Admiral-superintendent, Portsmouth


The Admiral-superintendent, Portsmouth[1] was the Royal Navy officer in command of the Naval Dockyard. Portsmouth from 1832 to 1971; prior to this date a resident Commissioner of the Navy Board had had oversight of the yard, since 1649. In May 1971 command responsibility for naval staff in the dockyard was merged into the wider local command structure, initially under the dual designation of Flag Officer, Portsmouth and Admiral Superintendent, Portsmouth [2][3] but in July 1971 was again renamed Flag Officer Spithead and Port Admiral Portsmouth after a couple of months. These joint titles was used until 1975, and despite the name change the command still covered the same geographic area and operational responsibilities until 1996 when its ceased to exist as a separate command appointment and its responsibilities were assumed by the staff of Flag Officer First Flotilla.

Admiral Superintendent, Portsmouth
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Ensign of the Royal Navy
Admiralty, Ministry of Defence
Reports toSecond Sea Lord
NominatorFirst Lord of the Admiralty, Second Sea Lord
AppointerFirst Lord of the Admiralty, Secretary of State for Defence
Subject to formal approval by the Queen-in-Council
Term lengthNot fixed (typically 2–4 years)
Inaugural holderRear-Admiral Frederick Lewis Maitland


From 1546 until 1832 prime responsibility for administering H.M. Royal Navy Dockyards lay with the Navy Board, and resident commissioners who were naval officers though civilian employees of the Navy Board, not sea officers [4] in charge of the day-to-day operational running of the dockyard and superintendence of its sea officer and ratings staff, following the abolition of that board its functions were merged within the Admiralty and a new post styled Admiral-superintendent was established the admiral-superintendent usually held the rank of rear-admiral though sometimes commodore and vice-admiral. His immediate subordinate was an officer known as the captain of the dockyard (or captain of the port from 1969). This followed the appointment of a (civilian) Chief Executive of the Royal Dockyards in September 1969[5] and the creation of a centralised Royal Dockyards Management Board that were responsible for the civilian functions and staff at dockyards.[6] Admiral-superintendents ceased to be appointed in the royal navy after 15 September 1971, and existing post-holders were renamed port admirals.[7] In May 1971 the post holder was given wider responsibilities and the additional title of Flag Officer, Portsmouth and along with Admiral-superintendent, Portsmouth until July 1971 when Flag Officer, Portsmouth's title was renamed Flag Officer, Spithead and Admiral-superintendent, Portsmouth became Port Admiral Portsmouth until August 1975 when the name was changed again to Flag Officer, Portsmouth and Port Admiral Portsmouth until October 1996, when it ceased to exist as a separate formation that was then absorbed into the Flag Officer First Flotilla's responsibilities, later renamed Portsmouth Flotilla.

Office HoldersEdit

H.M Dockyard Portsmouth was originally administered by an Admiral superintendent from 1832 to 1971.[8][9]

