Chief of the Admiralty War Staff

From Naval History Archive
Jump to navigationJump to search
Office of the
Chief of the Admiralty War Staff
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Department of Admiralty
Member ofBoard of Admiralty
Reports toFirst Sea Lord
NominatorFirst Sea Lord
AppointerFirst Lord of the Admiralty
Term lengthnot fixed
usually 1-4 years
PrecursorPresident of the Navy War Council and Chief of Staff.
Formation8 January, 1912
First holderRear-Admiral: Ernest Charles Thomas Troubridge
Final holderActing Vice-Admiral: Sir Henry Francis Oliver
Abolished31 May, 1917
SuccessionChief of Naval Staff

The Chief of the Admiralty War Staff was a senior British Royal Navy appointment from 8 January, 1912 to 31 May, 1917. The office holder was responsible for the administration of the advisory and operational planning and policy formulating, military staff organisation called the Admiralty War Staff. This office holder was the precursor office to the current Chief of Naval Staff.


In 1911, Winston Churchill, the First Lord of the Admiralty, communicated to the Prime Minister that the Admiral of the Fleet was opposed to any formation of a new naval staff, and because of this he insisted that he be relieved of his duties by January 1912. Churchill would continue to brief the Prime Minister as the project developed and advised him as to what the composition of the new staff department might initially entail: a War Education Division , War Information Division, War Planning Division and a War Mobilisation Division.

These divisions would be headed by a new Chief of the Admiralty War Staff answerable to the Board of Admiralty and supported by an Assistant Chief of the War Staff. In January 1912, the First Lord of the Admiralty released his communique detailing the administrative function of the new department and listed the following new appointments: (1) Chief of the Admiralty War Staff, (2) Director of the Operations Division, (3) Director of the Intelligence Division and (4) Director of the Mobilization Division. From 1912, onward additional divisions were established headed by directors responsible for their particular function. At its founding, 12 officers were selected to undergo the new course of training for staff officer. Reginald Plunkett was the first officer selected.

Office Holders


  1. Rear-Admiral: Ernest Charles Thomas Troubridge, 8 January, 1912 – 6 January, 1913.[1]
  2. Admiral: Sir Henry Bradwardine Jackson, 28 January, 1913 – 30 July, 1914.[1]
  3. Vice-Admiral: Sir Frederick Charles Doveton Sturdee, 30 July, 1914 – 6 November, 1914.[1]
  4. Acting Vice-Admiral: Sir Henry Francis Oliver, 5 November, 1914 – 31 May, 1917.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Black, Nicholas Duncan. "The Admiralty War Staff and its influence on the conduct of the naval war between 1914 and 1918" (PDF). University College London, 2005. Retrieved 18 January 2017.