This is page FIFTEEN

Let us now look at some of the written data relating to those times and events relating to boys. However, what do we mean by boys ? Well for our purposes you will find references to the following types:-

Boy Seamen Boy Stokers
Boy Artificers Boy Sick Bay
Boy Shipwrights Boy Writers
Boy Signalmen Boy Telegraphists
Boy Coopers Youths
Dockyard Boy - Artisan Dockyard Boy - Yard Boy
Boys 1st and 2nd class who were educationally far superior to their peers who were called, paid as and drafted as "Pupil Teachers"

As with all things, nothing is done in law [social, finance, education, defence etc] until the frame work has been discussed thoroughly in the House of Commons, and then, if other than finance, also in the House of Lords, each House taking a necessary vote which will ultimately lead to the Royal Approval. Once given, those affected by the legislation can then get down to putting the new laws into being, and in our case, that was the Admiralty.  In producing my list below, I took into account two things, the first being that we could get a better picture of what went on by observing the reason for law making [the motions and the debates] and of greater importance, every spoken word uttered by the law makers was recorded for posterity in context, whereas the Admiralty records are incomplete, fragmented, piecemeal and largely separate committee papers.  Moreover, the First Lord of the Admiralty, the most senior of all in that department did his "main business" in the House and not in the Admiralty with his subordinate Sea Lords. I have therefore consulted Hansard for my data.

 I have done the spade work by reading thousands of pages of Hansard, which amount to millions of words, and where possible and by arbitrary choice, I have given you short and uncomplicated examples of many of the naval debates on Boys Training.  Later on, I will be showing you some of the Shotley Barracks building costs and why boys training was moved ashore.

I have arranged the entries in chronological order, and the list is neither exhaustive or complete.  It will, if you are patient, give you most of the answers you seek.  It records events dealing with boys up to 1937.

If you find a typo in these lists blame the House of Parliament secretaries who type up Hansard


Timeless ! Part of the debate. It alludes to the present times where we say, "he may be thick but he can pick up heavy weights" These boys/men have always had and will continue to have a place in a mans world.  They 'punch their weight' and put 'bread on the table'.

Before long he hoped to see a thorough reconstruction of that Board. He should merely observe, in conclusion, that the exclusion of boys from particular departments of the navy who did not happen to be possessed of that proficiency in reading and writing to which others had attained seemed to him to be impolitic, for the dunces among our youth, as some persons might be disposed to call them, had frequently arms as strong as their heads were thick, and, if they were but afforded the means of learning their profession, might furnish the country with most efficient seamen.

1820  The Navy Vote which was part used to build HMS Ganges in Bombay..htm (2012_11_19 20_20_07 UTC).html
1821 Government Statistics for 1820.htm  An interesting file showing the full breakdown of the country's expenditure clearly showing how much the navy was costing the nation. This was issued on the 5th January 1821 the year in which HMS Ganges was launched in Bombay.
1833 A 'seasoned eye and an experienced mind' of an MP of 1860                       Impressment, better known to us as Press Ganging, was an accepted way of manning the navy.  However, there were many who abhorred this system of cruelty and they wanted change.  Even the great Lord Collingwood had voiced his opinion on the subject, which after his death, was quote in the House by Mr Buckingham.  Admiral Lord Collingwood advocated boys to be used in lieu of pressed men.htm   Mr Buckingham also pointed out the poor lot of an old able seaman No one who looked for a moment at the price which the seaman—a skilled labourer of the highest degree—could obtain for his labour, in comparison with any other skilled workman in this country, could wonder that boys did not go to sea now
1834 This is a part of a discussion in the House, and the main speaker is doing the usual politicians trick of blaming the other party whilst extolling the virtues of his.  Political banter endeavouring to claim the 'high ground'..htm  As early as 1834/5 figures were being balanced by juggling men with boys !
1855 Navy Estimate 1855-6 as presented in the House by the First Lord 

Much reduced debate in favour of brevity. The total navy estimate for the year was £10,392,224 with a total of 69750 men and boys, navy, marines and coastguard. Because of the lack of artificers there were more officers borne to fix the machinery !!  The cost per head of all sailors and marines excluding Flag Officers, was £75-5-3¾d per annum.  Young boys of age 14½ had usually ended up being servants to officers and had therefore missed a great deal of naval instructions/schooling. That was to be stopped forthwith.  Cost of training boys in training ship during this year would be £48-18-0d.  The training ship Britannia was shown to be lacking in terms of accommodation.  Navy Estimates 1855-56  

1857   A needy requirement for a training ship for naval cadets - 1857.htm  Part of a 1857 debate revealing that the Admiralty part sponsored a mercantile training ship owned by the Marine Society but didn't have a similar ship of its own for training naval cadets.
1857. Admiral Sir Charles Napier MP reveals the dreadful condition of commissioned ships in the main naval harbour. First Class boys leaving the navy.htm
1860 May 1860. The debate over the February 1859 Royal Commission on Manning the Navy.   The start of the training ship requirement - HMS GANGES, St VINCENT, IMPREGNABLE, LION, BOSCAWEN, CALEDONIA, BRITANNIA etc.  This file tells of the navy and the Admiralty as we move into the 1860's.  It is a must to understand why we had boys in the Fleet from this point onwards, although boys had been training on the Implacable since 1855 and Government statistic had been gathered as to numbers borne/training since 1856.  Throughout the file I have underlined in red relevant points appertaining to boys but I have also added a division, a horizontal blue line in the text.  All below this line should be read.  MAY 1860 ROYAL COMMISSION MANNING THE NAVY.htm
1860 Two ships to be fitted out as boys training ships The two ships were the Impregnable Boys training ship 1862-1886 and the Britannia {1820} Cadet {Boys} training ship 1860-1869 which was relieved by the Prince of Wales {1860} renamed Britannia and the Cadet training ship from 1869. She was stood down when the BRNC was built at Dartmouth and broken up in 1916.
1860 1860. Brains versus brawn. Boys of all abilities are worthwhile  A report on the ability of boys and their merits.
1860 A compliment from the Fleet as to the value of a well trained boy. THE VALUE OF BOYS TRAINED IN A TRAINING SHIP.htm
1860 1860.  Boys are the future of the navy.htm  The Admiral wished that we had 15000 to 20000 of them
1860 I like this file very much because it tells of a national hero, one Admiral Sir Charles Napier, now retired and a politician in the Commons, shit-stirring if I may, which backfires in the active Fleet with which he has long ago lost touch. We see active service admirals, approaching senior MP's pleading that they can ask the "loose cannon" old irascible admiral to stop his speeches which are always well received on the lower deck of the navy, but not so in the Admiralty or in the wardroom or captains/admirals cabin.   politicians want training ships but the Admiralty is on a learning curve.htm   The Admiralty is way behind! The mercantile service has already several training ships, but the navy, just one, the Implacable at Devonport, and awaiting the experience outcome.
1860 In these early days, what were to become known as training ships were called SCHOOL SHIPS. 12 ships promised less than half delivered..htm  One year on from the Royal Commission of February 1959 and there is not enough money in the Admiralty coffer to pay for the number of ships envisaged and required to keep and train a health navy for the future.   1860 and no money for the promised training ships.
1860 HMS Britannia was moored in Portsmouth Harbour and was one of the first training ships in the navy.  She trained cadets [who were boys] for the wardroom and eventually they became midshipmen. Training ship HMS Britannia moored in Portsmouth Harbour 1860.htm  Much sickness and disease in HMS Britannia.
1860 A 'seasoned eye and an experienced mind' of an MP of 1860

  Admiral Walcott speaking in the House in 1860.htm  Boy sailors, home grown from our local seaports were what the navy required, for they would thrive and become excellent naval mariners.

1860 1860 and the Ganges cannot get a crew !.htm  In these times officers were appointed to a ship about to be commissioned.  Ratings, when available, were then drafted to the ship. In HMS Ganges' last commission her officers were on full pay from day one, but it took a full 10 weeks for the Admiralty to find a crew for her.  Meantime, the ship, in this case the flagship, waiting to be relieved on a foreign station had to stay there, on full pay for the whole crew of course, until the Ganges [in this case] could sail. It was a naval norm in the mid-19th century, when the navy was anything but efficient or a good life !
1860   Admiral Sir Charles Napier talking-up a strong navy at all costs.  In his speech he mentions Napoleon Bonaparte but he could have so easily referred to his nephew Napoleon III who in the 1860's had designs on invading Great Britain to avenge his uncle Napoleon I [Bonaparte].  Lord Palmerston built many fortresses at Spithead [mainly with the labour of French prisoners-of-war] and around the headlands of Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport to counter such an attack but the attack never materialised so the fortifications became known as Palmerston's Follies. 1860 and Admiral Sir Charles Napier is addressing the House.htm
Navy Estimates of 1861 Debate.

Also mentions the reason why a Royal Commission on Manning the Navy deemed it necessary to have boys - the primary and secondary reasons.

Well, then, the Royal Naval Reserve amounts at present to 4,000, of which at least 3,000 are at home; the Royal Naval Coast Volunteers amount to 7,000; then we have got of the Coastguard on shore about 4,000; we have got in disposable supernumeraries an average of 1,500 men; we have 8,000 Marines on shore; or rather we shall have in a few weeks when the Marine Brigade arrives from China; and 2,000 boys in the training ships. The House will be glad to hear that here is a force of something like 25,000 reserves, available at a moment's notice if an emergency should make it necessary to man a large fleet. UNQUOTE.

I now wish, Sir, to advert to another important point with reference to the manning of our ships, which has excited great interest and frequent discussion in this House. I allude to the system of entering boys. Of late years it has become the duty of the Government to provide training ships for boys, and greatly to extend the system of introducing lads into the service. That was one of those wise recommendations of the Commission which sat on the Manning of the Navy that has never been lost sight of by the Admiralty from that day to this. We have gone on increasing the facilities for training boys by devoting more ships to that particular object, and we are now arriving at a most satisfactory result as regards the boy system. We have at this moment, according to the last Return, as many as 9,639 boys being educated at the public expense including those embarked as part of the crews of the fleet as well as those in the training ships. I have attempted to ascertain what proportion of seamen for the fleet will be annually furnished from that number of youths. Our statistics are, however, imperfect, not because the Accountant General's Department, from which they are obtained, is not admirably managed, for I am bound to say that in all its branches it is very admirably managed, but because of the constant fluctuations which have boon taking place in the numbers of the navy. I find, first of all, that these boys require an average training of three years. Therefore, if we allow 7 per cent for the yearly loss through deaths, discharges, and other casualties, we may reckon that the total number left will supply to the navy about 2,900 per annum. The next consideration is, what is the number of seamen whose places have to be filled up? After eliminating officers, marines and other parts of the service, I find that our present force afloat is about 38,000 seamen and petty officers, the gaps occurring among whom must be supplied either from these trained boys or from the merchant service. The proportion of casualties among these 38,000 seamen is now 14 per cent, or about 5,300 annually. That is the present average, but I believe it will greatly decrease as soon as the boy system has further developed itself.


