Admiral Commanding, Orkneys and Shetlands

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Orkneys and Shetlands Command
Active(1914-1920), (1939-1945)
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Navy
TypeFleet
Garrison/HQLyness

The Admiral Commanding, Orkneys and Shetlands [1] was an operational commander of the Royal Navy. His subordinate units, establishments, and staff were sometimes informally known as the Orkneys and Shetlands Command; they were charged with the administration of the Orkney and Shetland Islands and operating and defending the fleet base at Scapa Flow that was the main anchorage for both the Home Fleet and Grand Fleet at various times.

History[edit]

The Orkney and Shetland command was usually only formed at the outbreak of war to provide for the defence and administration of the main base for the Home Fleet. The duties of the Admiral Commanding were laid down as being responsible, under the orders of the Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet, for administration of naval defences, naval establishments, and shore duties generally in the Orkneys and Shetlands.

During the First World War and the Second World War the Rear-Admiral, Scapa Flow served under him, with a position similar to that of an Admiral Superintendent of a dockyard port. Directly under his orders were the Northern Patrol, Shetlands Patrols, the Officer Commanding Troops Orkney, the Officer Commanding Troops Shetlands, the Admiralty Port Officer Kirkwall, the Rear-Admiral commanding the local minefields and the officers responsible for the extended defences, the local defence flotilla and the Orkney Trawler Patrols.[2] He was responsible for the patrolling of the area from Wick to Cape Wrath.[3]

During the Second World War the Rear-Admiral, Scapa Flow continued to serve under him.

Admiral Commanding First World War[edit]

Flag Officer commanding:[4]

Rank Flag Name Term
Admiral Commanding Orkneys and Shetland
1 Admiral Flag of Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Sir Stanley Cecil James Colville 7 September 1914 – 19 January 1916
2 Admiral Flag of Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Sir Frederic Edward Errington Brock 20 January 1916 – 11 March 1918
3 Admiral Flag of Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Sir Herbert E. King-Hall 28 January 1918 – 1 March 1919
4 Vice-Admiral Flag of Vice-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Sir Robert John Prendergast 1 March 1919 – 9 January 1920

Subordinate commanders First World War[edit]

Flag officer commanding:[5] The role was similar to that of Admiral Superintendent of a dockyard port

Flag Officer Scapa Flow/Rear Admiral Scapa[edit]

Rank Flag Name Term
Flag Officer Scapa Flow/Rear Admiral Scapa
1 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Francis Miller September 1914 – April, 1916 January 1916
2 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Robert Prendergast May 1916 – September 1917 1918

Flag Officer Shetlands[edit]

Rank Flag Name Term
Flag Officer Shetlands
1 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Rear Admiral Clement Greatorex October 1917

The Command was deactivated during interwar years 9 January 1920 – September 1939

Admiral Commanding Second World War[edit]

Flag officer commanding

Rank Flag Name Term
Admiral Commanding Orkneys and Shetland
1 Vice-Admiral Flag of Vice-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Sir Wilfred Franklin French July 1939 – 20 December 1939 [6]
2 Vice-Admiral Flag of Vice-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Sir Hugh Binney 20 December 1939 – 7 January 1942
3 Vice-Admiral Flag of Vice-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Sir Lionel Wells 7 January - October 1943
4 Vice-Admiral Flag of Vice-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Sir Henry Harwood April 1944 - March 1945

Subordinate commanders Second World War[edit]

Flag Officer, Scapa Flow/Rear-Admiral Scapa[edit]

Flag officer commanding [7]

Rank Flag Name Term
Flag Officer Scapa Flow/Rear Admiral Scapa
1 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Patrick Macnamara (rtd.) 1 September 1940 - March 1945

Admiral-superintendent Lyness[edit]

Rank Flag Name Term
Admiral Superintendent Lyness[8]
1 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Patrick Macnamara (rtd.) 3 October 1940 - March 1945

Admiral-superintendent Orkney[edit]

Rank Flag Name Term
Admiral Superintendent Orkney
1 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Patrick Macnamara (rtd.) 1 May 1942 - March 1945

Orkneys and Shetland Command[edit]

The Orkneys and Shetlands Command was formed at the outbreak World War One to establish and maintain the Grand Fleet's principal base at Scapa Flow.[9][10][11]

Shore units[edit]

Included:[12]

Unit Date Notes
HMS Fox (shore establishment) Lerwick Naval Base
HMS Pyramus (shore establishment) Kirkwall Naval Base

Naval units[edit]

Included:[13]

Unit Date Notes
5th Minesweeper Flotilla 04/1942-02/1944
6th Minesweeper Flotilla 07/1941-12/1942
21st Minesweeper Flotilla 1918
Northern Patrol 1914-1918, 1939-1945 Operating within the Orkneys & Shetland Command under VAdm Comm NP
Scapa Local Defence Flotilla 1914-1918

References[edit]

  1. ^ Haarr, Geirr H. (2013). The Gathering Storm: The Naval War in Northern Europe September 1939 - April 1940. Seaforth Publishing. p. 160. ISBN 9781473832732.
  2. ^ Grand Fleet Order 107.
  3. ^ Grand Fleet Order 136.
  4. ^ Watson, Graham. "Organisation of the Royal Navy 1914 to 1918, The Home Commands World War One". naval-history.net. Naval History.Net, 27 October 2015. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  5. ^ Watson, Graham. "Organisation of the Royal Navy 1914 to 1918, The Home Commands World War One". naval-history.net. Naval History.Net, 27 October 2015. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  6. ^ Haarr, Geirr H. (2013). The Gathering Storm: The Naval War in Northern Europe September 1939 - April 1940. Seaforth Publishing. pp. 2–16. ISBN 9781473832732.
  7. ^ "Patrick Macnamara Life and Career Post War". dreadnoughtproject.org. The Dreadnought Project.Org, 13 June 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Admiral Superintendent's Office, Lyness". nationalarchives.gov.uk. The National Archives. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  9. ^ Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployment, Inter-War Years 1919-1939". www.naval-history.net. Gordon Smith, 2 September 2015. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  10. ^ Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organisation in World War 2, 1939-1945". www.naval-history.net. Gordon Smith, 19 September 2015. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  11. ^ Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployment, Inter-War Years 1914-1918". www.naval-history.net. Gordon Smith, 27 October 2015. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  12. ^ Watson. 2015
  13. ^ Watson. 2015

Attribution[edit]

Primary source for this article is by Harley, Simon and Lovell Tony, Admiral. (2015), Commanding, Orkneys and Shetlands, http://www.dreadnoughtproject.org

External links[edit]