Royal Naval College, Dartmouth

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Royal Naval College, Dartmouth
HMS Britannia
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
CountryFlag United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.gif United Kingdom
AllegianceBritish Empire
BranchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
In CommandCommander Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.
FirstCaptain William E. Goodenough
Current CommanderCaptain Jolyon Woodard

The Royal Naval Naval College, Dartmouth, or Britannia Royal Naval College first opened in 1905 as the senior officer training establishment for naval cadets of the Military Branch of the Royal Navy. Cadets were educated there for two years after two years at the junior training establishment, Royal Naval College, Osborne. After Osborne's closure in 1921 all early entry naval cadets were trained at Dartmouth. Officers continue to be trained there today in its guise as Britannia Royal Naval College.


Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth in 2017

The training of naval officers at Dartmouth dates from 1863, when the wooden hulk HMS Britannia was moved from Portland and moored in the River Dart to serve as a base. In 1864, after an influx of new recruits, Britannia was supplemented by HMS Hindostan. Prior to this, a Royal Naval Academy (later Royal Naval College) had operated for more than a century from 1733 to 1837 at Portsmouth, a major naval installation. The original Britannia was replaced by the Prince of Wales in 1869, which was renamed Britannia.

The foundation stone for a new building at the college was laid by King Edward VII in March 1902 Sir Aston Webb designed the shore-based college at Dartmouth, which was built by Higgs and Hill and practically completed in 1905.The first term of cadets entered at the R.N. College Osborne were transferred to Dartmouth in September 1905. The Britannia training establishment was closed at the same time. The cadets under instruction were embarked on two cruisers to complete their programme under the old system. The headquarters of the cruisers was established at Bermuda, where suitable arrangements had been made to house the cadets. The cadets entered in September under the old system, and those entered in January 1906 (the last to be so entered), were received at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, where they were instructed, as far as possible, side by side with the cadets transferred from Osborne. ”

The college was originally known as the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth (BRNC). As a Royal Naval shore establishment, it was later known also by the ship name HMS Britannia (a battleship called Britannia operated from 1904 to 1918). The college was named (ship name: HMS Dartmouth) in 1953, when the name Britannia was given to the newly launched royal yacht HMY Britannia. The training ship moored in the River Dart at Sandquay, currently the former Sandown class minehunter HMS Cromer, continues to bear the name Hindostan. Cadets originally joined the Royal Naval College, Osborne, at the age of 13 for two years' study and work before joining Dartmouth. They studied there for four years there before starting sea training at age 17. RNC Osborne closed in 1923. The entry age for the Naval College was changed to 16 in 1948, and to 17 and 6 months in 1955. Until 1941, Dartmouth was in effect a specialised boarding school, with parents paying fees for tuition and board.

During the Second World War, after six Focke-Wulf aircraft bombed the College in September 1942, students and staff moved activities to Eaton Hall in Cheshire until the autumn of 1946. Two bombs had penetrated the College's main block, causing damage to the quarterdeck and surrounding rooms. In the early 21st century, officer cadets, as they are known until passing out from the college, can join between the ages of 18 and 32. While most cadets join BRNC after finishing university, some join directly from secondary school.[9] All spend between 30 and 49 weeks at the college, depending on specialisation. A large contingent of foreign and Commonwealth students are part of the student body. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary sends its officer cadets to BRNC for an 10-week initial officer training course,[10] before they start at a maritime college. Following the closures of the Royal Naval Engineering College, Manadon, in 1994 and the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, in 1998, BRNC is the sole naval college in the United Kingdom. Slightly removed from the main buildings is Sandquay, which is below the college on the River Dart. It is primarily used for seamanship and boat handling training. Cadets are required to know that there are 187 steps from the college to Sandquay.

Entry requirements to College

To enter as an officer cadet, British entrants must have 180 or more UCAS points. Prospective cadets then proceed to the Admiralty Interview Board, where they are tested mentally and physically. Several mental aptitude tests are administered, along with a basic physical fitness test and a medical examination.

