Military Wiki
Commander-in-Chief, China
Active 1865–1941
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.png Royal Navy
Type Formation (military)
Part of Admiralty
Garrison/HQ Singapore Naval Base
HMS Tamar (1865–1941 and 1945–1997)
& Wei Hai Wei station (1898–1930)

The Commander-in-Chief, China was a senior officer position of the British Royal Navy. The officer in this position was in charge of the Navy's vessels and shore establishments in China from 1865 to 1941. He thus directed a naval formation, which was often known, even in official documents, as the China Station.

From 1831 to 1865, the East Indies Station and the China Station were a single command known as the East Indies and China Station.[1] The China Station, established in 1865, had as its area of responsibility the coasts of China and its navigable rivers, the western part of the Pacific Ocean, and the waters around the Dutch East Indies.[2] The navy often co-operated with British commercial interests in this area.

The formation had bases at Singapore (Singapore Naval Base), HMS Tamar (1865–1941 and 1945–1997) in Hong Kong and Wei Hai (1898–1930). The China Station complement usually consisted of several older light cruisers and destroyers, and the Chinese rivers were patrolled by a flotilla of suitable, shallow-draught gunboats, referred to as "China gunboats".[3] Ships on this station usually had a distinctive livery of white hull and superstructure and dark funnels. In response to increased Japanese threats, the separate China Station was merged with the East Indies Station in December 1941 to form the Eastern Fleet.[4]


Dates Admiral Commanding[1][5]
1865–1867 Vice-Admiral Sir George King
1867–1869 Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Keppel
1869–1871 Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Kellett
1871–1874 Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Shadwell
1874–1877 Vice-Admiral Sir Alfred Ryder
1877–1878 Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Hillyar
1878–1881 Vice-Admiral Robert Coote
1881–1884 Vice-Admiral Sir George Willes
1884–1885 Vice-Admiral Sir William Dowell
1885–1887 Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Hamilton
1887–1890 Vice-Admiral Sir Nowell Salmon
1890–1892 Vice-Admiral Sir Frederick Richards
1892–1895 Vice-Admiral Sir Edmund Fremantle
1895–1897 Vice-Admiral Sir Alexander Buller
1897–1901 Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Seymour
1901–1904 Vice-Admiral Sir Cyprian Bridge
1904–1906 Vice-Admiral Sir Gerard Noel
1906–1908 Vice-Admiral Sir Arthur Moore
1908–1910 Vice-Admiral Sir Hedworth Meux
1910–1913 Vice-Admiral Sir Alfred Winsloe
1913–1915 Vice-Admiral Sir Martyn Jerram
1916–1917 Vice-Admiral Sir William Grant
1917–1919 Rear-Admiral Sir Frederick Tudor
24 July 1919 – 1922 Vice-Admiral Sir Alexander Duff
10 September 1922 – November 1924 Admiral Sir Arthur Leveson
November 1924 – 1925 Rear Admiral Sir Allan Everett
1925 Rear Admiral David Anderson (acting)
22 April 1925 – 8 November 1926 Vice-Admiral Sir Edwyn Alexander-Sinclair
8 November 1926 – 28 November 1928 Vice-Admiral Sir Reginald Tyrwhitt
28 November 1928 – 28 February 1931 Vice-Admiral Sir Arthur Waistell
28 February 1931 – 11 March 1933 Vice-Admiral Sir Howard Kelly
11 March 1933 – 11 January 1936 Admiral Sir Frederic Dreyer
11 January 1936 – 5 February 1938 Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Little
5 February 1938 – 1940 Admiral Sir Percy Noble
September 1940 – 1941 Vice Admiral Sir Geoffrey Layton[6]

See also


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