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Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Active1914–1919, 1941-1946
CountryUnited Kingdom
BranchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
RoleArea Command
Part ofRoyal Navy
Garrison/HQHM Naval Base, Lowestoft, Suffolk, England
EngagementsLowestoft Raid (1916)

Lowestoft was a naval station and command of the Royal Navy. It was active during World War One from 1914 to 1919 then deactivated. It was then reactivated during World War Two from 1941 to 1946. Lowestoft was a subordinate subcommand of the Nore Station

The commanding officer was the Senior Naval Officer, Lowestoft during world war one and then the Naval Officer-in-Charge, Lowestoft during world war two.


In the Middle Ages Lowestoft became an increasingly important fishing town. The industry grew quickly and the town grew to challenge its neighbour Great Yarmouth.[1] The trade, particularly fishing for herring, continued to act as the town's main identity into the 20th century.

In June 1665 the Battle of Lowestoft, the first battle of the Second Anglo-Dutch War, was held 40 miles (64 km) off the coast of the town. It was a significant victory for the English fleet over the Dutch.

During World War I, Lowestoft was bombarded by the German Navy on 24 April 1916 in conjunction with the Easter Rising. The port was a significant naval base during the war, including for armed trawlers such as Ethel & Millie and Nelson which were used to combat German U-boat actions in the North Sea such as the action of 15 August 1917. In World War II, the town was heavily targeted for bombing by the Luftwaffe due to its engineering industry and role as a naval base.[2][3] It is sometimes claimed that it became one of the most heavily bombed towns per head of population in the UK.[2] The Royal Naval Patrol Service, formed primarily from trawlermen and fishermen from the Royal Naval Reserve, was mobilised at Lowestoft in August 1939. The service had its central depot HMS Europa, also known as Sparrow's Nest, in the town.[4]

In Command

Senior Naval Officer, Lowestoft


  1. Commodore, Second Class Alfred A. Ellison, (September, 1914 – April, 1919).
  2. Captain R.N.R. Wilfrid M. Bruce, (April-August, 1919).
  3. Commander Oswald T. Hodgson, (August, 1919 – November, 1919).

Naval Officer-in-Charge, Lowestoft


  1. Rear-Admiral: G.H. Knowles, (1942-1944), (retd).
  2. Captain: J. Figgins. (February-July, 1945), (retd).
  3. Acting Captain: F.G.A. Theobald. (October 1945 - April, 1946), (retd).

Secretary to Naval Officer-in-Charge, Lowestoft

  1. Paymaster-Lieutenant: Goddard, RNVR, (November, 1941 - April, 1944).[6]
  2. Paymaster-Lieutenant (S): W.E. Watson, RNVR, (May, 1941 - July, 1944).[7]
  3. Paymaster-Lieutenant (S): R.M. Hooper, RNVR, (November, 1941 - April, 1944).[8]

Note:Paymaster (S) denotes Paymaster (Supply) branch.

Commanding Officer Royal Navy Coast Forces, Lowestoft

  1. Acting Commander, K.L.M.B. Barnard. (July, 1940 - July, 1942), (retd).


Various sub-bases originally formed part of it were progressively split off under their own officers, such as HMS Europa (Royal Naval Patrol Service) HMS Martello (Mine-Sweeping), HMS Minos (Harbour Defence), HMS Myloden (Landing Craft Training Base) for Royal Marines and Combined Operations) and HMS Mantis (Coastal Forces Base).[9] and HMS Minos and HMS Minos II (Coastal Forces Base) during World War Two.[10]

Naval Formations

Unit From To Ships Ref
7th Motor Gunboat Flotilla 1914 1919 [11]
4th Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla 1914 1919 [12]
Royal Navy Coastal Forces 1914 1919 [13]
Minesweeping Group 7 1941 1942 4 [14]
Minesweeping Group 8 1941 1942 4 [15]
Minesweeping Group 9 1941 1942 4 [16]
Minesweeping Yard Flotilla 163 1942 1943

Naval Facilities

Unit Formal Name From To Ref
Auxiliary Patrol Base HMS Martello 1914 1919 [17]
Coastal Forces Base HMS Mantis 1914 1919 [18]
Coastal Forces Base HMS Minos 1940 1941 [19]
Coastal Forces Base HMS Minos II 1941 1942 [20]
Harbour Defence Service HMS Minos 1914 1919 [21]
Landing Craft Base HMS Myloden 1914 1919 [22]
Minesweeping Base HMS Europa 1914 1919 [23]
Royal Naval Patrol Service HQ HMS Martello 1914 1919 [24]


  1. Lowestoft, Poppyland Publishing. Retrieved 2011-04-21.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Prime target for bombers, Lowestoft Journal, 2008-05-27. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
  3. James Hoseason Obituary, The Guardian, 2009-12-07. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
  4. Naval War Memorial, Lowestoft, British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
  5. Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony (20 July 2017). "Lowestoft - The Dreadnought Project". www.dreadnoughtproject.org. Harley and Lovell. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  6. Houtermand, Hans; Koppes, Jerome. "Royal Navy Nore Command 1939-1945". www.unithistories.com. Netherlands: Houterman and Koppes. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  7. Houterman and Koppes.
  8. Houterman and Koppes.
  9. Michael Sims, G. A. (2002–2019). "RNPS History – History". www.rnpsa.co.uk. Royal Naval Patrol Service Association. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  10. Houterman, Hans; Koppes, Jerome. "Royal Navy Coastal Forces". unithistories.com. Houterman and Koppes. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  11. "HMS Mantis". www.lowestoftmuseum.org. Lowestoft, Suffolk: Lowestoft Museum. 2009. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  12. Lowestoft Museum.
  13. RNPSA.
  14. Bertke, Donald A.; Smith, Gordon; Kindell, Don (2012). World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean. Morrisville, North Carolina. United States.: Lulu. p. 196. ISBN 9781937470012.
  15. Bertke, Kindell and Smith.
  16. Bertke, Kindell and Smith.
  17. RNPSA.
  18. RNPSA.
  19. Houterman and Koppes.
  20. Houterman and Koppes.
  21. RNPSA.
  22. RNPSA.
  23. RNPSA.
  24. RNPSA.