History of the Photographic branch

Discussion in 'History' started by Nelson2014, Nov 24, 2015.

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  1. Hi, I was wondering if anyone knew more information about the photographic branch? how did it start and if anyone has any funny stories about being a navy photographer and any photos that you woudl be willing to share.
    A Potted History


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


    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


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


    Examination for Photographer 1st Class introduced.


    First darkrooms afloat fitted in Protector and Guardian


    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..

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


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


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

    1943 ???

    Rabbit firms authorized


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


    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

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


    Photographer 3rd Class introduced.


    FPU moved to Fraser Gunnery Range Eastney.


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


    First Peregrine Trophy competition.

    Sept 1963

    RNSOP moved to HMS FULMAR, Losiemouth.

    1966 Preliminary Examination for Phot 1 introduced

    WRN Photographic Assistants introduced


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


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

    1st April 1972


    RN basic photographic Training moved to JSOP RAF Cosford.

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


    "Sideways Entry" into the branch introduced.

    1983 ?

    FPU moved to Tipner. RNSAP closed


    Fleet Photographic Unit transferred to CinC Fleets control.


    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

    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)


    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)

    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)


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


  3. The only people that can walk around "willy nilly" on Divs :)
  4. That was a nice snapshot of the phot branch :)

    I'll get me coat!
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