Nore Station

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Nore Station
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Active(1799–1834), (1899–1961)
CountryUnited Kingdom
BranchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
TypeNaval Station
RoleCommand
Part ofRoyal Navy
Garrison/HQChatham, Kent
Commanders
FirstVice-Admiral Edward Durnford King
LastAdmiral Sir Robin Durnford-Slater

The Nore Station also known as the Nore Command [1] was major naval command area of the Royal Navy. Named for the Nore sandbank at the mouth of the River Thames, it encompassed Chatham Dockyard and Sheerness Dockyard and ships not attached to other fleets. Command of the station was usually vested in an Admiral or a Vice-Admiral.[2] It was operational from 1799 to 1834 and again from 1899 to 1961.

History

In 1799 Medway and Nore Station was renamed the Nore Station and headquartered at Chatham Naval Base.[3] From 1827 the Commander-in-Chief was accommodated in Admiralty House, Sheerness, built as part of the renewal of Sheerness Dockyard. In 1834 the station was renamed again the Sheerness Station as the incoming commander in chief moved his headquarters to Sheerness Naval Base and assumed the Commander-in-Chief, Sheerness until 1899. After the dissolution of the Home Fleet in 1905, remaining ships at a lesser state of readiness were split between three reserve divisions: Nore Division plus the Devonport Division and the Portsmouth Division.[4] In 1909 the division was brought out of reserve status, and became operational as part of the 3rd and 4th Division of the Home Fleet.

In 1907 the Commander-in-Chief moved to a new Admiralty House alongside the naval barracks (HMS Pembroke) in Chatham, the Sheerness house being given over to the Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet.[5] In 1938 an underground Area Combined Headquarters was built close to Admiralty House to accommodate the Commander-in-Chief together with the local Air Officer Commanding (AOC No. 16 Group RAF, Coastal Command) and their respective staffs;[6] similar headquarters were built close to the other Royal Dockyards. During the Second World War, the Nore station assumed great importance: it was used to guard the east coast convoys supplying the ports of North Eastern England.

During the Second World War, Nore Command at Chatham included eight sub commands, each of which was usually commanded by a Flag Officer either a Rear Admiral or Vice Admiral. They included Brightlingsea station, Harwich station, Humber, London (not including the Admiralty), Lowestoft, Sheerness station, Southend and Yarmouth.[7] These sub-commands were then sub-divided into Base areas usually commanded by a Naval Officer in Charge (NOIC) or a Residential Naval Officer (RNO) these included HM Naval Bases at Boston, Burnham-on-Crouch, Felixstowe, Gravesend, Grimsby, Immingham, and Queensborough.

Between 1952 and 1961 the Commander-in-Chief, The Nore was double-hatted as Commander, Nore Sub-Area, Allied Command Channel (NATO). With the onset of the Cold War, the station and command diminished in importance as the navy decreased in size. The Nore Command was finally closed on 31 March 1961.[8] The underground headquarters went on to serve as HMS Wildfire, a Royal Naval Reserve training and communications centre, from 1964 to 1994.

In Command

Commander-in-Chief, at the Nore

Flag Captain, Nore Station

References

  1. "NORE COMMAND TRAINS FOR ROYAL TOURNAMENT. MAY 1960, ROYAL NAVAL BARRACKS, CHATHAM. FOR THE LAST TIME RATINGS FROM THE NORE COMMAND WHICH CLOSES IN APRIL 1960, TRAIN TO TAKE PART IN THE ROYAL TOURNAMENT. FIFTY RATINGS, SELECTED FROM VOLUNTEERS FROM SHIPS AND ESTABLISHMENTS IN THE NORE AND SCOTTISH COMMANDS, STARTED INTENSIVE TRAINING AT CHATHAM IN FEBRUARY". Imperial War Museums. London: Imperial War Museum. 1960. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  2. Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony (19 December 2019). "Nore Station - The Dreadnought Project". dreadnoughtproject.org. Harley and Lovell. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  3. Royal Naval events
  4. Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployments 1900-1914: January 1905-February 1907". www.naval-history.net. Graham Smith, 8 August 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  5. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Monday, 17 December 1906. Issue 38205, col D, p. 10
  6. "Subterranea Britannica: Sites:HMS Wildfire". Subbrit.org.uk. Retrieved 2018-07-08.
  7. Niehorster, Dr. Leo. "Nore Command, Royal Navy, 06.06.1944". www.niehorster.org. L. Niwhorster, 14 June 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  8. Sea Your History

Bibliography