Promotion and Retirement of Officers in Royal Marine Forces

No. 13.-N.

At the Court at Osborne House, Isle of Wight,

The 15th day of January 1878.

Present: The Queen's most Excellent Majesty in Council.

Whereas there was this day read at the Board a Memorial from the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, dated the 12th of January 1878, in the words following, viz.:-

Whereas we have had under our consideration the representations made by the Officers of the Royal Marines (and particularly by the Captains and Subalterns) of the continued stagnation of promotion in the Corps: and whereas it appears to us, after full inquiry, that the only way of meeting the difficulty, with due regard to the interests of the Officers generally and the efficiency of the Service will be by adopting, as far as possible, in the Royal Marines, the principle of Retirement and Promotion now established in the Army by Your Majesty's recent Royal Warrant, and by extending the system of compulsory retirement established in the Royal Marine Corps by Your Majesty's Order in Council of the 22nd February 1870, we humbly submit for Your Majesty's approval the following Scheme, which we have submitted in the form of Regulations, which have been framed with the object of providing a fair and even flow of promotion throughout the whole Corps of Royal Marines.


1.-General Officers.

General Officers to retire at 65 years of age (instead of 70 as at present, under the Order in Council of 1870), with the Full Pay of a Colonel Commandant.

2.-Reserved Colonels.

The List of Reserved Colonels to be abolished.

3.-Second Commandants.

Second Commandants hereafter appointed to be of the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, instead of Colonel, but to receive the existing Pay of Second Commandant.

4. Re-establishment of Majors.

The substantive rank of Major to be restored, both in the Artillery and Infantry, with Pay at the rate of 16s. a day, for both branches, and the regulated forage allowance (now 1s. 10d. a day), and Half-Pay at the rate of-

  1. For Artillery . , 10s. 0d. a day.
  2. For Infantry . . 9s. 6d. a day.

The Establishment of Majors and Captains to be as follows. Viz.:-

  Majors Captains
Infantry 24 72 (instead of 96 Captains as at present).
Artillery 8 24 (instead of 32 Captains as at present).

5. Lieutenant-Colonel for Artillery.

The number of Lieutenant-Colonels in the Artillery Division to be increased from 3 to 4 (the number allowed to each Infantry Division).

6. Special Promotion.

An Officer of any rank may be promoted by us as a reward for special merit and promise, but such special promotion shall not exceed one in each year for the whole corps, and in every case the promotion is to be notified in the "London Gazette," with a statement of the special merit for which it has been granted.

7. Staff Appointments.

The duration of commands to be for 3 years, as at present, under the Order in Council of the 4th August 1873, but renewable for a further period of 2 years, at our option.

The command of Divisions to be given, without reference to seniority, to Officers holding the rank of Colonel or Lieutenant-Colonel in the corps, whose services and qualifications best justify their selection.

The duration of all other Staff Appointments to be for 5 years.

8. Adjutants.

The Pay of Adjutants, both in the Infantry and Artillery, to be increased from 3s. 6d. to 5s. a day in addition to their ordinary Pay as Lieutenants.

9. Quarter-Masters.

A fixed rate of daily pay to be substituted for the 30 a year granted to Quarter-Master. under the Order in Council of 3rd February 1866, and to apply to all Quarter-Masters whether employed at the Divisions or at Head Quarters.

The Chief Clerk at the Marine Office to be a Quarter-Master; and to receive an allowance of 5s. a day, in addition to his ordinary pay as Quarter-Master.

10. First Entries.

First Entries to be carefully regulated, and a fixed number only, to be determined on actuarial advice, to be admitted in each year, in order that the officers compulsorily retired on arriving at certain ages may be as few as possible.

The number to be limited to 16 or 17 appointments in each year for the whole force so long as it remains at its present strength, viz.:

  1. 12 or 13 for the Infantry.
  2. 4 or 5 for the Artillery.

And in the event of any increase or diminution of the Establishment, the changes to be effected on actuarial advice and in the method least prejudicial to the ultimate interests of Officers on the Active List.

