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RNEC History in the Context of Royal Naval & World Events

Based on "HMS THUNDERER" by Geoffrey PENN (Kenneth Mason) ISBN 0-85937-321-5

Submitted by Jock Morrison

"We need as many engineers as possible. As there is a lack of them, invite to this study, persons of about eighteen years who have already studied the necessary sciences. Relieve the parents of taxes and grant the scholars sufficient means". 

-- Emperor Constantine the Great. 4th Century AD.

Year Event
1670 Royal Navy formed (Charles II)
1712 Newcomen's first static steam engine (mine pumping)
1733 Portsmouth Naval Academy opened.
1757 Sextant invented
1775 Watt's steam engine invented
1780 Communication by coded flags introduced to Royal Navy
1790 World's first steam ship experiment
1795 Hydrographic Department of Admiralty founded
1801 First commercial steam-propelled ship Charlotte Dundas
1805 Battle of Trafalgar
1812 * War of 1812 - GB & USA (to 1814)
* Bell's Comet conducted trials on The Clyde
1815 Battle of WATERLOO
1819 First Transatlantic crossing by ship with steam propulsion (SS Savannah)
1822 RN "COMET" entered service (238tons/80hp/4psi steam)
1825 Stockton - Darlington Railway opened with Stephenson's "Rocket"
1826 Ampere's 'Electrodynamics' published.
1827 First steamships commissioned into RN as "HMS".
1829 Total of 12 paddlewheel steamships in RN service
Engineers' Boys in steamships for 5 years' training at sea as Indentured Apprentices
1831 Lt. Wall RN published "suggestions for the establishment of a Naval University (at Buckingham House, later Palace), with some observations on the formation of a Corps of Naval Engineers"
1833 Factory Act passed
1834 Cdr. Otway RN published "Elementary Treatise on Steam", forecasting need for a "training school to educate Engineers beyond mere engine-men"
1836 * 27 steam vessels in Navy List. Built by Great Western (I. K. Brunel)
* Naval Instructors introduced at Warrant rank
1837 * Queen Victoria's Coronation
* Telegraph invented (Samuel Morse)
* Steam ships of Post Office Packet Service transferred to RN.
* Order in Council establishes Engineers as officers "next below Carpenters"
1838 * Steam ships cross Atlantic under sustained power- Sirius and Great Western
* Training scheme established for Engineers' Boys (apprentices) in Dockyard workshops: 1 year Dockyard, 1 year sea, 1 year Dockyard.
1839 First sea-going ship Archimedes driven by propeller
1842 80 paddlewheel steamships in RN service as auxiliaries
1843 * SS Great Britain launched (Brunel)
* Naval Cadets introduced into the Royal Navy
* Barque "SULPHUR" provided as accommodation for Engineers' Boys under training at Woolwich Dockyard
* Dockyard Schools founded for training of Dockyard Apprentices, also attended by Engineers' Boys.
1844 First Morse telegraph demonstrated
1845 Archimedes demonstrated screw propulsion
1846 Cunard formed first trans-Atlantic steamship line
1848 Public Health Act passed
Communist manifesto published by Marx & Engels
1849 Water hydraulic gear fitted to cranes (Armstrong)
1851 Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace, London
1852 Commodore Perry visits Japan
1853 Crimean War started
1854 Charge of the Light Brigade
1856 Lignum vitae stern-tube bearings introduced
1857 * Indian Mutiny
* HMS ILLUSTRIOUS to Haslar for training of Naval Cadets (age 13+)
1859 * HMS ILLUSTRIOUS replaced by HMS BRITANNIA afloat at Portsmouth
* Last wooden-hulled RN battleship built (HMS Victoria)
* First commercial production of petroleum
* First ironclad warship Gloire launched (France)
1860 HMS WARRIOR commissioned
1861 April - Start of American Civil War
1862 US Ironclads, Merrimac and Monitor fight in Chesapeake Bay
1863 * RN Engineers adopted purple stripes on sleeves
* Engineer Students introduced (to replace Boys).
* First submarine Hunley (CSA) to sink a warship
* Training reviewed for Dockyard Schools at Woolwich, Sheerness, Portsmouth and Devonport.
* Entry at age 15 years, twice yearly by examination:
 - 6 years in Dockyard factories, including 2 evenings per week at School.
 - Naval uniform and discipline after passed final exam.and entered R.N.
 - Messing separately at sea. 
