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Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth
HMS Impregnable c 1900.jpg
HMS Impregnable, flagship of the Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth, circa 1900
Active 1743–1845, 1896-1969
Country  United Kingdom
Branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Type Fleet
Garrison/HQ Mount Wise, Plymouth

The Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth was a senior commander of the Royal Navy for hundreds of years. Plymouth Command was a name given to the units, establishments, and staff operating under the admiral's command. Between 1845 and 1896 this office was renamed Commander-in-Chief, Devonport. The Commanders-in-Chief were based in what is now Hamoaze House, Devonport, Plymouth from 1809 to 1934 and then at Admiralty House, Mount Wise, Devonport from 1934 until 1996.[1]


Hamoaze House, formerly Admiralty House, on Mount Wise (centre)

The post dates back to around 1743.[2] It extended along the South Coast from Exmouth in East Devon to Penzance in Cornwall.[3] In 1845 this office was renamed as Commander-in-Chief, Devonport until 1896 when it was altered back to its original name. In 1941, during World War II, elements of Plymouth Command were transferred to Western Approaches Command which was established at Derby House in Liverpool.[4] Meanwhile, Plymouth Command occupied a new combined Headquarters, known as the Maritime Headquarters, at Mount Wise.[5] The post of Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth was merged with that of Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth in 1969 to form Naval Home Command.[6] Between 1952 and 1969 the Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth double-hatted as Plymouth Sub-Area Channel Command (PLYMCHAN) commander in NATO's Allied Command Channel, and from 1969 to 1994 he double-hatted as Naval Base Commander Devonport, NATO Commander Central Sub-Area (CENTLANT) and Commander Plymouth Sub-Area Channel (PLYMCHAN).

After 1969, Admiralty House and the Maritime Headquarters became the home of the Flag Officer, Plymouth until that post was also disbanded in 1996. At around the same time the nearby RN Dockyard and barracks were reconstituted as HM Naval Base Devonport and placed under the command of a Commodore.[5]

Office holders

Commanders-in-Chief and Flag Officers have included:[7][8][9]

Office is renamed Commander-in-Chief, Devonport

Post 1969 period

On 30 December 1970, Vice-Admiral J R McKaig CBE was appointed as Port Admiral, Her Majesty's Naval Base, Devonport, and Flag Officer, Plymouth. On 5 September 1971, all Flag Officers of the Royal Navy holding positions of Admiral Superintendents at Royal Dockyards were restyled as Port Admirals.[10]

See also


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