Transport Branch

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Transport Branch
Flag of the Transport Board and Transport Branch Royal Navy (1794-1832).png
Flag of the Transport Board and later Transport Branch in 1832 used for illustrative purposes
Branch overview
Superseding department
JurisdictionUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch executive
  • Superintendent of Transports
Parent BranchNavy Office

The Transport Branch was created by the Navy Board in 1817 and its headquarters was located at the Navy Office. The branch responsible for the transport of supplies and military under the superintendence of the Navy Board. The Branch was controlled and directed by a Superintendent of Transports who was not appointed to the Navy Board as one of its principal officers until 1829.[1] It existed until 1832 when the Navy Board was abolished and its former responsibilities were assumed by the Board of Admiralty.


In 1794 the Transport Office was reestablished Transport Board it was one of five offices — Navy Office, Navy Pay Office, Sick and Hurt Office Victualling Office, that provided logistical support to the Royal Navy. In 1817, the Transport Office was abolished and its duties being divided between the Navy Office, which set up its own Transport Branch, and the Victualling Office, that took over the duties of the medical commissioner set up its own Transport Service. When the Navy and Victualling Boards were abolished in 1832 transport duties were assigned to the Department of the Comptroller of Victualling and Transport Services. Then in 1861 a select Committee of the House of Commons that contained both Navy and Army officers, recommended unanimously the formation of a separate and distinct Transport Office under the sole control of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty "To carry out transport of every kind required by our government to any part of our coast and to all our colonies and possessions, including India". In 1862 the responsibility for the provision of transportation was divided and a separate Director of Transports appointed who headed a new Department of the Director of Transports.

Head of Branch

Superintendent of Transports

  1. Rear-Admiral the Hon. Courtenay Boyle, 4 May, 1829 - 1 March, 1831.[2]

Transport Service

The Transport Service role, was responsible for “the hiring and appropriating of Ships and Vessels for the conveyance of Troops and Baggage, Victualling, Ordnance, Barrack, Commissariat, Naval and Military Stores of all kinds. It employed transport agents who represented the first quasi-professional specialisation among commissioned officers. The transport agents were uniformed Navy officers under the employ of the Transport Branch.


  1. Collinge, J.M. (1978). "Principal officers and commissioners | British History Online". University of London. pp. 18–25. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  2. Collinge, J.M. (1978). "Alphabetical list of officials: A-J British History Online". University of London. pp. 81–116. Retrieved 22 September 2019.


  1. 'Alphabetical list of officials: A-J', in Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 7, Navy Board Officials 1660-1832, ed. J M Collinge (London, 1978), pp. 81-116. British History Online [accessed 22 September 2019].
  2. "Principal officers and commissioners," in Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 7, Navy Board Officials 1660-1832, ed. J M Collinge (London: University of London, 1978), 18-25. British History Online, accessed September 22, 2019,