Regulations Respecting Naval Cadets

For the Information of Candidates.

Admiralty, 27th May 1879.

  1. Nominations for Naval Cadetships will take place half-yearly immediately after the report of the last examination has been received.
  2. An examination of the young gentlemen who have obtained nominations will be held at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, under the direction of the Admiralty Examiners, on the third Wednesday in June and the last Wednesday in November in each year, but the appointments will date from the 15th July and January following respectively.
  3. No candidate will be eligible for examination in June whose age will not be within the following limits on the 15th July following :-viz. not less than twelve nor more than thirteen and a half years of age nor in November whose age will not be within those limits on the 15th January following.
  4. Every candidate will be required to pass the medical examination according to the prescribed regulations, and must have been found physically fit for the Royal Navy.
  5. He must be in good health and free from any physical defect of body, impediment of speech, defect of sight or hearing, and also from any predisposition to constitutional or hereditary disease or weakness of any kind, and in all respects well developed and active in proportion to his age.

    Any candidate rejected at the medical examination will, subject to the approval of the Board, be finally excluded from the Royal Navy.

  6. The candidate will be required to produce (1) a certificate of birth * or declaration thereof made before a magistrate, (2) a certificate of good conduct from the masters of the school or schools at which he may have been educated during the two previous years, or, if educated at home, from his tutors or the clergyman of the parish in which he resides, and (3) a certificate of good health.
  7. The candidates will be required:

  8.     Marks assigned.
    (a) To write English correctly from dictation in a legible hand 100
    (b) To read from a modern English author with intelligence, and to parse easy sentences 100
    (c) Arithmetic, as far as proportion and vulgar and decimal fractions 200
    (d) Elementary Algebra, up to easy fractions and simple equations, with one unknown quantity 200
    (e) Elementary Geometry, viz., definitions, axioms, postulates, and demonstrations of the first twelve propositions of the first book of Euclid's Elements 200
    (f) Latin. To read, translate, and parse passages from Latin authors into English, and to translate easy sentences from English into Latin . 200
    (g) Read, translate, and parse easy passages from French 100
    (h) Scripture History 100

    Four-tenths of the marks assigned must be obtained in each subject - 720 marks in the aggregate.

  9. A candidate whose age does not exceed thirteen on the 15th July or 15th January (as the case may be), who may not be successful, will be allowed to present himself again at the next examination without undergoing a fresh medical examination; but no candidate will be allowed more than two trials. Candidates whose age exceeds thirteen on the 15th July or 15th January following the examination will not be allowed a second trial.
  10. Any candidate who fails to appear at the examination after he has obtained a nomination will not be allowed to present himself at any future examination without. a fresh nomination, except in the case of illness certified by a physician or surgeon, and approved by their Lordships, in which case the candidate will be allowed to present himself at the following examination, provided he is still within the limits of age ; but under no circumstances will such a candidate be allowed to appear at more than one examination.
  11. For all Cadets entered under these regulations, the annual rate of payment will be at the rate of 70 per annum for the period in the " Britannia," to be paid half-yearly in advance to the Accountant-General of the Navy. But the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty reserve the power of selecting from among the candidates nominated at each half-yearly examination, a number, not to exceed 10, being sons of Officers of he Royal Navy, Army, or Marines, or of Civil Officers under the Board of Admiralty, with respect to whom the annual payment for the two years in the " Britannia" will be 40 only. In selecting these their Lordships will have regard solely to the pecuniary circumstances of the parents or guardians of the Cadets.
  12. No application for admission on such reduced scale will be entertained unless made before the candidate is nominated.

  13. The period of training on board the "Britannia" will be, as now, four terms ; there will be two terms in each year. The first term of each year will be from February to July, the second from August to December.
  14. The vacations will be five weeks at Christmas, two weeks at Easter, and six weeks at Midsummer.

