Britannia Royal Naval College
Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) is the initial officer training establishment of the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

, located on a hill overlooking Dartmouth
Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth is a town and civil parish in the English county of Devon. It is a tourist destination set on the banks of the estuary of the River Dart, which is a long narrow tidal ria that runs inland as far as Totnes...

, Devon
Devon is a large county in southwestern England. The county is sometimes referred to as Devonshire, although the term is rarely used inside the county itself as the county has never been officially "shired", it often indicates a traditional or historical context.The county shares borders with...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. While Royal Naval officer training has taken place in the town since 1863, the buildings which are seen today were only finished in 1905, and previous students lived in two wooden hulks moored in the River Dart. Since 1998, BRNC has been the sole centre for Royal Naval officer training.


The training of naval officers at Dartmouth dates from 1863 when the wooden hulk HMS Britannia
HMS Britannia (1820)
HMS Britannia was a 120-gun first-rate ship-of-the-line of the Royal Navy, laid down in 1813 and launched on 20 October 1820.Commissioned in 1823, she saw service in the Mediterranean from 1830-1 and in 1841...

 was moved from Portland
Portland Harbour
Portland Harbour is located beside the Isle of Portland, off Dorset, on the south coast of England. It is one of the largest man-made harbours in the world. Grid reference: .-History:...

 and moored in the River Dart
River Dart
The River Dart is a river in Devon, England which rises high on Dartmoor, and releases to the sea at Dartmouth. Its valley and surrounding area is a place of great natural beauty.-Watercourse:...

. In 1864, after an influx of new recruits, Britannia was supplemented by HMS Hindostan
HMS Hindustan (1841)
HMS Hindustan was an 80-gun two-deck second rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 2 August 1841. Her design was based on an enlarged version of the lines of .She was used as a training ship from 1868, and was sold out of the navy in 1921....

. Prior to this there had been a Royal Naval Academy
Royal Naval Academy
The Royal Naval Academy was established at Portsmouth Dockyard as a facility to train officers for the Royal Navy. The founders' intentions were to provide an alternative means to recruit officers and to provide standardised training, education and admission.-Training:In 1773, a shore side...

 (later Royal Naval College) at Portsmouth
Portsmouth is the second largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire on the south coast of England. Portsmouth is notable for being the United Kingdom's only island city; it is located mainly on Portsea Island...

 from 1733 to 1837. The original Britannia, was replaced by the Prince of Wales
HMS Prince of Wales (1860)
HMS Prince of Wales was one of six 121-gun screw-propelled first-rate three-decker line-of-battle ships of the Royal Navy. She was launched on 25 January 1860...

 in 1869, which was renamed Britannia. Sir Aston Webb
Aston Webb
Sir Aston Webb, RA, FRIBA was an English architect, active in the late 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century...

 designed the shore-based college at Dartmouth, which was built by Higgs and Hill
Higgs and Hill
Higgs and Hill was a major British construction company responsible for building some of London's finest buildings.-History:The Company was established in 1874 by the merger of the firm of Thomas Hill with the firm of William Higgs...

 and practically completed in 1905. The first term of cadets entered at the R.N. College Osborne were transferred to Dartmouth in September 1905.

The college was originally known as the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, and as a Royal Naval shore establishment was later additionally known by the ship name HMS Britannia (there was a battleship called Britannia
HMS Britannia (1904)
The sixth HMS Britannia of the British Royal Navy was a pre-dreadnought battleship of the King Edward VII class. She was named after Britannia, the Latin name of Great Britain under Roman rule.-Technical characteristics:...

 from 1904 to 1918). The college received its present name (ship name: HMS Dartmouth) in 1953, when the name Britannia was given to the newly-launched royal yacht HMY Britannia
HMY Britannia
Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia is the former Royal Yacht of the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. She was the 83rd such vessel since the restoration of King Charles II in 1660. She is the second Royal yacht to bear the name, the first being the famous racing cutter built for The Prince of Wales...

. The training ship moored in the River Dart at Sandquay, currently the former Sandown class
Sandown class minehunter
The Sandown class is a class of minehunter originally built for the British Royal Navy). Sandown-class vessels also serve with the Royal Saudi Navy and the Estonian Navy...

Minehunters are mine countermeasure vessels that actively detect and destroy individual naval mines. Minesweepers, on the other hand, clear mined areas as a whole, without prior detection of mines...

, HMS Cromer
HMS Cromer (M103)
HMS Cromer was a Sandown class minehunter commissioned by the Royal Navy in 1992. She was named after the North Norfolk seaside town of the same name....

, continues to bear the name Hindostan.

Cadets originally joined the Royal Naval College, Osborne
Osborne House
Osborne House is a former royal residence in East Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK. The house was built between 1845 and 1851 for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert as a summer home and rural retreat....

 at the age of 13 for two years before joining Dartmouth, and spent four years there before starting sea training at 17. RNC Osborne closed in 1923, and the entry age was changed to 16 in 1948, and to 17 and 6 months in 1955. Until 1941, Dartmouth was in effect a specialised boarding school, with parents paying fees for tuition and board.