Does that include deserters?


It does. You will, before long, have a navy principally composed of seamen who have been brought up with you from boyhood, and who will be attached to the service  their earliest associations; and I, therefore, hope that the loss by desertions will much diminish. I have said that we have 2,900 boys to fill up the 5,300 vacancies in the fleet, leaving 2,400 to be obtained from the merchant service. Here there arises a very interesting question as to what proportion of the navy is to be supplied by youths who have been educated by the public, and what proportion by the merchant service. Some will say that we ought not to look to the merchant service at all, but should entirely depend upon our own boys. I confess that, as a naval officer, I cannot agree in that opinion. I think it would be extremely unwise to widen the gap between ourselves and the merchant service. On the contrary, I believe it is advisable that a certain proportion of young men should be brought into the navy from that service, and the remainder taken from our own training ships. The matter is one of mere speculation, but I think it doubtful whether any considerable enlargement of the present number of boys in course of training would be attended with as much public advantage as some persons suppose. UNQUOTE.


I am very glad to hear that. There is another part of this important subject—the only part— on which I am bound to say the noble Lord was not perfectly clear. I allude to the number of boys in training. In the training ships he said there were 2,000 boys, and subsequently I understood him to state that there were 9,639 boys. Perhaps my noble Friend will explain?


We have 2,000 hoys in training ships specially devoted to boys; but we have on board receiving-ships, flag-ships, and the fleet generally, a total of 9,639 boys.


That makes the statement of the noble Lord much less satisfactory. In our training ships there are only 2,000, and the number of 9,639 includes all the boys who form part of the crews on board our ships. While I do not at all undervalue the great importance of the Naval Reserve, recommended by the Royal Commission on Manning the Navy, and think the Admiralty are only doing their duty in carrying out that portion of their recommendation, I must say I myself have attached more interest and importance to the recommendation of the Royal Commission with reference to training boys than to any other. I believe the best and most effective means by which we can insure the manning of the navy is by training boys on a large scale. And, bear in mind the recommendation of the Royal Commission relative to the training of boys for the Royal Navy went to training boys round the coast with a double object. One object, no doubt, was to assist in the best manner to man our navy; but another object, only secondary —if secondary—in importance to that was to improve our mercantile marine. [Mr. Cardwell: "Hear, hear!"] I am glad to hear that cheer from the right hon. Gentleman, as I recollect that he sat upon the Committee that considered this subject. By training boys in such a manner as to insure that improvement, we should insure a national advantage of first-rate importance, an advantage which would react in a most valuable manner on that body of sailors to which in times of emergency we must look for recruiting the Royal Navy. With these opinions, I confess I was sorry to hear by the statement of the noble Lord that the Admiralty were doing so little. I am afraid from this statement I must infer they are doing nothing towards carrying out this portion of the recommendation of the Royal Commission—by far the most important part of the recommendation of their valuable Report. UNQUOTE.


Did we really need all these naval boys [and men] and ships? Wasn't our perceived and traditional enemy impotent in terms of numbers and vessels?

Also taken from the 1861 Debate. When reading this section, have it in mind that that both navies relied on their mercantile marines when there was a conflict.

He would turn next for five minutes to another subject— namely, a comparison of the number of men in the fleets of France and England.  On that subject he had made inquiries, and he found that last year there were in the French Imperial navy 30,588 men and boys. Parliament had last year voted for the English Navy 84,000 men and boys, but it now appeared that only 81,000 had been employed. Now, he believed that if any hon. Gentleman would examine the subject he would find that 84,000 men were more than the total number of seamen in the entire merchant service of France. The number of merchant seamen in France has been variously estimated at from 51,000 to 80,000. It, therefore, came to this, that in the whole of the merchant navy of France there was a less number of men than in the Royal Navy of England alone. But, perhaps, he might be asked how that could be, seeing that in 1860 the total number of names on the French maritime conscription was 156,000. Well, that number startled him, but on inquiry he found that it included not only the men and boys in the Imperial navy, and all the sailors serving on board the merchant ships of that country, but all the workmen down to the commonest labourers in the dockyards, all the mechanics in the Imperial establishments, all the fishermen on the coasts, and all the boatmen on the navigable rivers. He believed that if they took the number of seamen in the French merchant navy at 70,000 they would be about right. This no doubt was a small number, but when they came to look at some remarkable statistics it would be seen that there was a diminution and decadence in the merchant navy of France. In 1859 it consisted of 42,000 tons less than in 1857, and there were other proofs that it was gradually and steadily declining. Well, then, taking the number of men in the French merchant navy at 60,000 or 70,000, what comparison did that bear to our merchant navy? Why, we had, according to the last Returns, 288,000. Now, if they took the French plan and added to our merchant seamen those in the navy and dockyards, there would be a total of 484,000 against the French 156,000. In order to prove still more the fact of the decadence of the French mercantile marine, he would refer to the Returns made to that House, which showed that the total value of French goods imported into this country in 1858 was £13,271,890. In 1859 the value of French goods imported into this country exceeded £16,869,960, being an increase on the year of £3,598,000. There was, however, a great decrease in the tonnage of French vessels. In 1858 the number of French ships entering our ports was 7,010, while, in 1859. they had fallen off to 5,946. There was, in fact, a steady progress downward in the mercantile power of France. He believed the French had laid down no great wooden ship, whether line-of-battle ship or frigate, since 1856. [Lord PALMERSTON: They launched one the other day.] He had said they had not laid one down since 1856, and he believed he was correct. He did not object to building a few Warriors and Black Princes, but it was impolitic to persist in building so large a number of wooden ships. The difficulty of manning the navy was matter of general complaint, and that was an additional reason for not going on building more ships. He had risen to make these remarks in no unfriendly spirit to the Government; but, believing that their Naval Estimates had been based on an exaggerated notion both of the naval preparation and naval strength of France, he had, he thought, given the Committee reasons for reducing them. He trusted that this extravagant fit of the nation would soon be over, for the House and the Government were not alone to blame. Perhaps sooner than they might expect hon. Members would be called to account and blamed by their constituents for this enormous, unwise, and unnecessary expenditure. UNQUOTE.

For that reason he was sorry to see any reduction in the number of men of the British Navy. He wished to know whether the reserve of 1,500 men, who were called supernumeraries, did not include men who had been, paid off, and were borne during leave, and also various other denominations of officers and such classes of persons as were not available as seamen. The training of boys was most important, as laying a groundwork for the future manning of the navy, and it could not be carried on too largely; the number of boys at present being 9,630, he did not see why it should be reduced. He observed also that out of 38,000 seamen, there were 5,000 casualties, including the deserters. Undoubtedly desertion was very much to be regretted, but it did not belong to the navy only. He believed that every year at least 14,000 or 15,000 men quitted our merchant shipping in the same way in various parts of the globe, and between 4,000 and 5,000 of these deserted on the coasts or in the ports of the United States. UNQUOTE.


But while he had listened with pleasure to the statement to that effect which had been made, he was sorry to find that no notice had been taken of that which constituted the gist of the recommendations of the Royal Commission, the establishment of training ships at some of our chief ports. He supposed that they would be told that 2,000 boys were annually turned out for the navy from the training ships, but upon that subject there was a discrepancy. His noble Friend talked of turning out 2,900 boys annually for the fleet; but if so, how did it happen that the Admiralty only asked for a Vote for educating 2,000 boys?


was understood to say that he had referred to the receiving ships and the fleet generally.


What he wanted the House to look at was this, that they were educating only the minimum number of boys required in time of peace, and if an emergency occurred where were they to look for that supply of seamen which would be indispensable? He was prepared to show that the English mercantile marine was not in a position to supply men as it formerly did. The abolition of the apprenticeship system had most materially crippled the means of the mercantile navy to supply the country with seamen in time of war, though he did not complain of that abolition for it was but an act of justice. Our tonnage had increased 33 per cent in ten years, but English seamen had only increased 10 per cent, and the deficiency was made up mainly of foreign seamen who would not be available in time of war. He wanted to see efforts made to supply the mercantile navy with well-educated boys who would become a resource to the country in time of war; and, therefore, he regretted to see that the Government was not prepared to carry into effect the recommendation of the Royal Commission for educating from 1,200 to 2,400 boys yearly. He repeated that he was glad to hear that the Naval Reserve was progressing. He held in his hand a spontaneous address from seamen belonging to the chief ports on the northern coast, explaining the advantages of the reserve to their comrades, and recommending them to join it, and he believed that that document had done great good in removing the prejudice which had formerly existed against it.


said, he was glad to find that the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Baxter) had confirmed every word he had stated respecting the French navy. The noble Lord the Secretary to the Admiralty had told the Committee that he was obliged to frame the Estimates on the armaments of other Powers. Somehow or other, the public had a vague impression that a neighbouring Power meant mischief to England, and the hon. Member for Norfolk had gone so far as to intimate that France was preparing vast naval armaments to invade England. The public had received that impression from the Treasury Bench. He was no alarmist, and, therefore, he much wished to know if the noble Lord, the Secretary to the Admiralty, had laid before the Committee the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? What was the fact with regard to the armaments or France? A writer, who entertained the idea that the chief object of France in increasing her navy was to acquire a maritime supremacy over Albion, and who was, therefore, not likely to overestimate the power of England, or to under-rate that of France, had made the following analysis:—The number of steam vessels mounting 20 guns and upwards owned by France was 75. England owned 140 such ships. Taking the navies of the world, he found that France had 75 such vessels; Russia, 30; Denmark, 3; Spain, 5; Sweden, 6; Norway, 2; United States, 7; Holland, 3; Austria, 6; and Prussia, 2; making a total of 139. So that, in fact, at this moment we had more efficient steam vessels mounting 20 guns and upwards than all the navies of the world combined. What more did we want? There ought to be some consideration, under these circumstances, for the heavily taxed people of this country. UNQUOTE.

With regard to boys the Naval Commission certainly contemplated a much larger number than 2,000. They did not specify the exact places where school ships should be placed, but at least twenty were thought desirable, and vessels might easily have been drafted for the purpose, in which 100 to 500 boys might have been trained. This would have given 7,500; and if boarders had been taken they would have helped to pay the expense, as well as gone far to supply good, well brought-up, handy boys, young men of good education, fit to take their place as mates in the merchant service. UNQUOTE.