  15. There will be examinations in Seamanship and Study at the end of each term.
  16. Cadets who pass unsatisfactory examinations at the end of any term will be " warned," and they will be liable to be discharged at the end of the following, or any subsequent, term, should they again be reported as failing to attain the proper number of marks at the examinations.
  17. The same rule will apply to Cadets who may be reported for unsatisfactory conduct during their service in the " Britannia."
  18. Any Cadet who shall have been specially reported to their Lordships as for any reason unfit for the Service will be removed from the Navy.
  19. Cadets will, on passing out of the Training Ship, take the order in which they pass their final examination.
  20. The parent or guardian of every Cadet will be required to provide outfit as under the regulations in force hitherto and to sign a declaration (on the admission of the Cadet to the " Britannia ") to the effect that he shall be immediately withdrawn on the receipt of an official intimation of his being considered unfit for the Royal Navy.
  21. Candidates entered under these regulations must understand that they are liable, at any period of their service subsequent to the date of their leaving the Training Ship to be selected to qualify for Gunner or Torpedo duties of the Service at the discretion of heir Lordships.
  22. The entry of Navigating Cadets having ceased, all executive officers will be required to carry out the Navigating and Pilotage duties of H.M.'s ships when called on to do so, as laid down in Fleet Circular No. 11, 27th May 1379.

* A Certificate of Baptism will not be accepted.

By Command of their Lordships,

Robert Hail.

Admiralty, March 1878.


(For the information of Parents and Guardians.)

  1. The Naval Cadets who join the "Britannia" are allowed four terms - two in each year - to complete their course of study; at the expiration of which they go up for final examination.
  2. The terms are from about the 1st February to the 15th July, and from about the 31st August to the 20th December; and the vacations will be six weeks in Midsummer, five weeks at Christmas and two weeks at Easter; the dates of commencement of vacation depending upon the completion of the examinations by the President, Royal Naval College, Greenwich.
  3. The friends of the Cadets must be prepared to receive them during all the vacations.
  4. The following payment will be required from the Parents or Guardians of each Cadet while in the " Britannia "
  5. Before the commencement of each Term . 35 ; except in the case of those received at the reduced rate of 40 a year, whose half-yearly payments will be 20 only

  6. The payments are to be made according to instructions which will be given in the Half-yearly Claim that will be made by the Accountant-General upon the Parents or Guardians of the Cadets.
  7. Great inconvenience having been experienced from these payments not having been punctually made, Cadets, although received until their friends are communicated with, will not be considered as entered for tuition until the amounts due have been received.
  8. All travelling expenses for Cadets will be advanced by the Paymaster of the " Britannia," who will charge the same to the Cadet's personal account at the end of each Term.
  9. The Cadets have a weekly allowance, and all expenses attending their amusements are paid for by the Ship. It is therefore requested that their friends do not give them any money except on joining, or on their return from the Vacations, and then the amount must not exceed Ten Shillings. It is particularly requested that this Regulation be adhered to. Such money as may be required by a Cadet for any special circumstances will be advanced by the Paymaster under the authority of the Captain of the "Britannia".
  10. It is particularly requested that the Cadets bring their Linen clean, and Clothes and Boots in good order, when they join the ship, and also when they return from leave and that the outfit, as required, be complete.
  11. Cadets are not permitted to open an account with Tradesmen. Parents and Guardians are therefore requested to pay no bills that may be sent them.
  12. Should there have been any infectious disease in the house where Cadets have been staying during their holidays, notice of the circumstance is to be given to the Commanding Officer of H.M.S. " Britannia " ; and they are not to join until they have received a communication from him to that effect.
  13. All letters relative to the Cadets should be ad. dressed as follows:-" The Commanding Officer, H.M.S. ' Britannia, ' Dartmouth."
  14. Should Cadets bring valuable Gold Watches or Chains with them to the Training Ship, they will be taken from them and placed in security, until they return to their homes. Silver Watches will be allowed to be used.
  15. Parents or Guardians of Cadets must, in all cases of permanent change of residence, communicate the same to the Captain of the Training Ship, without delay.

By Command of their Lordships,

Robert Hall.

List of Articles required for a Naval Cadet on joining Her Majesty's Ship "Britannia."

A Midshipman's Sea Chest complete, with Name in full on top, engraved on plain brass plate:

Length, 3 ft. 6 in. ; breadth, 2 ft. ; height, 2 ft. 3 in.

(It is requested that the chest may be at Dartmouth 7 days previous to the Cadet's joining.)

