ROYAL NAVAL PHOTOGRAPHY

A Potted History

"Potted" and in tabular form so that information can be added or amended easily and used as a "What happened when?" reference. Please feel free to contact Jan Larcombe if you disagree with anything or have any notable dates to add 

A fuller (and more accurate) history is now available at Hist1325 on this website

 

1917

First full time Photo Reconnaissance Squdron, No 2 Sqdn RNAS operating out of RNAS Dunkirk

1919

AFO 3444 Issued Creating a Photographic Branch of Non Substantive Ratings. The AFO called for six Ratings who were to be drafted to HMS Snapdragon. Ratings previously employed on Fleet Photographic Work were able to volunteer for the new branch 

1920

The Royal Naval School of Photography opened at Tipner Ranges under the control of HMS Excellent. First OIC was WO AW Smith

1921

Examination for Photographer 1st Class introduced.

1935

First darkrooms designed from the outset in Protector and Guardian

1937

Approval given to create a Substantive Photographic Branch. The aim was to train 24 ratings per year. First promotion to Warrant Officer Photographer .

1939 Control of the Photographic Branch transferred to the Fleet Air Arm. Aerial photographic training started at RAF Ford. Royal Naval Film Unit formed at Tipner..

17-11-1939

Flying pay of 1s 6d per day introduced for those on flying duties

1940

Home Fleet Photographic Unit formed in HMS Guardian then Valiant and finally Dunluce Castle at Scapa Flow. First Hostilities Only (HO) ratings joined 

1941

First Photographers joined the Fleet Requirements Unit after three month course at Ford. First WRNS Photographers started training at FORD 

1943 ??? 

Rabbit firms authorized 

1943

RNSOP moved to Felpham, Bognor Regis. Admiralty banned sale of photographs to media by individuals.

22-5-1944

Strand House the HQ of RNSOP burnt out by cigarette thrown out of a window

1947 RNSOP moved to HMS PEREGRINE RNAS Ford. Photographers came under Fleet Air Arm control

1-4-1956

Naval Airman (A) (E) and (O) became Naval Air Mechanics and separated from the Naval Airman Branch

1958?

Photographer 3rd Class introduced.

 1960

FPU moved to Fraser Gunnery Range Eastney.

1961

RNSOP moved to temporary home in Whitecroft House, HMS Ariel, Lee on Solent

1962

First Peregrine Trophy competition.

Sept 1963

RNSOP moved to HMS FULMAR, Losiemouth.

1966 Preliminary Examination for Phot 1 introduced

1969

WRN Photographic Assistants introduced

1971

FPU moved to Frazer Building, HMS EXCELLENT, Whale Island.

1971 

 The Royal Naval School of Advanced (Later Applied ) Photography (RNSAP) set up in Frazer Building. First of the new WRNS Photographer courses.

1st April 1972

1972 

RN basic photographic Training moved to JSOP RAF Cosford.

RNSAP moved to purpose built building on West Battery, Whale Island

1976 

"Sideways Entry" into the branch introduced.

1983 ?

FPU moved to Tipner. RNSAP closed

1984

Fleet Photographic Unit transferred to CinC Fleets control.

1992

Fleet Photographic Unit became Surface Flotilla Photographic Unit (SFPU)

1993/4 RAF withdrew from Joint Basic "PhotoG" training. RN and Army basic course CN 1317 introduced

2002

Fleet took control of Plymouth and Faslane Phot Sections  from Defence Logistics Organization and units became Fleet Regional Photographic Sections (West and North). SFPU became FPRS (East)

2003

Image Analysis (was Photographic Interpretation) became part of the photographic branch task

28-4-2003 Control of Joint School of Photography  transferred from the RAF to the Defence Intelligence Steering Committee. School became the Defence School of Photography (DSOP)

30-6-2003

Imperial War Museum became depository for all RN images over 3 years old

Christmas 2003

End of Darkrooms in all ships and shore establishments (uniformed)

1-7-2004

RAF rejoined joint basic training. 28 week course number CN 5300 introduced

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