* Naval Cadet training in HMS BRITANNIA moved to Dartmouth
1864 * Self-propelled torpedo demonstrated (Whitehead)
* Royal School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering opened at South Kensington (now Victoria & Albert Museum)
1865 * American Civil War ends (July)
* Morse Code communication by flashing light introduced to RN
1867 All men over 21 given vote in UK
1868 Engine Room Artificers introduced to RN to do more of the physical work of operation, maintenance & repair in place of Engineers
1869 * Suez Canal opened
* Cutty Sark launched
* Union Pacific & Central Pacific Railroads linked
1870 * Franco-Prussian War started
* Rugby Football Union founded
* Prototype steam/steel/shell battleship launched (HMS DEVASTATION)
1872 * Rugby started at Devonport by Engineer Students.
* Universal education started in UK for 5 - 13 year-olds
1873 * Royal Naval College opened at Greenwich for training of engineers, constructors and military officers: all messing separately. 
* South Kensington closed
* Evaporator installed in Crocodil (France)
1875 * Hydraulic gear fitted to fore-turret of Thunderer
* Cooper-Key Committee investigated "...the most scientific and practical management of engines and the highest mechanical skill for their maintenance"
Recommended adoption of 1863 regulations including:
- equality of pay, rank and promotion for Engineers
- abolition of separate Engineers' messes
- incorporation of Engineers into the Military Branch (but not Command)
- greater scrutiny of Engineer Student candidates' social background
- establishment of a Residence for Engineer Students in the Dockyards 
"... to become accustomed to the discipline which, in many ways, they find irksome on first appointment to a man-of-war"
1876 Civil Service examinations held nation-wide for officer entry
First telephone message passed (Bell)
1877 * July - Uniforms and naval discipline introduced for Engineer Students.
* Dec - HMS MARLBOROUGH opened at Portsmouth as Engineer Students' hostel.  Students entered at 15 - 16 yr olds for 6 years training in Dockyard workshops

* Mainly practical instruction
- fitting & turning - 18 months
- other craft skills - 18 months 
- erecting machinery 
- fitting afloat - 30 months 
- machinery trials 
- drawing office 6 months
Then to sea as Acting Assistant Engineers (Probationary). 
Selected students sent to RNC Greenwich for 8 months mainly for theory
1878 Dec - Zulu Wars started
1879 * First UK telephone exchange
* Battle of Rorke's Drift (Royal Engineer in command)
1880 * July - Engineering College opened "without ceremony" at Keyham, Devonport as "training school for Engineer Students" 35 students transferred from MARLBOROUGH at Portsmouth.  Later to be known as RNEC Keyham
* RN Engineering Branch strength 6,000 men.
* First refrigerated cargo ship (Strathleven)
1881 Training in electrical generation introduced for RN Engineers
1884 * Impulse-reaction steam turbine patented (Parsons) 
* Steam "trawlers" introduced
1886 * First oil tanker Gluckauf launched
* Contra-rotating propellor patented (Ericssson)
* 103 Engineer Students remained under training in MARLBOROUGH.
* Theoretical lectures started in RNEC Keyham (in place of Dockyard School)
1888 * Kodak box camera patented
* Engineer Student (ES) made a naval rank. MARLBOROUGH closed. 
* Academic staff appointed to Keyham for 146 E.S. Course reduced from 6 to 5 years
"...there are obvious disadvantages which any university labours under compared with Keyham... perhaps more than anything, no other training school could enforce the strict training discipline so noticeable at Keyham, and which is greatly responsible for its efficiency" (anonymous college author)
1889 * Institute of Marine Engineers founded
* Impulse steam turbine patented (Laval)
* RN Barracks, Devonport opened
1892 HMS SPIDER (525 tons/3000 hp) attached to Keyham to provide steaming and maintenance practice
1893 * X-rays discovered.
* Prototype Diesel engine produced (Diesel)
* Labour Party formed in UK
* Annual intake of Engineer Students increased from 40 to 60
* British Merchant Shipping Act passed
1895 * Direct Entry Engineers introduced to meet rising needs.
* Separate Engineers' Mess at RNC Greenwich abolished.
1896 * Radio transmission demonstrated (Marconi).
* Decision taken to build BRNC Dartmouth
1897 * Turbinia demonstrated steam turbine propulsion (Parsons)
* Total strength of RN Engineers about 950.
* South Extension to Keyham College opened.
* "Golden Age" of Keyham Rugby begins (until 1899)
1898 * Spanish-American War in Carribean & Phillipines.
