Note the original title of the FUND, the change to a new name and the reason why. The “The Naval Efficiency Trust Fund was set up on the 5th September 1928, and the new title, the HLNTF came into being in 1930. By 1928 both original gifts [£20,000 and £5,000] had been given.


This is a list of Packs containing minutes and letters about the Fund. This PDF file shows the first 25 pages only of Pack No., N2558/28 i.e., at the very beginning of the story. These 1928 to 1930 Packs contain many hundreds of pages.


Herbert Lott’s original idea of a Fund to reward efficiency in naval gunnery. Note ‘Markings to Board’ and 2nd Sea Lord [2SL].


T.L. refers to ‘Their Lordships’. Note the competition thoughts and the AA shooting match idea. Herbert Lott was to move away from this idea of structured competitions and towards the idea of individual awards for efficiency in gunnery and marksmanship. The print beneath the signature says “For Head of R Branon”

5 and 6

Herbert’s handwriting is not easy to read so here is a typed version.

“Sir, In the year 1906, I made my will bequests having for their object the creation of a fund for the encouragement of various classes of firing in the Navy as I believe that the latter had not the same advantages as afforded by the Army Associations. Having survived longer than I anticipated, I have decided, if the proposal meets with the approval of the Naval Authorities, to make a commencement in my lifetime. In that will the clause relative to the above was, my solicitor informed me, the one usual in such cases which I will forward for your perusal. The amount available at present would be about £20,000.  I am still as I was in 1906 of opinion that in the “Navy depends the safety of these realms” and that our enemies are always planning to weaken the Navy. If approved, I to remain anonymous at present. I am Sir, Faithfully yours. Herbert Lott. My permanent address is 10 Carlisle Parade Hastings, but I am staying as above for the present. Addressed to The Chief Secretary, The Navy, Whitehall.”

When he says “staying here for the present”, he really meant more than that for he died there in 1947 nearly 20 years later!


L.C. refers to Lords Commissioners. The scribble was on the original document.


“…..which should reach you  in the course of a few posts” – how quaint ! V.W. Baddeley was Sir Vincent Baddeley – see page 25

9 and 10

The letter from the First Sea Lord to Herbert Lott. The parts which are difficult to read on page 9 middle right hand side are as follows. …….great difficulty. Worse: …..gunnery competitions to change of conditions – not sure – but could be ‘might with’: ……….embarrassment to the Admiralty. I like the way Sir Charles finishes his letter with “Believe me”. It suggest that he and the Board couldn’t believe their luck in receiving this generous gift. Note the Gunlayers tests of 1906 which had been abolished by 1928.


Note under Markings to Board the circulation list in order of seniority – Fourth Sea Lord, Second Sea Lord, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff and the First Lord of the Admiralty, a civilian. Since the page deals with Herbert Lott’s Will, note the ‘referred to’ column showing the Admiralty Solicitor.


The first section of page 12 is difficult to read, so here is a re-type. “Submitted in continuation of N.2551/28. It will be noted that Mr Lott still devotes the interest and dividends of the trust fund to providing medals and money prizes to officers and men for accurate gunnery and marksmanship. 18 8 28 [Signature] for Head of N”.

I was surprised to learn of the MEDALS part, but it makes sense. Notice the wording of ‘efficiency/improvement’ which Herbert Lott eventually agreed with [after all, it still covered gunnery which was his original idea] and which is still relevant to this day, more or less.


Again, difficult to read the typed text, so a re-type. “This matter was discussed this morning with Dr. Brown, Assistant Treasury Solicitor. Dr. Brown suggested that a letter should be written to Mr. Lott indicating the purpose to which the Admiralty desire to put the fund and saying that if agrees Their Lordships will instruct the Treasury Solicitor to prepare a draft deed for the creation of the Trust Fund which would be sent as soon as possible to him or to his Solicitors if he would prefer that course.  A letter has been dispatched to Mr. Lott accordingly”.

14 and 15

A re-type. “HERBERT LOTT NAVAL TRUST FUND. I forward herewith for the consideration of the Admiralty a draft [in duplicate] of a Deed of Trust for the purpose of carrying out the intentions of  Mr. Herbert Charles Lott in founding this Trust.  If approved by the Admiralty, a copy will no doubt be forwarded to Mr. Lott for his concurrence.  With regard to Mr. Lott’s contemplated new Will, provided that this is not executed until after the execution of the Deed of Trust, Mr. Lott’s intention [if I interpret it aright] further to benefit the fund on his death might conveniently be carried out by a residuary devise and bequest in such words as “to the Trustees of the Herbert Lott Naval Trust Fund being the Trustees for the time being under the Deed of Trust dated the         day of          1928 and made between the Commissioners for Executing the Office of Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom of the first part, myself on the second part and Sir Oswyn Alexander Ruthven Murray and Conrad James Naef of the third part to be held by them upon the trusts and for the purposes and subject to the provisions therein declared.”


More interesting details of the evolving story and the aim of the FUND which we are familiar with today.


The signatures of these very senior officers opened up the scope of the FUND to include the Royal Marines. In addition to Dominion navies of the Old Commonwealth,  it went on to include the Royal Indian Navy.


A little note saying that the First Lord of the Admiralty was away but that the Second Sea Lord had briefed him.


A minute confirming details on pages 16 and 17 above, with confirmation that the £20,000 first gift had been received.

20 and 21

Back to Herbert’s handwriting ! Here is a typed version. “Sir, I am in receipt of your letter of the 14th inst.  The enclosed will contains the form which my solicitor informed me was usual in such cases , but of course, matters may be different now and I have an open mind on the subject.  Perhaps you will be kind enough to return document when you noted the points.  I intend to draw a fresh will.  I am your obedient servant. Herbert Lott.  Address 20 St John’s Road  Wallingford Berks. The will has reference to the Residuary  Estate .  The amount I mentioned is available now.”

It was common practice, even when I was a young man, to write “………I am your obedient servant on letters written to ‘high’ authority. However, in this case, I think that it was unnecessary , given the circumstances, but it was a sign of good manners.


A typed version. “My letter enclosing will crossed yours of the 15th inst.  My idea and that expressed by you – to foster fighting efficiency.  How that can be done can best be settled by the Naval Authorities.  I had an idea that alterations would be necessary in the original wording.  I do not want to use the funds for “education” or what they call social work but to help in some way the practical part of Naval work, which is in the end being ready for fighting.  Perhaps you will let me have the draft suggestion. Yours truly. Herbert Lott. Addressed. Admiral of the Fleet Charles Madden Bart”.

23 and 24

A letter written by Admiral of the Fleet Sir Charles E Madden Bt from his private house. Once again the National Archives photocopier [person not machine] has produced what can only be called a poor quality copy.  KINGUSSIE is in Scotland between the Cairngorm Mountains and the Mondadhliath Mountains 11½ SW of Aviemore and I assume that DUNACHTON is the Scottish family home.


This minute relates to page 21 above.


This note came with my purchased document. Bearing in mind the cost and the postage, the quality is very poor.  Whilst nothing can be done about the age of the pages, at least it could be photocopied so that the copy is square and straight and covers all the text/data on the page.