Director of Naval Construction
The Director of Naval Construction (DNC) was a senior British
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...

 civil servant
Civil service
The term civil service has two distinct meanings:* A branch of governmental service in which individuals are employed on the basis of professional merit as proven by competitive examinations....

 post in the Admiralty
The Admiralty was formerly the authority in the Kingdom of England, and later in the United Kingdom, responsible for the command of the Royal Navy...

, that part of the British Civil Service
British Civil Service
Her Majesty's Home Civil Service, also known as the Home Civil Service, is the permanent bureaucracy of Crown employees that supports Her Majesty's Government - the government of the United Kingdom, composed of a Cabinet of ministers chosen by the prime minister, as well as the devolved...

 that oversaw 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...

. The post existed from 1860 to 1966.

The postholder was the senior member of the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors
Royal Corps of Naval Constructors
The Royal Corps of Naval Constructors is an institution of the Royal Navy and British Admiralty for training in naval architecture. It was established by Order in Council in August 1883, on the recommendation of the naval architect Sir William White. It still exists, as a branch of the Naval...

. Members of the Corps were responsible for the designing and building warship
A warship is a ship that is built and primarily intended for combat. Warships are usually built in a completely different way from merchant ships. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and more maneuvrable than merchant ships...

s, whether they were built in the Royal Dockyard
Royal Navy Dockyard
Royal Navy Dockyards are harbours where either commissioned ships are based, or where ships are overhauled and refitted. Historically, the Royal Navy maintained a string of dockyards around the world, although few are now operating today....

s (such as Chatham
Chatham Dockyard
Chatham Dockyard, located on the River Medway and of which two-thirds is in Gillingham and one third in Chatham, Kent, England, came into existence at the time when, following the Reformation, relations with the Catholic countries of Europe had worsened, leading to a requirement for additional...

) or contracted out to private industry (such as Armstrong Whitworth
Armstrong Whitworth
Sir W G Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd was a major British manufacturing company of the early years of the 20th century. Headquartered in Elswick, Newcastle upon Tyne, Armstrong Whitworth engaged in the construction of armaments, ships, locomotives, automobiles, and aircraft.-History:In 1847,...

). The Director was a naval architect
Naval architecture
Naval architecture is an engineering discipline dealing with the design, construction, maintenance and operation of marine vessels and structures. Naval architecture involves basic and applied research, design, development, design evaluation and calculations during all stages of the life of a...

 as well as a manager.

Work in the dockyards was covered by to some extent by the two posts of Director of Naval Construction and the separately held Director of Dockyards. The latter's officers were responsible for checking that work contracted out by the former was being undertaken correctly.

In designing warships the Director of Naval Construction had to work with the Engineer-in-Chief, another Admiralty post, which existed from 1847 to 1889. The Engineer-in-Chief post arose after the adoption of steam engines for propulsion.

The French Navy
French Navy
The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale and often called La Royale is the maritime arm of the French military. It includes a full range of fighting vessels, from patrol boats to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and 10 nuclear-powered submarines, four of which are capable of launching...

 had a similar post, Directeur des Construction Navales.

List of Directors

  • Isaac Watts (1860-1863)
  • Sir Edward James Reed
    Edward James Reed
    Sir Edward James Reed , KCB, FRS, was a British naval architect, author, politician, and railroad magnate. He was the Chief Constructor of the Royal Navy from 1863 until 1870...

  • Sir Nathaniel Barnaby
    Nathaniel Barnaby
    Sir Nathaniel Barnaby, KCB was Chief Constructor of the Royal Navy from 1872 to 1885....

  • Sir William Henry White
    William Henry White
    Sir William Henry White was a prolific British warship designer and Chief Constructor at the Admiralty....

  • Sir Philip Watts
    Philip Watts (naval architect)
    Sir Philip Watts, KCB FRS was a British naval architect, famous for his design of the revolutionary Elswick cruiser and the HMS Dreadnought.-Early life:...

  • Sir Eustace Tennyson d'Eyncourt
    Eustace Tennyson d'Eyncourt
    Sir Eustace Henry William Tennyson-d'Eyncourt, 1st Baronet, KCB, FRS was a British naval architect and engineer. As Director of Naval Construction for the Royal Navy, 1912-24, he was responsible for the design and construction of some of the most famous British warships...

  • Sir William Berry
    William Berry
    William Berry may refer to:* William Berry , First Settler of Hampton, New Hampshire* William Berry, 1st Viscount Camrose , British newspaper publisher* William Berry...

  • Sir Arthur Johns (1930-1936)
  • Sir Stanley V. Goodall, KCB, OBE, RCNC (1936-1944)
  • Sir Charles S. Lillicrap (1944-1951)
  • Sir Victor Shepheard (1951-1966)
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