Press Division

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Press Section (1937-40)
Press Division (1940-42)
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
CountryUnited Kingdom
AllegianceBritish Empire
BranchRoyal Navy
Part ofAdmiralty Naval Staff
London, Great Britain

The Press Division and previously known as the Press Section, was a staff division of the Admiralty Naval Staff established during World War Two (1940-1942) before being abolished.[1] The staff division was administered by the Director of Press Division


Media and publicity within the Royal Navy leading up to world war two was handled by a specific Press Section as part of the Naval Intelligence Division. It was set up in 1937 and was administered by a single staff officer Commander, C. H. A Brooking.[2]. However, as it was a part of the intelligence organisation who failed to see the advantages of promotion of the naval service and in fact was dubbed the 'silent service'.[3] The First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill however was of the view that in order to influence American opinion and thus entice the Americans into the war to help Britain's cause he authorised the setting up of a specific press division to promote the navy's achievements in January 1940 [4] it was in operation until 1942 before being was disbanded. In 1945 the Admiralty set up a new Department Naval Information in order to handle the dissemination of naval information to the press and media it was headed by the Chief of Naval Information.[5][6]

The division was initially under the Vice-Chief of Naval Staff in regard to policy and supervised by the Chief of Naval Staff.

In Command

Director of Press Section (1937-1939)

  1. Commander, C. H. A. Brooking, 23 February, 1937 – 31 December, 1939.[7]

Director of Press Division (1940-1942)

  1. Captain C. H. A. Brooking, 1 January, 1940 – 1942.[8]


  1. Donnithorne, Christopher. "Naval Biographical Database: Naval Staff". C. Donnithorne. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  2. MacKenzie, S. P. (2001). BRITISH WAR FILMS, 1939 - 45. London, England: A&C Black. p. 3. ISBN 9781852852580.
  3. MacKenzie p.3.
  4. MacKenzie p.3.
  5. MacKenzie p.71.
  6. Admiralty, Great Britain (July 1946). "Admiralty". Navy List. London, England: HM Stationery Office. p. 1775.
  7. Admiralty, Great Britain, (June 1939). The Navy List. Divisions of the Naval Staff. Naval Intelligence Division. H.M.S.O. London. p.530.
  8. Admiralty, Great Britain, (June 1940). The Navy List. Admiralty. H.M.S.O. London. p.647.