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AllegianceFlag United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.gif United Kingdom
BranchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
TypeNaval Base
Garrison/HQRN Base, Rye, East Sussex, England

Rye was a naval base and command of the Royal Navy as one of the geographical divisions into which the Royal Navy divided its worldwide responsibilities.


Rye was to become a limb of the Cinque Ports Confederation by 1189, and subsequently a full member. The protection of the town as one of the Cinque Ports was very important, due to the commerce that trading brought. Rye was considered one of the finest of the Cinque Ports, though constant work had to be done to stop the gradual silting up of the river and the harbour. With the coming of bigger ships and larger deepwater ports, Rye's economy began to decline, and fishing and particularly smuggling (including owling, the smuggling of wool) became more important.

During the 1803–1805 Napoleonic invasion threat, Rye, Dover, and Chatham were regarded as the three most likely invasion ports, and Rye became the western command centre for the Royal Military Canal. The canal was planned from Pett Level to Hythe, but was not completed until long after the threat had passed. In May 1940, during the darkest days of World War II, the Rye fishing fleet was invited to participate in Operation Dynamo, the seaborne rescue of the stranded British Expeditionary Force at Dunkirk, but refused to do so.

In Command

Royal Naval Officer, Rye (1942-45)

  1. Commander Harry William Cuthbert Hughes, 24 November, 1942 – 1 June, 1945.