An Estimate is taken for the expense of rearing of 2,000 boys for the service in training ships. He trusted he might repeat that if his earnest and repeated entreaties that boys from fourteen to eighteen years of age should be trained in this manner in numbers from 3,000 to 4,000 annually had been carried out some years since we should now have felt no Lack of able seamen. We require training ships not only at Portsmouth and Devonport, but likewise to be stationed at every naval port, and in every large and consequential mercantile harbour. UNQUOTE.

 1862 The cost to train each boy per annum in 1862. ......he mentions the large cost of financing a naval training ship and that the cost for training each naval boy was £45 per annum. There were two basic schemes in these early years of training boys, the first being wholly naval and the second being mixed training [naval and mercantile boys]. The navy could only really afford to fund the naval training ships.  There were five of them on station: Britannia, Impregnable, Implacable, Boscawen and St Vincent. THE COST TO TRAIN EACH BOY PER ANNUM.htm
1862 In this document we see the size of the Fleets and their dispositions around the world, and the manpower/boypower  with the cost of everybody for EVERYTHING except pensions, is £13 per person per annum.  Additionally, the sum of £2 per person per annum might be added for those eligible by length of service.   February 1862 and the First Lord of the Admiralty speaks.htm   1862 and the First Lord tells Parliament what a good and healthy navy we have !
 1863. The House of Commons is told of the DREADFUL naval discipline.   Naval discipline and punishments in 1863.htm  However, there is a one-liner in a Hansard report, saying that naval boys [seemingly all of them in all branches] made excellent well disciplined sailors, much reducing the need for corporal punishment!
 1864  The First Lord of the Admiralty in the Navy Estimates Debate.  The navy is now so popular that there is no longer room for one of its traditional recruiting outlets, namely men from the mercantile marine. Officers want proper servants and not the use of Second Class boys. Reduce numbers by 2000 boys.  Allow only First Class boys on seagoing ship. Keep Second Class boys in training ships and delay their joining age to 15½ instead of the previous 15 age. Create 600-700 officers and warrant officers servants [the forerunners of the Officers Steward Branch]. Create 1000 spaces for merchant seamen.  Reduction of boys and a later age for joining.htm    An eminent MP thought this unwise and unfair to boys from the Greenwich School, a traditional source of boy recruits.  A cruel blow to some boys.htm   And yet another prominent MP said A bad mistake.htm   Quite drastic alterations to the lot of boys [and others].  Boys who joined before 1864 joined when they were aged 15, but as from this year the joining age is 15½.
1864 Naval trained boys in naval training ships were the future of the Royal Navy and they were far superior to any other type of seaman.   1864. Naval boys were far superior to merchant seaman reservists..htm
1864 Naval trained boys in naval training ships were the future of the Royal Navy and they were far superior to any other type of seaman.   REDUCTION OF 2000 BOYS - ADMIRALTY PENNY PINCHING TRYING TO REDUCE COSTS.htm
1865 1865 - THE NEED TO TEACH ALL BOYS HOW TO SWIM..htm  1865 and the sad report of needless losses at sea because sailors, boys included, could not swim.
1866 1866, the year HMS Ganges started training boys for the RN    Mr Henley MP had been a seaman and was an acknowledged expert on all matters mercantile marine. He didn't consider school-ships [training ships] the place in which to train would be future mariners whether naval or otherwise and that the funding of these ships could be spent at sea where the action was. A mariners doubts about training ships.htm
1866 CRIMPS. Crimps were Shanghaiing parties or in our language press gangs and even well into the late 19th century, they were about in ports all over the world. They did just that - they were despicable people or the lowest possible type, who would, to order, rob, rape, and deliver suitable males to the master of ships or owner of ships, even to the captains of warships. I highly recommend that you read this, all of it, preferably on a winters evening with a double gin and tonic in your hand.  It is both tremendously sad and heart wrenching.  If you have read this you will know more about the men of the British sea service.......htm          As the naval training ship programme started, and in the case of HMS Ganges 1866, the mercantile marine, the larger of the two British navies, were subjected to evils not apparent in the navy.    
1866 1866. Shortfall in the number of boys required.  Same year as the Ganges opened its doors, there was a shortfall in the number required.
1866 No training ship available for Bristol.htm   1866, the year Ganges started at St Just Pool
1867 An extract [heavily shortened] taken from a debate in the House which is discussing the ages at which boys joined the navy and the army. The navy had a system which was admired by all and might not the army do well to copy it. In the navy, boys joined HMS Ganges [and others] at 14 or 14½ whereas that was much too young for the army recruit whose minimum age was 16 and even then, the army were at a loss as what to do with such a young recruit. Ages at which boys join the navy and the army.htm  Note.  The age of joining prior to 1864 was 15.  It was raised to 15½ in 1864 and then reduced to 14½ in late 1866.  However, most of the boys were nearly 15 when they joined.  The age at which boys join the navy [Ganges etc] and the army.
 1867 It is of extreme interest simply because it is at the very beginning of boys training brought about by the Royal Commission of February 1859 on the Manning of the Navy. It speaks badly of the new boys arriving in training ships from large town and cities, especially of London boys.  It also tells us of the cost of training each boy from the earliest of days.

BOYS FROM CITIES AND TOWNS MADE POOR SAILORS ESPECIALLY THOSE FROM LONDON.htm   This article dates from December 1867 a year or so after HMS Ganges [and others] began operating training naval boys at St Just Pool in Cornwall.

