HOW MUCH DID IT COST TO TRAIN YOU AT HMS GANGES

 

HMS Ganges, or rather Shotley Barracks, lasted from 1905 until closure in 1976. In its earlier times it was first opened as His Majesty's Training Establishment Shotley, changed to Royal Naval Training Establishment Shotley and finally to HMS Ganges. Whatever its name, as an enclosed area it was extant for 71 years, 65 of those for the training of boys [later juniors] and 6 for the training of Hostilities Only ratings during WW2 from 1940 until 1945. Taken as a percentage, for approximately 75% of its time spent training boys [47 years], the boys became seamen and communicators only [1905 to 1939 and 1946 to 1958] {EXECUTIVE BOYS' - destined for the Operations Branch, those who would actually fight the ship} and approximately, for the last 25% only [1959-1976 - 18 years], it trained all comers from many branches. From the re-start of training boys in 1946, seamen boys trained for twelve months before joining the Fleet, and communicator boys trained for fifteen months. Note the mention of stokers in the question and answer below.

In 1926, the average cost of training boys for the Fleet was discussed in the House of Commons.  What follows is an extract from Hansards. 

14 July 1926 vol 198  House of Commons debate

Mr HORE-BELISHA [MP for Plymouth Devonport, who was the Secretary of State for War 1937 - 1940 and in the early 1950's was elevated to the Peerage]

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty the average cost of training men and boys of the seamen, signalmen, telegraphist and stoker branches from the time of joining the Royal Navy until they are accepted as efficient ratings from the naval point of view?

Mr. DAVIDSON  - I have added this little picture drawn to show you how Mr Davidson, The First Lord of the Admiralty, fitted into the overall plan of the Navy.  Of course, this was in the days when we had a Navy of size which was still extant [5 Sea Lords] until well into the  1960's.  
 

Mr Davidson continues.........The average cost of training boys until they are fit to be drafted to His Majesty's ships at sea based on the cost of the Shotley training establishment is £58 for the seaman class and £98 for the signal and telegraphist classes, exclusive of the pay, clothing and victualling of the boys. The training is continued after the boys join the ships, but the boys are available as part of the complement and to make a satisfactory division between the additional cost due to the training and the ordinary running expenses of the ships would be practically impossible. The training of recruits for the stoker branch is carried out at Royal Naval barracks, and it is not possible to ascertain the proportion of the cost of those establishments attributable to training this particular class except at an expenditure of  time and labour, altogether disproportionate to the value of the results obtainable.

To interpret this for you [remember training only] a Seaman's training lasts for 1 year = 365 days and costs £58 x 240d in a pound = 13920d. 13920 ÷ 365 = 38.13d = a titch over 3 shillings per day @ 12d to the shilling. For a Communicator the cost of £98 is resolved as follows:- training 15 months = 455 days [approx] - £98 x 240 = 23520d ÷ 455 = 51.69d = 4.3 shillings a day. Both these figures assume no back classings!

  1. DON'T forget to choose the data sheet  PURCHASING POWER - UK £. Now you are fully armed to work out your own costs starting from the datum point of 1926 [Houses of Parliament data above]. You know your own year of leaving Ganges and these two dates are all you need to know and key in to the calculator in the link Below, namely Measuring Worth. Before you click on the link, take note of the following. On the left hand side under the heading The Comparators list, choose or make sure that you are looking at "PURCHASING POWER - UK £" Once you are happy that you have the correct data sheet in front of you, you can ignore the centre of screen text, and move straight to the grey coloured box over on the right. Here you will see two dated columns, namely 1270 to 1970 and 1971 to Present: these refer to the old currency and decimalisation - most of you will choose the 1270 to 1970 box. In the initial amount box put either £58 or £98  depending upon your branch seaman or comms. In the desired year box add the Year you left Ganges. Then click on calculate. For the answer simply look at the second box down which begins with "A simple PURCHASING POWER CALCUATOR....."  TIP. Many of you will have "sticky notes" as a built-in app if you have quite modern and up to date Windows OS = 7,8 and 10. Try now to see if you have by asking your computers search system to find "sticky notes". Great if you have - click anywhere to temporarily turn them off. Now swipe the text in this section above from   "DONT forget to choose".....to "a simple PURCHASING POWER CALCULATOR"  and copy. Open up those sticky notes again and select paste. Click anywhere to close sticky notes noting that there is now a sticky notes icon on your task bar at the bottom of your screen. When you need the sticky notes as an  aide-memoire simply click on and off on task bar icon. Now click on the link below.
  2. Now that you have returned to the main story after getting the detail you wanted on the cost of your training, I thought that I would share my data with you. I keyed-in '1926' - £98 - 1955 [although I finished training just before going on Xmas leave 1954 only to return to assume the status of 'draft class' going off to sea in the second half of  January 1955]. My answer was £216-16-0. In the 29 years since 1926, the cost of my training alone had risen by £118 - value for money I would say. Using the same system, my training in 2016 would cost £5130.00!

This website Measuring Worth - Purchase Power of the Pound tells us all about the British Pound [GBP] and its purchasing power from the year 1270 until Present.  It has an interactive calculator on which we can do some interesting sums. It is VERY simple to use.

Good hunting.