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HMS Victorious (Maritime Quest)
Over 800 major warships and auxiliaries in
840 ships deleted from List and orders for another 727
Vote “A” strength 492,800.
Total manpower to be cut to 192,665.
Significant imbalance of personnel due to
the large number of ‘Hostilities Only’ personnel leaving service.
Equable discharge system difficult to
implement, especially for those overseas.
New pay code introduced, anomalies met by payment of ’War
Payment of prize money abolished and salvage awards
Post-War RNVR Divisions established at London, Liverpool,
Newcastle, Bristol, Southampton, Shoreham, Hull, Glasgow and Belfast, with East
Scotland Division replaced by Forth and Tay Divisions.
Following the MIDDLETON Report. Electrical
Branch introduced. To include some Torpedo Branch and Telegraphist
Branch personnel with all Radio Mechanics
Transfer of officers began including RNVR Special Branch and
Redundancies introduced at short notice.
All Hostilities Only personnel to be
discharged by 1949.
Instances of Indiscipline due to delays in
Extensive use of aircraft carriers for trooping
VICTORIOUS carried war brides to Australia and
Some captured E-Boats and submarines taken into use for
HMS EAGLE launched.
Backlog of ships overdue for refit.
Deployed in Dockyards to supplement power
Fleet Air Arm renamed Naval Aviation.
Landing trials of jet aircraft in hand.
HMS CERES commissioned at
Yorkshire to replace school at Highgate, London for Supply Branch training
HMS THUNDERER commissioned at RNEC
Plymouth Keyham still to be used and RNB for
Operation DEADLIGHT – sinking of German U-boats completed.
20,000 mines swept involving use of 513 British minesweepers
of which three were lost.
Fishery Protection Squadron reconstituted and included one sloop
and seven ALGERINE class minesweepers.
Hydrographic Survey work reverted
to peacetime requirements.
Albanian shore batteries fired on ships in Corfu Channel.
HM Destroyers SAUMAREZ (right - Navy Photos) and VOLAGE mined in Corfu Channel.
HMS SAUMAREZ had to be scrapped.
Palestine Patrol established in Mediterranean to prevent
immigration into Palestine.
US atomic weapon tests carried out at Bikini in Pacific.
Naval deployments made in Greece because of local political
HMS TAMAR replaced HM Frigate AIRE and commissioned at Hong
Kong as Base Depot. HMS AIRE lost after grounding on Bombay Reef of Hainan when
on passage to UK with HMS BONAVENTURE.
Hong Kong administration handed over to civil authorities.
HM Tug ENTICER lost when going to assist Swedish mercantile
in South China Sea.
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35,000 Ratings conscripted before May 1945 remained waiting
75,000 Ratings were serving on Hostilities Only Engagements
Manpower to be reduced to 192,855 from 592,000
Five year refitting programme commenced
New ship preservation methods using plastic coating
introduced for ships held in Reserve
Intended use of HMS HOTHAM (US Built CAPTAIN Class Frigate
on Land-Lease) for development of gas turbine propulsion machinery not started
Slow progress of ship-born guided missile (SEASLUG)
Improvements in standard of shore accommodation delayed.
First Warrant Electrical Officer (Radio) promoted
(right - Navy Photos) embarked Royal Family for South African tour.
HM Light Fleet Aircraft Carrier
Kronstadt and HM Cruiser
LIVERPOOL went to Sevastopol.
HM King George VI reviewed the Fleet in the Clyde.
RFA BULAWAYO (Ex-German tanker NORDMARK) used for 'Alongside
Replenishment' Trials (RAS)
First RN trials of Schnorkel
carried out by HM Submarine ALLIANCE.
Submarines still being used to provide
power in dockyards.
Total manpower 182,560, excluding 10,000
WRNS and nurses.
Number of minesweepers deployed for minesweeping reduced to
65 ships. 246 mines swept.
German fortress in Heligoland
Training establishment HMS ROYAL ARTHUR at Skegness moved to
Corsham, Wiltshire for New Entry training and for use
as Petty Officers Leadership School.
