Maritime Warfare School

The present HMS Collingwood was commissioned in early 1940 as a new-entry training camp for hostilities-only ratings. The establishment comprised 4 training divisions and a gunnery section responsible for the final 3 weeks of a class’s training. Shortly after, a separate signal section was added under a Signal Commander for the training of Ordinary Signalmen and Ordinary Telegraphists.

After the war, the Electrical Branch was formed to maintain, design and prove increasingly complex radars, sonars and communications systems. HMS Collingwood became the School of Electrical Engineering in 1946 and took over the training of all officers and ratings, with the exception of the Fleet Air Arm, in the maintenance of electrical and radio equipments in the Fleet. 

Subsequently the branch became responsible for weapons engineering and became known as the Weapon Electrical Engineering branch, later still becoming the Weapon Engineering sub-specialisation on passing responsibility for electrical generation and distribution to the Marine Engineers.

On the demise of HMS Mercury, the home of communications training since 1941, history turned full circle in 1993, and a Communications Faculty was added in the HMS Collingwood. 

Further expansion followed in 1995 when training of junior Weapon Engineer Officers transferred to the site following the closure of the Royal Naval Engineering College at Manadon, Plymouth.

The MWS is now part of the Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) organisation, delivering Warfare Training on five sites; Horsea Island, HMS Temeraire and HMS Excellent all in Portsmouth, Hampshire and HMS Raleigh in Cornwall and of course HMS Collingwood in Fareham, Hampshire.

The aim of the MWS remains as ever to train Officers and Ratings for the Fleet who are ready to fight and win.