Boy's Manual of Seamanship and Gunnery

System of School Training

The upper school division is to consist of two classes for instruction, and are to be called the first and second classes, which are to be subdivided into four parts, to regulate the attendance.

The subjects of instruction in the several classes are to be:

1st Class To read and write well and correctly from dictation. Arithmetic: Rule of three, simple and compound ; fractions, vulgar and decimal (to be optional) ; and practice.

2nd Class To read and write well and freely from dictation. Arithmetic Reduction to compound division.

The lower school division is also to consist of two classes for instruction, to be called the third and fourth classes. They are to be arranged into two parts each, so as to regulate the attendance.

The qualifications of the classes are to be:

3rd Class To read and write fairly. Arithmetic: Simple multiplication, short and long division.

4th Class To read and write a little. Arithmetic: Numeration to multiplication.


The boys are to fall in at 8.30 A.M., with their towels in hand. As soon as they have been mustered, they are to be hung up on lines, the instructors attending to see that it is properly done. No towels are to be taken below, nor are the boys to place them inside of their frock, or the waistband of their trousers :

When the boys reassemble, the following system is to be carried out by the ship's corporals and instructors :

First. The sleeves of the frocks are to be turned up above the elbow, and the cleanliness of the person is to be minutely ascertained.

Second. " Right about face." Examine critically the state of the clothing, which is to be in good repair, and free from grease.

Third. " Right half face." Each boy is to hold up, first his right arm, and afterwards his left, to show that his frock is in proper repair.

Fourth." Front." Off shoes and stockings. Tuck the trousers up above the knees; examine legs and feet.

Fifth. " Right about face." Examine heels, legs, and heads.

Sixth." Front." Off caps. Instructors and police are to satisfy themselves that the hair has been properly cut, after which the caps are to be examined to ascertain that they are properly marked, as also that a good chin-stay is attached to each.

Seventh. The frock collars and shoes are to be inspected at least once a week, to see that they have been properly marked, as also to renew the marking of the serges, which may have been washed out.

Eighth. On Tuesdays and Thursdays the boys are to appear at divisions, with the sleeves of the blue frock turned up in order to show that they have a clean white one underneath


As soon as a boy has completed one year under training, if he has attained the age of sixteen, and can pass the following examination, he is to be advanced to the first class, and discharged for sea service



1st. To be well up in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th instructions, as detailed in the training regulations, and to be able to pass nippers and stoppers.

2nd. To have a perfect knowledge of the different parts of a sail ; to be able to name the gear that is attached to it, and how it is bent; also to pass an earring; and to be able to reeve running gear for plain sail.

3rd. To be able to use the palm and needle fairly, to sew a seam, and to work an eyelet-hole.

4th. To be able to pull in a boat.

5th To have a perfect knowledge of the helm, lead, and compass; to understand and explain compass bearings, as also the system of bow lights.

6th. To be able to swim.


To be well up in the Truck Gun instructions, as also in the rifle and sword drills. A passing book is to be kept in each training. ship, in which the result of each examination is to be noted, after which it is to be submitted to the Captain, who will note thereon what boys are to be rated.


(To be hung up on boards between Decks.) ,

A uniform pattern of clothes having been adopted for the boys, they are strictly enjoined that they will not be permitted to make any alteration whatever in their clothing. All are to be dressed exactly alike in every respect. The collars of the frocks are not to exceed 17 inches in length, and 8 inches in depth. No needlework or embroidery will be allowed to be worn.

The boys of the watch that are to come on deck after breakfast are always to be dressed, and their bags stowed before they fall in to muster.

Both watches are to fall in for muster and inspection half an hour before divisions, notice of the time being given by sound of bugle. They are to bring their towels with them when they fall in.

Clean frocks are to be put on on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, and the flannels are to be changed every Sunday morning.

Shirts may be worn from evening inspection until the next morning, but at no other time.

Hat ribbons are all to be of the same pattern.

In warm weather each boy is to muster at divisions on Wednesday and Friday, dressed in white duck jumpers, in readiness for general exercise.

On Sundays and Thursdays all are to appear at divisions, dressed in their best suits and with shoes on.

The round blue bonnet is always to be worn on board, excepting boats' crews, side boys, and messengers, who are to wear the uniform cloth cap and ribbon, and are also always to have shoes on. No boy is ever to be permitted to go into a boat without having shoes on.

Each boy is to bring with him to divisions for inspection on Thursday, his Seaman's Catechism, two combs, knife and lanyard, hammock and clothes stops, as also his round blue bonnet.