During the Second World War students and staff moved activities to Eaton Hall
Eaton Hall (Cheshire)
Eaton Hall is the country house of the Duke of Westminster. It is set within a large estate south of the village of Eccleston, in Cheshire, England . The house is surrounded by formal gardens, parkland, farmland and woodland. The estate covers an area of about .The first substantial house was...

 in Cheshire
Cheshire is a ceremonial county in North West England. Cheshire's county town is the city of Chester, although its largest town is Warrington. Other major towns include Widnes, Congleton, Crewe, Ellesmere Port, Runcorn, Macclesfield, Winsford, Northwich, and Wilmslow...

 until the autumn of 1946 after a September 1942 incident involving six Focke-Wulf
Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau AG was a German manufacturer of civil and military aircraft before and during World War II. Many of the company's successful fighter aircraft designs were slight modifications of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190.-History:...

 aircraft released a payload of bombs over the College. Two bombs penetrated the College's main block, causing damage to the quarterdeck and surrounding rooms.

The College today

Today, officer cadets, as they are known until passing out from the college, can join between the ages of 18 and 32. While most cadets join BRNC after finishing university, some still join directly from school. All spend between 28 and 49 weeks at the college, depending on specialisation. There is a large contingent of foreign and Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 students. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Royal Fleet Auxiliary
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary is a civilian-manned fleet owned by the British Ministry of Defence. The RFA enables ships of the United Kingdom Royal Navy to maintain operations around the world. Its primary role is to supply the Royal Navy with fuel, ammunition and supplies, normally by replenishment...

 sends its officer cadets to BRNC for 7 week initial officer training before they start at a maritime college.

Following the closure of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich in 1998, BRNC is the sole naval college in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...



To enter as an officer cadet, British entrants must have 180 or more Universities and Colleges Admissions Service UCAS
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service is the British admission service for students applying to university and college. UCAS is primarily funded by students who pay a fee when they apply and a capitation fee from universities for each student they accept..-Location:UCAS is based near...

 points. Prospective cadets then proceed to the Admiralty Interview Board
Admiralty Interview Board
The Admiralty Interview Board is the instrument of Officer selection for the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Marines Reserve, and Royal Fleet Auxiliary...

, where they are tested mentally and physically. Several mental aptitude
An aptitude is an innate component of a competency to do a certain kind of work at a certain level. Aptitudes may be physical or mental...

 tests are administered, along with a basic physical fitness
Physical fitness
Physical fitness comprises two related concepts: general fitness , and specific fitness...

 test and a medical examination.

Royal cadets

King George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

 and King George VI
George VI of the United Kingdom
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death...

 were naval cadets at Dartmouth, as were the Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is the husband of Elizabeth II. He is the United Kingdom's longest-serving consort and the oldest serving spouse of a reigning British monarch....

, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York
Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Prince Andrew, Duke of York KG GCVO , is the second son, and third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh...

. It is said that the Duke of Edinburgh met the then Princess Elizabeth
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

 at Dartmouth. Prince William spent a brief period at the College after leaving Sandhurst
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst , commonly known simply as Sandhurst, is a British Army officer initial training centre located in Sandhurst, Berkshire, England...

 as part of his training with all three of Britain's Armed Forces.

Sheikh Mubarak Ali Yousuf Suoud Al-Sabah, a member of the Royal Family of Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

, attended the Royal Navy Young Officer Course at Britannia Royal Naval College in 2002.

Commanders of the College

Source for list below: Listing compiled by historian Colin Mackie; additional references are given in the list.
  • Captain William E. Goodenough
    William Goodenough
    Admiral Sir William Edmund Goodenough GCB, MVO was a senior Royal Navy officer of World War I.-Naval career:Goodenough joined the Royal Navy in 1882. He was appointed Commander of the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth in 1905...

    : May 1905-August 1907
  • Captain Trevylyan D. W. Napier
    Trevylyan Napier
    Vice Admiral Sir Trevylyan Dacres Willes Napier KCB MVO was a Royal Navy officer who went on to be Commander-in-Chief, America and West Indies Station.-Naval career:...

    : August 1907-July 1910
  • Captain Hugh Evan-Thomas
    Hugh Evan-Thomas
    Vice Admiral Sir Hugh Evan-Thomas GCB, KCMG, MVO was a British Royal Navy officer.During World War I he commanded the 5th Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet, flying his flag in HMS Barham, and fought at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May – 1 June 1916.-Background:Evan-Thomas' family came from...

    : July 1910-July 1912
  • Captain the Hon. Victor A. Stanley: July 1912-? 1914
  • Rear-Admiral Trevylyan D. W. Napier
    Trevylyan Napier
    Vice Admiral Sir Trevylyan Dacres Willes Napier KCB MVO was a Royal Navy officer who went on to be Commander-in-Chief, America and West Indies Station.-Naval career:...

