Western Approaches Station

From Naval History Archive
Jump to navigationJump to search
Western Approaches Station
HMS Colleen
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
Garrison/HQQueenstown, later renamed Cobh, Cork, Ireland

The Western Approaches Station [1] was an operational command of the Royal Navy headquartered at Cork, Ireland during interwar period. The command was responsible for the safety of British shipping in the Western Approaches.


In 1919 the Coast of Ireland Station was renamed the Western Approaches Station at the same time the title of the commanding flag officer Commander-in-Chief, on the Coast of Ireland was altered to Commander-in-Chief, Western Approaches. The Western Approaches Station remained active until 1922 when it was deactivated following Irish independence and the formation of the Irish Free State.[2][3] On the outbreak of world war two in September 1939 a new Western Approaches Command was reestablished at Plymouth, England. In February, 1941 it moved to Liverpool, England until August 1945.

Naval HQ

Commander-in-Chief, Western Approaches

Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief, Western Approaches

The Chief of Staff was responsible for executing the Commanders primary role; the planning and execution of operations. They are also responsible for the coordination, prioritisation and coherence of all staff effort with the Naval HQ.


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.[5]

Naval Units

# Unit Date Ref
1 Light Cruiser 1922 [1]
4 Torpedo Boat Destroyers 1922 [1]
2 Sloops 1922 [1]
7 Trawlers 1922 [1]
2 Drifters 1922 [1]
4 Harbour Launches 1922 [1]

Naval Sub Commands

Unit From To Ref
Berehaven August, 1920 October, 1921 [6]
Buncrana July, 1919 December, 1919 [7]
Galway October, 1919 October, 1921 [8]
Irish Sea Area December, 1919 1922 [9]
Kingstown Area ditto ditto [10]
Buncrana Area ditto ditto [11]

Shore Establishments

Unit From To Ref
Pembroke Dockyard 1921 1922 [12]
Haulbowline Dockyard 1919 1921 [13]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Commons, House of (22 February 1922). "COMMANDERS-IN-CHIEF (HOME STATIONS). Vol 150 cc1878-80". api.parliament.uk. Hansard. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  2. "The Royal Navy in Cork Ireland". web.archive.org. Shipwrecks of Cork. 2 August 2018. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  3. Naval Command Changes (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Thursday, 27 March, 1919. Issue 42059, col F, p. 13.
  4. Admiralty, British. (December 1920). The Navy List. Flag Officers in Commission. H.M.S.O. London. England. p.694.
  5. The Navy List. (Dec 1920). p.694.
  6. The Navy List. (Oct 1921). pp.695=696.
  7. The Navy List. (Dec 1920). p.694.
  8. The Navy List. (Oct 1921). pp.695=696.
  9. The Navy List. (Dec 1920). p.694.
  10. The Navy List. (Dec 1920). p.694.
  11. The Navy List. (Dec 1920). p.694.
  12. The Navy List. (Oct 1921). pp.69-696.
  13. The Navy List. (Dec 1920). p.694.