3 Pillow Cases.
1 Hair Mattress, 5 ft. 6 in. x 1 ft. 9 in.
1 Hair Pillow.
2 Blankets, 6 ft. 6 in. x 4 ft. 6 in.
1 Counterpane, 6 ft. 6 in. x 4 ft. 6 in.
3 Pair Sheets, 6 ft. 6 in. x 4 ft. 6 in.
1 Uniform Jacket.
1 Uniform Trowsers. Superfine.
1 Uniform Waistcoat.
1 Uniform Cap, peak turn down.
2 Working Uniform Suits (one of thick flannel ; one of pilot cloth).
1 Uniform Working Cap, peak turn down.
12 White Shirts.
12 Collars.
6 Night Shirts.
12 Pair Merino Socks.
4 White Flannel Trowsers, well shrunk.
6 Pair Drawers, Merino.
3 White Flannel Shirts (with collars to turn down)
3 Lambswool Under-vests.
2 White Waistcoats.
12 Towels.
7 Merino Vests.
2 Black Silk Neckties (made up).
2 Pair Braces.
3 Pair Strong laced Boots, with thick soles.
1 Clothes Brush.
1 Sponge.
1 Carpet Bag.
1 Clothes flag
12 Pocket Handkerchiefs.
1 Pair elastic-side Oxford Shoes, with strong soles.
1 Brush and Comb.
1 Tooth Brush.
1 Nail Brush.

Pea Jackets are not to be supplied, as the thick Working Jacket can be worn over the Uniform Jacket, if necessary.

Clothing to be distinctly marked with the Cadet's Name in full.

NOTE.-Trowsers to be made without pockets, and only one pocket on the left breast of the Jackets of the two Working Uniform Suits.

School Books and Instruments will be supplied in "Britannia" as required in each Term; but each Cadet on entering the fourth Term, will be required to provide himself with a sextant, of the approximate value of 7, such instrument being obtained under the direction of the Captain of the "Britannia."

Fleet Circular No. 16-C.

Admiralty, 19th November 1878.


Revising Form S. 182 (late 272).

The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, having had under their consideration the form now in use for certifying the qualification of a naval cadet for the rating of midshipman, are of opinion that it is desirable to adopt a scale of marks to be awarded for the various subjects of examination, with a view to affording greater facility for estimating the exact amount of proficiency attained and inducing more uniformity than now exists in the award of the various classes of certificate.

Their Lordships are accordingly pleased to direct the adoption of the scale of marks shown on the annexed passing certificate, which form is for the future to be adopted in lieu of tat shown on p. 177 of the Appendix to the Queen's Regulations.

By Command of their Lordships,

Robert Hall.

To all Commanders-in-Chief, &c.


Under Art. 9, pages 61 and 82 of the Admiralty Instructions.

WE whose names are hereunto subscribed have this day examined Mr. ________ touching his qualifications for the rating of Midshipman, and find as follows:-

(He obtained a ________class certificate, as cadet, in the training ship, dated _____ 187 , and

since then he has served as _________in H.M. ship ____________ from _________to _______).

    Full Marks Marks obtained
I. Knowledge of his former Instruction. 200  
II. Ability to work a "day's-work " by tables as well as by projection ; to find the latitude by observation of the Meridian Altitude of the Sun, Moon, and Stars; longitude by chronometer; and to work an amplitude 200  
III. Knowledge of the use of the Sextant and Azimuth Compass, and the mode of observing with them 100  
IV. State of his Sextant and other Instruments 50  
V. State of his Log Books. 100  
VI. Knowledge of steering and managing a boat under ores and sail ; of knotting and splicing ; rigging lower masts and yards ; and the use of the hand and deep-sea leads. 250  
VII. Knowledge of the Great Gun, Rifle, Pistol, and Cutlass Exercises. 10  
  Total :- 1,000  

We consider Mr. ______qualified for the rating of Midshipman, and we have accordingly granted him this Certificate of the ______class.

Dated on board H.M.S. ________at ______________the ____________day of _____18______

___________________ Signatures and

___________________ Rank of Examining

___________________ Officers.*


Candidate's Signature at full length.

* The Examining Officers are the same as those required for the intermediate examination of a Midshipman, vide Article 10, page 62, Admiralty Instructions.
Not under 900 marks 1st Class.
Not under 750 2nd Class
Not under 600 3rd Class

Officers obtaining less than 600 marks to be rejected

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