|The Flying Squadron 1869-70
Sydney Morning Herald
13th December 1869
The unusual circumstances connected with the formation of the Flying Squadron created great interest in England and at all the ports which were announced to form a portion of their route. The principle was a modern one and considered an experiment of the Hon. H. C. Childers, formerly Commissioner of Customs in the Colony of Victoria and at the time holding the position of First Lord of Admiralty. The Squadron and its duties were described by Mr Childers in reply to a question asked in the House of Commons:
"The squadron which was to leave from Plymouth would consist of six vessels:- viz., four wooden frigates- the Liverpool, with 515 men on board; the Endymion with 485; the Phoebe (from Bahia) with 515 and the Liffey with 545; and two wooden corvettes- viz., the Scylla with 275; and the Barrosa, with 275 men, making a total of 2556 men, of whom 1763 were officers and men, 418 were boys and 371 marines. The Squadron would visit all our distant stations, with the exception of South(?) America, India and the Mediterranean, and would take with it for distribution 348 officers and men, including 36 boys, the supply of boys at home being somewhat ..?.. The Squadron would further take a number of boys and young gentlemen for distribution –viz., 24 for Madeira, 70 for the Cape, 41 for Australia and 121 for ..?.. , and it would also bring home a considerable number. These were its principal objects.
In the opinion of every naval officer to whom he had spoken and equally of naval advisers of the Admiralty there was no question but that there was a great deficiency, on the part of officers and men, of that sort of experience that was to be obtained only by cruising in a squadron; and it was partly to afford an opportunity of acquiring such experience that the expedition had been set out for a cruise of sixteen months."
.?… this it is intended to test the capabilities of steam ..?.. vessels making lengthy and expeditious trips under sail. The solution of this portion of the experiments has been admirably successful, and of the Squadron, as shown by the remarkable punctuality with which the arrival and departure of the vessels from the various ports coincides with the admiralty programme. Since leaving England they have called at Madeira, Bahia, Cape of Good Hope, and
Sydney Morning Herald 13 December 1869