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Service Required to Qualify Officer for Promotion to Flag Rank on the Active or Retired Lists


Order in Council, No. 11-C.

At the Court at Osborne House, Isle of Wight,

The 4th day of August 1873.

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 1st of August 1873, in the words following, viz.:-

    Whereas in Your Majesty's Order in Council of 22nd February 1870, governing the promotion and retirement of Flag Officers and others of Your Majesty's Fleet, clause six of section two appoints as follows:

    1. Captains retired from that rank to be entitled to rise by seniority to the rank of Retired Rear-Admiral, if before retirement they had served the time to qualify them for promotion.

    2. And whereas we are of opinion that this condition may be modified, we humbly propose to Your Majesty that the clause above recited be cancelled, and the following substituted:-

    3. Captains who have been, or who may in future be, retired from the rank under Your Majesty's Order in Council of 22nd February 1870, to be entitled to rise by seniority to the rank of Retired Rear-Admiral if they have served three years as Captain in command of a Ship-of -War at sea.

    [See Order in Council, 4th August 1875, cancelling this.]

    And whereas clause five of section two of Your Majesty's said Order in Council is as follows:-

      To qualify a Captain whose seniority brings him in turn for advancement to the Active List of Flag Officers he must have completed six years' Sea Service as Captain, or its equivalent in Harbour Service, but the first three years of such period must be Sea Service in command of a Ship of War at sea. Such officers as arrive at their turn for promotion without having completed the qualifying Service to be retired.

    And whereas in section five, which defines "Harbour Service," clause two contains the following sub-clause:

      Service in Harbour Ships or their Tenders (with the exceptions of the Harbour Ships and Tenders at Ascension, Port Royal, Hong Kong and Rio de Janeiro, and at such other Foreign Ports as we may determine), and Service in First Reserve (Coast Guard) Ships, after the first three years of such Service, such first three years to reckon as Sea Service.

    And whereas we are of opinion that the above recited clauses may render it unduly difficult for Captains who, as Lieutenants qualified in Harbour Ships as Gunnery Lieutenants, and also in some other special cases, to obtain the amount of Service required to qualify them for promotion to Flag Rank.

    We therefore humbly propose to Your Majesty that the sub-clause above recited of the second clause of the fifth section of Your Majesty's said Order in Council be cancelled and the following sub-clause substituted :

    1. Service of an Officer when borne on the books of any Harbour Ship, or of any First Reserve (Coast Guard) Ship, subject to the following exceptions:
    2. Three years served in any Harbour Ship or First Reserve (Coast Guard) Ship, or in any Tender to such Ship, as Lieutenant or Commander, or in those ranks combined, shall count as Sea Service, but not as Sea Service in a Ship of War at sea.
    3. Three years served either before or after 1st August 1873 or partly before and partly after that date, as Captain in command of any Harbour Ship or First Reserve (Coast Guard) Ship, or any Tender to such Ship, shall count as Sea Service, but not as Sea Service in a Ship of War at Sea.
    4. This shall not apply to any Officer who retired before 1st August 1873.

    5. Service subsequent to 1st August 1873, in Tenders to Harbour Ships and to First Reserve (Coast Guard) Ships at Home, and in Harbour Ships Abroad and their Tenders, shall, in such cases as we may direct, count as Service in a Ship of War at sea."

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.

(Signed) Edmund Harrison


PROMOTION OF COMMANDERS AND LIEUTENANTS AND RETIREMENT OF SUB- LIEUTENANTS.

[These provisions are modified by Order in Council, 4th August 1870.]

At the Court at Osborne House, Isle of Wight,

The 5th day of February 1872.

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 20th December 1871, in the words following, viz.:-

  1. Whereas Your Majesty, by Order in Council of 22nd February 1870, was graciously pleased to establish Regulations for the Promotion and Retirement of Officers of the Royal Navy : And whereas we are of opinion, in view of the small number of promotions that have taken place during the past year, that it is expedient to provide for the immediate advancement of a limited number of the present Commanders and Lieutenants, and also to diminish the restrictions on the promotion of Commanders, Lieutenants, and Sub-Lieutenants, imposed by Your :Majesty's aforesaid Order in Council, until such time as the Active List of Captains, Commanders, and Lieutenants shall be reduced to the numbers thereby established : And whereas we are further of opinion that it is expedient to make other amendments in the temporary provisions of the said Order in Council, and also that it is necessary to establish regulations for the retirement of Sub-Lieutenants.

