Periodical Examinations of Junior Executive Officers on board H.M. Ships

Fleet Circular, No. 34.-C.W .

Admiralty, 10th November 1877.

(Revising Circular, No. 21, C.W., of 1st May 1875.)

  1. My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty are pleased to issue the following Regulations in reference to the Periodical Examinations of all Junior Executive Officers of the ranks of Cadet, Midshipman, Acting Sub-Lieutenant, and the corresponding Officers of the Navigating Class, serving in Her Majesty's Fleet.
  2. The Examination now held annually will be continued, commencing on the second Tuesday in July, and is to be conducted under the following Regulations:
  3. The papers in Navigation and Mathematics will be transmitted to the Fleet from the Admiralty, and are to be given to 'the Officers under examination in the following order:

  4. Paper 1. On Tuesday in the forenoon, 3 hours
    Paper 2. On Wednesday in the forenoon, 3 hours
    Paper 3. On Thursday in the forenoon, 3 hours
    Paper 4. On Friday in the forenoon, 3 hours
    Paper 5. On Mondays in the forenoon, 3 hours
    Paper B. On Tuesday in the forenoon, 3 hours
    Paper 7. On Wednesday in the forenoon, 3 hours
    Paper 8. On Thursday in the forenoon, 3 hours
    Paper 9. On Friday in the forenoon, 3 hours

  5. The subjects of these papers are as follows:-

    1. Paper 1. Arithmetic and Algebra.
      Paper 2. Geometry.
      Paper 3. Trigonometry - Plane and Spherical, Practical and Theoretical.
      Paper 4. Navigation-Practical. (Part I.) and Theoretical
      Paper 5. Navigation-Practical (Part II.)
      Paper 6. Chart Drawing.
      Paper 7. Mechanics and Hydrostatics.
      Paper 8. French.
      Paper 9. Extra paper of Advanced Questions.
  6. The seal of the envelope enclosing each paper of questions is not to be broken till the paper is set, and then in the presence of the Officers examined.

  7. The following observations taken in the course of the previous year are to be sent in, with the work done at the examination:

  8. Marks.
    A latitude by meridian altitude of sun 5
    A latitude by meridian altitude of moon 6
    A latitude by meridian altitude of star 6
    A latitude by altitude near the meridian 8
    A latitude by of the Pole star 8
    A latitude by double altitude of sun 18
    A latitude by double altitude of star 18
    A longitude by sun chronometer 10
    A longitude by moon chronometer 13
    A longitude by star chronometer l0
    A longitude by sun lunar chronometer 20
    A longitude by star chronometer 20
    The error and rate of chronometer (artificial horizon) from two observations taken on different days 30
    A variation by amplitude 8
    A variation by altitude azimuth 10
    A variation by time 10
    Total 200

  9. These observations are to be initialled, as having been taken and worked by the Junior Officers, by the Naval Instructor Officer acting in that capacity ; and they are to be revised and valued, in red ink, by him. Observations may be taken till correct results are obtained ; by this means every Junior Officer will have the opportunity, by the exercise of due diligence, of obtaining full marks for his sights.
  10. A number is to be assigned to each Officer examined, who is to note it on every paper he works out, together with the name of his ship ; but he is never to write his name except on the papers containing his observations.
  11. No books are to be allowed during the Examination except Tables of Logarithms and the Nautical Almanac. (French Dictionaries and Tables of Logarithms bound up with a Treatise on Navigation are not to be used.)
  12. Each Junior Officer's log is to be closely written up, and is to be examined and reported upon.
  13. Each Junior Officer is to be examined as to his progress in Seamanship, Gunnery, and Steam ; the questions being regulated by length of service, and marks are to be assigned according to proficiency-full numbers being 1,000 for Seamanship, 600 for Gunnery, and 400 for Steam.
  14. The examination in Seamanship, Gunnery, and Steam is to be conducted by the Officer in command, assisted by the Commander or Senior Lieutenant, Gunnery Lieutenant, and Chief Engineer, or other competent Officers. The examination in Navigation, Mathematics, &c., is to be conducted by the Naval Instructor, who, where necessary, is to be assisted by the Navigating Officer. In those ships where no Naval Instructor is borne the Officer in command will appoint the Navigating or other competent Officer to conduct the examination.
  15. If at the time of the written examination two or more ships be in company, it is desirable that they should exchange instructors, so that the examinations should be supervised by a stranger, rather than by an officer belonging to the same ship as the pupils.
  16. When the examination is concluded, the worked papers are to be examined on board each ship by the Naval Instructor or the Officer who conducted the examination, who is to inform the Captain, for the information of the Officers examined, of the probable results of the examination. The papers are then to be sent to the flag ship of the squadron or station for the information of the Commander-in-Chief and are to be examined by the Naval Instructor of that or such other ship as the Commander-in-Chief may direct, who is to issue a statement of the results arrived at by him, which is to be promulgated among the various ships on board which the-examinations were held.
  17. All the papers are then to be forwarded to the "Secretary of the Admiralty " with a list of the index numbers, corresponding names, the date on which each Officer passed out of the "Britannia," and the class then obtained for study, together with the marks allotted in Seamanship, Gunnery, and Steam, and also a copy of the provisional statement of results.

  18. The examination, formerly held Half-yearly by the Naval Instructors, is to be revived and held in December of each year, and he results communicated to the Commander-in-Chief in the usual form printed at page 64 of the Appendix to the Queen's Regulations.
  19. Should any emergency arise, such as " stress of weather," so as to interfere with the authorised days, the examination is to be held as soon after as circumstances permit, and the Commanding Officer is to report the full circumstances of the case.
  20. The Circulars No. 73 C.W. of 23rd December 1873, and No. 21 C.W. of the 1st May 1870, are hereby cancelled.

By command of their Lordship:,

Robert Hall

To all Commanders-in-Chief, &c.

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