Regulations for the Admission of Boys to Greenwich Hospital School

  1. Established under Order in Council of 4 February 1875.
  2. The School will consist of 1000 boys, the sons of petty officers and seamen, and of non-commissioned officers and privates of marines, who have served or are now serving in the Royal Navy or Coast Guard, and of other seafaring persons.
  3. All claims for admission to the school will be judged of by a Committee of Selection appointed by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, in the following order of precedence, special consideration being given to length of service at sea :
    1. Orphans, both parents dead.
    2. Sons of fathers killed, drowned, deceased, wounded, or seriously maimed in Her Majesty's Service, while employed by Her Majesty on board a merchant ship, or in action, with an enemy, pirate, or rebel.
    3. Those whose fathers having served in the Royal Navy or Marines, are dead.
    4. Those whose fathers are serving, and whose mothers are dead.
    5. Sons of Naval and Marine Pensioners. Sons of seamen and marines now serving, both parents living.
    6. Sons of seamen or marines entitled to the benefits of Greenwich Hospital, not included in the foregoing classes.*
    7. Sons of other seafaring persons.

    N.B.- The sons of commissioned and other officers are not absolutely excluded, provided that the peculiar circumstances of their case render them eligible for this charity.

    * Also the Royal Naval Reserve

  4. Applications for admission are to be made to the Secretary of the Admiralty (Greenwich Hospital Branch ), London, when the necessary forms will be sent, which, when properly filled up, must be returned as directed, with the three following certificates
    1. A certificate of the marriage of the parents; or, if not attainable, other satisfactory proof thereof.
    2. A certificate of registry of the boys birth
    3. A certificate, from the clergyman of the parish to which the boy belongs, or from the minister of his denomination, or from the master of the school at which the boy has been educated as to his character and moral conduct.
    4. An agreement, signed by the boy and his parents or guardians, that he shall serve in the Royal Navy for a period of ten years continuous and general service from the age of eighteen, in addition to whatever period may be necessary until he shall have attained that age, if found physically fit and up to the prescribed standard on his discharge from the school; - otherwise that he shall be bound apprentice in the Merchant Service for four years, and enrolled in the Royal Naval Reserve.
  5. The services of the father upon which the claim is founded will be ascertained at the Admiralty, and due notice will be given without further application should the boy be selected for admission into the School.
  6. Boys are eligible for admission between ten and a half and thirteen years of age; they must be physically fit for fit for sea-service, according to the prescribed standard, able to read an easy sentence, and possess a knowledge of the four simple rules in arithmetic.
  7. Applications will not be received until the candidates are ten and a half years of age.
  8. After admission to the school, boys will be examined monthly by the Medical Officer, and specially at thirteen years of age, as to their physical condition and if at any time found to be unfit for further retention in the school, they will be at once discharged; - otherwise, they will be kept in the school until they reach the age of fifteen and a half years, when they will be entered for continuous service in the Royal Navy, if found physically fit, and up to the prescribed standard. If found unfit for entry into the Royal Navy they will be bound apprentices in the Merchant Service for four years, and enrolled in the Royal Naval Reserve.
  9. Vacancies, occasioned by the discharge of boys found physically unfit at thirteen years of age, will, as far as possible, be filled by selection from the sons of seamen and marines, who must be thirteen years of age, fit and willing for service in the Royal Navy,* and able to pass a sufficient examination in reading, writing, and arithmetic.
  10. Applications for the admission of boys at thirteen years of age, must be made one month previously, in the same manner as directed in Clause III.
  11. The nautical division is not to exceed one hundred and twenty boys, who will be selected from the general school, by competitive examination, as a rule at thirteen years of age. They will be educated to fill the positions of pupil teachers, writers, and ship stewards' boys in the Royal Navy. No boy will be eligible to be transferred to this division of the school after fourteen and a half years of age. Boys failing to come up to the prescribed standard at fourteen and a half years of age will be bound apprentices in the Merchant Service.
  12. The education of the boys in the general division will comprise the usual elements of a sound English education, alternating with practical seamanship, and other industrial occupations designed to prepare them for a seafaring life.
  13. In the nautical division, elementary mathematics and mechanics, navigation, nautical astronomy, and French will be taught.
  14. A thorough knowledge of the art of swimming, being one of the requirements for entry into the Royal Navy, all boys in the school will be taught to swim, and be periodically examined as to their proficiency.

  15. * Prescribed Standard.
    Age. Height
    (without shoes).
    Measurement round the Chest. Weight.
    Years. Ft. Inches Inches. lbs.
    10 and under 11 4 3 24 50
    11 and under 11 4 4 24 61
    11 and under 12 4 4 24 63
    12 and under 12 4 5 24 66
    12 and under 13 4 5 25 69
    At 13 4 7 25 72

  16. Children of Roman Catholics or of Protestants, not being members of the Church of England, will not be required to learn the Church Catechism, and will be allowed to attend convenient places of public worship in accordance with the religious persuasions of their fathers, provided application be made to that effect at the time of admission by the father, if living; and if the father be dead at the time of the child's admission then the marriage certificate of the parents or baptismal register of such child, according to the rights and ceremonies of any established religious community of a date previous to the said fathers death, will be received as evidence of the religious tenets of the father; that is, provided no authentic document written by the deceased father be produced, expressing a contrary wish or direction as regards the religions instruction of such child.
  17. By Command of their Lordships.

    Admiralty, S.W.,
    Greenwich Hospital Branch,
    30th November 1878.

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