Boats' crews, side boys, and messengers, are to fall in by themselves daily for inspection, immediately after breakfast, and they are to remain dressed until after supper.

Clothes and bedding will be mustered and inspected by watches on the first and second Thursday in every month; the former are always to be kept neatly rolled and stopped round.

The bags not to be unstowed, excepting at the appointed hours, and are never to be left lying about the decks ; they are either to be stowed between the messes or placed in the racks.

No clothes or shoes are ever to be issued without being previously marked by the police and shoemakers with the boy's name in full.

It is hoped that every boy will see the necessity of keeping his person very clean, and always well washed, as also that he will take a pride in acquiring habits of cleanliness and neatness in his dress.


(To be placed on a board and hung up on the mess decks.)

Two boys are to be selected as captains to each mess. They are to wear an anchor badge on their sleeve, and will held responsible for the order and cleanliness of their messes

Two cooks are daily, at breakfast time, to be selected for each mess, whose duty it will be to procure the food, to lay the tables, to clean the mess traps, and to sweep the mess out after meals.

At 11.30, one cook is to lay the table with the mess traps, and the other is to go to the coppers for the meat, &c. This, is to be divided, and a portion put into each plate by the captains of the messes, under the supervision of the instructors and the Officer of the deck. The boys are all to be ranged outside the stools, standing. When the dinner has been portioned out, it will be inspected by a lieutenant, after which the senior boys of each mess will say grace, and the .boys are to be seated and dine with their caps off.

Nothing is to be placed overhead excepting ditty boxes, hats, and shoes, for which the racks are fitted. Nothing is to be put on the mess shelves excepting basons (sic), plates, and mess gear. All cloths, deck rubbers, and brushes, are to be kept in the mess drawer. No bread bags or tubs are to be placed on the deck under the tables. The mess cloths and deck rubbers are daily to be hung up on a line to dry at 7.30 A.M. and 12.45 p.m.

Nothing whatever is to be taken in at, or thrown out of the ports, nor are any clothes to be hung up or left lying about the mess decks.

The bags, when up, are to be stowed between the messes, and are never to be left lying about the mess decks.

No singing or riotous conduct will be permitted, and all quarrelling and fighting will be severely punished.

On no account are cards, dice, or gambling of any sort to be allowed in the messes.

Throwing biscuit at each other, being a highly dangerous practice, is strictly prohibited.

The police are ordered to report any boy making use of bad language, which is most strictly forbidden.

No boy is ever to interfere with his messmate's property. Nothing can be lost in a ship, and any anything that is found is immediately to be taken to the police of the mess decks.

Washing on the lower deck is prohibited and all haircutting and cleansing of the person is to take place in the bath rooms.

No cooking is to be allowed at the Brodie's stoves; they are never to be interfered with by the boys, and are to be under the care of the police and instructors.

Boys are never to be guilty of spitting on the deck ; it is a most filthy, disgusting, and un-English habit.

Loud talking or any noise whatever is forbidden when the boys are in their hammocks and after the lights have been put out.

The mess decks are always to be ready for inspection at the following times:- At a quarter of an hour before divisions, 11.45 A.M., 1 P.M., at evening quarters, and at the hour of the rounds.

It is to be hoped that every boy will not only take a pride in keeping his mess and traps perfectly clean, but that each will willingly and cheerfully do his share of the work, and be perfectly obedient to the captain of his mess, who is charged to carry out these orders, and to see that they are duly observed, being overlooked by, the instructors, who are to be stationed at the boys' messes, in order that there may be a complete and efficient supervision.




1. OBEY all orders implicitly.

2. Never steal, never buy or sell clothes; never trade, chop or change anything in any way ; if you find or pick up what belongs to another, take it immediately to one of the police.

3. Always speak the truth; if you commit a fault own it at once.

4. Be clean and decent in your person, keep your clothes and well mended.

5. Never use bad language, never fight, strike, or quarrel with any one; be civil and obliging to all, especially at meals.

6. When you address an Officer take your cap off ; when you meet an Officer of the Army or Navy on shore, always touch your cap to him respectfully; if a flag Officer, take your cap off.

7. Never abuse indulgence; never break your leave.

8. Never talk or skylark on duty; never make a noise in your Hammocks after turning in.

9. If you are beaten and ill-treated, make your complaint respectfully on the Quarter Deck to the Commanding Officer, but be very careful that you have been strictly obedient and subordinate.

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