Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland

The Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland (FOSNI) was a senior post in the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. It was based at HM Naval Base Clyde, and the holder of the post was the Royal Navy’s senior officer in Scotland.[1] The post of FOSNI, dating from 1946, was re-scoped and re-named in 1994 to Flag Officer Scotland, Northern England & Northern Ireland (FOSNNI), then named back in 2015, before being dis-established in 2020.[why?]

Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland
HMS Ark Royal Visits HMNB Clyde for the Final Time MOD 45152036.jpg
HMS Ark Royal on the River Clyde
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Navy
TypeCommand (military formation)
Part ofNavy Command
Garrison/HQHM Naval Base Clyde


The Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland was the most senior naval position in Scotland and is the successor to appointments starting with the Senior Officer on the Coast of Scotland, established in 1913, just prior to the outbreak of the First World War. The title was altered to Commander-in-Chief, Rosyth in 1916. From 1946 the post became the Flag Officer Scotland & Northern Ireland. Between 1961 and 1994 the Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland was triple-hatted as Commander Northern Sub-Area (NORLANT) of Allied Command Atlantic (ACLANT), and as Commander Nore Sub-Area Channel (NORECHAN) of Allied Command Channel. Based at RAF Pitreavie Castle, NORECHAN was tasked to prevent Soviet Navy ships and submarines from entering the North Sea. When the command moved from Rosyth to HMNB Clyde in 1994, it took responsibility for a larger area, becoming the Flag Officer Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland.[2] In 2015 the post reverted to Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland. The post was removed under the Royal Navy's Navy Command Transformation Programme and renamed Commodore Submarine Service (COSM).[3]

Major subordinate stone frigates under C-in-C Rosyth on the outbreak of the Second World War included HMS Flora at Invergordon; HMS Bacchante (a shore establishment) at Aberdeen, HMS Claverhouse at Leith, and HMS Calliope on the Tyne.[4] Bacchante had been commanded by the Senior Naval Officer, Aberdeen from 1915 to 1919 [5] and then the Flag Officer-in-Charge, Aberdeen from 1942 to 1945.[6] Wartime subsidiary bases included Aultbea on Loch Ewe.[7] Facilities at Aultbea were established in February 1915 during World War I and partially deactivated in April 1919. Aultbea was reactivated during World War II in 1940 following the German attack on Scapa Flow and subsequent sinking of HMS Royal Oak, when the Home Fleet was temporarily based there.[8] It was also a staging point for arctic convoys that operated out of Loch Ewe. It remained in operation until October 1967.[9]

Admirals CommandingEdit

Flag Officers have been:[10]

Admiral Commanding on the Coast of Scotland; 1913–1916Edit


# Name Rank Tenure from Tenure to
1 Sir Robert Lowry Admiral July 1913 June 1916

Commander-in-Chief, Rosyth; 1913–1919Edit

# Name Rank Tenure from Tenure to
1 Sir Frederick Hamilton Admiral June 1916 October 1917
2 Sir Cecil Burney Admiral October 1917 March 1919

Commander-in-Chief, Coast of Scotland; 1919–1939Edit

# Name Rank Tenure from Tenure to
1 Sir Herbert Heath Admiral March 1919 April 1922
2 Sir John Green Vice-Admiral April 1922 June 1923
3 Sir Reginald Tyrwhitt, Bt. Rear-Admiral June 1923 June 1925
4 Sir Walter Cowan Vice-Admiral June 1925 June 1926
5 Humphrey Bowring Rear-Admiral June 1926 June 1928
6 John Cameron Rear-Admiral June 1928 July 1929
7 Theodore Hallett Rear-Admiral July 1929 July 1931
8 the Hon. William Leveson-Gower Vice-Admiral July 1931 July 1933
9 Everard Hardman-Jones Rear-Admiral July 1933 July 1935
10 Robert Davenport Rear-Admiral July 1935 July 1937
11 Evelyn Thomson Vice-Admiral July 1937 August 1939

Commander-in-Chief, Rosyth; 1939–1946Edit

# Name Rank Tenure from Tenure to
1 Sir Charles Ramsey Admiral August 1939 June 1942
2 Sir Wilbraham Ford Admiral June 1942 June 1944
3 Sir William Whitworth Admiral June 1944 July 1946

Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland; 1946–1994Edit

# Name Rank Tenure from Tenure to
1 Sir Frederick Dalrymple-Hamilton Admiral July 1946 July 1948
2 Sir Ernest Archer Vice-Admiral July 1948 July 1950
3 Sir Angus Cunninghame Graham Vice-Admiral July 1950 August 1951
4 John Crombie Rear-Admiral August 1951 October 1953
5 Sir Geoffrey Robson Vice-Admiral October 1953 March 1956
6 Sir John Cuthbert Vice-Admiral March 1956 July 1958
7 David Luce Vice-Admiral July 1958 December 1959
8 Sir Royston Wright Vice-Admiral December 1959 September 1961
9 Sir Arthur Hezlet Vice-Admiral September 1961 June 1964
10 Sir David Gregory Vice-Admiral June 1964 July 1966
11 Sir John Hayes Vice-Admiral July 1966 July 1968
12 Sir Ian McGeoch Vice-Admiral July 1968 May 1970
13 David Dunbar-Nasmith Rear-Admiral May 1970 July 1972
14 Martin Lucey Rear-Admiral July 1972 August 1974
15 Sir Anthony Troup Vice-Admiral August 1974 June 1977
16 Sir Cameron Rusby Vice-Admiral June 1977 November 1979
17 Sir Thomas Baird Vice-Admiral November 1979 January 1982
18 Robert Squires Vice-Admiral January 1982 December 1983
19 Sir Nicholas Hunt Vice-Admiral December 1983 May 1985
20 Sir George Vallings Vice-Admiral May 1985 October 1987
21 Sir Jock Slater Vice-Admiral October 1987 February 1989
22 Sir Michael Livesay Vice-Admiral February 1989 March 1991
23 Sir Hugo White Vice-Admiral March 1991 November 1992
24 Sir Christopher Morgan Vice-Admiral November 1992 April 1996

Flag Officer Scotland, Northern England, Northern Ireland; 1994–2015Edit

Note: From 2005, the post holder also held the title of Flag Officer, Reserves and Flag Officer Regional Forces.[12]

# Name Rank Tenure from Tenure to
1 John Tolhurst Rear-Admiral April 1996 September 1997
2 Michael Gregory Rear-Admiral September 1997 August 2000
3 Derek Anthony Rear-Admiral August 2000[13] May 2003
4 Nick Harris Rear-Admiral May 2003 April 2006
5 Philip Wilcocks Rear-Admiral April 2006 December 2006
6 Tony Johnstone-Burt Rear-Admiral December 2006 February 2008
7 Philip Jones Rear-Admiral February 2008[14] September 2008
8 Martin Alabaster Rear Admiral September 2008[14] September 2011
9 Christopher Hockley Rear-Admiral September 2011 August 2014
10 John Clink Rear-Admiral August 2014 July 2015

Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland; 2015–2020Edit

# Name Rank Tenure from Tenure to
1 John Weale Rear-Admiral July 2015[15] May 2020[16]


  1. ^ Royal Navy official site, FOSNNI
  2. ^ Army Quarterly and Defence Journal, Volume 124, page 230 (West of England Press, 1994).
  3. ^ "Submariners Association Newsletter In Depth 68" (PDF). Submariners Association. 1 April 2020. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  4. ^ Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organisation in World War 2, 1939–1945". www.naval-history.net. Graham Smith, 19 September 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  5. ^ Admiralty, Great Britain (December 1919). "Other Senior Naval Officers or Officers in Charge at Ports in the United Kingdom". Navy List. London England: HM Stationery Office. p. 699.
  6. ^ Admiralty, Great Britain (December 1942). "Flag Officers in Commission". Navy List. London England: HM Stationery Office. p. 1336.
  7. ^ Admiralty, Great Britain (January 1919). "The Royal Navy". Navy List. London England: HM Stationery Office. p. 769.
  8. ^ Smith, Peter C. (2008). The Great Ships: British Battleships in World War II. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, United States: Stackpole Books. p. 70. ISBN 9780811749350.
  9. ^ Archives, The National (1940–1967). "Aultbea Naval Base, Loch Ewe, Ross and Cromarty: a short history. With photographs and plan". discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk. London England: The National Archives. Retrieved 19 October 2018. ADM 1/31049
  10. ^ Listing compiled by historian Colin Mackie Archived 15 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Admiralty. British. (November 1914). The Navy List. List of Admirals by Seniority. Admirals. H.M.S.O. London. England. p86.
  12. ^ Committee, Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Defence (2013). House of Commons - Defence Committee: The Defence Implications of Possible Independence - Volume I: HC 198: Sixth Report of Session 2013-14, Vol. 1: Report, Together with an Appendix, Formal Minutes and Oral Evidence. London: The Stationery Office. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-215-06246-8.
  13. ^ Warships Magazine, FLAG OFF SCOTLAND SPECIAL
  14. ^ a b Royal Navy official site Base Braves the Elements to Wave Fond Farewell to Admiral, Tuesday, 6 September 2008
  15. ^ Lochside Press, New admiral takes the helm at Faslane, 27 July 2015
  16. ^ "No. 63039". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 June 2020. p. 11075.