* First (gasoline/electric) submarine (Holland)
* Steam "drifters" introduced
* HMS SHARPSHOOTER (735 tons/4500 hp) replaced SPIDER at Keyham for steaming and maintenance practice
1899 * Boer War started. (to 1902)
* US Navy integrated Executive and Engineer Officers 
1900 * RN Engineering Branch 26,000 strong
* Contract signed for BRNC Dartmouth
1901 * Queen Victoria died (64 yr reign).
* First Transatlantic radio signals (Marconi)
* Keyham sports ground opened
1902 * Admiral Fisher became First Sea Lord.
* RN Engineers about 1500 strong.
* First RN submarines arrived at Portsmouth
* Dec - Selborne-Fisher Scheme announced: "One system of supply, entry and training...Homogenous training of Executive, Engineer and Marine Officers. . To enter the service as Naval Cadets between ages of 12 & 13... specialization to be definite and final"
i.e. to remain (N), (G), (T), and (E) specialists for whole career
1903 * First flight by Kitty Hawk (Wright Bros.)
* Mar - Military-style titles introduced for RN Engineers e.g." Engineer Lieutenant" with purple stripe inserted between gold.
* Sept Royal Naval College Osborne, I.O.W.opened
- 2yrs (age 13 -15 
- 2yrs at BRNC (age 16-17)
- 3yrs at sea as Midshipmen (to age 20)
* Engineer Captain appointed "in charge" of RNEC.Keyham establishing RNEC as a naval establishment, not Dockyard college
1904 Russo-Japanese War (to 1905)
1905 * BRNC Dartmouth opened. First marine Diesel engine built (German)
* Wireless communication introduced to RN.
* "Douglas" Report published, with public disagreements on Engineer Officers' status, training and uniforms.
* "Cawdor" memorandum (by Fisher) directed: "...all officers' duties to be carried out by Executive officers of common entry and training... specialised for different duties without separating into permanent and distinct Branches...All will be equal and Executive officers". i.e. all eligible to command ships - no purple stripe to distinguish Engineers.
* Last "Old Scheme" enters Keyham for 5 year course as Engineer Students (to 1910)
1906 First Diesel / electric submarine (German)
1907 First Isle of Man TT motorcycle race
1909 First Cross-Channel flight (Bleriot)
1910 * First aircraft launch from warship
* RNEC Keyham closed pending arrival of "New Scheme" (E) Specialists in 1913
1912 * Balkan Wars started
* Royal Flying Corps formed - Military & Naval Wings.
* Special Entry Scheme started for 18year-old Naval Cadet entry from schools, due to shortage of junior officers from RNCs. Entire 18 months' training given at sea
1913 * July- RNEC Keyham re-opened. First "New Scheme" Lieutenants (E) joined. Hence:
Duration Location Typical Student Age
2 yrs RNC Osborne 13 - 15 yrs
2 yrs BRNC Dartmouth 15 - 17 yrs
3 yrs (Mids) Fleet 17 - 20 yrs
2 yrs (S/Lts) Fleet 20 - 22 yrs
8 months RNC Greenwich 22 - 23 yrs
1 yr RNEC Keyham (E only) 23 - 24 yrs

* Training at all RNCs included
- 1,346 hrs engineering (incl. practical work) 22%
- 1,023 hrs science 17%
- 249 hrs seamanship 4%
- 258 hrs navigation & pilotage 4%
- 3,222 hrs general education 53%
- 6,096 hrs total training

1914 * Panama Canal opened.
* July - Royal Naval Air Service formed. 
* Aug - War started against Germany
* BRNC Dartmouth emptied.
* Special Entry Cadets (N,G,T) sent to RNEC Keyham for 3 - 5 month course. 
* Sept - Executive Captain appointed in charge of RNEC Keyham
1915 * Jan Engineering Branch officers given "executive curl" on stripes and military status.
* June BRNC Dartmouth Entry cadets overflow to RNEC.
* Order in Council creates 5 Branches: Military, Medical, Accountant, Instructor and Artisan.
* Dardanelles/Gallipoli Campaign
1916 Battle of Jutland
1917 * First landing by aircraft on warship - Sopwith Pup on HMS Furious
* Russian Revolution and Civil War starts
* Insufficient volunteers as (E) specialists from BRNC Dartmouth - Special Entry Scheme expanded to make up (X) & (E) numbers
1918 * Jan - Training of (E) volunteers re-started at RNEC Keyham ( K Classes ) - 6 month engineering course followed by appointment to sea.