1867 MP Mr Stephen Cave wanted to know why convicted boys [criminals] had successful training ship whilst honest boys [non criminals] didn't.   Honest boys versus convicted boys.htm
 1867 The Duke of Somerset spoke. The House of Lords in 1867.htm  The navy didn't want the scum of the London streets.  It wanted the better quality men from the shires and agricultural areas of the country.
1867 Now six training ships and plenty of boys accommodation.htm one of which, the GANGES, was recently added.
1867 MP's urge that the Army copy the success story of naval recruiting using boys.  The Army says that it would be too expensive and that they do not have the money.  Army desperate for recruits but refuse to follow the navy example on boys.htm
1868   House of Common 1868 Mr Corry the speaker.htm  Boys in training ships entered as Continuous Service
1868   A bounty paid to the coastguard for raising boys for the navy.htm.  Boys from the agricultural areas, the better boys, were especially prizes and the coastguard received
1870 Number of boys trained should equal naval casualties.htm  So said the MP Mr Childers.  The number of boys lagged behind the casualties but the skates, the scivers particularly amongst the senior rates were weeded out and sent to sea, sometimes for the first time in their long careers.
1870 In 1870, the navy suffered the loss of its greatest ships in terms of newness in build, new technology through research and development, and the loss of a crew of almost 500 men and boys.  It was the innovative HMS Captain which was lost off Cape Finisterre in the MARNE TENEBROSUM, the ancient name for the Atlantic Ocean. This very action depleted the number of men available to the navy and led to an artificial increase in the number of recruits, especially those of boys for the training ships. At this point the navy suffered through lack of professional seamen caused by the loss of HMS Captain, and the extreme limitations of those deemed to have replaced them.
1871 A debate on corporal punishment in the navy and how the rules for application were being moderated.  Corporal punishment did not affect boys in training ship. Corporal punishment in the navy - did it affect boys in training ships.htm
1871 Our professional peacetime navy is excellent, but it, plus our weak and inept naval reserve, augers badly resulting in a weak and inept navy in times of war. We have the best peacetime navy possible, BUT !.htm  There is a longstanding shortage of boys.  The cost of navy boys training is extremely high [£54 as opposed to £19-6-0 per boy per annum in the poorest of mercantile training ships].  There is a need for common training of all boys in the training ships, after which they can elect to serve in the navy or in the mercantile navy.  Why not use the hallowed grounds of the Greenwich hospital school as the central boys training establishment ?    Second part of the speech relating to the Weak and Inept Naval Reserve.htm
1871 For many years officer boys [cadets] had joined the service at a very young age [11-13] and the ratings 14-16. In both cases there were problems with academic and professional naval training due wholly to the immaturity of the boys.  The virtues of these varying joining age were regularly discussed but never resolved until well into the next century.  However, a Captain Harris RN who had been the commanding officer of the boys training ship HMS St Vincent at Portsmouth,  reported that he thought the age of 17 was the ideal age, and what was good for the boys he had had command over, might also be good for the boys entering the Britannia.   The ideal age for boys to join the navy !.htm
 1872 An extremely interesting and thought provoking read. Date 1872.    Naval Estimates with much about naval boys. AFTER TRAINING NOT ENOUGH SHIPS.htm
1872 Boys training covered officers, ordinary ratings, and technical ratings [artificers].  Officers [boys] training was, as always, a great deal harder than that of ratings, but of course with greater rewards and with more pleasant conditions. Officer boys joined the training ship Britannia when 13.  At 15 they joined a seagoing training ship until aged 16. Then they joined a man-of-war for three years as a midshipman and at 19 they took their examination for lieutenant. Boys of age 18 could join direct missing the training ship phase and receiving only a short period of instructions. They were called First Class seamen boys. The navy had great difficulty in getting men but they had plenty of boys, in fact too many, and they couldn't find places at sea for them on completion of their training ship time. Ordinary boys joined at age 16, served two years boys time and then ten years mans time, their first opportunity of leaving being when aged 28. In 1872 the navy had 3500 boys in training ships at a cost of approximately £400,000 representing a cost per boy per annum of £114.  Eighty percent of these boys served for twenty years mans time leaving when aged 38 and pensioned off into the naval reserve.  They received their good conduct badges [GCB] after 3 years [21] after 4 years [25] and finally at 29. Officer boys and rating boys training differences.htm  Note the subtle reference to being better training onshore than in a stationary non-seagoing ship.  This manifested itself in the case of officers first to the Naval College at Greenwich and later on to the BRNC at Dartmouth. What is good for officers in this respect must also be good for ratings, and it stretches ones mind to years yet to come when the first two training establishments would be built ashore namely Shotley Barracks [which became HMS Ganges] and Rosyth Barracks [which became Caledonia] the old word for Scotland.
1872 Sir Charles Adderley  speaks out for the reformed boys [?] of the reformatory training ships who are long term branded as belonging to the criminal classes.  The sad plight of a boy from a reformatory training ships.htm
1872 A question to the First sea Lord about HMS Ganges   The clothing of Ganges boys.htm
1872 For Ratings Age of boys entering the navy.htm 16½ to stationary training ships and 18 to seagoing training ship. Very little room in modern ships [especially for trained boys] so there is a need to get rid of artisans and then cross train other specialist two do two jobs e.g. a shipwright to be a diver also etc.  A need to reduce the numbers of artisans and cross train combatants to do two jobs.htm
1873 Was the intention of placing training ships in given ports designed to catch the better type of boys as recruits ?  Recruiting better quality boys.htm  There are no hard and fast facts to support this idea, but implicitly it is obvious from much stated written evidence,  that country boys are desirable and city/large town boys are not. A recruiting campaign and a training ship in an area where agriculture/fishing sets the pattern of life of intense industry coupled with achievements, enterprise, sobriety, propriety and usually morality, is, I believe, the very reason why the Ganges was put in the extreme West Country, and as late as 1866 when much experience had been gained from the quality [or rather shortcomings] of recruits in other ships.
1873  The fishing communities were strong on all coasts of the UK and they were averse to sending off boys to join the navy. However, Mr Brassey asked whether the navy had made itself known and popular with these areas/communities ?  He pointed out that there were more boys in the navy from the tiny village of Cawsand, on Plymouth Sound, than there were from the Port of Liverpool. In this file he tells us that the navy had 2888 boys in 1871 and gives us the minority groups by head count:  for example from the whole of Lancashire [which includes Liverpool and the Isle of Man] there were only 112 boys - 0.03 of the whole, and from the whole of Scotland, just 90 boys.  Fishing communities did not supply boys for the navy.htm
1873 Mr Brassey tells the house that the naval training of boys was over double that of a commercial enterprise. £55 per boy per annum in the navy, and only £25 per boy per annum on non-naval training ships.   Expensive naval training !.htm
1875 Question asked as to whether Southampton, who lost its naval training ship HMS Boscawen to Portland, would get a replacement  HMS BOSCAWEN.htm
1875 First off, great difficulty in getting boys.  As a carrot, free kits were offered.  Not the success wanted, so educational levels and physical requirement were lowered which worked well.  Very soon, after just a couple of months and with the carrot doing its job, the lowered standards were reinstated to former requirements.  First came the education, and later, just to steady the numbers, the height of the boy had to be 1" taller than as of yore, and a full half inch around the chest. The First Lord hoped that that would keep the numbers down.  See-saw problem with boys !.htm           1875-6 saw a see-saw effect problem !
 1875. A House of Lords debate in 1875.     It tells us of how the boys were trained in the training ships and how they were taken to sea in the Brigs attached to the various ports for sea training. There were high levels of desertions among the boys and not enough proper sea jobs when there so called training came to an end.  How the boys were trained !.htm
 1875 In this debate, the Earl of Camperdown reveals that a Naval College will be built at Dartmouth to train boys and men for the wardroom and that eventually, the training ship Britannia will be abolished.  Training ship Britannia is to go and a RN College at Dartmouth is to come The real start, although it will take years before it comes to fruition, of moving training from stationary ship on to shore.  Given that some of the boys were only 11½ years of age.............Boys on Britannia were over worked and the tests.htm.   There had been  an objection to having a College in Dartmouth and here we see The Duke of Somerset saying .............Glad to hear that the College would be in Dartmouth and not Plymouth of Portsmouth.htm    The Earl of Luderdale didn't like the idea of the Devonshire site and wanted a College to be near to an important and historic naval base.  However, why a new College when there is plenty of room in Greenwich ?   If a College was needed why not in Portsmouth or for that matter use Greenwich.htm   Lord Hampton stated that the air in Devonshire was too relaxing and not at all fitting for boys in a naval college.  The expression "the air is too relaxing" referred to the good life, that which was enjoyed by the gentile [My Comments - and us today]. What young aspiring naval officers needed was a fresh, robust, gusty, inclement weather environment to blow away the cobwebs inherited whilst attached to their mothers apron strings.   However, if it had to be in Devonshire, why not in Plymouth ? The original site for the naval college had been Branksea Island, also known as Brownsea Island, which sits in the middle of Poole Harbour in Dorsetshire - but it was turned down because of too much  relaxing air!!    Relaxing !.htm  Finally........Finally, on this point.htm
1875 Dartmouth ? According to the Weymouth MP was a smelly place beset with the towns raw sewage, rough seas, but more importantly, an area with no nautical ambiance - it never saw any ships let alone a man of war. It was also too relaxed and gentile befitting retired and gentile persons, and what a young and upcoming naval officer wanted was a brisk, fresh, invigorated environment to blow the cobwebs away.  How the hell did Dartmouth get selected as the site of the RN College.htm
 1875. An MP berates the Admiralty for not recruiting more boys and to train them well in advance of a ship building requirement or the procurement of new technology weapons.   You can build a ship in 20 months but you cant make a first class seaman in that time.htm
 1875. An angry MP speaks out against the proposed Dartmouth institution.  VERY ANTI DARTMOUTH !.htm
 1875 It was becoming too costly to train boys onboard training ships and there was a move afoot, especially by the many younger naval officers, that training onshore was a better option all round. Another hint that it would be cheaper to train boys onshore than onboard a training ship.htm
1875 Boys must be taught to swim.htm
1875 Five boys or such ages had recently been flogged in the training ship Britannia.  Flogging of 13 and 14 year olds !.htm
 1876 A debate involving senior MP's [one of whom had been the First Lord of the Admiralty in his time] about the Coastguard Service which was very much party of the navy. It discusses the £25 which organisations are paid for naval boys. LACK OF RECRUITS, THE COASTGUARD SERVICES.htm     IRISH BOYS INTO THE RN EACH AT 25 POUNDS   The merits and demerits of the Coastguard Service and the lack of boy recruits. Date 1876/77
1876  Justices of the peace in each county during this period could sentence a wayward youth to a prison [borstal] or into the custody of the army or the navy as a punishment. Here, an MP is suggesting that the county has, or shares with another county, a training ship where boys so sentenced to the sea, could be trained in the path of good behaviour ! Wayward boys !.htm  There was possibly an ulterior motive in that this training might produce a candidate for sea service which neither the Admiralty nor the Marine Society would have paid for.
1876 An Irish MP wants to know whether the sons of Irish naval pensioners only [not other Irish boys] could join the RN and would it be possible for them to have a training ship of their own in Irish waters to prepare them for such service.  The Irish question.  Irish lads for the RN.htm
1876 Cruelty abounded throughout the navy for hundreds of years but at last, was there an opportunity to change the naval discipline act to rid the navy and the country of this most hated punishment - hated by sailors and the country at large but not by bishops, judges or some naval officers.  The horrors of flogging and the need for urgent abolition.htm
 1876 Mr Brassey refers to lectures given by a Captain Wilson who had been for three years the Captain in Charge of Naval Training.  Not enough sea billets for boys leaving training ships.htm
1877 A mention of the boys who joined at 15 or 16 and who go on to be good sailors. Good men and true starting at the age of 15 or 16..htm
1877 When a warrant officer was appointed to a training ship his pay was reduced.  This was not the case for any other person in the Royal Navy from admiral down to seaman boy.  A training ships was not a good appointment for a warrant officer !.htm
 1877 Bullying is universal and is found across all aspects of human society and in the animal world too.  The navy were not excused but were in a better position to control it than were, say, an ordinary school.  This story is about bullying in the officer boys training ship Britannia, but is applicable for all the same reasons to all boys in training ships and indeed in the navy proper.  Since many of the boys in the Britannia were of a sort where their relatives might have been Members of the Houses of Parliament, discussions took place in those Houses.  Ordinary boys had no such national champions for their causes!   Bullying.htm
