Tenders ...

The Navigation School and later HMS DRYAD had tenders to provide practical training at sea. The names of some of the ships will be familiar to ND officers, either because they completed their own training in them, or remember the buildings named after them.
HMS MERCURY ...

In 1903, Captain Oliver established the Navigation School on board the hulk HMS MERCURY, anchored off Mother Bank in the Solent. He restored her to a sea worthy condition and operated for much of the time in the Solent and English Channel to the south of the Isle of Wight.


In 1906, the Navigation School moved ashore to its new home in Portsmouth Naval Base, where it remained until 1941. During this period it was called DRYAD, taking the name from one of the three tenders initially assigned.

HMS DRYAD ... HMS HARRIER ...

HMS DRYAD

HMS HARRIER

During the interwar years other tenders, usually minesweepers, were attached.

HMS ALRESFORD ... HMS SALTBURN ... HMS CARSTAIRS ...

HMS ALRESFORD

HMS SALTBURN

HMS CARSTAIRS

After the establishment of the Action Information Training Centre in HMS DRYAD, other tenders were used.

HMS BOXER ...

One of the more unusual ships was HMS BOXER (picture to the left), an LST converted to a Fighter Direction ship for use during the Normandy landings. After WW2, she remained in service as an AIO tender.

HMS ROCHESTER ...

HMS ROCHESTER (picture to the left) was briefly attached as a tender in 1945 before being paid off and her role being replaced by HMS STARLING.

HMS STARLING (picture to the right), a Black Swan class corvette. During WW2 she was commanded by Captain Johnny Walker of the Second Support Group who enjoyed much success in the Battle of the Atlantic. STARLING served as a tender between 1946-59. The name STARLING is preserved at the Maritime Warfare School in HMS COLLINGWOOD as the name of the Anti-Submarine tactical procedures trainer.

HMS STARLING ...

HMS REDPOLE ...

HMS REDPOLE (picture to the left) was a tender between 1949-xx. After being paid off one of the Radar Plot training buildings was named Redpole.

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HMS WAKEFUL (picture to the right) served from 1959, replacing STARLING.

HMS WAKEFUL ...

HMS CARRON ...

HMS CARRON (picture to the left) was assigned from 1960.

HMS ULSTER (picture to the right) from 1965.

HMS ULSTER ...