11. Retirement.

Compulsory Retirements to be as follows :

At the age of   Pay.
General Officers (instead of 70, as at present). 65 Full pay of a Commandant, as under existing Regulations.
Colonels Commandant or on expiration of command 60 600 a year.
Colonel or Lieut.-Colonels

2nd Commandant.

60 600 a year. (as at present).
Lieutenant-Colonels 54 450 a year (as at present).
Majors 48 300 a year.
Captains 42 225 a year.

Until the 1st January 1879 Captains to be allowed to remain until 43 years of age.

A deduction of 15 for each year wanting to complete the age specified above to be made in the case of Colonels or Lieutenant-Colonels 2nd Commandant, if retired for being unfit to serve.

Voluntary Retirements.

The present Scale of Allowances for Voluntary Retirements in the case of the under-mentioned Officers (under the Order in Council of the 22nd February 1870) to be abolished, and the following substituted:

When permitted to retire to receive
Lieutenant-Colonels, with 30 years' service 365 a year.
Lieutenant-Colonels, with 28 and less than 30 years 300 a year.
Lieutenant-Colonels with 26 and less than 28 years 260 a year.
Lieutenant-Colonels, with less than 25 years 225 a year.
Majors, with 25 years' service 260 a year.
Majors, with 22 and less than 25 years 225 a year.

Officers when permitted to retire with less than 22 -oars' service are to be granted gratuities as follows:

After 20 years' service, a gratuity of 2,400.
After 18 years' service, a gratuity of 2,000.
After 15 years' service, a gratuity of 1,600.
After 12 years' service, a gratuity of 1,200.

These gratuities not to be granted without the consent of the Treasury, and only for the purpose of reducing the number of Officers compulsorily retired on 22 years of service ; and no addition to the number of fresh entries to be made in consequence.

The above rates of Retired Pay shall not apply to any Officer who entered the service prior to the 1st April 1870, and all such Officers on their retirement, whether compulsory or voluntary, at the periods stated in these regulations, shall be entitled to receive the Retired Pay which they could have claimed under the Orders in Council of the 22nd February 1870 and 5th February 1872, under the same conditions of age and service.

12. Retirement from ill-health, &c.

"Officers incapacitated by illness, &c. after only short, service to be granted instead of temporary half pay allowed by Order in Council of 4th August 1873, Retired Allowances, by way of Annuity, upon the following conditions, which are the same conditions as those imposed upon Army Officers by the 151 and 152 Articles of the recent Royal Warrant, viz.:

An Officer who may become unfit for service in consequence of wounds received in action, or of ill-health contracted in and by the performance of military duty as certified by a Medical Board, maybe granted temporary half pay until he shall recover, and until till opportunity shall occur for his re-employment. Except in the case of wounds received in action, the Officer must, however, have served with a commission in Our Marine Forces for three years, unless he shall have been promoted from the ranks, when one year's service only as a Commissioned Officer shall be required. In special cases in which the circumstances may appear to Us to call for exceptional consideration, it shall be sufficient that the disability shall have been contracted in the service.

In the case of an Officer placed upon temporary Half pay in consequence of injuries caused in and by the service We may, provided a Medical Board report that the Officer is unfit for further service, place such Officer upon permanent half pay, after not less than one year upon temporary half pay. In special cases in which the circumstances may appear to Us to call for exceptional consideration, it shall be sufficient that the disability shall have been contracted in the service.

But such Retired Allowances, by way of annuity are only to be granted in special cases, with the consent of the Treasury, and the rates are to be made so as to coincide, as far as may be, with the principle of a pension of 225 a year at 42 years of age.

13.-All service for the purposes of gratuity, pension, and retirements to count from the age of 20 except in the case of Officers who entered the service prior to the 1st April 1870, who, under the Order in Council of the 5th February 1872, retain the right of counting time from the age of 18 if appointed before that age, and from the date of their Commission if appointed after 18.

14.-These Regulations are to take effect from the from the 1st October 1877.

The Lords Commissioners of Your Majesty's Treasury have signified to us their concurrence in these proposals."

Her Majesty, having taken the said Memorial into consideration, was pleased, by and with the advice of Her Privy Council to approve of what is therein proposed and the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty are to give the necessary directions herein accordingly.

C. L. Peel

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