HMS INDUS Mechanical Training Establishment (MTE) at Devonport
moved to Portsmouth Naval
At Londonderry HMS FERRET renamed
HMS SEA EAGLE. Commissioned on 30th January and first used
for anti-submarine training in June 1947. Became Joint
Service Establishment for anti-submarine training.
Store Depots and dock installations at Alexandria handed
back to Egyptian government.
British Pacific Fleet Base at Sydney, Australia transferred
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Electrical Branch Ratings structure introduced.
Tobacco users to be certified.
Areas of complaints raised:
Accommodation afloat and ashore
due to extra complements.
Lack of refrigerators
Lack of air conditioning,
Poor galley facilities
Poor bathroom facilities
Extensive shortage of trained manpower due
Vote "A" strength now
Extensive reductions made to strength of Fleet in Home
Waters, Mediterranean and West Indies.
Hydrographic Department produced
Radio Navigation Charts suitable for use with new DECCA System.
National Oceanographic Institute established.
No battleship in Full Commission but two in use for training
duties with reduced complement.
H M Battleships
VALIANT and H M Battlecruiser
RENOWN to be scrapped.
Reports of Russian submarine strength not confirmed in
Home Dockyards undertook some commercial work.
Warrant Rank abolished
Commissioned Warrant Officers and Warrant Officers ranks to
be renamed Senior Commissioned Officers and Commissioned Officers, collectively
to be known as Branch Rank Officers.
Warrant Officers Mess to be abolished and officers to join
Midshipman entry to be at 16 years instead
of 13 years.
Period at RN College, Dartmouth reduced from 4 to 2 years.
Anticipated that 29% of officers will be
ex-ratings by 1950.
National Service intake reduced to 2,000
Clearance Diver Branch formed.
Boy ratings to be allowed in frigates in lieu of Seamen.
To be part of complement in BAY Class Frigates.
Introduction of new Electrical Branch in 1947 revealed
serious shortage of electrical, weapon and radio maintenance personnel due to
loss of "Hostilities Only" ratings and by senior ratings leaving the
service on completion of regular engagements.
Diving Support Ship HMS RECLAIM established a Deep Diving
Record of 535 feet.
Four BATTLE Class and three WEAPON Class destroyers completed.
HM Light Fleet Aircraft Carrier CENTAUR launched but
HM Survey Ship
DAMPIER (ex-BAY Class Frigate, ex-HMS HERNE
BAY, ex-LOCH EIL, right - Navy Photos) entered Hydrographic service.
Generic term Frigate to be used for all
types of escorts, including corvettes.
Test carried out using commercial GATRIC gas turbine
propulsion machinery In HM MTB.509. Aluminium to be used in
construction of future MTBs.
335 RN warships sold to foreign or Commonwealth navies since
HMS AMBUSH carried out
HMS SERAPH streamlined to act as 'Fast' underwater target.
Midget submarine trials carried out using ex-German craft
HM Light Fleet Aircraft Carrier
VENGEANCE carried out cold
weather trials in Arctic. Commercial helicopters were embarked.
HMS WILDFIRE at Sheerness still in use for training of
Seaman Radar ratings
Seaward Defence title Introduced for shore defence.
RAF aircraft carried out simulated nuclear attack on Home
Fleet ships at second attempt
HM Destroyer VIRAGO carried cut trials on new inflatable
Naval parties assisted in rescue work and removal of flood
water in eastern Counties of UK.
All practicable sweeping of moored mines in NE European
Extensive work undertaken by
Red Sea and Indian Ocean mine clearance still in hand.
Admiralty Fleet Order 4162/18 promulgated loss of the East
Indies Station Colour. Last known sighting was in
September 1939 when handed over by HM Cruiser
GLOUCESTER to a commercial Bank
for safe keeping.
Extensive deployment of Mediterranean Fleet ships for
Palestine Patrol duties. Among the 40 ships intercepted in 1947was the American
mercantile PRESIDENT WARFIELD.
HMS CHALLENGER, HMS COCKADE and HMS CONTEST landed parties
at Aden after civil disturbances.
HMS COCKADE assisted in the arrest of a dissident Group in
HMS LOCH QUOICHE deployed at
Somalia after civil unrest.
