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The War Office This article contains text from this source, which is available under th
Open Government Licence v3.0
© Crown copyright
was a Department of the British Government responsible for the administration of the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...
between 1857 and 1964, when its functions were transferred to the newly-created
Ministry of Defence Ministry of Defence or Ministry of Defense may refer to: * Ministry of defenceMinistry of Defence or Ministry of Defense may refer to: * Ministry of defence, a type of government department responsible for matters of defence Current ministries ...
(MoD). It was equivalent to the
Admiralty Admiralty usually refers to: * Admiralty (United Kingdom), military department in command of the Royal Navy from 1707 to 1964 *The rank of admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank ...
, responsible for the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
(RN), and the (much later)
Air Ministry The Air Ministry was a department of the Government of the United Kingdom ga, Rialtas na Ríochta Aontaithe sco, Govrenment o the Unitit Kinrick , image = HM Government logo.svg , image_size=220px, date_established = , state = United ...
, which oversaw the
Royal Air Force The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for th ...
(RAF). The name 'War Office' is also given to the former home of the department, located at the junction of
Horse Guards Avenue Horse Guards Avenue is a road in the City of Westminster The City of Westminster is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and London boroughs, borough in Inner London which forms a core part of Central London. It is the site of the Un ...
and
Whitehall Whitehall is a road and area in the City of Westminster, Central London. The road forms the first part of the A roads in Zone 3 of the Great Britain numbering scheme, A3212 road from Trafalgar Square to Chelsea, London, Chelsea. It is the main ...

Whitehall
in central London. The landmark building was sold on 1 March 2016 by
HM Government ga, Rialtas na Ríochta Aontaithe sco, Govrenment o the Unitit Kinrick , image = HM Government logo.svg , image_size=220px, date_established = , state = United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, comm ...
for more than £350 million, on a 250 year lease for conversion into a luxury hotel and residential apartments. Prior to 1855, 'War Office' signified the office of the
Secretary at War The Secretary at War was a political position in the English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval Eng ...
. In the 17th and 18th centuries, a number of independent offices and individuals were responsible for various aspects of Army administration. The most important were the
Commander-in-Chief of the Forces The Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, later Commander-in-Chief, British Army, or just the Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C), was (intermittently) the professional head of the English Army