[see Ganges 37.pdf]. 

pdf 126 brings good news to the people of Falmouth as a Tory MP gets the Admiralty to change its mind!

pdf 116 - huge high society wedding for the OIC of HMS Ganges' Signal School

What might surprise many of you reading my cuttings is that the Admiralty were never really satisfied with the performance [recruiting etc] of HMS Ganges at Falmouth. After just six years on station [1872] the Admiralty had mooted that a new berth was to be found but the locals lobbied Their Lordships to change their minds. Move right another six years [1878] - see pdf 112 - and there was much talk that the Admiralty were once more wanting out. Again, pressure was brought to bear. Another twenty years were to pass until the Admiralty finally decided a move and ignored the locals final petition. In any language, it wasn't exactly a love affair with Cornwall, and as the final decision was taken, it was more of an embarrassment within the hallowed walls of the Admiralty.

etc etc etc


HMS Ganges has attracted newspaper coverage since the last three decades of the 19th century and of course throughout the first three quarters of the 20th century. The story-lines cover just about everything [that is, everything that happened in HMS Ganges] from sport, to criminal behaviour, theft, skulduggery, ships location and movements, religion, marriage, desertions from wives [by the Master at Arms] and from the navy, accidents resulting in death or otherwise, weddings, funerals, bands, misappropriation, and many others including the sinking of a merchant ship in Falmouth Harbour by G U N F I R E !!!!. AND, if that wasn't enough, when the C-in-C [an Admiral] arrived from Devonport in his C-in-C's Steam Yacht to inspect HMS Ganges in 1877, the coming alongside ceremony was completely spoiled when the order to go full astern could not be executed because of mechanical failure and the Yacht collided with the Ganges and was badly damaged as was the Admirals appearance!  The newspapers were nationals and locals printed and published throughout the land. The British Library can be a daunting place in which to research, but it has the most wonderful and helpful staff, advising and assisting, leading awe-inspired visitors to the wonders of its cavernous treasure chests manifest in a data-base which is recognised as one of the very best in the world. They are the keeper of untold records and amongst these can be found stories of HMS Ganges almost from the very beginning of her time at Falmouth. I am familiar with naval records in the NA/IWM/NMM but they do not include the 'gossip columns' of everyday life in the navy. Being newspapers, some of the stories we hold dear get one or two lines only, but the wrong-doing bits in particular get a more comprehensive cover.  It was ever thus that the 'antics' of a few erring human beings are more note worthy than the toeing-of-the-line behaviour of the majority. A case in point is that the departure of Ganges from Harwich gets two lines as does the renaming of RNTE Shotley to HMS Ganges in 1927. I have steered well clear of sport for there are so many reports of it. However, in 1881, at Football, Ganges lost to Falmouth by 4 tries and two goals  - in those days, rugby was called simply 'football'.

 Some of them are fascinating [whilst others are pure trivia and utterly boring but nevertheless about HMS Ganges], like the one which tells of HMS Ganges at Falmouth sinking, by gun fire, a merchant vessel which was in dire straits and had taken refuge in Falmouth Harbour. The vessel was about to sink in the middle of the navigable route to Falmouth, and was directed to an area which would not foul the harbour, there to be dispatched by the Ganges.

Many of us understand [or perceive it to be] that the Ganges left Falmouth and went to Harwich in continuation of training boys on its deck spaces, below in instructional areas, whilst providing residential facilities like the heads, sleeping quarters and dining facilities. A cutting actually gives us the Date and time of Ganges' departure, and that she went to Devonport for a long and involved period in which the vessel was almost totally refurbished to make it ready to provide more spaces for more boys than she had trained at Falmouth, resulting in bulkheads being struck and realigned. It was a much different ship when at Harwich than she had been from 1866 to leaving Falmouth, although she had undergone two refits for modernisation and of course for maintenance/replacement of fittings and fixtures which were archaic or plain and simple, worn out by continuous use.

HMS Vengeance [1899] is, in its own way a quite famous ship though few would hold that to be a truism or significant. Most sailors of pre WW1 knew her as being the first ship in the fleet which, in accordance with an edict from the Admiralty of 1903, ordered all ships to be painted all grey with no other colours allowed. She was also built for service in the far east and as such, she was a battleship with reduced dimensions [including draught] to allow her to use the Suez Canal, and the first warship ever to be built, top to bottom by a single company including every nut and bolt. In early 1914 she was the gunnery training ship assigned to the Nore Command. Now at this point, Captain George Cutherbert CAYLEY Royal Navy had good cause to know of the Vengeance. He was the Captain of HMS Ganges at Shotley and was in Chatham on board the Vengeance for his Court Martial at which he was reprimanded although the president of the court marshal went on record to say that his ruling should not adversely affect his career - and it didn't.  The Ganges Association web site show him wrongly  in 1913 to be a rear admiral but he wasn't promoted to such until the 28th April 1917. This is a picture of him from the IWM - all admirals had their portraits painted on promotion in the days of no cameras, and obviously this is at the back end of that requirement given that by 1917 cameras and movies were the norm.  Vengeance played an active part in WW1 and saw much action in foreign waters well away from the home land.

