1748 Rear-Adm Charles Knowles (Cornwall) fought Vice-Adm Don Andres Reggio (Africa) 12 miles N.E. of Havana. Ships: Tilbury, Strafford, Cornwall, Lenox, Warwick, Canterbury, Oxford.
Knowles failed to benefit from intelligence brought by Holmes, and engaged with only four of his squadron. Hence he was severely handled, and although he took Conquistador, and Africa was burned by her own people, he was tried and reprimanded.
1807 Windsor Castle packet captured the French privateer Jeune Richard 100 miles N.E. by E. of Barbados.
1841 Second capture of Tinghai, the principal town of Chusan in the First Opium War with China, by Rear-Adm Sir William Parker (Wellesley) and Lt-Gen Sir Hugh Gough. Ships: Wellesley, Blenheim, Blonde, Modeste, Cruizer, Columbine, Bentinck, Sesostris (IN), Phlegethon, Nemesis, Queen (Ben. Marine): Jupiter and Rattlesnake troopships. Troops: Royal Artillery, 18th, 49th and 55th Regiments, Madras Artillery, Madras Sappers and Miners, 36th Madras Native Infantry (rifle company). Seamen and marines were landed.
1849 Columbine and Fury, with a party from Hastings, destroyed twenty-six junks and the pirate stronghold in Tai Pang harbour, Bias Bay.
1858 Pearl’s Naval Brigade at Amorha (fourth action), with detachments of 13th Light Infantry, 6th Madras Light Cavalry, 27th Madras Native Infantry and Sikh Police Force.
1860 Metropolitan Police from the 2nd Division took over security duties at Portsmouth Dockyard. Establishment: 1 superintendent, 5 inspectors, 26 sergeants and 141 PCs.
1869 Closure of the Steam Yard at Woolwich which had taken over from that at Deptford in 1827.
One of the eight dress styles for officers in the 1891 uniform regulations. They ranged from No. 1 ‘Full Dress’ for the most formal occasions to No. 8 ‘White Undress’ for hot climates. (RNM Lib.)
1900 Electrical Department of dockyards instituted.
1907 Ranks of First and Second Class Petty Officer abolished, the latter becoming Leading Seamen.
1912 The Naval Society formed ‘to promote the advancement and spreading within the Service of knowledge relevant to the higher aspects of the naval profession’. The Society’s quarterly, The Naval Review, remains the authoratative medium of debate on professional matters within the Royal Navy. (www.naval-review.org).
1917 First flight from platform on gun turret: Sqn Cdr Rutland in a Sopwith Pum from 8 turret, battlecruiser Repulse.
1918 Allied net barrage established across Otranto Strait.
1919 WRNS disbanded.
1920 Greenfly, river gunboat, captured by insurgents in Mesopotamia.
1920 First fortnightly payment.
1923 Vernon established ashore, on the old Gunwharf at Portsmouth.
The torpedo school HMS Vernon before being moved ashore in 1923. The ships are the Marlborough (1855), the Warrior (1860) and the Donegal (1858). (RNM)
1931 Boy Servants became Boy Stewards.
1931 All pay to have been reduced to 1925 scales on recommendation of May Committee.
1941 The titles Royal New Zealand Navy and the designation His Majesty’s New Zealand Ships granted to the New Zealand Naval Forces by King George VI. The Royal New Zealand Navy Order 1941 (Order in Council) was signed by the Governor General at Government House, Wellington, 1 October 1941; but AFO 4110/41 dated 25 September 1941 appears to have pre-empted this.
1943 1770 Squadron FAA formed at RNAS Yeovilton with first Fairey Firefly aircraft.
1946 Reconstitution of RNVR.
1946 Demetrius, Supply and Secretariat School at Wetherby, renamed Ceres.
1954 Official naval battle honours for ships and FAA squadrons promulgated in Admiralty Fleet Order 2565/54. The earliest action recognised is Armada 1588.
‘The award of Battle Honours to Her Majesty’s ships is intended to foster esprit de corps among their officers and ships’ companies, who are thereby encouraged to take a personal interest in the war-time exploits not only of their present ship but also of those of the same name which distinguished themselves in the past . . . .
A battle honour will be awarded for those actions which resulted in the defeat of the enemy, or when the action was inconclusive but well fought and in exceptional cases where outstanding efforts were made against overwhelming odds. A Battle Honour will not be awarded for a British defeat, or when the action was inconclusive and badly fought.’
1954 Fair ledger replaced by S.50 ledger sheet, and the rough (S41a) became the working ledger.
1958 Ship Department formed by merger of DNC, E-in-C and DEE departments.
1966 Royal Marines Forces Volunteer Reserve (RMFVR) became Royal Marines Reserve (RMR).
1967 The last C-in-C Home Fleet, Adm Sir John Frewen, hauled down his flag at Warrior, Northwood, and was succeeded by the first C-in-C Western Fleet, Adm Sir John Bush, who also assumed the NATO appointments of Allied C-in-C Channel and C-in-C Eastern Atlantic.
1971 Announcement of PWO Doctrine and formation of the Warfare Branch.
1976 Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service (RMAS) amalgamated with Port Auxiliary Service (PAS). DCI(RN) 448/76.
1984 Portsmouth Royal Dockyard relegated to Fleet Operational and Maintenance Base.
1988 Hard-lying money replaced by long service at sea bonus.
1992 Civil war in former Yugoslavia. RFA Resource, Sir Bedivere and Argus sailed to Adriatic to support British element of UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR), later UN Implementation Force (IFOR) ashore in former Yugoslavia. RN presence considerably increased in 1993 with one anti-submarine carrier, two destroyers/frigates, one submarine (conventional or nuclear) as required, and RFA support ships. Force levels varied with the development of operations ashore. RN forces remained in Adriatic supporting successively Operations Grapple, Hamden, Joint Endeavour, Diligen Force until 1996. British destroyers and frigates also served in the NATO Standing Naval Forces Atlantic and Mediterranean deployed in the Adriatic to monitor and enforce the UN embargo on trade with the former Yugoslavia. SNFL released 15 May 1996, SNFM released 19 June 1996 when Operation Sharp Guard ended.
2000 Comacchio Group RM remustered as Fleet Protection Group RM.