South East Coast of America Station

From Naval History Archive
Jump to navigationJump to search
South East Coast of America Station
HMS Pursuivant (1914)
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Active1846-1905, 1913-1919
CountryFlag United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.gif United Kingdom
BranchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Part ofAdmiralty
HQ and RN BasePort Stanley, Falkland Islands
EngagementsBattle of the Falkland Islands (1914) Battle of Coronel (1914)
FirstCommodore Thomas Herbert

The South East Coast of America Station later called the East Coast of South America Station was a major command of the British Royal Navy created in 1846 as one of the geographical divisions into which the Royal Navy administered its worldwide responsibilities. It was defined so by the Department of Admiralty to identify the area jurisdiction of the office holders Commander-in-Chief, South East Coast of America Station, It replaced the earlier Brazil Station and existed from 1846 to 1905 and again from 1913 to 1919.

For command purposes the Royal Navy was divided into a number of major or local stations, fleets or or other formations, each normally under an admiral or senior officer.[1]


The station was created in 1846 following a renaming of the earlier Brazil Station that was set up in order to combat the slave trade in Brazil. In the mid-1840s Rear Admiral Samuel Inglefield took decisive action to keep the Paraná River open so ensuring continuity of trade during the Uruguayan Civil War.

The station suffered significant ship reductions between 1869 and 1874. From 1870 it was commanded by a captain, designated the "senior officer", and comprised just three gunboats although it had responsibility for the Western Atlantic from Brazil South. The squadron's only permanent base was a coaling station at Port Stanley on the Falkland Islands. It was disbanded altogether in 1905.

On 23 January 1913 the Admiralty ordered the new cruiser H.M.S. Glasgow (1909) to the South Atlantic to re establish the old naval station.[2] In September 1914 Rear-Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock was ordered south to re-establish the station on October 1914 in the face of the German threat at the start of the First World War. His squadron was destroyed at the Battle of Coronel on 1 November 1914.

The command existed until 9 March 1919 when it was renamed back to the former South America Station.[3]

In Command

Commander-in-Chief, South East Coast of America Station (1847-1904)

Senior Naval Officer South East Coast of America (1913-1914)

  1. Captain John Luce, 23 January 1913 - October, 1914.[4]

Commander-in-Chief, South East Coast of America Station (1914)

Senior Naval Officer on the East Coast of South America (1916-1917)

  1. Commodore 2nd Class John Luce, 1 January, 1916 – 11 January, 1917.[5]

Commodore, East Coast of South America (1917-1919)

  1. Commodore 2nd Class Aubrey Clare Hugh Smith, 31 December, 1917 - 9 March 1919.[6]


At various times it encompassed naval formations and other ships not attached to other fleets. In addition to shore establishments including, barracks, dockyards, depots, hospitals, refitting and re-supply bases, naval bases or victualling yards. Those components that were part of this station are shown below.


Unit From To Ref
4th Cruiser Squadron September 1914 November 1914

Naval Shore Establishments

Unit From To Ref
Falkland Islands
Port Stanley


  1. "Records of Stations and Fleets". Kew, Surrey, England.: National Archives UK. 1702–1969. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  2. Brown, David (1987). The Royal Navy and Falklands War. Barnsley: Pen and Sword. pp. 31–34. ISBN 978-0-85052-059-0.
  3. Brown. pp.31-34.
  4. Brown. pp.31-34.
  5. Brown. pp.31-34.
  6. Government, H.M. (1919). "Supplement to the London Gazette 31 July 1919" (PDF). The London Gazette. p. 9832. Retrieved 10 October 2020.