East Indies Squadron

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East Indies Squadron
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Active1744-1941, 1947-1958
CountryUnited Kingdom
BranchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Part ofEast Indies Station
East Indies and China Station
East Indies and Cape of Good Hope Station
East Indies Station (1867-1913)
East Indies and Egypt Station
East Indies Station
(1917-1941, 1947-1958)
Garrison/HQRN Base, Trincomalee, Ceylon

The East Indies Squadron [1] was a naval formation of constituent ships assigned to the East Indies Station first established in 1744. It was based at Sydney, Australia until 1848 then was transferred to Trincomalee Dockyard, British Ceylon.


The East Indies Squadron of the East Indies Station was created in 1744 to operate in the waters of the Indian Ocean. In 1831 it the East Indies Station was renamed the East Indies and China Station and a new China Squadron was formally constituted to operate and cover the waters off the coast of mainland China. In 1848 a new component force was created the Australia Division to operate purely in Australian waters. In 1865 the East Indies and China Station was separated into individual naval commands. In October, 1941 the ships of both the China Squadron and East Indies Squadron were amalgamated to create the Eastern Fleet.

On 22 November, 1944 The main capital ships of the Eastern Fleet were redistributed first to form a new British Pacific Fleet to be headquartered in Sydney, Australia, the remaining ships of the former Eastern Fleet were to based in Trincomalee, Ceylon and was re-designated the East Indies Fleet. In 1947 the East Indies Fleet was renamed East Indies Squadron and existed until 1958 when some rationalization took place East of Suez. The East Indies Squadron, no longer welcome at Ceylon, was gradually absorbed into the existing Far East Fleet based at Singapore which grew into the Royal Navy’s major operational center in East Asia.[2].


  1. Zerbe, Britt (2013). The Birth of the Royal Marines, 1664-1802. Woodbridge, Suffolk, England.: Boydell Press. p. 222. ISBN 978-1-84383-837-1.
  2. Grove, Eric (2005). The Royal Navy since 1815 : a new short history. London: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 230. ISBN 0333721268.