On my site I tell the story of when the navy completely modernised the way in which it accommodated officers and men, by moving these groups of personnel from living or living and training in unhealthy conditions in old and disused warships, with one in particular still seaworthy but nonetheless 'old'! That was the officers training ship HMS Britannia, and it was decommissioned as soon as the BRNC at Dartmouth was built and commissioned. These pictures show a beautiful silver statue of midshipmen presented by Royal Princes Edward and George of Wales to the captain of the ship HMS Britannia [Captain Fairfax RN] in 1877, who went on to become  Admiral Sir Henry Fairfax, K.C.B., C.B. (Civil), D.L., J.P., F.R.G.S., at the end of their training as midshipmen at sea in 1879.

This statue is a naval priceless historic artefact, but more importantly it is a vital piece of British history?

The engraved name plate c.1879 simply says that this was a gift to Captain Fairfax [much later, the owner of Charlecote Park, Wellesbourne, near Warwick in Warwickshire, a National Trust property] in which I saw and pondered about the statue close up] said to be from Prince' Edward and George of Wales. These two adolescents, Edward the eldest and his younger brother George, grew up to be the Duke of Clarence and Prince George, the sons of the Prince and Princess of Wales, later King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. The Duke of Clarence would have followed his father to the throne but he died as a young man, pre-deceasing his parents and even his grandma Queen Victoria. He was a thoroughly nasty piece of human flesh, tied up with homosexual brothels and thoroughly debauched [a point of view!] and connected to Jack The Ripper murder crimes in London's east end by the Metropolitan Police. He was engaged, despite his homosexuality and bisexuality to Mary of Teck, and is buried in the chapel immediately behind St Georges Chapel in Windsor Castle, in a fine tomb, the likes of which are rarely seen, such is its sheer opulence and grandeur. It is unmarked and tens of thousands file past it without even knowing who resides therein or of his short life history.  His young brother George became King George V and married Mary of Teck, she becoming Queen Mary. It was fortunate for we people of the UK that the Duke of Clarence died before he could get anywhere near, God Forbid, to the throne! The Royal Clarence Victualling Yard at Gosport Hampshire was not named after him - fortunately - but after the Duke of Clarence who became King William IV, a monarch known as the 'Sailor King'.

 At around this time [1905] Shotley Barracks were built and 'boys' [15 year olds] from the ship HMS Ganges moved ashore to live and work, leaving the 'youths' [16 plus] still living in a hulk which became known as HMS Ganges Two [the Twicer]. Also built were HMS Vivid [which became HMS Drake in 1934], HMS Victory [confusing thousands of Portsmouth civilians and sailors of that depot for Nelson's ship, the pride of Portsmouth was of course already called HMS Victory] and HMS Pembroke, respectively the Royal Naval Shore Barracks at Devonport, Portsmouth and Chatham.

On this page you have glimpses of what Portsmouth looked like before those events above occurred. I am going to put an OS Map dated 1898 into a pdf file so that you can zoom away to your hearts content to see great detail.