* April - Royal Air Force formed: amalgamation of RFC & RNAS
* First purpose-built aircraft carrier completed (HMS ARGUS).
* Nov - Armistice
* Universal Old Age Pension introduce in UK
1919 * First Transatlantic flight (Alcock & Brown).
* Royal Australian & Royal Canadian Navies formed.
* First all-welded ship Fullagar (Cammell Laird)
* March - First (E) volunteers started at RNC Greenwich - G Classes. 
* Oct - Last Special Entry Cadets left RNEC Keyham.
* G (Greenwich) Classes entered RNEC Keyham for training on 1913 - 14 scheme.
* For (E) Specialists
 - 2 yrs at RNC Osborne 
 - 2 yrs at BRNC Dartmouth (Cadets)
 - 6 to 9 months Fleet-time (Cadets / Midshipmen)
 - 6 months RNC Greenwich
 - 15 months RNEC Keyham, mainly theory.
* Mates (E) (i.e. Artificers), started courses at RNEC Keyham.
* 'Instructor Officer' title introduced, mainly honours degree qualified
1920 League of Nations founded.
"Geddes Axe" made large reductions in RN officer numbers
1921 RNC Osborne closed
1922 * May - Long Course introduced for (E) Specialists, modifying 1913-14 Scheme.
* Purpose-built aircraft carrier USS Langley launched
1923 * Fleet Air Arm formed: composite of RN & RAF personnel.
* Mates(E) Course moved to RNC Greenwich
1924 First RADAR range-finding experiment
1925 The Great Betrayal
Military Branch split into Executive (Command stream) and Engineer (non-Command stream)
Mid (E) volunteers of 1922 / 23 / 24 Long Courses lost promised opportunity for Command, having been sent early to RNEC Keyham. Lack of training as Midshipmen at sea made transfer back to Executive (Command) specialisation unrealistic.
Long Course continued for (E) specialists after 1 year common training in Training Cruiser, entering RNEC Keyham as 18 yr old Midshipmen for 4 year course in general engineering, (including electrics). Left RNEC as 22 yr old S/Lts.
Engineers made to wear "more distinctive shade" of purple between gold stripes.
Most (E) specialists direct entry from "public" schools, few BRNC volunteers
1926 General Strike in UK
1928 * Women of 21 allowed to vote
* Talking cinema started
1929 First round-the-world airship flight (Zeppelin)
1930 Television introduced to Great Britain
1935 * Italo-Abyssinian War started
* Practical RADAR system demonstrated
* Conversion course for OE Officers started at Whale Island - to manage Ordnance Artificers in place of (G) Specialists
1936 * Keel of Queen Elizabeth laid - largest liner ever built (at 83,673 tons)
* Spanish Civil War started
* First powered flight of (twin-rotor) helicopter.
* Keyham living and teaching conditions overcrowded preventing re-expansion of numbers in training after "Geddes Axe" cuts
1937 * Fleet Air Arm formed. under joint RN & RAF control.
* Manadon estate in North Plymouth bought by Admiralty
1939 * May - Fleet Air Arm established under full RN control
* Sept - Second World War starts
* RNC Greenwich evacuated to Keyham.
* BRNC Dartmouth evacuated to Eaton Hall
* 1940 Aeronautical Engineering introduced to all RNEC courses.
* 300 officers at Keyham in accommodation built for 150 on 8-term courses
- 1 term at Eaton Hall
- 7 terms at Keyham, of which 5 as Midshipmen and 2 as S/Lt.
* Manadon site opened with temporary buildings, for eating and sleeping
1941 * First flight of turbo-jet engine (Whittle).
* Air engineering courses started at Manadon.
* Dec - Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour
1942 Nuclear chain reaction achieved
1943 * First programmable electronic computer (COLOSSUS) at Bletchley Park - 11 built in total, 2 transferred to GCHQ at end of war
* Sea training re-started for RNEC courses.
* Nov - Mids (A) RNVR (HNC level) started 6 month air engineering course at Manadon
1944 * Jun - Normandy Landings.
* Dec - Mids (E) RNVR (graduate level) course started
1945 * May - VE Day.
* 700 officers under training at Keyham/Manadon; incl. 427 Mids (A) & 61 (E).
* Instructional Block at Manadon completed.
* Aug - First operational atomic bomb dropped (Hiroshima) - VJ Day - Second World War ends
* UN founded.