    : September-December 1914
  • Captain Edmond Hyde Parker: ? 1914-February 1915
  • Captain Norman C. Palmer: February 1915-May 1916
  • Rear-Admiral William G. E. Ruck Keene: May 1916-?
  • Captain Eustace la T. Leatham: February1919-February1921
  • Captain Francis A. Marten: February1921-January 1923
  • Captain the Hon. Herbert Meade: January 1923-February 1926
  • Captain Martin E. Dunbar-Nasmith: February 1926-February 1929
  • Captain Sidney J. Meyrick
    Sidney Meyrick
    Admiral Sir Sidney Julius Meyrick KCB was a Royal Navy officer who went on to be Commander-in-Chief, America and West Indies Station.-Naval career:Meyrick joined the Royal Navy in 1893...

    : February 1929-December 1931
  • Captain Norman A. Wodehouse
    Norman Wodehouse
    Vice Admiral Norman Atherton Wodehouse was a Royal Navy officer killed in the second World War. He had gained 14 caps for England at rugby union, including six as captain between 1910 and 1913.- Naval history :...

    : December 1931-December 1934
  • Captain Reginald V. Holt: December 1934-December 1936
  • Captain Frederick H. G. Dalrymple-Hamilton
    Frederick Dalrymple-Hamilton
    Admiral Sir Frederick Hew George Dalrymple-Hamilton KCB was a British naval officer who served in World War I and World War II.-Naval career:...

    : December 1936-November 1939
  • Captain Robert L. B. Cunliffe: December 1939-April 1942
  • Captain Edward A. Aylmer: April 1942-December 1943
  • Captain Gerald H. Warner: December 1943-?
  • Captain Peveril B. R. W. William-Powlett
    Peveril William-Powlett
    Vice Admiral Sir Peveril Barton Reiby Wallop William-Powlett KCB KCMG CBE DSO was a Royal Navy officer who went on to be Commander-in-Chief, South Atlantic Station.-Naval career:...

    : January 1946-February 1948
  • Captain Hugh W. Faulkner: February 1948-August 1949
  • Captain Norman V. Dickinson: August 1949-April 1951
  • Captain Richard T. White: April 1951-August 1953
  • Captain William G. Crawford: August 1953-April 1956
  • Captain William J. Munn: April 1956-August 1958
  • Captain Frank H. E. Hopkins
    Frank Hopkins (Royal Navy officer)
    Admiral Sir Frank Henry Edward Hopkins KCB, DSO, DSC, , was a naval officer with the Royal Navy.-Naval career:Educated at the Nautical College at Pangbourne in Berkshire, Hopkins joined the Royal Navy in 1927....

    : August 1958-August 1960
  • Captain Horace R. Law
    Horace Law
    Admiral Sir Horace Law GCB OBE DSC was Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command.-Naval career:...

    : August 1960-December 1961
  • Captain W. John Parker: December 1961-September 1963
  • Captain John E. L. Martin: September 1963-August 1966
  • Captain Ian W. Jamieson: August 1966-April 1968
  • Captain David Williams: April 1968-September 1970
  • Captain A. Gordon Tait: September 1970-August 1972
  • Captain John M. Forbes: August 1972-September 1974
  • Captain Michael A. Higgs: September 1974-September 1976
  • Captain Paul W. Greening: September 1976-October 1978
  • Captain Nicholas J. S. Hunt: October 1978-June 1980
  • Captain J. Julian R. Oswald: June 1980-June 1982
  • Captain Timothy M. Bevan: June 1982-September 1984
  • Captain George M. Tullis: September 1984-1987
  • Captain John R. Brigstocke: 1987-1989
  • Captain J. Robert Shiffner: 1989-1991
  • Captain Richard G. Hastilow: 1991-1993
  • Captain Simon Moore: 1993-1995
  • Captain Anthony P. Masterton-Smith: 1995-January 1998
  • Commodore Roy A. G. Clare
    Roy Clare
    Roy Alexander George Clare was Chief Executive of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council 2007-2011...

    : January 1998-1999
  • Commodore Mark W. G. Kerr
    Mark William Graham Kerr
    Rear Admiral Mark William Graham Kerr is a former Royal Navy officer who went on to be Chief Executive of Powys County Council.-Career:...

    : 1999-2002
  • Commodore C. Anthony Johnstone-Burt: 2002-2004
  • Commodore Richard J. Ibbotson
    Richard Ibbotson
    Vice Admiral Sir Richard Jeffrey Ibbotson KBE CB DSC is a former Royal Navy officer who served as Deputy Commander-in-Chief Fleet.Educated at Durham University, Ibbotson joined the Royal Navy in 1975 and specialized in underwater warfare...

    : 2004-2005
  • Commodore Timothy Harris: 2005-April 2007
  • Commodore Martin B. Alabaster
    Martin Alabaster
    Rear Admiral Martin Alabaster CBE is a retired former senior officer in the British Royal Navy.-Early life:Alabaster spent his early years in Devon, Pembrokeshire and Hampshire but for the majority of his upbringning lived in south London. There, he attended Dulwich College...

    : April 2007-September 2008
  • Commodore Jake K. Moores: September 2008-March 2011
  • Commodore Simon P. Williams: March 2011-

See also

  • Royal Naval College, Greenwich
  • Royal Naval College, Osborne
    Osborne House
    Osborne House is a former royal residence in East Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK. The house was built between 1845 and 1851 for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert as a summer home and rural retreat....

  • The Royal Hospital School

External links

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