Department of the Director of Naval Construction

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Department of the Director of Naval Construction
Flag of the Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom.svg
Department overview
Formed1875
Preceding Department
Dissolved1959
Superseding department
JurisdictionGovernment of the United Kingdom
HeadquartersLondon, England
Department executive
  • Director of Naval Construction
Parent DepartmentControllers Department

The Department of the Director of Naval Construction [1] was a British Admiralty department established in 1875, when it replaced the Department of the Chief Constructor of the Navy.'[2] The department was responsible for the design and construction of the warships of the Royal Navy. for the design and construction of the warships of the Royal Navy. The department had oversight over the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors. In 1958 it became subsumed into the new Ship Department and renamed the Directorate of Naval Construction.

The department was controlled and directed by a Director of Naval Construction. The (D.N.C.'s) modern equivalent to is Director Ships in the Defence Equipment and Support organisation of the Ministry of Defence. The Director of Naval Construction was renamed Director-General, Ships in 1958.[3]

History

The department evolved out of the office of the Assistant Surveyor of the Navy (1832-1859)[4] In 1860 the Assistant Surveyor was renamed Chief Constructor and given a his own department, The Department of the Chief Constructor of the Navy that lasted until 1875 when the Chief Constructors title and department was renamed Department of the Director of Naval Construction. The department had oversight over the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors and members of the corps were responsible for the designing and building of warships, whether they were built in the Royal Naval Dockyards (such as Chatham Dockyard) or contracted out to private industry (such as Armstrong Whitworth). The Director was a naval architect as well as a manager. Work in the dockyards was covered to some extent by the two posts of Director of Naval Construction and the separately held Director of Dockyards. The latter's officers were responsible for checking that work contracted out by the former was being undertaken correctly. In designing warships the Director of Naval Construction had to work with the Department of the Engineer-in-Chief, another Admiralty post, which existed from 1847 to 1889. In 1958 following restructuring within the British Admiralty this department as a wholly independent function ceased and it became a sub-division within a new larger ship department under the control of a Director-General, Ships until 1964 when the Admiralty department was abolished and replaced by a new Ministry of Defence. The Engineer-in-Chief post arose after the adoption of steam engines for propulsion. The French Navy had a similar post, Directeur des Construction Navales.

Head of Department

Director of Naval Construction

Department structure

As of April 1915:[5]

  • Director of Naval Construction
    • Assistant Director of Naval Construction
    • Superintendent of Construction Accounts and Contract Work
      • Superintendent of Admiralty Experiment Works
        • Chief Constructor
        • Curator of Drawings
        • Examiner of Constructing Accounts
        • Inspecting Officer of Smiths Works
      • Superintending Electrical Engineer

As of October 1916:[6]

  • Director of Naval Construction
    • Assistant Director of Naval Construction
    • Superintendent of Construction Accounts and Contract Work
      • Senior Constructive Officer
        • Chief Constructor
      • Superintending Electrical Engineer
      • Inspecting Officer of Smiths' Work

As of April 1917:[6]

  • Director of Naval Construction
    • Deputy Director of Naval Construction
      • Assistant Director of Naval Construction
      • Superintendent of Construction Accounts and Contract Work
        • Superintendent of Admiralty Experiment Works
          • Chief Constructor
          • Superintending Electrical Engineer
            • Examiner of Electrical Accounts
          • Curator of Drawings
          • Inspecting Officer of Smiths' Work

As of November 1918:[6]

  • Director of Naval Construction
    • Deputy Director of Naval Construction
      • Assistant Director of Naval Construction
        • Superintendent of Admiralty Experiment Works
          • Chief Constructor
          • Inspecting Officer of Smiths' Work
          • Inspecting Officer of Ship Fitting Work

Departments under this department

Footnotes

  1. "Admiralty: Department of the Director of Naval Construction: Directors' Papers". discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk. Kew, Surrey, England.: The National Archives UK. 1893–1957. Retrieved 6 December 2019. ADM 229
  2. Ranft, Bryan (2002). The Oxford Illustrated History of the Royal Navy. Oxford University Press. p. 208. ISBN 9780198605270.
  3. Friedman, Norman (2011). British Cruisers: Two World Wars and After. Barnsley, England.: Seaforth Publishing. p. 13. ISBN 9781848320789.
  4. BryanRanft
  5. Government, H.M. (April 1915). The Navy List. H.M. Stationery Office. p. 533.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Smith, Gordon. "British Admiralty World War 1". naval-history.net. Gordon Smith, 21 October 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2017.