Compass Department

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Compass Department
Flag of the Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom.svg
Department overview
Formed1917
Preceding Department
Dissolved1968
Superseding department
JurisdictionGovernment of the United Kingdom
HeadquartersAdmiralty Building
Whitehall
London
Department executive
  • Director Compass Department
Parent DepartmentDepartment of Admiralty

Te Compass Department (1917-1968) was established in 1917 to provide the Royal Navy with services for the design, development, inspection, testing and repair of compasses and certain other instruments. It subsequently undertook requirements for the other services as appropriate. In 1968 it was superseded by the Compass Directorate

History

In 1795 The post of Hydrographer of the Navy was created. He became responsible to the First Naval Lord for producing charts, 'Sailing Directions', 'Notices to Mariners', tide tables and light lists and for supplying chronometers, compasses and other scientific instruments to HM ships. He was also responsible for naval meteorology and for the Admiralty's links with the Meteorological Office. In 1820 the Hydrographer was responsible for the Observatory, being advised by a Board of Visitors. In 1842 a Compass Branch as part of the Hydrographic Department was established.[1] In 1917, the Compass Branch moved to Ditton Park where it was renamed the Compass Department.. The Radio Research Station of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research was co-located at Ditton Park, and provided basic information in this field. In 1964 the Department of Admiralty became a ministerial service department within an enlarged Ministry of Defence where it bacame known as the Navy Department. In 1968 now as part of the Controllers Department it was renamed the Compass Directorate.[2]

In Command

Superintendent of Compasses

  • 1917-1919, Captain Frank Creagh-Osborne. (retd).[3]

Title changed to Director Compass Department.

Director Compass Department

  • 1919-1928, Captain Frank Creagh-Osborne. (retd).[4]
  • 1928-1946, Captain H. L. Hitchens. (retd).[5]
  • 1948-1951, Captain B. C. Porter. (retd).[6]
  • 1951-1958, Captain C. J. Wynne Edwards.[7]
  • 1961-1968, Captain T. D. Ross.[8]

Assistant Superintendent Compasses

  • 1917-1919, Commander Stanley B. Norfolk.[9]

Office divided into two superintendents with title changes.

Superintendent Naval

  • 1923-1926, Commander Geoffrey B. Harrison. (retd).[10]

Superintendent Civil

  • 1923-1926, Clifford Schaffer.[11]

Subordinate Branches

Air Compass Branch

  • 1917, Captain M. K. Cooper-King.[12]

Gyro Compass Branch

  • 1917, Commander Geoffrey B. Harrison. (retd).[13]

Magnetic Compass Branch

  • 1917, Lieutenant Commander G. R. Colin Campbell.[14]

Footnotes

  1. Fanning, A. E. (1 May 1980). "The Admiralty Compass Observatory". The Journal of Navigation. CUP. pp. 167–183. doi:10.1017/S0373463300035189. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  2. "Navy Department". The Navy List. London, England: HM Stationery Office. Spring 1968. p. 535.
  3. Admiralty, British (October 1919). The Navy List. London: H.M.S.O. p. 538.
  4. Admiralty, British (July 1926). The Navy List. London: H.M.S.O. p. 414.
  5. Admiralty, British (July 1946). The Navy List. London: H.M.S.O. p. 1765.
  6. Admiralty, British (May 1951). The Navy List. London: H.M.S.O. p. 344.
  7. Admiralty, British (January 1958). The Navy List. London: H.M.S.O. p. 1246.
  8. Admiralty, British (Spring 1968). The Navy List. London: H.M.S.O. p. 535.
  9. Admiralty, British (October 1919). The Navy List. London: H.M.S.O. p. 538.
  10. Navy List 1926
  11. Navy List 1926
  12. Admiralty, British (October 1917). The Navy List. London: H.M.S.O. p. 538.
  13. Navy List 1917
  14. Navy List 1917

Bibliography

  1. Admiralty, British (July 1926). The Navy List. London: H.M.S.O.
  2. Admiralty, British (July 1946). The Navy List. London: H.M.S.O.
  3. Admiralty, British (May 1951). The Navy List. London: H.M.S.O.
  4. Admiralty, British (January 1958). The Navy List. London: H.M.S.O.
  5. Admiralty, British (Spring 1968). The Navy List. London: H.M.S.O.

External links