NIGERIA and HMS SNIPE exchanged protests with Argentine
warships in Antarctica.
Red Sea patrols carried out in Red Sea to intercept slave
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Royal Navy Volunteer Wireless Reserve (RNVWR) reformed.
RAF craft known as HMAFV introduced in Admiralty Fleet Order
144/49 to be given names of aircraft.
Names of seagoing Tenders for RNVR Divisions promulgated.
Warrant Rank Title abolished from 5 April 1949.
100 RNVR officers given RN Commissions and 500 allowed an
extension of 4 years service.
RNVR recruiting ceiling increased to 7,000.
New Dartmouth Entry of 29 was made from 514 applications.
National Servicemen retained for extra 3 months because of
Far East crisis. Totals Increased to 10,000.
New 'Youth Entry' Scheme introduced.
Number of promotion opportunities to commissioned Rank
criticised in Parliament.
National Service Ratings required
Low re-engagement of ratings completing 12
Out of 1,600 applications for Discharge by Purchase 1,000
Marriage Allowance increased.
Refits for ships held in Reserve Ship to be undertaken in commercial
(right - Navy Photos) took troops to Belize because of threat
HM Sloop SPARROW trapped in Ice in Antarctica.
USSR returned some ships loaned in 1944.
HM Battleship VANGUARD reduced to training role.
HM Aircraft Carrier
IMPLACABLE replaced HM Battleship
as Home Fleet Flagship.
HM Light Fleet Aircraft Carrier BULWARK launched but
HM Escort Aircraft Carrier
CAMPANIA to be used as a mobile
exhibition during Festival of Britain,
under Red Ensign.
HM Destroyers ROCKET and RELENTLESS to be
converted for use as anti-submarine frigates.
Future conversion of fleet destroyers into anti-submarine frigates
(Types 15 and 16) planned.
ARETHUSA used for nuclear radiation trial.
DEVONSHIRE to be used as Cadet Training Ship.
HM Light Fleet Aircraft Carrier
VENERABLE sold to
Netherlands and renamed KARL VAN DOORMAN.
ACHILLES sold to India and renamed IS DEHLI.
HM Aircraft Carrier TERRIBLE joined Royal Australian Navy
and renamed HMAS SYDNEY.
HM Cruiser AURORA sold to China.
SEA VAMPIRE jet propelled aircraft trails carried out in HMS
IMPLACABLE and HMS WARRIOR.
"A" identity in the
Executive Curl worn by aircrew officers removed from uniforms. In future these
officers are to be Specialists within Seaman Branch (eg
Communications Branch officers.) All future aircrew to be
officers. TAG branch not to be replaced. Air
Engineering Officers and Air Electrical Officers to be part of (E) and (L)
First Western European Union naval exercises held.
NATO Treaty ratified.
Defence School, HMS PHOENIX, opened at
HM Destroyer OPPORTUNE and HM Minesweeper WAVE rescued
survivors from coaster CYDONIA which had been mined in Cardigan Bay.
HM Minesweeper ROMOLA rescued crew of trawler MILDENHALL off
HM Aircraft Carrier
ILLUSTRIOUS liberty boat on passage to
Portland sank in Weymouth Bay with 29 dead or missing. Albert Medal awarded to
Boy Seaman for rescue.
Training Ship IMPLACABLE disposed of by sinking off
Owers Light after long service (ex-French
DUGUAY TROUIN captured in 1805.)
Presentation of British awards to US citizens for services
during WW2 whilst with British armed services, made on board Frigate BURGHEAD
BAY at New Orleans
Similar awards to New Zealand nationals promulgated in
Admiralty Fleet Orders 3999/49 and 31/8/48.
HM Frigate AMETHYST trapped and damaged in
Yangtse River by Chinese Communists shore fire and broke
out to sea successfully.
Deployments were made to counter any threat when Communists
won civil war in China.
Chinese Nationalists began blockade of Shanghai.
HM Destroyer COSSACK rescued some passengers from Chinese
mercantile as YINCHUNG off Formosa.
HM Destroyer CONCORD and HM Sloop ALACRITY unable to help
British flagged mercantile WOO SANS seized off Formosa by Chinese Nationalists.
