Royal Navy Training Ship Era: Supervising Boys

Figure 1.--Here we see a newly posted boy on a Royal Navy ship after he was trained on one of the training ships. He is getting a tatoo from an old salt. Notice the uniforms. We are not sure who painted this or when. We would guess it illustrates the late-19th century period. Nor so we know if the younger boys posted on ships were subject to any special supervision.

We are not sure just how the younger boys were supervised on a Royal Navy ship. A Royal Navy crew was a rough lot. Thus one might think that someone in the Royal Navy had given some thought to the proper supervision of boys, to ensure that they got needed training, did not misbehave, and were not influenced by some of the more unsavory types on board. We suspect that some of the older sailors had fatherly attitudes toward the boys. But there undoubtedly some prepred to abue then or to lead them into unsavory pratives like drinking or even worse. Reember this was during the Victorian era when highly moralistic values deeply penetrated British society. We have not yet found any sources addressing this topic. We note that in the 20th century that younger sailors got grog money instrad of grog itself (rum and water). We are not sure just when this practice was implemented. Earlier the boys probably got grog. Of course the crew in general was supervised bu the officers and non-commissioned officers. We do not know, however, if any special provision was made for the boys aboard ships. Of course as the age limit was raised in the 20th century such special supervision would seem less necessary. We would be interested in any insights readers may have.


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Created: 10:18 AM 10/14/2011
Last updated: 10:19 AM 10/14/2011