Deputy Chief of Naval Staff
The Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff (D.C.N.S.) was a position on the Naval Staff instituted in 1917 on the Board of Admiralty. It essentially replaced the position of Chief of the Admiralty War Staff.
Vice-Admiral (Acting) Henry F. Oliver, the Chief of the Admiralty War Staff, was appointed Deputy Chief of Naval Staff on 31 May, 1917. The duties of the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, shared with the First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff and the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff, were defined in the Board's distribution of business of 27 June as:
Operations of War: All large Questions of Naval Policy and Maritime Warfare.
Fighting and Sea-going Efficiency of the Fleet and its Organisation; Distribution and Movements of all Ships in Commission and in Reserve.
Superintendence of the Naval Staff and the Hydrographic Department.
The above might be misleading, however, for on 24 June specific duties, hitherto unpublished, had been assigned to the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff by Admiral Sir John R. Jellicoe, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff. These are given in the Duties section.
|24 June, 1917.|
|1. Relieve the C.N.S. of all routine matters dealt with by sections under his immediate direction.|
|2. Fleet Movements.|
|3. All operations in the North Sea, the White Sea, the Baltic, and the Dover Area, except British coastal measures for the protection of trade.|
|4. Offensive measures in the Mediterranean and abroad generally.|
|5. The protection of trade in the North Sea, except the coastal trade on the East Coast of Great Britain. North Sea trade includes the Dutch trade, trade between Scandinavian countries and Great Britain, and Baltic trade, but not convoy from Lerwick, Southward.|
|6. All questions relating to foreign stations, except protection of trade against submarine and mine attack.|
|7. Policy of blockade and all questions relating thereto and to contraband of war.|
|8. Organisation, movements and protection of troop transports and other vessels against attack by surface vessels; Atlantic convoys other than troop convoys being under A.C.N.S. [See Assistant Chief of Naval Staff.]|
|NOTE.- Programmes of arrivals and departures of such vessels must be made out in co-operation with A.C.N.S., who is responsible for providing the anti-submarine escort in dangerous areas.|
- Acting Vice-Admiral Sir Henry F. Oliver, 14 May, 1917. New Position
- Acting Vice-Admiral Sir Sydney R. Fremantle, 10 January, 1918.
- Rear-Admiral James A. Fergusson, 1 May, 1919.
- Vice-Admiral Sir Osmond de B. Brock, 24 July, 1919.
- Vice-Admiral Sir Roger J. B. Keyes, Bart., 1 November, 1921.
- Admiral Sir Frederick L. Field, 15 May, 1925.
- Vice-Admiral Sir William W. Fisher, 1 May, 1928.
- Admiral Sir Frederic C. Dreyer, 30 June, 1930.
- Vice-Admiral Sir Charles J. C. Little, 9 January, 1933.
- Admiral Sir William M. James, 29 October, 1935.
- Vice-Admiral Sir Andrew B. Cunningham, 14 November, 1938.
- Acting Vice-Admiral Sir Tom S. V. Phillips, 1 June, 1939.
- Oliver Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. p. 319.
- The National Archives. ADM 116/3392.
- "War Staff Duties." Jellicoe Papers. British Library. Add. MS. 48992. ff. 94-95.
- The Naval Staff of the Admiralty. C.B. 3013. [Naval Staff.] p. 122.
- Fremantle Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 293.
- Fergusson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 199.
- Brock Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 49.
- Keyes Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 291.
- Field Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 247.
- Fisher Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 231.
- Dreyer Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 156.
- "Admiralty Change" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Thursday, 30 June, 1932. Issue 46173, col D, p. 16.
- "Flag Changes" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Monday, 12 August, 1935. Issue 47140, col F, p. 10.
- "Deputy Chief of Naval Staff" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Tuesday, 27 September, 1938. Issue 48110, col F, p. 17.
- "The Services" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Saturday, 27 May, 1939. Issue 48316, col G, p. 23.
- Naval Staff, Training and Staff Duties Division (1929). The Naval Staff of the Admiralty. Its Work and Development. B.R. 1845 (late C.B. 3013). Copy at The National Archives. ADM 234/434.