HM Sloop BLACK SWAN unable to intervene when British
mercantile SS ANCHISES was bombed off China.
Naval gunfire support provided to assist military operations
in Malaya against insurgents.
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Reserve Fleet Divisions formed at Portsmouth, Devonport,
Chatham, Sheerness, Harwich and Clyde.
RNVR recruiting ceiling increased to 9,000.
Naval Weather Service established as a separate Department
Pay increases announced.
Legal Aid to be provided from public funds
for those facing court martial.
Installation of air conditioning in Sick
Bays in hand.
Ship habitability improvements being
83 Courts Martial held.
New Entry age for Dartmouth not proving to
be successful due to lack of suitable candidates.
Upper Yardmen to be trained at Dartmouth.
Twenty five percent of officers being
drawn from Lower Deck as Upper Yardmen or Branch List Officers.
Total manpower including WRNS and Nurses
3,600 National servicemen retained for further six months due
to Korean Emergency.
Uniform for Dartmouth Cadets to be provided free and tuition
Five and 6 year extension of service after completing time
for pension introduced.
Increase in availability of married quarters forecast.
Free sea passages for dependants of those serving on Foreign
Provision of air passage to UK for compassionate leave
Compulsory attendance for Church services abolished.
Living conditions in RN Barracks to be
introduced in all shore establishments.
Improvements made to the composition of Welfare Committees
in ships and shore establishments
Rate of re-engagements to complete service
for pension unsatisfactory.
Television sets being provided in RN Barracks, paid for by
Senior ratings not required to wear uniform when off duty
and when going ashore.
Free issue of sheets made to ratings serving overseas.
HM Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL launched.
HM Aircraft Carrier
VICTORIOUS to be
HM Aircraft Carrier
INDEFATIGABLE to be brought out of
HM Fleet Minesweeper TRUELOVE carried out clothing and
equipment trials in Arctic conditions.
HM SGB GREY GOOSE and HM Destroyer HOTHAM
to be used for gas turbine propulsion machinery trials. (Planned trials
in HMS HOTHAM were later cancelled in 1952)
HM Survey Ship VIDAL of new design launched in HM Dockyard
Significant RN deployments made with UN Task Forces off
89 ships to be refitted and brought
forward for service to supplement future Fleet needs.
Malicious damage reported in HM Ships CHAPLET, CAVENDISH,
ILLUSTRIOUS, MATAPAN, THESEUS, URANIA,
WOODBRIDGE HAVEN, HMAS SYDNEY, HM Submarines TALLY-HO (right -
Navy Photos/Mark Teadham), TABARD and
HM Aircraft Carrier MAJESTIC construction to be resumed and
ship transferred to RAN and renamed HMAS MELBOURNE.
TON class coastal minesweeper build programme began.
Contract placed with Y-ARD in Glasgow to investigate design
of future propulsion machinery. (Y-ARD – a new commercial
company combining facilities of Yarrow Shipbuilders and the Admiralty Research
Hull of HM Destroyer ALBUERA used for structural tests by
the Admiralty Naval Construction and Research Department (NCRE) at
Three RN "T" Class submarines based at Sydney,
Australia for working with RAN.
Modernisation of "T" Class submarines commenced.
Experiments using HTP propulsion carried out in HM Submarine
Aviation Cadet Scheme introduced to encourage recruitment of
Need to recognise requirements of anti-submarine warfare
recognised as first priority by 5th Sea Lord.
Flight decks to be strengthened to operate
new design aircraft.
Future use of steam catapult and vertical take-off aircraft
Closure of HMS COCHRANE at
HMS ROYAL ARTHUR at Corsham ceased
to be used for New Entry training of National Service ratings.
Royal Marine's School of Music returned to Deal after
wartime dispersal to Burford, Oxon.
HMS VANGUARD became Flagship, Home Fleet.
Korean War started and RN warships joined US Navy Task Force
for service under USN overall command for duties of east coast of Korea.
Personnel due to leave RN retained and some Reservists Called-up.
Seven fleet destroyers In Mediterranean Fleet replaced by
HM Dockyard Bermuda closed.
Naval support still required for military operations against