From Naval History Archive
Jump to navigationJump to search
H.M. Naval Base
HMS Cochrane
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Active1915–1923, 1935-1946
CountryUnited Kingdom
AllegianceBritish Empire
BranchRoyal Navy
Part ofCoast of Scotland Station (1915-1916)
Rosyth Command (1916-1919)
Coast of Scotland Station (1919-1939)
Rosyth Command (1939-1946)
Garrison/HQRN Base, Cromarty, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland

The Cromarty was a naval base and sub-command of Royal Navy that was activated and deactivated on two occasions (1915–1923), (1935-1946). Britain's maritime empire was controlled and directed by the Department of Admiralty a government ministry in London, it then subdivided the Royal Navy and assigned formations into a number of geographic areas or stations

The officer commanding was titled Senior Naval Officer, Cromarty.[1]


Cromarty is a sea port on the southern shore of the mouth of Cromarty Firth, Scotland 5 miles (8 km) seaward from Invergordon on the opposite coast. Until 1890, it was the county town of the former county of Cromartyshire. Cromarty Firth has been a port since the early 18th Century. The Royal Navy first visited the port during the Jacobite uprisings of 1715 and 1745.[2] It had long been recognised for its potential as a great port. Docks were constructed, and cargo vessels first used the port in 1785.

In Thomas Telford's 1802 report on developing Highland transport links, Captain Duff recommended the firth as a base for warships. The Royal Navy visited the firth from 1854 at the outbreak of the Crimean War.[3] In 1913 the port became a 'dockyard port' and the Admiralty took control of all the waters of the Cromarty Firth.[4]>

The Department of Admiralty established the Naval Station the Cromarty, Cromarty Firth, Scotland first from 1915 to 1923 then it was deactivated. During World War One it controlled and directed the designated Auxiliary Patrol Area IV.[5] In 1935 it was reestablished as part of the Coast of Scotland Command until 1940 when Coast of Scotland was renamed the Rosyth Command it continued as a component of that command until 1946.[6]

After world war two, some parts of the harbour were passed back into civilian use, but Naval visits continued until 1993.

In Command

Flag Officer, Cromarty (1914-1915)

Senior Naval Officer, Cromarty (1915-1918)

  1. Commander, Henry Leage Dicks, 19 January, 1915 – November, 1918.

King's Harbour Master, Cromarty (1935-1939)

  1. Commander L.G. Addington, RN (retd), 29 January, 1935 – August, 1939.

Based in this Command

Senior Officer in Charge, Auxiliary Patrol Area IV (1915-1918)

  1. Acting Captain Henry Leage Dicks, 19 January, 1915 – November, 1918.


Naval Shore Establishments

Unit From To Ref
Cromarty Dockyard 1914 1945


  1. Admiralty, British (July 1915). The Navy List Quarterly. London: H.M.S.O. p. 9.
  2. "Royal Navy casts off Invergordon links". The Herald Scotland Newspaper. Herald & Times Group. 31 March 1993. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  3. The Herald Scotland Newspaper
  4. Seligmann, Matthew S.; Nägler, Frank (2016). The Naval Route to the Abyss: The Anglo-German Naval Race 1895-1914. Cambridge: Routledge. p. 466. ISBN 9781317023265.
  5. Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony (30 November 2018). "Cromarty - The Dreadnought Project". Harley & Lovell. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  6. Houterman, Hans; Koppes, Jeroen. "World War II unit histories & officers". Netherlands: Houterman and Koppes. Retrieved 20 June 2019.