. Jellicoe. The Crisis of the Naval War. p. 228.
  5. "Report of Conference held in Second Sea Lord's room on Wednesday, 14th July, to discuss the question of responsibility for Training in the Schools, at which Second Sea Lord presided." ADM 116/1803.
  6. Navy Estimates for the Year 1914–1915. p. 151.
  7. Key service record. The National Archives. ADM 196/36. f. 743.
  8. Hood service record. The National Archives. ADM 196/36. f. 639.
  9. Boys service record. The National Archives. ADM 196/36. f. 119.
  10. Hamilton service record. The National Archives. ADM 196/36. f. 390.
  11. Herbert service record. The National Archives. ADM 196/36. f. 617.
  12. Hopkins service record. The National Archives. ADM 196/36. f. 652.
  13. Hopkins service record. The National Archives. ADM 196/13/402.
  14. Fisher Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/36. f. 452.
  15. Domvile Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/36. f. 332.
  16. Domvile Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/14. f. 243.
  17. Kane Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/36. f. 741.
  18. Kane Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/15. f. 372.
  19. Jeffreys Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/36. f. 686.
  20. May Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39. f. 860.
  21. May Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/17. f. 531.
  22. MacLeod Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39. f. 824.
  23. MacLeod Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39. f. 824.
  24. Barry Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 195/38. f. 83.
  25. Jellicoe Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 693.
  26. Jellicoe Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 693.
  27. Bacon Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 262.
  28. Bacon Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 262.
  29. Moore Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 64.
  30. Moore Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 64.
  31. Tudor Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 90.
  32. Tudor Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 90.
  33. Singer Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 220.
  34. Singer Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 220.
  35. Dreyer Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 156.
  36. Dreyer Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 156.
  37. Crooke Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 36.
  38. Crooke Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 36.
  39. Backhouse Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 474.
  40. Henley Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 44.
  41. Henley Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 44.
  42. Patterson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50. f. ?.
  43. Patterson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50. f. ?.
  44. Wilson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/14. f. 211.
  45. Wilson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/14. f. 211.
  46. Jeffreys Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/36. f. 688.
  47. Jeffreys Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/86. f. 100.
  48. May Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39. f. 857.
  49. May Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39. f. 857.
  50. Bourke Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 132.
  51. Bourke Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 132.
  52. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/16 f. 508.
  53. Blond. Technology and Tradition. p. 167.
  54. Egerton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 396.
  55. Egerton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 396.
  56. Chisholm-Batten Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 207.
  57. Chisholm-Batten Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 207.
  58. Egerton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 396.
  59. Egerton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 396.
  60. Jackson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 682.
  61. Jackson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 682.
  62. Bethell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/19. f. 480.
  63. Bethell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/19. f. 480.
  64. Currey Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 36.
  65. Currey Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 36.
  66. Nicholson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 291.
  67. Nicholson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 291.
  68. Charlton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 282.
  69. Charlton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 282.
  70. Dumas Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 500.
  71. Dumas Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 500.
  72. Candy Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/279. f. 279.
  73. Candy Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/279. f. 279.
  74. Money Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 215.
  75. Money Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 215.
  76. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/135. f. 135.
  77. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/135. f. 135.
  78. Tudor Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 90.
  79. Waller Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 207.
  80. Waller Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 207.
  81. Ley Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 74.
  82. Dick Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 204.
  83. Dick Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 204.
  84. Reinold Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/7. f. 410.
  85. Reinold Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/7. f. 410.
  86. Henley Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 44.
  87. Usborne Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/115. f. 118.
  88. Usborne Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/115. f. 118.
  89. Patterson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50. Unnumbered folio.
  90. Patterson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50. Unnumbered folio.
  91. Tower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50. f. 205.
  92. Tower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50. f. 205.
  93. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/241. f. 297.
  94. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/241. f. 297.
  95. Buckley Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51. f. 198.
  96. Buckley Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51. f. 198.
  97. Ogle Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39. f. 981.
  98. Churchill Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/54. f. 198.
  99. Churchill Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/54. f. 198.
  100. Scott Service Records. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/203. f. 207.
  101. Scott Service Records. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/203. f. 207.
  102. Swabey Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/6. f. 6.
  103. Swabey Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/6. f. 6.
  104. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/241. f. 297.
  105. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/241. f. 297.
  106. Elliott Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/30. f. 186.
  107. Elliott Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/30. f. 186.

Bibliography