I need to construct a 500 word (max) summary of the Royal Navy’s Fishery Protection role down the years. The Fishery Protection Squadron must be the oldest ‘formed unit’ in the Fleet. Is there a key source I might consult?
On Twitter just picked up some material by @simonharley that should be useful for you:
“I’ve been bothered by the claim that the Fishery Protection Squadron is the oldest in the Royal Navy. Lots of sources, including the Navy, say it stems back to at least the nineteenth century and as far back as the 14th century! But as far as I can tell it just turned 100. Still likely the oldest, but nowhere near as old as everyone claims it to be. Appears to have been formed as the Fishery Protection Flotilla under Captain, Auxiliary Patrol, in May or June 1920.
Prior to the First World War there were a number of ships on fishery duties but these were under the orders of the Admiral Commanding Coastguard and Reserves and were manned by Coastguardmen (who were not quite the same as Royal Navy). There was definitely no “squadron”.”