1878 Is it fair that places can be found in England for English boys to join the navy, but not seemingly for Scots and Irish boy in Ireland and Scotland ? Law and Justice - Ireland sees itself cheated for navy boys.htm
1878 This MP is saying, and with reason and just cause, that getting to sea is the ideal answer to rounding-off basic naval training. Sadly for him and the House [and all in the navy] the ship he mentioned founded with a terrible loss of life.   Prophetic and dramatically sad words.htm  Search these file for the sad story of the loss of the sail training ship HMS Eurydice.
1879 Detailed questions in the House about the fate of this poor boy.  The drowning of an Irish boy off HMS Ganges.htm     This answer was given in the House three days later than the first file.  Firstly it appears to suggest that the boy didnt after all drown as thought, but swam ashore and did a permanent runner, never to be seen again and if that was the case, I say good on him.  The statement in the house from the Minister of War is absolute proof that cruelty was the designed order of the day aboard the training ships, the Ganges included, when the boys were tied up [lashed to a spar totally and utterly helpless] before they were birched and may be, even worse punishments.  I can confirm that there is no death certificate issued for him for 1879, so no proof of death.  Death of Boy Reardon HMS Ganges.htm
1879 Many authorities saw the merit in training boys onboard ship, stationary or seagoing. Many were disappointed because they couldn't get a suitable ship. This is an interesting little document when there is a requirement to place London street boys into a ship on the Thames embankment.  The navy ship they thought would be suitable, proved not to be.  Note the present for the President of the USA. Beg, borrow or Steal !.htm
1879 This file, more than any other I have researched  [well in excessive of 10,000] I find totally offensive.  Moreover, I would associate this mans actions and statements as being typical of mealy-mouthed, self opinionated,  'blow you Jack' and all the other polite assertions I can muster against someone I would truly hate as being a TYPICAL BRITISH MP or LORD. I have no words for such an evil man !.htm  His claim that  the boys were "exceedingly happy" sticks in my throat. Thinking that 24 strokes of the birch or 12 cuts [the cane] were appropriate to the list he offered, one of which was "filthy language" is outrageous, and I would forcibly add, that the vast majority of the current Ganges Association of old boys would have been so punished given their well known profanities and vulgarisms.  He had just recently answered a question in the house about the supposed death of the Irish boy Michael Reardon, and he had admitted that boys like him where tied down and probably gagged before being assaulted by some perverted ships corporal or master at arms.  His utterance was universal,  meaning that all training ships punished boys in this manner and not just HMS Ganges. Mr W H Smith, for those of you who do not know, is the founder of the book shop W.H. SMITH. The Gilbert & Sullivan song with the famous line "now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Nav-ee" from HMS Pinafore was aimed at his appointment as First Lord of the Admiralty. Because of this, I would never again enter a W H Smiths bookshop.
 1879 There was a requirement to have Roman Catholic priests stationed, as commissioned officers, in the large naval ports as well as in areas where sailors needed ministrations and care from their own religion.  This was especially true for sick and dying who might never again see their homeland.  There was also a requirement for catholic naval instructors to be appointed to training ships.  A properly recognised and bona fide priest would have a good affect upon the men helping to smooth out disciplinary issues.  The long time problem of having catholics in the navy and the almost denial of their priest..htm
1880 An enquiry into the loss of training ships HMS Atalanta and HMS Eurydice.  The ships were old, built of wood, sail powered and unseaworthy as when compared to the seaworthiness of a man of war vessel.  A forthcoming enquiry into the loss of two training ships each of the same type and vintage.htm The Eurydice sank 2½ off Dunnose on the southern coastline of the Isle of Wight between Ventnor and Shanklin.  The top of her mast could clearly be seen above the water line for many a long day.  There were just two survivors from 319 souls.
1880 The wrong type of "social" boys are being sent to Britannia.  Boys with more manly aspirations should supplant them.  We would receive better officer in return. The myth is blown ! Officer boys training is flawed and change is necessary !.htm
 1880 The cost and the numbers borne in 1880 as against the numbers budgeted for.  A great excess of boys on the books which although costly are much better than having too few.  Too many boys recruited but that is better than too few.htm
1881 A debate in the House of Lords as to the proper age of entering boys into the navy.  A comparison with other countries.  What was the proper age of entry into the naval service.htm
1881 Sir John Hay, himself a gallant sailor and admiral ridiculed the navy for have too many men with no sea experience.  Too many men and boys with too little sea time service.htm
 1881 Mr Gorst reveals the bad system, as so many before him had done, of the training received by the boys in the Britannia   A damning indictment of the officer training ship Britannia.htm
1882 1882 and all changed.  Women onboard ?    In this year, the Admiralty, considering that a captain should always be onboard his ship, gave permission that his wife and other female relatives [daughters] could live onboard his ship.  The other officers did not like this because it interfered with discipline and the running of the ship and the women were given the best parts of the ships officers had hitherto enjoyed the use of.  Women in training ships [and others].htm  Mr Campbell-Bannerman of course became our Prime Minister in 1905 until 1908 and was the Prime Minister when Shotley Barracks opened.
1883 This Member had a way with words ! There can be no doubt that British naval officers boy training is so bad that it has no competitors.  The worst and most expensive school training ship imaginable.htm  The net cost of £280 per boy, of which the State paid £210 and the parent £70, was over double the cost of other training ships for less than half the value of output.
1883 The First Lord tells the House of a shortage of naval clothing and that the material has been procured at a cost.  The cost for making up the material into boys uniforms was charged against the boys pay.  Shortage of naval clothing - boys made to pay for their own uniforms to be made-up.htm
1883. Figures were issued showing the educational abilities of each group of ratings [men and boys] showing the overall increase in education year on year.  It also shows that offences were on the increases and that courts martial had increased whilst summary punishments were decreasing.  However, no record had been kept as to which crime had been punished by summary means.  Figures were issued showing boys educational levels.  Also offences on the increase..htm
1883 An MP claims that at £280 per annum, the training ship at Dartmouth [Britannia] was the most expensive school in the land costing the tax payer £210 pa for each little privileged boy. It was also stated that the academic training was none other than bad.   Dartmouth was the most expensive school in the land and one of the worst.htm
1883 Sir John Hay outlines the concern in the navy about discipline and the resultant cruel punishments given in lieu of the banned corporal punishments, WHICH HAD NOT BEEN AT ALL BANNEDThis cruelty also affected BOYS.  Severe punishments of penal servitude. Corporal punishment not banned.htm
1884 Training ship wanted for the north of Scotland waters.htm
1884 The training ship Britannia should be abolished or made into an ordinary training ship like the others.  All boys should be trained the same and have an opportunity to become midshipmen and thence lieutenants.  Boys from the Greenwich Hospital School should have better opportunities with their good education than presently given where they become stewards of petty officers only.   All boys should have a chance to become an officer on merit.htm Also from the same session A shaggydog story or what.htm ?
1884 Naval hospital services were to be improved by the introduction of fully trained nurses - some would be boys whilst others "ladies".  Concern that boys were not being fully educated into the ways of the sea and a requirement for more places to be made in the Flying Squadron [see file for definition of what that was] Boy nurses and the need for more sea training for boys leaving training ships..htm
 1884 The House of Lords Members voice concern over the fluctuating boy recruit figures at a time when the RN relies almost totally upon the output of the naval training ships.  The political manipulating of the boys required figures.htm
1884 A speech very much against the college at Dartmouth being built.htm
 1884 A no holds barred speech by a Knight against 13 year old joining the navy.  Sir Andrew Lusk speaking in the House in December 1884 concerning officer boys joining the Britannia.htm
 1884 Boys to be especially recruited from the Greenwich hospital schools, sent to the training ships to be taught seamanship and straight afterwards sent to Haslar to be trained as sick berth nurses.  They would be trained by female civilian nurses before their first draft. Boys to be specially recruited and trained as sick bay nurses.htm
1884 A Scottish MP argues that good Scottish boys are better than the boys from English towns and cities.htm  He also wants to know whether it would be possible to send a training ship up to Barra region in the Hebrides to give the local boys a chance of joining the navy.
1885 Worries about having too few boys in the navy both training and at sea.  Reduction being blamed on the tragic loss of two seagoing training ships of a few years ago.  Not enough boys in the navy - a great shortage
1885 The Irish people see little return on the taxes they pay to the Government.  Will the navy have chaplains to look after the catholic boys ? The Irish are peeved, perhaps rightly so and is there a provision to address their religious requirements..htm  [My Comment - in my day, this was referred to as the 'left footer' problem] !
1885 A damning report on an outbreak aboard the officer boys training ship HMS Britannia when the only medical staff available was an untrained, uncaring female nurse. If that is how they treated officer boys having wealthy parents with influence, how then might they treat less fortunate boys in rating training ships ?  Disease in boys training ships without medical care.htm
 1885 Gunnery, torpedo, submarine mining, steam, all demanding an ever increasing number of boys into the service.  Increasing technology requires an increase in the number of boys we need.htm
1886 By 1886 the Admiralty's training costs were growing and if possible they needed to be reduced without reducing the boy quota requirements. The mercantile training ships owned by the Marine Society [and others] were training boys for the merchant navy.  If the Admiralty could get these partly [but well] trained boys they could save on their own costs.  So they offered the Marine Society a £25 bonus for every boy they supplied who could pass the naval Boy 1st Class exam within six weeks of joining a naval training ship. Boys training on the cheap !.htm
 1886  HRH The Duke of Edinburgh was the son of Queen Victoria.  Liberty [or leave ashore] was not the norm in those days even after hard and lengthy periods at sea.  It was much desired and necessary for both boys and men and the House of Lords wanted that issue to come to the fore.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.htm
 1886 An admiral states that navy men know what is required and by so knowing would avoid the simple defects along with the more profound defects.  A civilian administrator would not achieve the same ends of naval professionalism.  Let the admirals run the dockyards and not the civilians.htm
1886 An Irish MP who claims that the navy have caused havoc to the community at Bantry Bay, suggests that boys from the fleet could be engaged in shifting the wreck of a trawler which has for a long time inhibited the free passage of ships boats to and from the jetty ashore. The boys of the fleet could be set to work doing useful things for the community.htm
 1887 Some disappointments because the number of boys required is being reduced to match the reduction in seamen required,  reduced by the huge increase in ratings required for the steam age - stokers, artificers etc. Many more boys want to join and parents are keen for them to do so.  Because of  the lowering of seamen numbers, the engine room ratings will be taught the use of small arms.  Reduction in numbers brought about by the steam age.htm
1887 An MP wanted to know if Ganges, because it had no guns onboard, couldn't or shouldn't be protected by a guard ship or a gunboat.  He was also told that all gunnery training [except for saluting guns] was carried out in Devonport some goodly distance from Falmouth.   HMS GANGES - GUNNERY TRAINING ALL DONE IN DEVONPORT.htm
1888 New Brig to be built for boys seagoing training.htm
 1889 Many changes were made to naval personnel in this year but most of it I have deleted to remain focused on boys training. Signalmen, who traditionally were paid less than seamen, had their pay increased to seaman level. More Boy Signalmen were required in the fleet and their numbers would be increased in boys training ships. Academic schools would be established in training ships and more time allocated to it.  Schoolmasters would serve in training ships but no where else in the fleet. Gymnasium instructions would start for all those serving in mastless ships but not for those in masted ships including of course the training ships. Personnel and the changes in 1889.htm
1889 The navy is missing out on available boys training in Industrial Training Ships simply because it thinks they are of the criminal classes, when they are clearly not.  The navy are shutting-out excellent boys without giving them a chance.htm
1890 A Commander Field was lecturing at seaports about seamen with the object of getting more boys to join.  Was this official.htm ?
1892 The navy has never taken boys from either the reformatory school or the industrial schools and were we to do so now, would cause decent parents who support their sons in entering naval training ships to re-think their acquiescence.  We have a good intake of good boys so why should we take boys from an industrial school training ship.htm ?