Royal Cadets

King George V and King George VI were naval cadets at Dartmouth. The first "significant encounter" between Prince Philip of Greece and the then Princess Elizabeth took place at Dartmouth in July 1939, where Philip was a naval cadet. The Prince of Wales and the Duke of York also attended Dartmouth. Prince William spent a brief period at the College after leaving Sandhurst as part of his training with all three of Britain's Armed Forces.

In Command

Aerial view of the Britannia Royal Naval College in 2019

Commander Royal Naval College, Dartmouth

  1. Captain William E. Goodenough: May 1905 – August 1907
  2. Captain Trevylyan D. W. Napier: August 1907 – July 1910
  3. Captain Hugh Evan-Thomas: July 1910 – July 1912
  4. Captain the Hon. Victor A. Stanley: July 1912 – ? 1914
  5. Rear-Admiral Trevylyan D. W. Napier: September–December 1914
  6. Captain Edmond Hyde Parker: ? 1914 – February 1915
  7. Captain Norman C. Palmer: February 1915 – May 1916
  8. Rear-Admiral William G. E. Ruck Keene: May 1916 – January 1919
  9. Captain Eustace la T. Leatham: February 1919 – February 1921
  10. Captain Francis A. Marten: February 1921 – January 1923
  11. Captain the Hon. Herbert Meade: January 1923 – February 1926
  12. Captain Martin E. Dunbar-Nasmith: February 1926 – February 1929
  13. Captain Sidney J. Meyrick: February 1929 – December 1931
  14. Captain Norman A. Wodehouse: December 1931 – December 1934
  15. Captain Reginald V. Holt: December 1934 – December 1936
  16. Captain Frederick H. G. Dalrymple-Hamilton: December 1936 – November 1939
  17. Captain Robert L. B. Cunliffe: December 1939 – April 1942
  18. Captain Edward A. Aylmer: April 1942 – December 1943
  19. Captain Gerald H. Warner: December 1943–?
  20. Captain Peveril B. R. W. William-Powlett: January 1946 – February 1948
  21. Captain Hugh W. Faulkner: February 1948 – August 1949
  22. Captain Norman V. Dickinson: August 1949 – April 1951
  23. Captain Richard T. White: April 1951 – August 1953
  24. Captain William G. Crawford: August 1953 – April 1956
  25. Captain William J. Munn: April 1956 – August 1958
  26. Captain Frank H. E. Hopkins: August 1958 – August 1960
  27. Captain Horace R. Law: August 1960 – December 1961
  28. Captain W. John Parker: December 1961 – September 1963
  29. Captain John E. L. Martin: September 1963 – August 1966
  30. Captain Ian W. Jamieson: August 1966 – April 1968
  31. Captain David Williams: April 1968 – September 1970
  32. Captain A. Gordon Tait: September 1970 – August 1972
  33. Captain John M. Forbes: August 1972 – September 1974
  34. Captain Michael A. Higgs: September 1974 – September 1976
  35. Captain Paul W. Greening: September 1976 – October 1978
  36. Captain Nicholas J. S. Hunt: October 1978 – June 1980
  37. Captain J. Julian R. Oswald: June 1980 – June 1982
  38. Captain Timothy M. Bevan: June 1982 – September 1984
  39. Captain George M. Tullis: September 1984 – 1987
  40. Captain John R. Brigstocke: 1987–89
  41. Captain J. Robert Shiffner: 1989–91
  42. Captain Richard G. Hastilow: 1991–93
  43. Captain Simon Moore: 1993–95
  44. Captain Anthony P. Masterton-Smith: 1995 – January 1998
  45. Commodore Roy A. G. Clare: January 1998 – 1999
  46. Commodore Mark W. G. Kerr: 1999–2002
  47. Commodore C. Anthony Johnstone-Burt: 2002–04
  48. Commodore Richard J. Ibbotson: 2004–05
  49. Commodore Timothy Harris: 2005 – April 2007
  50. Commodore Martin B. Alabaster: April 2007 – September 2008
  51. Commodore Jake K. Moores: September 2008 – March 2011
  52. Commodore Simon P. Williams: March 2011 – September 2012
  53. Captain Jerry Kyd: September 2012 – February 2014
  54. Captain Henry Duffy: February 2014 – September 2016
  55. Captain Jolyon Woodard: September 2016-present