There are many more stories directly associated with Ganges, in fact, I have released another 200 on this page alone. Those of you who were not naval boys or not trained at H.M.S. Ganges if you were, should not assume that Ganges was the bottom of the pile training boys, which, in truth, would be a reasonable assumption.

The Admiralty thought very differently about Shotley for several reasons, and always appointed a very senior captain to command  the establishment and the vessels which supported it and provided extra accommodation and facilities. Directly associated with that appointment, was the appointment of the boys training ship at Devonport, HMS Impregnable. Impregnable flew the flag of C-in-C Plymouth for many a long year, and the CO of Impregnable as a training ship was also the flag captain to the C-in-C.

It is reasonable to assume that Ganges [or perhaps boys training per se] was well known to the media, and that the Admiralty would have drip-fed them with relevant and oft times interesting snippets if only as place fillers!

To use this section you will note that each broadsheet story has its own dedicated pdf  file.  News print when digitised is usually a small font and moreover, the newsprint, especially that of the 19th century, is usually old and yellowish in colour. As such, a read could be de difficult! The bonus of a pdf file is that each carries its own integral magnifying tool, so the read should be satisfactory in every way. The obvious problem in such sheets is the vast amount of data and no navigation tool except of course the scroll bars [left-right and top-bottom as you will certainly use these a great deal - lucky that they are so basic to use. For that reason, I have built in my own navigation which works as follows.

HOWEVER, THE INTRODUCTION OF WINDOWS 10 AND ITS INTEGRAL BROWSER "EDGE" [marvellous though it is believe me] HAS CHANGED FILES WHICH WERE MADE BEFORE ITS INTRODUCTION ON SOME TRIVIAL AND MINOR POINTS ONLY! I'll explain these in a moment, but in the meantime, IF you are using the Internet Explorer Browser [IE] [or possibly other browsers too] then proceed as follows as shown in sections 1 to 6 below.

1. Click on the pdf file icon and open the page. Might I suggest that you keep a little log of what you have seen which will assist you in viewing the files in a piecemeal fashion as and when it pleases you.

2. Observe the scroll bars right side and bottom side. The bottom bar may not show at first, but will kick in at some stage.

3. Using the scroll bars, starting with the top-bottom bar, scroll down the page looking for a YELLOW coloured speech balloon symbol - if necessary, move the left-right bar to find it. Very infrequently there are more than one speech balloons. On one pdf,  I trialled outlining the text to read with a marker pen [which is very obvious]  but didn't like it, much preferring the speech bubble!

4. Using your mouse pointer, POINT to it but do not click it. It will tell you where the story can be found on this busy page and when necessary, what the story is called.

5. Once you know where the story is, use your integral pdf zoom + button to enhance the text to satisfy your sight requirements. Be careful to keep the story centre screen as you magnify by using your scroll bars.

6. That's it - made nice and simple for you.  Use your browser back button in the normal navigation mode to switch from one pdf file to another. Enjoy the 200 stories, which constitute roughly half of the press stories I hold.

IF you are using EDGE then proceed as follows:-

1. As for 1 above [IE]

2. Click on the opened file and note the up-down scroll bar. If you zoom in on the file, the left-right scroll bar will appear.

3. Look for an image which is a circle inside which is a white image,  the circle being  RED in colour. In this case it has no function other than alerting  you to a Ganges snippet [but where?],  although if you RIGHT Clicked it, it would ask you to save as. Do not go down that path.

4. Instead, look to your right hand top of screen  corner and there, as the last icon,  you will see an icon which has the symbol of  THREE DOTS, the letter 'S' in Morse code which could mean SHIFT!  Click on it and choose [or shift to] "Open with Internet Explorer". This will automatically shift browsers assuming IE is one of your selected browsers ready for use on your computer.

5. Thereafter follow steps 3 onwards as for [IE] browsers.


On this page you will find many PDF files, and usually, on the very bottom right hand side, you will see a © attributed either directly or indirectly to the British Library - I am a member and have a readers ticket. . Put together, they constitute a larger number of MB's, but upon individual selection, they are modest files and open quickly. Each PDF file shows the news sheet from a particular newspaper publisher on a given date on which there is a story about HMS Ganges.

GANGES 1.pdf
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This page took me a great deal of time to research, to acquire and to process in 2012  in a manner which can be easily enjoyed by all comers. Of course it will take effort on the readers part to read these OFTEN FASCINATING stories set in their original medium of yesteryear, covering the latter half of the now distant 19th century, when life and punishments were tough and cruel. That effort will be in large part rewarded in as much as one will see live in the raw in those far off days.