Department of the Director of Dockyards

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Department of the Director of Dockyards
Board of Admiralty Flag 20th Century.png
Board of Admiralty Flag
Department overview
Formed1885
Preceding Department
Dissolved1958
Superseding department
JurisdictionGovernment of the United Kingdom
HeadquartersEmsworth, England
Department executive
  • Director of Dockyards
    (1885-1892)
    Director of Dockyards and Works
    (1892-1913)
    Director of Dockyards and Repair
    (1913-1957)
Parent DepartmentDepartment of Admiralty

The Department of the Director of Dockyards, and originally known as the Dockyard Branch was the British Admiralty department responsible for administration of Royal Navy dockyards, the building of ships, the maintenance and repair of ships at dockyards and factories, and the supervision of all civil dockyard personnel. It existed from 1885 until 1957 when it was replaced by the Department of Dockyards and Maintenance.

History

Originally, responsibility for the civil management of Royal Navy Dockyards lay with the Navy Board, and in particular the Surveyor of the Navy who supervised the Navy Board's resident commissioners of the navy based at each individual yard. Following the abolition of the Navy Board in 1832, responsibility for administration of the yards passed to the Board of Admiralty. The resident commissioners were replaced by yard superintendents, however they were primarily responsible for military administration of the yards.

In December 1885 the post of Surveyor of Dockyards was abolished and replaced by a Director of Dockyards. The new Director was instructed to visit the dockyards frequently, "for the purpose of conferring personally with the superintendents and officers in regard to the ships and works in progress."However, inefficiencies led to a recommendation by George Robinson, Lord Ripon in which he suggested there should be a separation of the functions and duties of the naval design and construction branches, which would remain distinct from each other, and that the branches should both coordinate and operate a sort of checks and balance system. A set of instructions issued on 28 May 1886 communicated that the Director of Dockyards would no longer be subordinate to the Director of Naval Construction. Instead, he was made solely responsible to the Controller for the building of ships at dockyards, and for the maintenance and repair of ships, of boats, and of all steam machinery in ships, boats, dockyards, and factories. In 1892 the post of Director of Dockyards was changed to Director of Dockyards and Works until 1913, when it was again renamed to Director of Dockyards and Repair.

During and after World War One, from 1917 to 1919, further restructuring with the Admiralty took place with the creation of the post of Deputy Controller for Dockyards and Shipbuilding, to which the Director of Dockyards and Repairs would now report to. The department under this name would remain in place until 1958, when it was replaced by the Department of Dockyards and Fleet Maintenance.

Head of Department

Director of Dockyards (1885-1892)

  1. Sir Frederick Barnes, December 1885 - February 1886
  2. Dr. Francis Elgar, February 1886 - 1892

Director of Dockyards and Works (1892-1913)

  1. Sir James Williamson, 1892 - July 1905)
  2. Sir James. B. Marshall, July 1905- March 1913

Director of Dockyards and Repairs (1913-1957)

  1. Sir James. B. Marshall, March 1913- April 1917
  2. Vice-Admiral Sir Laurence Eliot Power, 1 June 1917 – 31 March 1923
  3. Admiral Sir. Brian H. F. Barttelot, March, 1923 – 1 March 1928
  4. Admiral Sir. Albert P. Addison, 1 March 1928 – 1 May 1937
  5. Vice-Admiral Sir. Cecil P. Talbot, 1 May 1937 – 20 December 1946
  6. Admiral Sir. Claud B. Barry, 20 December 1946 - 31 December 1951
  7. Vice-Admiral. Sir. W. York La Roche Beverley, 31 December 1951 - 19 July 1954
  8. Vice-Admiral, Sir. A. Gordon V. Hubback, 19 July 1954 - 31 December 1957

Timeline

  • Navy Board, Surveyor of the Navy, Dockyard Commissioners, 1546-1832
  • Board of Admiralty, Surveyor of the Navy, Dockyard Branch, 1832-1860
  • Board of Admiralty, Department of the Surveyor of Dockyards, 1872-1885
  • Board of Admiralty, Department of the Director of Dockyards, 1885-1958
  • Board of Admiralty, Department of Dockyards and Maintenance, 1958-1964
  • Ministry of Defence, Navy Department, Department of Dockyards and Maintenance, 1964-1968
  • Ministry of Defence, Navy Department, Chief of Fleet Support Department, Department of Dockyards, 1969-1971.