* Sept - RNEC Flight established at Roborough.
* Dec - First "King's Sword" presented on completing training at RNEC
1946 * Separate TAS and Electrical Branches formed
* HMS WIZARD attached to RNEC for sea training of courses
* Sept - Long A/E Conversion Course started to correct shortage of air engineers
* Dec - RNEC commissioned as HMS THUNDERER with Captain "in Command
1947 * May - S/Lts (E) (ex-ERAs) course returned to Manadon
* Mids (A) & (E) RNVR courses ended
* Electrical Officers joined RNEC prior to Cambridge University & Greenwich (London University External) B.Sc. courses
1948 * Berlin airlift.
* Branch List introduced, replacing Warrant Officers.
* Sept - BRNC Dartmouth entry age raised from 13 to 16 yrs. iaw 1944 Education Act.
* Special Entry at 18yrs. retained. Basic training included
 - 8 months in Cadet Training Ship
 - 8 months in Fleet as Midshipman.
* RNEC 2 year Basic Course introduced:
 - 24 months RNEC "Basic Engineering Course"
 - 12 months at sea - practical marine engineering.
 - ...to be followed by a Specialist Course at RNEC
1949 * USSR tests its first atomic bomb
* Sept - Branch Officers (E)s' technical course started at RNEC (1 term)
1950 Korean War started (to 1953)
1951 * April - Last Long Course (4 years duration, age 18-22, started in 1925) left RNEC.
* Sept - First 1 year Specialist Course joined RNEC. 
  - ME, OE or AE. (Qualified as full members of the Institution / Institutes of Mechanical Engineers, Naval Architects, Marine Engineers, or Royal Aeronautical Society).
* Option of 24 months advanced engineering "dagger" courses for selected officers at RNC Greenwich (ME,OE) or Cranfield (AE)
1952 First US hydrogen bomb test
1953 National Service graduates at RNEC for naval engineering training
1954 * First nuclear-propelled submarine (USS Nautilus) launched
* May - French surrender in Vietnam.
* COST Committee recommended:
- abandonment of 16 year-old Cadet Entry.
- all Cadet Entry to be at ages 17 - 18 yrs.
- lowering of entry educational standards except for Electrical Cadets
1955 * HMS VANGUARD (last battleship) mothballed.
* March - Engineers' purple stripe & Electrical Officers' green stripe removed.
* May COST training scheme started at BRNC:
- 2 terms BRNC
- 1 term Dartmouth Training Squadron
- 2 terms BRNC
- 1 term DTS
- 1 term BRNC
- 18 months Fleet time - watchkeeping certificates
followed by:
ES - 36 months Long Engineering Course
X - Sea Training
then C, G, ND, SM, H, TAS, P and O specialist "Long Courses"
1956 * Transistor developed
* First Transatlantic cable laid
* First sea-going hovercraft demonstrated (Cockerill)
* General List introduced (AFO 1/56) (Mansergh Committee)
1957 * Jan - Special Duties List introduced, replacing Branch List.
* First nuclear-powered surface vessel (Lenin)
* Sputnik satellite launched (USSR)
1958 * Direct-dial telephones introduced in UK
* Jan - Supplementary List Air Cadets to RNEC for 1 term basic training.
* Jul - RNEC Manadon wardroom block opened
* Sept COST 3-year Long Engineering Course started at RNEC
* Sept Pilot course for London University External B.Sc.(Eng) started at RNEC followed by 1 year Application Course.
* Murray Committee reported: "...did not believe that there is any convincing evidence that higher intelligence and higher academic performance are incompatible with the possession of good personal qualities and leadership potential... basic scientific and engineering knowledge in X officers, no less than E and L officers, are rapidly appreciating asset... also been impressed by the practice of the American and Canadian (and Russian) Navies... which now take all their officers in training to the level of a university degree in what may be called liberal engineering studies".
* Naval Cadet entry qualifications restored to 2 Advanced levels
1959 * Vietnam War started
* Nov - Keyham re-opened as Dockyard Technical College & Constructors' Training Office.
* First Polaris missile-armed SSBN George Washington launched (USN)
1960 * European Free Trade Association formed
* Sept - First 'Murray Scheme' course started at BRNC.
- 1yr BRNC Dartmouth 18 - 19 yrs
- 1yr Fleet-time (Midshipman) 19 - 20
* Dec - Last Supplementary List Air Cadets left RNEC Manadon
1961 * LASER demonstrated
* Berlin Wall built.
