Navigation Department

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Navigation Department
Flag of the Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom.svg
Department overview
Superseding department
JurisdictionGovernment of the United Kingdom
HeadquartersAdmiralty Building
Department executive
  • Director of the Navigation Department
Parent departmentAdmiralty Naval Staff

The Navigation Department was established in 1912 under the Director of Navigation. In July, 1945 it was renamed the Navigation Division as part of the Admiralty Naval Staff.


In December 1912 as the Navigation Department was established as a part of the Hydrographic Department. Following changes in the command structure of the Admiralty Naval Staff (1917-1919) the department and thus Director of Navigation came under direct control of the First Sea Lord until 1945. In July the Navigation Department was renamed the Navigation Division and now as part of the Naval Staff.[1] In 1946 the Navigation Division was renamed the Navigation and Direction Division.[2]

Director of the Navigation Department


  1. Captain Philip Nelson-Ward: December 1912-August 1916
  2. Captain John A. Webster: August 1916-August 1919
  3. Captain John E.T.Harper: August 1919-November 1921
  4. Captain Frederick P.Loder Symonds: November 1921-November 1923
  5. Captain the Hon.Arthur C.Strutt: November 1923-November 1925
  6. Captain Alfred H.Norman: November 1925-November 1927
  7. Captain Oswald H. Dawson: November 1927-January 1930
  8. Captain Kenelm E. L. Creighton: January 1930-December 1931
  9. Captain James D. Campbell: December 1931-September 1933
  10. Captain John W.Clayton: September 1933-September 1935
  11. Captain William G. Benn: September 1935-June 1938
  12. Captain Charles E. Morgan: June 1938-October 1940
  13. Captain Ronald G. Bowes-Lyon: October 1940-June 1942
  14. Rear-Admiral William G. Benn: June 1942-1944 (continued till December 1945 as Head of Navigation Division)


  1. Watson, Dr Graham (27 October 2015). "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployment, Inter-War Years 1914-1918". Gordon Smith. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  2. Admiralty, Great Britain (Spring 1946). "Admiralty: Divisions of the Naval Staff". Navy List. London, England: HM Stationery Office. pp. 1731–1740.
  3. Mackie, Colin (January 2020). "Royal Navy Senior Officers from 1865" (PDF). gulabin. C. Mackie. p. 57. Retrieved 10 February 2020.