Royal Naval Coaling Station

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Royal Naval Coaling Station
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Atlantic Ocean
Home Waters
Mediterranean Sea
Indian Ocean
Pacific Ocean
TypeRefuelling Station
Site information
OperatorRoyal Navy
Royal Australian Navy
Royal Canadian Navy
Royal Indian Navy
Royal New Zealand Navy
Controlled byBoard of Admiralty
(1832-1964)
Site history
In use1870-1914

Royal Naval Coaling Stations were repositories of coal fuel that were located to service naval vessels and also a place for coal storage. Following the end of the era of sailing ships and the introduction of steam powered vessels fueled by coal they were established in 1870 and ceased to be used by 1914 when coal was replaced by oil at which point these stations became known as Royal Naval Fuelling Stations.

History

Initially named a coaling station due to the use of coal for steam generation a fuelling station was built for the purpose of replenishing coal supplies for ships or railway locomotives. The term is often associated with 19th and early 20th century seaports associated with blue water navies, who used coaling stations as a means of extending the range of warships. In the late 19th century steamships powered by coal began to replace sailing ships as the principal means of propulsion for ocean transport. Fueling stations transitioned to oil as boilers moved from being coal-fired to oil- or hybrid oil-and-coal-firing, coal being completely replaced as steam engines gave way to internal combustion[1] and gas turbine power plants.

The supply of coal from coal producers was originally arranged and supervised by the Storekeeper General of the Navy, but this was later transferred to the Director of Naval Contracts after the Admiralty reforms under Hugh Childers from 1868 to 1896 In 1896, responsibility for coal purchases came under the auspices of the Superintendent of Contracts as part of the new Contract and Purchase Department.[2] Throughout the period 1870−1914, Welsh coal was widely accepted as the best steam-coal in the world and, as a result, it dominated Royal Navy supplies. Production and supply to the navy peaked at 1,200,000 tons per annum in 1914.[3]

Location of Major Coaling Stations

Map of Royal Naval Coaling Stations Worldwide in 1914.
Lithograph of Coaling of Warships at Portsmouth Dockyard by Charles John de Lacy c. 1898

Home Waters British Isles

Atlantic Ocean

Included:[4]

  1. Ascension Coaling Station — South Atlantic
  2. Bermuda Coaling Station — Western Atlantic
  3. Halifax Coaling Station — Western Atlantic
  4. Jamaica Coaling Station — Caribbean
  5. Simons Bay Coaling Station — South Atlantic
  6. St Helena Coaling Station — South Atlantic
  7. St Johns Coaling Station — Western Atlantic
  8. St Lucia Coaling Station — Caribbean

Indian Ocean

Included:[5]

  1. Aden Coaling Station — Western Indian Ocean
  2. Bombay Coaling Station — Central Indian Ocean
  3. King George Sound Coaling Station — Eastern Indian Ocean
  4. Mauritius Coaling Station - Southern Indian Ocean
  5. Singapore Coaling Station — Eastern Indian Ocean
  6. Trincomalee Coaling Station — Central Indian Ocean

Mediterranean Sea

Included:[6]

  1. Gibraltar Coaling Station — Western Mediterranean
  2. Malta Coaling Station — Central Mediterranean
  3. Port Said Coaling Station — Eastern Mediterranean

Pacific Ocean

Included:[7]

  1. Esquimalt Coaling Station — Eastern Pacific
  2. Melbourne Coaling Station — Western Pacific
  3. Newcastle Coaling Station — Western Pacific
  4. Sydney Coaling Station — Western Pacific
  5. Wellington Coaling Station — Western Pacific

Location of other coaling stations

Atlantic Ocean

Included:[8]

  1. Ascension Coaling Station — South Atlantic
  2. Cape Town Coaling Station — South Atlantic
  3. Falkland Islands Coaling Station — South Atlantic

Great Lakes

Included:[9]

  1. Fort William Coaling Station — Lake Superior
  2. Kingston Coaling Station — Lake Ontario
  3. Quebec Coaling Station — Lake Ontario

Indian Ocean

Included:[10]

  1. Cocos Islands Coaling Station — Southern Indian Ocean
  2. Colombo Coaling Station — Central Indian Ocean
  3. Diego Garcia Coaling Station — Southern Indian Ocean
  4. Penang Coaling Station — Eastern Indian Ocean

Pacific Ocean

Included:[11]

  1. Labuan Coaling Station — Western Pacific.
  2. Yokohama Coaling Station — Western Pacific.
  3. Wei Hai Wei Coaling Station — Western Pacific.

Footnotes

  1. Encyclopedia Britannica, Fourteenth Edition, Volume Pg 899, 1938
  2. Gray, Steven. (March 2014). Black Diamonds: Coal, the Royal Navy, and British Imperial Coaling Stations, circa 1870−1914, a Thesis submitted for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in History. University of Warwick. Warwick, England. p.169.
  3. Gray. p.156.
  4. Gray. pp.15-20.
  5. Gray. pp.15-20.
  6. Gray. pp.15-20.
  7. Gray. pp.15-20.
  8. Gray. pp.15-20.
  9. Gray. pp.15-20.
  10. Gray. pp.15-20.
  11. Gray. pp.15-20.

Bibliography

  1. Gray, Steven. (March 2014). Black Diamonds: Coal, the Royal Navy, and British Imperial Coaling Stations, circa 1870−1914, a Thesis submitted for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in History. University of Warwick. Warwick, England.