Captain of Portsmouth dockyard, and deputy superintendentEdit


  • Captain R. Nelson Ommanney, January 1900-March 1903
  • Captain George A. Callaghan, October 1903-April 1904
  • Captain Francis R. Pelly, April 1904-December 1905
  • Captain Alban G. Tate, December 1905-July 1907
  • Captain Henry Loftus Tottenham, July 1907-March 1909,
  • Captain William B. Fawckner, March 1909-February 1912
  • Captain Cyril E. Tower, February 1912-June 1916
  • Captain Edward H. Moubray, June 1916-May 1918
  • Captain Albert C. Scott, May 1918-December 1920
  • Captain Charles Tibbits, December 1920-February 1923
  • Captain Alfred H. Norman, February 1923-March 1925
  • Captain James D. Campbell, March 1925-December 1926
  • Captain Alexander R.W. Woods, December 1926-November 1928
  • Captain Reginald St. P. Parry, November 1928-January 1931
  • Captain Albert J. Robertson, January 1931-February 1933
  • Captain Edward B. Cloete, February 1933-May 1935
  • Captain William S.F. Macleod, May 1935-December 1936
  • Captain Kenneth H.L. Mackenzie, December 1936-March 1939
  • Captain Cuthbert Coppinger, March 1939-February 1941
  • Captain Irving M. Palmer, February 1941-January 1943
  • Captain Walter C. Tancred, January 1943-March 1945
  • Captain Edward F.B. Law, March 1945-March 1947
  • Captain Cecil R.L. Parry, March 1947-November 1948
  • Captain George V.M. Dolphin, November 1948-December 1950
  • Captain Peter Skelton, December 1950-October 1953
  • Captain P. Unwin, October 1953-October 1954
  • Captain John H. Unwin, October 1954-? 1955
  • Captain Archibald G. Forman, November 1955-April 1957
  • Captain Robin H. Maurice, April 1957-May 1959
  • Captain Bertie Pengelly, May 1959-May 1961
  • Captain Francis P.Baker, May 1961-May 1963
  • Captain John A. Marrack, May 1963-December 1965
  • Captain Terence L. Martin, December 1965-November 1967
  • Captain Kenneth H. Martin, November 1967-September 1968
  • Captain Philip R.G. Smith, September 1968-July 1969

Captain of the Port, Portsmouth

  • Captain Kenneth H. Martin, July 1969-May 1971
  • Captain Henry E. Howard, May 1971-? 1973
  • Captain Stanley W. Clayden, December 1973-March 1975
  • Captain John L. Ommanney, April 1975-October 1977
  • Captain John R. Grindle, October 1977-February 1979
  • Captain Peter A. Pinkster, February 1979-May 1980
  • Captain Clifford J. Caughey, May 1980-February 1982
  • Captain Anthony R. Wavish, February 1982 – 1984
  • Captain Christopher J.T. Chamberlen, July 1984 – 1987
  • Captain Richard A. Smith, 1987-November 1989

Post existed until 1994 though this is an incomplete list

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ "Royal Naval dockyard staff". The National Archives, UK, 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  2. ^ Mackie, Colin, (2017), Royal Navy Senior Appointments, Gulabin, pp. 101-102.
  3. ^ Archives, National. "Records of the Ministry of Defence Records of Administrative Departments DEFE 69, Ministry of Defence, Navy, Registered Files and Branch Folders, Flag Officer, Portsmouth". National Archives. National Archives, 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  4. ^ Archives, The National. "Royal Naval dockyard staff - The National Archives". The National Archives. the National Archives. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  5. ^ "House of Commons 15 October 1969". Hansard.
  6. ^ "House of Commons 27 July 1971". Hansard.
  7. ^ "Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historical Trust".
  8. ^ Mackie, Colin, (2017), Royal Navy Senior Appointments, Gulabin, pp. 101-102.
  9. ^ "History In Portsmouth:Admiral Superinrendents (1832-1971), transcribed from "The Illustrated History of Portsmouth" by William Gates. The Admiral Superintendent replaced the Commissioner by Order in Council dated 27 June 1832. Sir Michael Seymour becoming the first under that title by virtue of his existing tenure". The Navy Lists, 1832-1864. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  10. ^ O’Byrne, William R. (Feb 6, 2012). A Naval Biographical Dictionary - Volume 2. Andrews UK Limited. p. 712. ISBN 9781781502792.
  11. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times. No. 36862. London. 2 September 1902. p. 4.
  12. ^ Mackie, Colin, (2017), Royal Navy Senior Appointments, Gulabin, pp. 103-104.


  • Donnithorne, Christopher (2017). Naval Biographical Database. Other Data.
  • Mackie. Colin (2017). British Armed Forces from 1860. Senior Royal Navy Appointments from 1865: Gulabin.
  • The National Archives. (1567-1920). Research guides. "Royal Naval dockyard staff". the National Archives. Retrieved 21 March 2017.

External linksEdit

  • Naval Dockyards Society, UK.