Royal Naval College, Osborne

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Royal Naval College, Osborne
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 CommandCaptain of Royal Naval College, Osborne.
FirstCaptain Rosslyn E. Wemyss
LastCommander Charles F. R. Cowan

The Royal Naval College, Osborne, was located in the grounds of Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, served as the junior training establishment for the training of naval cadets of the Military Branch of the Royal Navy from 1903 to 1921.[1] Cadets spent two years under study there before transferring for two years' further study at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.[1] The Service Records of Royal Navy personnel educated under this new scheme bear the unromantic entry of "Training Establishment" in lieu of their predecessors, whose records indicate appoints to Britannia, training ship.[1]


Under the Selborne Scheme of officer education in the Royal Navy, it was decided to that the first two years, or six terms, of training would take place at a location other than the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, which at any rate would not be ready until 1905.[1] Accordingly, on 4 August, 1903 the college at Osborne was opened by King Edward on a site of sixty acres surrounding his former Osborne House estate on the Isle of Wight with the first entry of seventy-five cadets of 278 who'd been interviewed by the Committee.[1] In the Navy Estimates for 1914-1915, it was estimated that the average number of Naval Cadets in the college that year would be 468, and increase on 446 the year before.[1] The number of staff budgeted for was 341, from the Captain down to civilian servants for the Naval Cadets.[1] During the war, the naval staff were comprised mostly of retired officers. Fees at the Royal Naval College were £75 per annum, not including pocket money, travelling expenses or the cost of clothing. For sons of Army and Navy officers and civil officers under the Board of Admiralty in straitened circumstances the fee could be reduced to £40 per annum after considering the merits of the case. However, of the 588 cadets who had entered Osborne up to and including January, 1906, only 33 cadets had been entered at the reduced rate.[1] The college formally closed on 20 May, 1921.[1]

In Command

Captain of Royal Naval College, Osborne

Dates of appointment given:[1]

  1. Captain Rosslyn E. Wemyss, 1 August, 1903 – 1 September, 1905
  2. Captain Edwyn S. Alexander-Sinclair, 1 May, 1905
  3. Captain Arthur H. Christian, 16 July, 1908 – 5 October, 1910
  4. Captain The Hon. Horace L. A. Hood, 5 October, 1910 – 16 January, 1913
  5. Captain Rudolf W. Bentinck, 16 January, 1913 – 31 July, 1914
  6. Captain Herbert E. Holmes-à-Court, 1 August, 1914
  7. Captain Henry F. G. Talbot, 15 December, 1918 – 5 May, 1920
  8. Captain Francis A. Marten, 5 May, 1920 – 1 February, 1921
  9. Captain Charles W. R. Royds, 2 February, 1921 – 3 May, 1921
  10. Commander Charles F. R. Cowan, 3 May, 1921 – 20 May, 1921


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony (20 December 2019). "Royal Naval College, Osborne - The Dreadnought Project". Harley and Lovell. Retrieved 1 July 2020.


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