* Weapons & Radio (WR) Branch created from OE & Electrical Branches.
* Dec. - US troops to Vietnam
1962 * Aug - Engineering Degree Course introduced fully at RNEC (to match Murray Scheme):
 - 3yrs RNEC Manadon
 - 1yr Application Course at RNEC ME/MESM/WR/AE
* SD Officers' courses at RNEC Manadon in ME, H, AE & OE sub-specializations.
* London (Greenwich) & Cambridge University graduates joined Application Courses at RNEC Manadon "It's hardly surprising that we were completely de-navalized after virtually 3 years out of the Service, during which time we were exposed to every sort of reactionary influence. Naturally it has been difficult to re-adjust ourselves to the Navy again (some doubt if we ever will completely...!) - Cambridge graduate W&R officer. RNEC Magazine Autumn 1963.
* Direct Graduate Entry (DGE) officers joined RNEC Manadon
1963 * Indonesian Confrontation (to 1966).
* Geo-synchronous communications satellite launched (US). 
* First RN SSN (HMS DREADNOUGHT) commissioned.
* Royal Naval Engineering Service (RNES) formed.
* Keyham site vacated by Navy
1964 * "Healey" Defence Review. CVA.01 cancelled. Strategic base withdrawals.
* First female student officer joined RNEC (for air engineering course).
* RNEC Manadon Engineering Diploma Course started (Mech. & Elect.)
1965 * Engineering Branch ("Big E") formed
* W&R Branch became WE Sub-Branch
* First Manadon (London Univ. External) graduates in electrical engineering.
* Manadon degree courses recognised by CNAA
1966 Manadon wardroom accommodation completed (for 380 officers)
1967 * First RN SSBN (HMS RESOLUTION) commissioned
* World's largest oil-spill (Torrey Canyon)
* Proposal for Tri-Service "Royal Defence Academy" to provide engineering training of officers of all three Services abandoned.
* Supplementary List graduate (DGE) ME officers' training started at SULTAN
1968 First UK heart transplant
1970 * Fleet Chief (Warrant) rank introduced.
* Daily rum ration abolished
* Last London Univ. external degree exams taken at RNEC Manadon
1971 Advanced Marine Engineering Course transferred to RNEC from RNC Greenwich
1973 * March - Engineering Branch Development (EBD) started, leading to transfer of "heavy electrics" from WE back to ME sub-specialists.
* RNEC Manadon accommodated about 400 officers
1974 First RN-designed aero gas turbine-powered warships commissioned: destroyer (HMS SHEFFIELD) and frigate (HMS AMAZON)
1975 * April - Vietnam War ended.
* Principal Warfare Officers' (PWO) scheme started.
* Sea Harrier brought into service.
* RNES merged with Royal Corps of Naval Constructors (RCNC)
1976 Advanced ME (Dagger) Course recognised by CNAA for award of M.Sc.
1978 Sept - New Naval Engineering Degree B.Sc.Course introduced at RNEC Manadon to produce "Systems Engineers". Hence:
- 1 term at BRNC Dartmouth
- 1 term in Dartmouth Training Ship
- 6 months in Fleet, followed by Fleetboard examination
- 3 years degree course at RNEC
- 1 year Application Course at RNEC & specialist branch "school"
1979 EBD completed. ME sub-specialists responsible for electrical systems.
First "Through Deck Cruiser" (HMS INVINCIBLE) commissioned
1981 * First graduates of new RNEC Manadon Naval Engineering Degree course
* Special Duties (SD) officers provided 30% of total engineer officers
* SD (E) officers receive sub-specialist (AE,ME,WE) training at RNEC qualifying them as Technician Engineers of main national Engineering Institutions
1982 April - Falklands Campaign starts
1983 * RNEC Manadon naval engineering degree course revised to award BEng, open to suitably qualified X officers with Operational Analysis course option
* July - HM Queen visits RNEC
1985 * RNEC Keyham building demolished.
* Maritime Defence Technology courses introduced at RNEC Manadon Diploma & MSc, for E and X officer graduates.
* Warfare Technology module of Principal Warfare Officers Course introduced
1987 Ro-Ro ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsizes & sinks
1990 Berlin Wall demolished
1994 Electrically driven Azipod thrusters first installed in icebreaker (Uikku)
1995 * RNEC Manadon closed - RN ceases to train graduate-level engineers in-house. 
* Training transferred to civilian universities and RN specialist "schools"


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