JUST A FEW PAINTING OF HMS GANGES AS AN ACTIVE WARSHIP PRIOR TO 1866

and AN EXPLANATION!

 

HMS Ganges riding at anchor in Portsmouth harbour. The wording reads Ganges 84 gunner

HMS Ganges leaving Spithead for the English Channel

 

HMS Ganges right of picture with HMS Queen Charlotte a 108 gunners in centre, possibly in Portsmouth harbour.

 

Ganges tacking into the wind somewhere off a South American country.

 

Ganges with her tender of that time, the 311 ton Brig HMS Sealark, her steam launch and her pulling cutter. Apart from one very small time frame, all Ganges gunnery requirements and live firings were done at Devonport and certainly not at Falmouth. For you Guzz folk, note the address of the publishers which is Union Straza! The one exception of live firings  was when the Ganges was asked to sinking a struggling merchant vessel [see PDF number 37 in this file HMS GANGES AS TOLD IN NEWSPAPERS.html ]  This file touches upon Ganges' gunnery training HMS GANGES - GUNNERY TRAINING ALL DONE IN DEVONPORT.htm (2012_11_19 20_20_07 UTC).html

 

HMS Ganges with frigates and a brig. Note that she belonged to the Red Fleet, the most senior of the three fleets.

 

Ganges in Rio harbour shortening sail

 

Ganges at anchor in Rio Bay

 

Ganges leaving Rio and heading for the open seas.

Now for a census form issued by H.M. Government, this one for the 1881 census returns of all personnel aboard the two ships.

The form covers two vessels and each main entry on it is underlined with a break in the line having two dots or stop signs, indicating ditto to what is above. 

On the main ship line viz "Ganges" there is a bracketed symbol saying that "For "Sealark" See 277:2" her return of personnel on board that night.  Immediately under Her Majesty's Ship "Ganges" comes Her Majesty's Brig "Sealark" [attached to "Ganges"] .....as her Tender. On the next line, namely Class and Denomination of Ship, the Ganges is shown as a "First Class Wooden Line of Battleship".  This is an error for the Ganges was a second class or second rate battleship. Sealark is correctly shown as a Training Brig.

Note the line "Name of Captain or Commanding Officer". Throughout most of the 19th century the word captain was taken as read to be the commanding officer of the ship, but if a ship had an officer of lower than a captains rank he was listed as the CO. Notwithstanding his rank, the crew would invariably call him the skipper, the captain, or the CO, and the wardroom might call him father. Today we always use the title Commanding Officer [not captain] and the CO will always add his rank after his signature which is usually typed, as Commander Fanshawe has done above. 

The CO of the Sealark was one Gerard Robert Bromley and his seniority date was 1867. That means by the time of this census he had been a lieutenant for 14 years. After 8 years he would have worn two and a half stripes on his sleeves and would have received a hike in his pay above that of a lieutenant with less than 8 years seniority: however, his title of lieutenant didn't change, and in those days the next promotion for a lieutenant was to commander. In 1914 [although he would have been long gone by that date] those wearing two and a half stripes were renamed as lieutenant commanders and their status in those long lost days of chivalry, courtesy and etiquette they would have been called socially "commander" and in written work lieutenant commander, whereas a lieutenant was always called lieutenant in official speech and socially as "Mr". Whether that is still the case today in the second decade of the 21st century, I am not sure, but it certainly was extant when I left the navy in 1983. It upset several lieutenants because my rank "Fleet Chief Petty Officer [but in truth a WO1 equating fully with an RSM of an army regiment] was also called "Mr" when being addressed by speech from  a commissioned officer both officially and socially, although when addressed in writing it was FCPO. My reference to state this is the book "Titles & Forms of Addresses", A and C Black [Publishers] Ltd, 35 Bedford Row London WC1R 4JH, Dated 1980 [Seventeenth Edition] ISBN 0 7136 2072 2.

The 'station' Line for both vessels reflects that they are controlled operationally and administered by C-in-C Plymouth. I note that the word "stationary" has been deleted and a much smaller word added above which is virtually impossible to decipher: it could be "boy" but why? Whilst in the thirty three years she was in Falmouth, she left twice to go to Devonport for a refit and moved around the Falmouth harbour to three separate berths, she could hardly be classed as anything but a stationary vessel.

On the night of the census Ganges was on station at Falmouth and her Tender [Sealark] was just below Plymouth Hoe in the Sound.

Just looking at these lovely sketches/drawings of the mid 19th century, makes me think of the Wyllies' [father and son] painters, especially the works of the father William, world famous for his beautiful maritime works. Another of my favourites is the prolific works of Commander Eric Tufnell R.N. Rtd who served for twenty nine years from 1903 until 1929. After his retirement, he never stopped producing sketches, drawings and paintings of 20th century warships, many of them still selling for up to 15,000 today, so if you have one look after it and get it valued and thereafter insured. He died in 1979 aged 91 still working and this picture shows him in his studio in 1970. One of my friends was lucky enough to be given a Tufnell this Christmas [2016], a painting of the WW2 cruiser HMS Birmingham in all her glory - lucky man despite the potential money value. This is a picture of Commander Eric Tufnell at  turned 80, on this occasion painting ships like the Ganges. I am quite surprised that Shotley didn't have at least a couple of Tufnell's works!