 1893 Yes, assuming that a given percentage are absent from their ship in a shore hospital ! And if all the boys are back in their ship.......NO ACCOMMODATION IN TRAINING SHIPS - BAD.htm   The merits and demerits of the Coastguard Service and the lack of boy recruits. Date 1876/77
1893 The Scots and the Irish pester the Secretary to the Admiralty for training ships in their areas.htm.  Cork, Belfast and Stornoway.
1893  Ireland had asked, then parts of Scotland had asked, and now it is the turn of Oban to ask....for a naval training ships to be stationed in their areas. Now Oban is added to the growing list of areas wanting training ships.htm
1893 The much demanded training ship for Belfast was an utter and miserable failure.htm  Of the 302 boys discharged in five years only 48 actually went to sea.
1893 Lack of accommodation in boys training ships.htm
1893 The training ship Shaftesbury.   A civilian boys training ship asks the Admiralty for weapons !.htm
1893 Dreadful underhanded play !.htm  I have included this case in my list as being a not uncommon abuse of the law when it came to the treatment of boys placed in reformatory training ships even still occurring as late on as 1893. You will have read in this table, that boys from the reformatory training ships were not allowed to join the navy or the army being branded as belonging to the convict classes.  Remember this boys crime is truancy
1893 Boy to ordinary seaman - the time taken and the cost.htm  A debate in the House of Lords concerning the need to replace the dreadful losses [358] sustained when HMS Victoria was lost in the eastern Mediterranean.  Boys couldn't be used - men had to replace men.
1893 Question asked about the state of the HMS Impregnable boys training ship.htm
1893 Swimming was compulsory for boys and all people entering the service at a young age.  It was not so for those who entered when older [18+].  As a result, many in the navy and marines could not swim.  When the Victoria went down, 358 men jumped into the water.  The swimmers had no room to swim and couldn't free their arms and legs to do so.  The non swimmers, in their panic, held onto the next person nearest to them and by so doing further denied them the opportunity to save their own lives.  All of them were lost by drowning.  Swimming and the harrowing account of the loss of the Victoria.htm  The Admiralty is now about to do something about this situation although for the more senior sailors they cannot enforce the requirement to be able to swim before joining. 
 1894 Southwest Irish MP's asking for ships in ports of close proximity in their area. No ships at the other main ports e.g. Belfast, Dublin, Londonderry, Galway. IRISH RECRUITS FOR NAVY.htm.  Queenstown, in County Cork, as the old name for the Port of Cobh.  QUEENSTOWN  TRAINING SHIP.htm  The merits and demerits of the Coastguard Service and the lack of boy recruits. Date 1876/77
1894 Boys from the stationary training ships become ordinary seamen when 18.htm  During this same period, boys of age 18 join direct as first class boys.
1895 The Royal Naval Reserve is very popular, is already full and people are being turned away.  A larger vote is required to increase the quota.  Large navy [88,000].  All cost for training recruits are acceptable and fluid.  Men from merchant navy very welcome into naval service and those who have been unable to get into the naval reserve are committing themselves to a naval life.  Boys continue to make better bluejackets because they are more amenable to discipline. These figures were issued in the house by the Admiralty and its officers.  Defence costs for 1895..htm
1895 Complaints from the floor of the House that the old training ship HMS St Vincent was unhealthy for the boys because of overcrowding. Overcrowding in the training ship HMS St Vincent.htm
1895 Lord Spencer, The First Lord of the Admiralty and a ancestors of Princess Diana, warns that it is too expensive to keep a large peacetime navy and that our concern should be to keep the numbers in the reserves high.  Men and boys in the professional navy should be held or reduced, not increased.  Keep the numbers in the navy low and the numbers in the reserve forces high.  Lord Spencer continues.......Lord Spencer continues.htm.  He reveal a plan to recruit older boys from around the country who would not go to the training ships.  As yet, it is an experiment which cannot be consider a qualified success.
1895 Boy Stokers, joining when aged 18 [boy first class recruits had long been recruited direct from shore without the need to train in stationary training ships] but at 1s 8d a day, what type of boys would join up ?   A Chief Stoker was paid  2s 5d a day BUT HAD BEEN FOR THE LAST 25 YEARS       Boy first class recruits at age 18 - now 18 year old Boy Stokers
 1895 Innovative thinking but revolutionary also. Lord Brassey, in the House of Lords, proposes that we enter thousands of men into the service [not all active] but that TWENTY THOUSAND MEN, repeat MEN, should be entered as boys who would serve FIVE YEARS in the RN before passing into the ReserveAs the turn of the century approaches, boys take on a different meaning.htm
 1895 The entry of more boys is required so that we have too many rather than too few. Boys training is considered to be "perfect". The mercantile marine should recruit some of these navy trained boys.  Yet more boys required.htm
1895 Admiral Field states that a boy in a training ship who proves to be inadequate as a seaman should be allowed to discharge that boy back to shore where he might be re-schooled in a land occupation.  An admiral states that the captain of a training ship should be able to send boys back to shore to persue a land occuptaion.htm
1895 A reported case of over crowding and poor hygiene.  The training ship HMS St Vincent.htm
1895 Training ships Caledonia, Northampton and Minotaur !.htm   This article mentions the commissioning of the Caledonia [1892]  to be stationed on the east coast of Scotland, there to provide boys training for boys joining from Scotland and the north of England. The Northampton is the direct entry 18 year old first class boys seagoing training ship.  The Minotaur has been nominated for the Irish training ship to be stationed in the south west in the vicinity of Cork.
1895 Lots of training ships overall but not that many to rely on in the merchant navy in time of war.htm
1895 The proposed training ship Minotaur.htm  In this file, we are told that the cost of commissioning the Caledonia was a massive £20,000 [1892] which included all the things mentioned inside this file for the proposed new training ship Minotaur
1896 Training Ship [Scotland] !.htm
1896 Boy Stokers and from the second or lower class of the navy.htm
1896 Just one of many reported abuses in the civilian boys training ships owned by the Marine Society or by local Government authorities.  Abuses in civilian boys training ships.htm
1896 The three phases of a boys training as the 20th century approached were periods in A. the stationary training ships B. sea experience in the Brigs attached to the stationary sailing ships and C. one year at sea in the training squadron.  The THREE PHASES of a boys training.htm
1896 The ships, men and boys involved in sea manoeuvres in 1896.htm
1896 Does it matter whether boys are taught ashore or afloat.htm ?  One MP [at least] seems not to be bothered !
1896 The First Lord of the Admiralty sees a rosy future as the navy need more and more boys and the need for men to serve longer careers.  More and more recruits of boys and longer naval careers.htm
1896 Admiral Field thinks that the support for  a naval college ashore is led by the need for naval officers and instructors to have comfortable homes ashore rather than be cramped in old sailing ships.  He care nought for their comfort but only for the training of the cadets.  If ordinary boys have to train afloat then officers too should be treated the same.  If there has to be a shore college, then certainly not at Dartmouth.   An admiral MP rebels against the idea of a shore college at Dartmouth.htm
1896 The country cannot afford to have a large standing navy in times of peace but needs to build up its reserves.  Therefore the policy is........Fewer men, fewer boys, older boys, less training for boys, cheaper training for boys.htm  By having fewer boys and older boys, they will get into the fleet much quicker and therefore cost much less to train.
1896 Boys - all of them UK wide - should have an attempt to qualify for a cadetship at Dartmouth.htm  Many saw an opportunity to create a 'hooray henry' camp in deepest darkest Devon.   It was ideal for a class society where privileged and well shod public school boys would form the elite of the navy,  It was to be established on a social class basis rather than on academic ability, and as events showed, there were many 'duffers' who entered the college.  Many of the 'non duffers' were debarred on social grounds, and this ostracising, although manifest, was compounded by the explicit nod of  Royal Patronage and the fashion that all Royal Prince' [and later Royal Princesses - Princes Anne] would become naval officers.  At the turn of the century, the warrant officers mess, coined an expression which became an everyday byword of the lower deck, when they referred to wardroom officers as PIGS. The reference was meant to convey that when a litter was born to a sow, there was, sometimes, but by and large always, a runt, a piglet which is too weak to fend for itself and invariable dies, forced out by the stronger piglets who go on to be strong and influential pigs. This became symbolic of the runt being a member of the lower social classes, and thus, a member of the lower deck, forced out of the trough, the upper deck, by the socially strong, the public school boys and their aspirants. Unfortunately, many on the lower deck went further and used the symbolic trough as a literal place for dining where pigs are known to be messy but more importantly bullies - the [privileged] strong survive and the [rest] weak go to the wall.   The name stuck, even though the wardroom altered greatly, having in it, officers of learning and good education, not to mention good manners and excellent personal characteristics found in all egalitarian societies.
1896 Not enough men and boys to man the fleet.htm
1896 Boys should be trained in training ships and those not wanted by the navy could join the mercantile services, returning to the navy when required to do so.  The training of boys at sea after their stationary training was a delusion because they were no better a seaman at the end  than they were at the beginning.  They joined the Training Squadron but out of 365 days they only spent 150 days at sea.  Training was a delusion !.htm 
1897 A suggestion that the Government should pay for the training of mercantile seamen boys.htm.  That the Government should pay £35 for each boy trained in a mercantile marine training ship on the understanding that over a six year period, the boy will spend one year in a training ships, four years in the mercantile marine and one year in the Royal Navy before being passed to the Royal Naval Reserve.  The Admiralty wants to know what of the cost would the shipping owner pay ?
1897 Before 1897 [approximately boys were trained in the stationary training ships for 20 months.  After that he spent a period in a seagoing training Brig [when they were available and had the accommodation available].  In 1897 [approximately] that training period was reduced to 16 months.  The period in a Brig was considered to be adequate after 13 weeks but now that was reduced to just 6 weeks, if at all.  There was much complaint about the directly recruited first class boys who joined at 18.  They received  a poor and lamentably short training period and then went to sea where they tried to hold their own with first class boys who had completed the full 20 months [now 16 months] training in stationary training ships.  The length of a boys training.htm
1897 The first class boys on the seagoing training ships were not well fed   Admiral Field ....when they came onboard they were emaciated and in need of a good diet.
1897 Even as late as 1897, the navy were not issued with the basic condiments of salt, pepper and mustard.  Boys in training ships were issued with salt for health purposesSalt, pepper and mustard.  What, no vinegar !.htm
1897 Plenty of boys - training good but should be longer.htm..............but as regards officer boys [cadets]......htm  Two contrasting sides of the house !
1897 A great deal more seagoing experience for the older boys [first class boys] recruited direct. or, much more room to increase this grade of boy recruiting.  Now three seagoing training ships for boys.htm
1898 By 1898, 3438 boys of age 18 had joined directly as first class boys passing through the seagoing training ship programmes. Number of 18 year olds entered directly as first class boys.htm
 1898 An old famous Admiral asks whether  a new training ship could be provided at Belfast Lough.  There are enough training ships and in the right places already.htm
1898 Great success with the Northampton in recruiting older boys.htm
1898 The numbers of boys required at any one time must be sufficient to make sure the numbers of men required in five years time meets the quota set.  It takes twice as long to train a seaman from a boy than it does to build an ironclad battleship.  Boys - seamen take twice as long to train as the time needed to build an ironclad.htm
1898 The first time an Essex MP has asked for a training ship to be placed on the East coast and at Harwich which has a fine harbour and would supply fine seamen for the Royal Navy.  The first germ of an idea for the future HMS Ganges relocation.  An Essex MP asks the Admiralty for a training ship for Harwich.htm
1898 Harwich is a coaling station for warships in the east
1899 When Ganges arrived in the Essex Port of Harwich in 1900 there was an outbreak of swine fever.  As I write this, the world is in fear of a pandemic of swine flu.  SWINE - fever or flu.htm
Part of a debate concerning the increasing numbers of foreign sailors crewing British merchant ships thereby reducing the numbers of merchant mariners who traditionally help to form the naval reserve. Date 1899. This is an IMPORTANT file crucial to the understanding the juxtaposition  of the merchant navy with the royal navy in the late 19th century.  It tells of the demise of the British seaman and seaboy in the mercantile fleets which had a direct affect upon the numbers available for call-up in the Royal Navy. There is some adverse comment about the laziness or unpunctual  ways of the British mariners and claims that the foreign seaman is more preferred because of this. It is often a hard-hitting document and were that today's politicians to fly the flag for England.  In many places it is plain and simple nationalistic. In today's Parliament the language of course would not be allowed. The article covers the lot of boys at sea.  One of my favourite speakers is the MP Mr Havelock WILSON, especially when, near to the end, he takes on the President of the Board of Trade.....


