Director of Naval Intelligence

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Office of the Director of Naval Intelligence
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Department of Admiralty
Member ofNavy War Council
NominatorFirst Lord of the Admiralty
First Sea Lord
AppointerFirst Lord of the Admiralty
First Sea Lord
Subject to formal approval by the Queen-in-Council
Term lengthNot fixed
Inaugural holderCaptain William H. Hall

The Director of Naval Intelligence was senior British Royal Navy appointment from 1887 until 1984. The officer holder controlled and directed the Naval Intelligence Department from 1887 to 1912. Between 1909 and 1912 he was a principal member of the Navy War Council the progenitor of the Naval Staff.[1] He continued as head of the naval intelligence divisions of both the War Staff from 1912 to 1917 and Admiralty Naval Staff from 1917 to 1964. He continued as head of naval intelligence within the new joint Defence Intelligence Service at the Ministry of Defence until 1984 when the office was abolished.


The office was first established in February 1887 following the creation of a Naval Intelligence Department at the Department of Admiralty the first incumbent was Captain William Henry Hall.[2] In 1909 he was made a principal member of the Navy War Council (a forerunner of the later Naval Staff).[1] In 1912 the intelligence department was abolished and was replaced by a Naval Intelligence Division as part of the admiralty War Staff, the appointment was thus continued.[3] In 1917 the war staff was abolished and the intelligence division continued as part of the new Naval Staff.[4] His division continued as part of the naval staff until April 1964 when the Department of Admiralty was unified into the Ministry of Defence where it became a junior ministerial service department called the Navy Department. In 1965, the three service intelligence organisations (army, air, navy) were centralised into a new joint Defence Intelligence Service at the Ministry of Defence. This office holder remained responsible for naval intelligence within the new service until 1984 when it was abolished. The final incumbent was Commodore Anthony J. Dunn who was appointed from June 1981 to June 1984.

Office Holders

Office holders included:[5]

  1. Captain William H. Hall: February 1887-January 1889
  2. Rear-Admiral Cyprian A.G. Bridge: January 1889-August 1894
  3. Rear-Admiral Lewis A. Beaumont: September 1894-March 1899
  4. Rear-Admiral Reginald N. Custance: March 1899-November 1902
  5. Rear-Admiral Prince Louis of Battenberg: November 1902-January 1905
  6. Captain Sir Charles L. Ottley: February 1905-October 1907
  7. Rear-Admiral Edmond J. W. Slade: November 1907-March 1909
  8. Rear-Admiral the Hon. Sir Alexander E. Bethell: March 1909-January 1912
  9. Captain Thomas Jackson: January 1912-October 1913
  10. Rear-Admiral Henry F.Oliver: November 1913-October 1914
  11. Rear-Admiral Sir W.Reginald Hall: October 1914-January 1919
  12. Rear-Admiral Hugh F.P.Sinclair: January 1919-August 1921
  13. Rear-Admiral Maurice S.Fitzmaurice: August 1921-August 1924
  14. Rear-Admiral Alan G.Hotham: August 1924-August 1927
  15. Rear-Admiral Barry E. Domvile: August 1927-August 1930
  16. Rear-Admiral Cecil V. Usborne: August 1930-August 1932
  17. Rear-Admiral Gerald L. C. Dickens: August 1932-July 1935
  18. Vice-Admiral James A. G. Troup: July 1935-February 1939
  19. Vice-Admiral John H. Godfrey: February 1939-November 1942
  20. Rear-Admiral Edmund G. N. Rushbrooke: November 1942-July 1946
  21. Vice-Admiral W.Edward Parry: July 1946-May 1948
  22. Rear-Admiral Eric W. Longley-Cook: May 1948-August 1951
  23. Rear-Admiral Sir Anthony W. Buzzard, Bt.: August 1951-July 1954
  24. Vice-Admiral Sir John G.T. Inglis: July 1954-January 1960
  25. Vice-Admiral Sir Norman E. Denning: January 1960-January 1964
  26. Rear-Admiral Patrick W.W. Graham: January 1964-February 1965
  27. Commodore Michael D. Kyrle-Pope: February 1965-1967
  28. Commodore Edward M.B. Hoare: 1967-1969
  29. Commodore Charles R. Sims: 1969-1971
  30. Commodore G. Roger Villar: 1971-October 1973
  31. Commodore Roy W. Halliday: October 1973-May 1975
  32. Commodore John A. F. Lawson: May 1975-May 1977
  33. Commodore Gerard Hayne: May 1977-June 1979
  34. Commodore Richard J.F. Turner: April 1979-June 1981
  35. Commodore Anthony J. Dunn: June 1981-June 1984


  1. 1.0 1.1 Archives, The National. "Navy War Council: Minutes". National Archives, 1852-1965, ADM 116/3090. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
  2. Grimes, Shaun T. (2004). War Planning and Strategic Development in Royal Navy, 1888-1918. Unpublished PhD thesis, King's College, University of London.
  3. Grimes.
  4. Grimes.
  5. Mackie, Colin (April 2019). "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865" (PDF). gulabin. Scotland: C. Mackie. p. 21. Retrieved 29 September 2019.