The Navy List Dec 1852

Acquirements Required of Engineers

Circular No. 50.
Admiralty 26 Jan 1849.

My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty having by their Circular order of 1 April 1847, No. 32 (?), relative to the Examination, Pay, &c. of Engineers, directed that "Certificates of service in a Factory, or proof of acquaintance with Engine work," shall be produced before an Assistant Engineer be promoted to the rank of Chief Engineer ; and the attention of my Lords having been called to the difficulties which have been experienced in ascertaining the capabilities and acquirements, in this respect, of those Officers who have not served in Factories ; likewise to the deficiency among the junior grades of Engineers, (especially of the young men brought up in the service,) in that mechanical skill, and knowledge, so essential to qualify them to undertake the responsible duty of Engineers in charge of machinery ; my Lords are are therefore pleased to direct that a ship be appropriated at Woolwich, and one at Portsmouth, under the superintendence of the Chief Engineer Officers of the Factories in those Dockyards, in order that the Engineers, on Check, may have the opportunity of acquiring practical skill in the use of such tools as they may hereafter be called upon to use when afloat ; and instruction, when necessary, will be afforded by a skilled mechanic, who will be selected for the purpose.

As means will thus be afforded to enable Engineers to acquire the regulate mechanical skill, no Assistant Engineer will, in future, be advanced to the rank of Chief Engineer, or to that of First Class Assistant, unless he produces a certificate of servitude in the Factory, or of his competency as a workman, from the Engineer Officer of Woolwich, or Portsmouth, Dockyard.

It is further to be distinctly understood, that, in future, the periods of service required by the Regulations, as part of the qualifications of Assistant Engineers for promotion to the higher Classes, are to comprehend only the periods an Officer may be in receipt of full pay ; but on a certificate of good conduct, and of reasonable improvement in Mechanical acquirement, being produced from the Chief Engineer of one of Her Majesty's Factories, half of the time employed in receiving instruction in the workshops will be allowed to reckon as sea time.

By Command of their Lordships
H. G. Ward.

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