This is the honourable Gentleman who desires to recruit the Mercantile Marine with British sailors.


Because you will not pay them decent wages.


The honourable Gentleman says— I will do everything I can to prevent these boys becoming British sailors, serving on British ships: that I will do.


Sir, it was in connection with driving the boys into the Naval Reserve that I spoke. I said it was conscription to compel these boys to be members of the Naval Reserve, and I would oppose it—and I will.


I beg the honourable Gentleman's pardon. That is not my recollection of what the honourable Member said.


It is on record.


Very well, I will leave  the honourable Gentleman in regard to that matter.


1899 A training for the west coast of Scotland is highly desirable given the number of boys available..htm
3rd August 1899 The very first hint that Ganges would be moved from Mylor to Harwich.htm 

This document is of utter and extreme interest to the HMS Ganges story devotees.

It is the first hint to the general public and to Parliament,  that HMS Ganges, although not stated in the answer, is to be moved from Mylor to Harwich.  As such, this document is the catalyst  for all the HMS Ganges and Shotley means to thousand of ex boy sailors who joined from Royal Navy from this time onwards.

1899 The total number of men and boys in the navy at the turn of the century.htm
1899 The death of the chaplain of HMS St Vincent  A seemingly tasteless comment on the death of a naval catholic priest.htm
1899 An important contribution to a naval debate recommended by Mr Webster.  He suggested that we put more and more training ships in major ports/area around the country and that we rename the old warships to reflect the names of the cities and counties they would serve. HMS Liverpool, HMS Bristol, HMS Hull, but also HMS Sheffield, HMS York, HMS Birmingham etc would give the towns, cities and counties a personal pride in their training ship and the boys training in them would share the same pride.  The first hint at changing warship names to those of our cities and counties etc.htm  It was a move away from the traditional magisterial, royal, and mythological names we had always called our warships.
1899 A northern MP implores the Admiralty to undertake a recruiting campaign throughout the northern  manufacturing towns and cities.  Many in the north do not know how to apply to enter the navy.htm
1899 The Admiralty recruits boys - to be trained as shipwrights.htm MP's argue that the status of the naval shipwright is already poor within the navy and advocates that the Admiralty recruits a better class of artisan.  The navy go the other way, in that they decide to recruit boys, train them in seamanship and then train them to become shipwright.  MP's say that that is a recipe for disaster.  All the best artisans/shipwrights go into the dockyards but few will join the navy.  A shipwright onboard as part of the crew is deemed to be a prerequisite.
1899 What amounts to a massive navy !.htm   6500 boys under training. 
1899 The Canadians are well represented in this proposal !    An idea of increasing the naval reserve - use colonial sailors.htm
1899 Proof that shore barracks are better than training ships.htm  Keyham in Devonport - a place of high learning for the technical branches.
1900 Ex boys from training ships - fit for service in China.htm
1900 Problem in the recruiting of boys.htm
1900 The reason why HMS Ganges was moved from Falmouth.htm
1900 The Irish might suffer the same fate as Falmouth did with the Ganges.htm  Continuing problem between the Admiralty and the Church of Rome - Admiralty might withdraw the naval training ship, the Black Prince from southwest Ireland
1900 What happened to the old Sailing Traing Squadron.htm
1900 As navy food got better in quality, it was 25 years old in quantity and boys needed their daily bottle of milk.htm
1900 Why move the Ganges from Falmouth.htm ?
1900 An ex naval officer and now an MP [Captain Phillpotts] tells the house that Falmouth was the ideal place for the boys training ship Ganges and he had been appointed there for a three year period.  He claims that the grumblings of the married officers appointed to here were the true cause of the ship being moved away from Falmouth.  It appears that the grumbles of married officers forced the Ganges out of Falmouth.htm
1900 The need to have an RC priest in every naval vessel was highly impracticable. If all religions were represented onboard.....!   Irish boys and men wanting their own RC priest in the navy.htm
1900 Sail training squadron - HMS Raleigh and all that.htm
1900 Boys have to buy their own milk.htm
1902 Desertions from HMS Caledonia at Rosyth.htm
1902 Cost of boy to seaman gunner or seaman torpedoman.htm    A breakdown of the cost of a boy entered into the stationary training ship schemes and those boys entered directly to seagoing training ship schemes, to the rate of seaman gunner and seaman torpedo man. 
1902 Admiralty abandons training ships with masts and yards.htm
1902 The cost of naval training ships.htm
1902 The population of Harwich in 1902.htm 
1902 Ganges at Harwich might have formed part of a 'beautiful prommenade'.htm ! Ganges might have been given to Harwich to form a breakwater rather than to be a training ship.
1902 Question about the health of HMS Impregnable.htm at Devonport
1902 Boys training ship HMS Impregnable.htm
1902 HMS Caledonia - deserters and the cost in getting them back.htm... How much did we pay the police forces involved in their recapture ?
1903 Importance of being able to swim.htm
1903 Boys - a question of religion - RC training ships like the Arethusa
1903 Boy be trained in the dockyards
1903 The first news of the building of HMS Caledonia ashore in Rosyth.htm ......after claim that the training ship Caledonia was unfit for its purpose.
1903 A debate about the bad food the navy supplied to its men which came from the victualling yards.  Men and boys didn’t, and in many cases couldn’t, eat this bad food and had to look elsewhere for food or go hungry. The alternative was the establishment of NAVAL CANTEENS – the forerunners of the naval canteens administered and managed by the NAAFI.  These canteens purchased from ashore [civilian sources] food and beverages to sell to the crew.  These organisations, or chandlers, were in competition with one another so they discounted the price to the ship.  Unfortunately the canteens were run by unscrupulous petty officers and the mark-ups were often to achieve a 100% profit.  The men and boys objected to being ripped-off but little could be done because the same petty officers were the committee, the chairman and were omnipotent.  The men were hungry but could not afford the canteen prices. This debate has two goals.  Firstly to get rid of these naval canteen or have them properly supervised by commissioned officers, and then to get rid of the naval victualling systems to be replaced by civilian victuallers whose food would be good and much cheaper, saving the Admiralty money and pleasing the men at the same time.  Boys in training ships were the first to benefit when the victualling system did change.  It was also the first time that  boys and men were issued with knives forks and spoons with which to eat their meals.   Bad food.  New victualling for boys first then others.htm                ..................................................and also this one about FOOD and CANTEENS.htm dated March 1903...............Naval canteens - actual prices charged.htm
1903 New naval rations for boys.htm
1903 The first mention of a boys training establishment to be built somewhere in the Harwich area.htm
1903 If you know somebody in the navy, you stand a good chance of getting in.  If you don't, you have very little chance.  Try the army !  complaints that the navy is a closed-shop !.htm
1903 EMERALD withdrawn from Ireland.htm
1903 Boy shipwrights and boy artificers
1903 A worthy training ship.htm   In this file the training ship EXMOUTH owned by the London Metropolitan  Asylums Board reminds the Admiralty that it alone, in 1901, put 151 boys into the royal navy whilst all the other [civilian] training ships put together only supplied 160.  They ask for an additional ship.
1904 A technical navy - machinery taught, seamanship not taught.htm  An MP complains that boys are trained for ordinary seamen knowing more about MECHANICS then he does about seamanship.
1904 Caning statistics in the navy.htm
1904 A Portsmouth MP asks about the future of the training ship HMS St Vincent.htm
1904 Flogging in  the navy - part 3.htm
1904 The CAT in the navy.htm
1904 The cost of building SHOTLEY BARRACKS.htm.....£100.000 which in today's [2007] money is, using this website and choosing AVERAGE EARNINGS' .   NO LESS THAN £4,210,000.   {However see page HMS Ganges at Shotley for the full and correct costings}.  Two shore establishments were being built HM Training Establishment Shotley and HMS Caledonia.  It would be a long 23 years before HMTE Shotley, which became RNTE Shotley was changed to HMS Ganges, which really has no bearing whatsoever on the original training ship which was based on Falmouth.
1904 Technical training and the need for schoolmasters.htm  All boys upon joining with need to understand machinery and the like.....No to schoolmasters in every ship
1904 A great many fewer boys under training - shooting prizes from the Herbert Lott fund.htm
1904 Age for boys entry into Dartmouth lowered to 12.htm  ..........much comment about the privileged 5% of boys
1904 Number of boys required to be reduced.htm  Also this in the House of Lords  Navy too costly. Too many boys. Reduction in training ships.htm
1904 A question about the future of the St Vincent.htm
1904 Corporal punishment for boys and youths in the navy.htm
1905 February 1905 boys training ships and how many boys in them
1905 1905 and flogging of boys in the navy.htm
1905 Flogging of boys - part 2.htm
1905 Birching and caning of naval boys.htm
1905 Corporal punishment still meted out to boys for trivial offences.htm
1905 Numbers of boys and youths under training.htm.  A boy was aged from 15 to 16½....A youth was older, usually gone 18.......and a man in the navy was 20 +
1905 Birching of boys for trivial offences.htm
1905 THE RATIONALE OF BIRCHING BOYS IN PLACES LIKE HMS GANGES  Birching is a ROYAL naval thing for boys only.  It affects no other "military" boys because there are none in the British Army and none in foreign navies.
1905 A sad case of bullying and cruelty going wrong.htm
1905 Is the St Vincent going to be abandoned.htm
1905 Boys at sea in sunny climes in the Bermuda areas.htm  Two new training squadron, this one, working out of Devonport
1905 St Vincent boys will go to Shotley.htm
1906 The navy would not be able to train boys in engineering matters to match civilian teaching and which the Admiralty responded by saying 'we will have the best.'
1906 By 1906 boys training ships had been fully established and are listed herein.  Boys training ships in 1906.htm
1906 The training of boy artificers and mechanicians.htm
1906 Boy flogged to death in training ship off Shotley.htm........that was according to an Irish MP !  Much later research revealed that the boy was G.SHREEVE who died in RNH Shotley on the 5th December 1905. He is buried in Shotley churchyard.
1906 The end of birching for naval boys and youths.htm.......there are no records of birching's in Shotley Barracks
1906 Up to this period, the navy always used direct entry civilian trained engineers and artificers.  It didn't train any of its own.  These direct entry men were part of the navy in every sense, but they saw themselves as prima donnas It had been used since the very start of steam in the navy and in particular, in the early ironclads, the Warrior for example.  It wasn't nor had it ever been a satisfactory arrangement for these highly skilled men were demanding.  For example, these direct entry artificers refused to cooperate with the Admiralty unless they were separated from all other CPO's and PO's and given their own mess. That is how the "tiffy's mess" originated on the lower deck.  Now boys from as early as 13 were being recruited into Dartmouth to train as engineer officers and boys of 15 were recruited into training ship and then immediately into the dockyards to train as artificers. Needless to say, going from no outlay whatsoever for the training of the direct entries to paying for both the skilled officers and ratings required for the engine room caused a massive leap in the Admiraltys education vote.  Admiralty pays the price for having its own engineer officers and rating artificers.htm
1907 An MP asks  whether our fleet is one fifth manned by untrained boys.htm
1907 Boys in the Home Fleet.htm
1907 Sea training for SHOTLEY and DEVONPORT boys.htm
1907 Boy artificers training establishment.htm
1907 Free kits would cost the Admiralty 350,000 pounds per year
1907 Pre WW1 and a naval build-up at Harwich. Not enough hospital beds in the area.             The Navy Estimate [1907-08] were discussed in the House of Commons an the 25th April 1907. The members were told that Shotley hospital beds would be increased from the current 62 to 114 in this year.

