Port Admiral, Chatham

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Office of the Port Admiral, H.M. Naval Base, Chatham
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Ensign of the Royal Navy
Department of Admiralty, Navy Department
Reports toCommander-in-Chief, Naval Home Command
AppointerSecretary of State for Defence
Subject to formal approval by the Queen-in-Council
Term lengthNot fixed
Inaugural holderRear-Admiral Frederick C.W. Lawson

The Port Admiral, Chatham was a senior Royal Navy appointment first created on 5 September 1971, when all remaining flag officers in the Royal Navy holding dual positions of Admiral-Superintendents at Royal Dockyards were re-designated as Port Admirals. The office holder was responsible for the command and control of Chatham Naval Base. This office was abolished in 1983.


On 7 March 1960 following a House of Commons debate that discussed changes within the command organisation of the Royal Navy during peace time, the existing naval officer Admiral-Superintendent Chatham was to be given additional responsibilities as a local area commander with an additional title, that of Flag Officer Medway,[1] this was enacted in February 1961 following the appointment of Rear-Admiral I.William T. Beloe who was now holding both titles. On 14 October 1968 announcements were made again in the House Commons concerning the Ministry of Defence, that the naval shore command organisation was to be centralised under a single Admiral called the Commander-in-Chief, Naval Home Command, He assumed responsibility for the former offices of Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth and Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth, and their former posts were to be regraded as area flag officers under new names subordinate to him.[2] On 5 September 1971, the Flag Officer Medway who was holding the additional title of Admiral-Superintendent Chatham was re-designated as Port Admiral, Chatham.[3] This office of Port Admiral Chatham continued until the appointment Rear-Admiral William A. Higgins in August 1982 as the last post holder when this office was abolished in 1983.

Office Holders

  1. Rear-Admiral Frederick C.W. Lawson: September 1971 – November 1971 [4]
  2. Rear-Admiral Colin C.H. Dunlop: November 1971 – January 1974 [5]
  3. Rear-Admiral Stephen F. Berthon: January 1974 – July 1976
  4. Rear-Admiral Christopher M. Bevan: July 1976 – August 1978 [6]
  5. Rear-Admiral Charles B. Williams: August 1978 – August 1980
  6. Rear-Admiral George M.K. Brewer: August 1980 – August 1982
  7. Rear-Admiral William A. Higgins: August 1982 – 1983 [7]


  1. Commons, Great Britain Parliament House of (1959). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard).: House of Commons official report. London: H.M. Stationery Office. p. 192.
  2. Paxton, J. (2016). The Statesman's Year-Book 1990-91. Berlin: Springer. p. 1315. ISBN 9780230271197.
  3. "Dockyard Timeline: 1971 – Admiral Superintendents become Port Admirals". Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historical Trust. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  4. Obituary (30 March 2010). "Rear-Admiral Derick Lawson". Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  5. Obituary (29 March 2009). "Rear-Admiral Colin Dunlop". Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  6. "Person Page". www.thepeerage.com. The Peerage, 8 February 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  7. Obituary (6 February 2007). "Rear-Admiral Bill Higgins". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 February 2018.