British North Russia Squadron

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British North Russia Squadron
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
CountryUnited Kingdom
AllegianceBritish Empire
BranchRoyal Navy
Part ofWhite Sea Station
Garrison/HQMurmansk, Russian Empire
Thomas Kemp

The British North Russia Squadron was a squadron of the Royal Navy based at Murmansk from 1916 to 1919.[1]


The squadron was formed 14 October 1916 placed under the command of the Senior Naval Officer, White Sea as part of an initiative by the Entente Powers to keep the Russian Empire in the First World War. One goal was to protect the large stockpiles of Allied material that had begun stockpiling at the ice-free port at Murmansk. Russia's continued involvement in the war was challenged externally by German advances into the East and internally by a strong antipathy to the war amongst the Russian population. This later factor had led to support for the Bolshevik Revolution and had resulted in the Russian Civil War. On 27 November 1917 the title of S.N.O. White Sea and commander of the squadron was changed to Rear-Admiral-in-Charge, Murmansk.

Rear-Admiral Thomas Kemp with HMS Glory as his flagship. This battleship had been refitted, with some guns being removed to allow for more accommodation for marines. There was also a depot ship, an armed boarding vessel and a variety of trawlers and drifters which had been converted to function as minesweepers.

On 15 November 1918 Rear-Admiral John Green replaced admiral Kemp as the squadrons new commander but under the new title of Rear-Admiral Commanding in the White Sea. The squadron would remain in Russia throughout most of the Allied North Russia Intervention, though it served no real role in this. The squadron returned to England in September 1919, shortly after the ratification of peace with Germany, with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. In October 1919 the squadron was disbanded and its units redistributed.

In Command

Post holders included:[2]

Senior Naval Officer, White Sea (1916-1917)

Rear-Admiral-in-Charge, Murmansk (1917-1918)

Rear-Admiral Commanding in the White Sea (1918-1919)


  1. Burt, R. A. (2013). "Aknowledgements". British Battleships 1889-1904: New Revised Edition. Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 9781473826953.
  2. Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony. "Thomas Webster Kemp - The Dreadnought Project". Harley and Lovell, 7 October 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2018.