RNH SHOTLEY Ganges Hospital - this is an important file  a MAP is ATTACHED, which also covers the Suffolk WARNERS and the Harwich Military Hospital. See here for more thumbnail pictures      The holiday home was opened in 1937 and closed at the end of the 1990's.

1907 Why it was easier to recruit for the navy than for the army.htm.  Because the navy took boys and the army didn't.
1907 300 boys of age NINETEEN and under.htm !
1908 It is regrettable that we each see our own situation as the ultimate hard route to a limited success, without acknowledging or bothering to find out how others fair.  My naval boyhood days are indelibly etched on my heart, but over the years, I have learnt much about other naval boys and their training.  Through that learning, I have come to the opinion that the route of a very young boy [13½], going from cadet to a midshipman, was the hardest of all.  It is doubly hard when one remembers that these midshipmen [middies or snotties] after such a long and difficult training, started their second stage of training when aged 17½,  exposed to the ridicule of their peers, their commissioned officers, their non-commissioned officers and the men. The final jump from midshipman to the first rung of the officers ladder [sub lieutenant]  A hard slog from young boy to midshipman when aged seventeen and a half
1909 The influential NAVY LEAGUE want a training ship of their own   The Navy League were an extremely powerful and influential group made up of many of the finest brains in the land, with money men, famous historians, famous admirals mixed in and all blessed with Royal Patronage.  It would defend the navy and the country at all costs, even above all other things. They badgered, lobbied and guided many of the Admiralty's decision, such was their power.
1909 HMS Ganges the only naval ship permanently at Harwich.htm
1909 Goodbye to Ganges II.htm....gone for scrap
1909 Harwich submarine flotilla.htm Included because this was part of the early Ganges environment
1909 Fast and slow destroyers.htm
1910 Boys training ships - Home Fleet.htm....duties of the Inspecting Officer of Boys Training Ships
1911 POWERFUL replaces IMPREGNABLE at Devonport.htm........too few Irish boys joining
1911 Floating Dock for Harwich.htm
1911 Two visits to Harwich and two groundings.htm  I wonder what those Ganges boys thought of naval navigation and proficiency ?
1911 A proposal for a Harwich Sailors Home.htm
1912 Boys at the 1912 Spithead Review.htm
1912 Other types of boys directly associated with the navy.htm
1912 Winston Churchill speaks in the House about the many good and healthy boys and youths willing to join the navy.htm......Churchill was then the First Lord of the Admiralty
1912 Floating Dock at Harwich has arrived.htm .............................The costs for the Harwich Floating Dock.htm
1913 Mr Churchill tells of how many boys there are in the fleet.htm
1913 Reformatory and ex-reformatory boys still not allowed in the navy.htm
1913 The cost of training boy seamen.htm
1913 Nautical Schools !.htm    Although not a naval question or subject, I have included this file because, eventually, boys from these ships [and several others] joined the Royal Navy.
1913 Massive increase in the number of boys - boys sent to sea billets.htm  First Lord insists that Members of the House should not make assumptions that could damaged the navy's imagine in the eyes of foreign people, and of course, in the eyes of our own people at home.
1913 Major manning problem in the fleets and so close to war.htm  Serious crisis with an under-manning shortage of 20,000 trained men.  The fleets are awash with boys and young stokers and when not them with reservists, all of whom when put together are not considered to be "fighting men".  Winston Churchill, the First Lord of the Admiralty, comes under terrific pressure in the House led by an old Admiral warrior.
1913 The inequality of technical boys with no official grievance channel.htm
1913 The need to enlarge SHOTLEY BARRACKS hospital.htm
1913 BOY SHIPWRIGHTS.htm  New rules for the shipwright branch
1913 Overcoats for boys in training establishments.htm
1913 The voyages of HMS Enchantress in 1911 and 1912.htm  During 1911 and 1912 the First Lord of the Admiralty visited every British naval base in the world and every British naval establishment and HM ship wherever in the world, including SHOTLEY BARRACKS on the 23rd August 1912. He was embarked in the new Admiralty Yacht HMS Enchantress.   His name ? The Rt Hon Winston Spencer Churchill.
1928 SHOTLEY MAST DEATH.htm  Questions asked in the house.
1929 In a speech made by the First Lord of the Admiralty, Mr Bridgeman, in 1929, he states the improvements made in Shotley and other places.

There are one or two other points, to which I would like to draw the attention of the House, which denote satisfactory progress. By a careful scrutiny it has been possible to reduce Vote A by 2,000 men, and we are concentrating upon the training of boys of the seamen class at Shotley and Forton, instead of in the "Impregnable." Although, as I say, we are reducing the numbers, and although we are spending less under a good many other heads, we are not unmindful of the comfort and health of those who are being trained for the service, and we have been able to start in one or two directions what, I believe, are very useful  reforms. I mentioned the "Impregnable," the boys trained there are going to be trained at Shotley and Forton. That, in itself, will be a considerable saving, because the upkeep of the "Impregnable" is a very heavy item, and the upkeep of shore establishments will be considerably less. Shotley is being improved by the substitution of permanent buildings for the temporary ones which were there before. We are also making a little further progress with an improvement to which I attach considerable importance, and that is we are changing from the "Fisgard," the hulk in which the boys were trained for engineer artificers, to a shore establishment at Chatham. There, again, there will be a very considerable saving in the upkeep, and I am quite sure a very great improvement in health, convenience and accommodation of the boys who have done admirable work in "Fisgard" under rather adverse conditions. There are two other things in which, I am glad to say, we are making progress in improved accommodation. One is at Fort Blockhouse, Portsmouth, and the other is in the accommodation of the anti-submarine experimental personnel at Portland who, up to now, have been housed in very uncomfortable temporary buildings. UNQUOTE.

Another question raised by the hon. Member for Camberwell North was how we had effected a reduction of Vote A, that is, of our numbers. It has been brought about by a closer scrutiny of the numbers that we require. We have modified the practice of calculating numbers on the basis of the Fleet two years ahead; we have also economised in personnel by the withdrawal of ships from foreign stations to be recommissioned whenever possible. The scheme which the First Lord mentioned in his speech has enable us to concentrate the training of boys (seamen class) at Shotley and Forton and has enabled us to reduce the numbers to a certain extent. We have also reduced the margins allowed in our calculations for crossing reliefs, sickness, etc. In these ways and by basing the numbers of the Navy on the requirements of the actual year, we have been able to bring about this reduction in Vote A without, I believe, in any way jeopardising the efficiency of the Service. UNQUOTE.


1934 n a naval debate on the 12th March 1934, the subject being discussed was "COAL FUEL" and the naval efficiency of fuelling HM Ships

We have listened to the varying opinions of experts, ex-experts and ex-statesmen this afternoon. I am merely a humble student of the sea and sea power. I am merely an observer and not a pilot. I do not see any reason why the Air Force should get the whole of the lime-light, although I consider that, as has been said already, we should welcome the closest co-operation and co-ordination between the two Services. On last year's Estimates I ventured to draw attention to the difficulty that there was in finding men for foreign service without interfering with and drawing men from the Home Fleet in the middle of a commission. Unfortunately, that difficulty still exists to-day, and for some time the Home Fleet will suffer by periodically losing its men, with the result that it will have to be manned by young and untrained ratings, making it practically a training Fleet. Security of tenure is as essential for the men as it is for the ship or for the Fleet. I also ventured last year to draw the attention of the First Lord to the dangerous shortage of men. Now, I am glad to say, the "St. Vincent" and Shotley are full of seamen boys, and recruiting for the special service ordinary seamen class is in full swing at Chatham, Portsmouth and Devonport; but for some time, I fear, we must suffer from a lack of qualified men, as it takes about three years to make a fully trained naval seaman. This is a legacy which has been left to us by the last Government. UNQUOTE

1937 Ganges boys get Shotley plus another 90,000 pounds whilst Tiffys get a White Star Liner
1937 RHS should cooperate with HMS Ganges.htm
1937 25% of boys join from central and secondary modern schools.htm
1940 ALL* boys from ALL Boys Training Establishments were amassed together and trained as a group in HMS St George at Douglas on the Isle of Man for the duration of the second world war. They returned to their respective Training Establishments in January 1946. This great upheaval  was coordinated using a plan conceived in 1937 which is recorded for all posterity under Admiralty Documents and Orders ADM 116/3867 c.1937-39.
*However, that is but another myth or inaccuracy of some importance! In the general term of boys relating to seamen and communicators, ONLY HMS Ganges separated boys into 'boys' and 'youths', the youths being accommodated in Ganges II to start off with but later joined Shotley Barracks/HMS Ganges. Boys joined from the age of 15 whereas youths joined from the age of 16½. Both were called "boys" officially and one often sees on war memorials the rate of 'boy' for an 18 year old, although in Shotley church burial ground, one sees them buried as 'youths'! In 1940, boys joining up from the age of 16½ plus, didn't go to St George to do their training, but instead, and up to the age of 17 years 11 months and 30 odd days, went to HMS Royal Arthur at Skegness, Lincolnshire to do their training. Royal Arthur's main function was to train anybody that had achieved the age of 18 largely joining up as HO's. Thus boys and HO's [and all those who were eligible for call-up but volunteered before receiving their papers for a career in the navy] who were either telegraphists, signalmen or coders, went to Royal Arthur and trained alongside one another in the signal school of that esrtablishment. When the signal school there became unable to cope with swollen numbers, all those below the age of 18 were transferred to Rosyth in Scotland to HMS Scotia to continue their training as "Boy Tel's etc even though some were weeks away from their 18th birthdays. Whilst it is true that St George had the majority of "young boy communicators" by no means did they have a monopoly of that branch training.

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