N.R. 2400

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N.R. 2400 was a 1903 memorandum written by the Admiral Commanding Coastguard and Reserves, Ernest Rice, promulgating a reorganisation of the Coast Guard Service.[1]


N.R. 2400.

22nd May, 1903.


The coasts of Great Britain and Ireland will be divided into six Coast Guard Districts as follows:-

Name of District. Comprising Districts. Head quarters to be at -
England Eastern
England Southern
England Western
Ireland Northern
Ireland Southern.
Hull and Harwich
Newhaven and Weymouth East
Weymouth West and Holyhead
Leith and Clyde
Kingstown and Lough Swilly

2. It is intended as soon as practicable to relieve the Captains of the several Coast Guard District Ships from all responsibility for the execution of Coast Guard and Reserve work, except the supply of clothing to the Coast Guard Service on shore which, until other arrangements are made, is to be carried out as heretofore, advantage being taken of the visits of H.M. Ships to their respective ports to make the required issues of clothing. In the absence of such visits the clothing should be transmitted by rail to the officers in command of the respective stations.

3. Pending the completion of the new scheme of administering the Coast Guard and Reserves, the Captains of District Ships will continue to carry out the Coast Guard and Reserve duties of their respective Districts, and for the execution of these duties they will be responsible to me, although in all other respects under the orders of the Commander-in-Chief of the Home Fleet.

4. The new District Captains will report to me in due course when their offices have been provided and furnished, and they are ready to commence work. Orders will then be given for the two Coast Guard writers in each District Ship, and all Coast Guard books, papers, and records, to be transferred to the new officer, and for the new District Captains to take over charge.

5. The District Paymasters will continue to perform their present duties, and, in addition, those at Harwich, Southsea, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Kingstown, and Queenstown, will be attached to the Captains of their districts as Accountant Heads of the District offices, the District Paymaster at Southsea being transferred to Southampton. They will be assigned rooms in the District offices, and their writers will also work there.

6. On the withdrawal of the Coast Guard Ships, the officers and men of the Coast Guard in England and Scotland will be transferred to the "President" and those in Ireland to the "Aeolus." Their names will not, however, be entered in the ledgers of these ships, but in Record Books to be kept in each district (Article 637, Coast Guard Instructions).

7. It is intended that as soon as the District Captains now appointed have taken over their new duties, the Coast Guard ships shall be withdrawn from their present stations, ceasing to be Coast Guard Ships, and shall remain continuously with the Flag of the Commander-in-Chief of the Home Fleet: but the sea training of the Signal Section of the Coast Guard and the Royal Naval Reserve men will be carried out in these ships as at present, and they will be sent periodically to the several Districts for the embarkation and disembarkation of men who are entering upon, or have completed their period of training unless conditions should arise which may make it more convenient or economical to effect the exchange by train.

8. The various ships employed on Fishery Service will be under my orders, but such of the torpedo gunboat tenders as can be spared from their fisher and other Coast Guard duties will be lent to the Home Fleet during the cruises, for purposes of drills and exercises.

9. It is intended to attach to each of the new Coast Guard Districts a seagoing drill ship for the purpose of carrying out the training of officers and men in drill and firing, and for such other duties as may be allocated to them.

10. The Fishery Gunboats and Coast Guard Cruisers now tenders to the District Ships will become tenders to the new Drill Ships in due course. (For the present they will continue to be tenders to the Coast Guard Ships).

11. These Gunboats and Cruisers, together with the stationary Drill Ships, will be under my orders.

12. The Senior Officer on the Coast of Ireland will be appointed as Deputy to Admiral Commanding Reserves for Coast Guard duties in Ireland, in addition to his present duties, and will be responsible to me in Coast Guard and Reserve matters. His duties in this respect will commence when the new District Offices in Ireland are established, and all correspondence as to the Coast Guard and Royal Naval Reserve in Ireland will then pass through him.

13. The War Signal Stations will also be under my orders.

14. The Coast Guard Instructions and other books relating to the Coast Guard and R.N.R. will be brought up to date as soon as practicable: in the meantime the directions contained in them are to be applied as far as possible to the new conditions, any doubtful points being submitted to me.

Ernest Rice

Admiral Commanding


  1. N.R. 2400 of 22 May, 1903. The National Archives. ADM 144/17. ff. 44-46.