The contents and thus the learning to be achieved and understood are tremendous and very demanding upon young boys! Remember these were seamen boys [budding bluejackets], NOT signal boys [although some did choose that career path after leaving sea training]] and of course boy telegraphists had not been invented at this time.

This is the front cover of the hardback now itself a triffle worn with a broken spline.  By the way training ships mean just that and not training establishment.  Steam was introduced into the navy c. 1850 onwards, so these ships roaming the sea 60 years on from those times were steam vessels with screws but most still with sails and yards  to be studied and mastered as a skill for these boy's. My many Ganges stories point out that its famous mast erected in 1907 was a red herring because by this time gymnasium's  and the PTI branch had been introduced to keep the men fit and active, and sails and yards were off the training menu's for naval adults: it was retained simply as a keep fit medium for boys with not one jot of  practical use for their careers at sea.

Click on thumbnails that follow, twice if necessary.

The contents of this manual are of great interest but the chief attention-grabber's are how boy's learned their Morse Code and the multi-use of the Union Jack.

Most of us will remember the dot dashes, the dits and dars,  and other unforgettable symbols plus, if like me all these years on, you regularly hark back to those days and find yourself tapping out a Morse signal. But what about this way of remembering the Morse Code where a dot is a 'dotty' and a dash is a 'dashty' or 'dash-ty' ? 

On page 120 of the following pdf file  we are shown three letters A B and C followed by:-

A = dottydash-ty [for DI DAR]

B = dash-tydottydottydotty [for DAR DI DI DI]

C = dash-tydottydash-tydotty [for DAR DI DAR DI]

very strange I am sure you will agree. It reminds me of my time when a young parent of talking baby-talk to my young sons, something we all did back then so it was the norm.  By the 1980's it was considered that from day one almost, we talked to our children in adult terms, so for example dad da became daddy so children became early learners  etc.

Thinking about the erase sign of at least eight dots.  One could become 'potty' doing all those 'dotty's !

Of other great interest was the way they boxed their compass using  110 points whatever [I didn't count them as diligently as I should have done ?] whilst using just the compass card and by flags on a colourful compass card [of all things - see second  page of pdf file].


There are many histories which can be told/explored by looking at flags but one in particular are the flags of Germany through her many wars and vile destruction of millions of people and their cultures and possessions. Germany's many flags point to a VERY TROUBLED nation not to mention a carbuncle on the side of the Globe which will fester for many fair minded students of this period long into the future and history per se.

 Throughout MOST of the 1800's and remember Germany was allied to the Duke of Wellington  in his defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815 and before, we had moderate dealings with Prussia a very well known military society!

PRUSSIA [FLAG BELOW] was unsettled and in the second half of the century with King William 1 on the throne caused several minor wars but when Otto Von Bismarck arrived in power in the 1860's he played along with the King although all were aware as to who was the boss. Not only did he cause three much more serious wars against Austro-Hungary, Denmark and France and won all three, but he manipulated other European countries making it tough for them if they didn't toe his line, and history shows Bismarck as the true cause of both WW's in the first half of the 20th century -he set the scene in the 19th century!  By the time he felt the Prussian-German alliance to be powerful enough he delivered the biggest possible insult to France by moving into the sacred Palace of Versailes and there declared the Second Reich but vacated the premises after his declaration. The beginning of the scene was set!

At the turn of the century and commensurate with the start of the 2nd Reich a new flag was designed which went on to be used throughout WW1. The strong man of the Alliance and the constant bully of European nations was Bismarck ruling Prussia with an iron hand, and because Prussia was a northern state bordering the Baltic it gave him licence to call his flag the North German Flag which is shown here and in the pdf file to follow where it is actually named as such.

 Bismarck comes across as the quintessential field marshal equating with Wellington and Napoleon but he was anything but. He had no military experience only a short period in the reserve forces which he didn't like and chose to resign at the first opportunity.  Nevertheless he continuously wore a military-style uniform giving the impression of a seasoned military leader. King William 1 died in 1888 and was followed by his son Frederick III and then by the foulest man of WW1 King William II known to us as The Kaiser, the end of the line for the German monarchy, although he was too strong for Bismarck and the Kaiser got rid of him. The flag above was used  by Germany until the defeat of the Second Reich in 1918 and the fleeing of the Kaiser into the hands of the Dutch who gave him first class luxury hospitality and much to the annoyance of most of the world, complete protection.  He died in Holland in 1941. It really does beggar belief that the Dutch continued his treatment as a very important VIP this despite the Nazis attacked the Netherland in 1940!

At the end of the war and the Reich, a civilian government, the Weimar Republic administered the defeated country and chose to fly this flag

As soon as WW1 finished the surrendered troops began a campaign against the Weimar and come the mid 1920 it was obvious that these rebels led by Adolf Hitler were well organised and meaning business. Hitler wangled his way into civil  administration with an ulterior motive to spread Nazism ultimately to bring down the Republic, and come 1935 the flag of Germany once again changed this time to the much feared flag of the Nazi Party itself.


This period followed on from WW1 and was called the Third Reich.

After the defeat of the Reich and the deaths of the German leaders many executed by the Allies but also many by suicides, sometimes including the whole family as in the case of the Joseph Goebbels. He ordered the execution of his many children first, then it was his wife's turn and finally his own.

After the Allies and Russian forces had annexed Berlin as a war prize, the sector which went to the Western Allies became known as West Germany and called itself  The GERMAN FEDERAL REPUBLIC  flew this flag

and Russia's sector known as East Germany and calling itself The GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC flew this flag

After the Berlin Wall was torn down and Germany reunified 3rd October 1990, they took this, the existing West German flag as their national flag.

 And now the V/S section from the Manual