  2. We would, therefore, most humbly submit to Your Majesty:-

    1. That we be empowered to promote ten Commanders to the rank of Captain, and ten Lieutenants to the rank of Commander, from this present date.
    2. That until the list of Captains is reduced to one hundred and fifty, we be authorised to promote Officers to vacancies caused by retirement, according to the following scale:-
    3. One Commander in every vacancy which now exists, or which shall hereafter arise, on the List of Captains, due to the retirement of Admirals.
    4. One Commander in every two vacancies which now exist, or shall hereafter arise, on the List of Captains, clue to the retirement of Vice-Admirals, Rear-Admirals, or Captains.
    5. One Lieutenant in each vacancy arising on the List of Commanders from the above promotions.
  3. That we be further authorised, until the List of Commanders is reduced to two hundred, to promote one Lieutenant in every two vacancies now existing, or in future arising from the retirement of Commanders.
  4. All vacancies arising from deaths, resignations, &c., to be filled up as they occur. 5
  5. That until the List of Sub-Lieutenants is reduced to two hundred and fifty, we be authorised to confer promotion on any Sub-Lieutenant who is, in our opinion, worthy of advancement, although such promotions may cause the List of Lieutenants to be temporarily in excess of the numbers authorised by Your Majesty's aforesaid Orders in Council.
  6. Captains who were promoted to that rank before the 1st April 1870, and who elected the new regulations for retirement, to be allowed, if physically unfit, or if they have not served for seven years, on retirement an amount of retired pay not less than hat to which they would have been entitled to receive under the regulations which were in force prior to the 1st April 1870.
  7. Sub-Lieutenants to be compulsorily retired at the age of forty, or at any age if physically unfit for service.
  8. Until the List of Sub-Lieutenants is reduced to two hundred and fifty, any such Officers to be allowed, with their consent and at our discretion, to retire irrespective of age.
  9. Retired pay to be granted as follows :-
    • After three years' seniority, 3s. 6d. per diem, an additional 6d. being given for each complete year beyond three served as Sub-Lieutenant until the maximum is reached, viz., 6s. per diem.

  10. Officers who in our opinion, are not deserving of receiving retired pay on the above scale, to be granted such low rate of pay as we may think fit to award them.
  11. Service for retired pay to be calculated in accordance with the provisions of Your Majesty's Order in Council of 22nd February 1870, relating to Flag Officers, Captains, Commanders, and Lieutenants, time during which a Sub-Lieutenant may be on half-pay after he has served three years in that rank to reckon in the proportion fixed by the Order in Council.
  12. Sub-Lieutenants to be allowed, at their own request and with our consent, to commute their retired pay under the rules laid down by the Lords Commissioners of Your Majesty's Treasury for administering the Act 34 and 35 Vict. cap. 56.
  13. The existing rules as to half-pay to Sub-Lieutenants while on the Active List to remain in force.

    We therefore most humbly submit that Your Majesty will be graciously pleased to sanction these arrangements which have received the concurrence of the Lords Commissioners of Your Majesty's Treasury.

Her Majesty having taken the said Memorial into consideration was pleased, by and with the advice of Her or 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.

(Signed) Arthur Helps.


Circular No. l0.- C.

At the Court at Osborne House, Isle of Wight,

The 6th day of August 1875.

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

Whereas there was this day read at the Board of memorial from the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, dated the third of August, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-five, in the words following, viz.:-

  1. Whereas we have had under our consideration the effects of Your Majesty's orders in Council of twenty-second February, one thousand eight hundred and seventy, and fourth August, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-three, in so far as they relate to the retirement and promotion of Flag Officers, Captains, Commanders, and Lieutenants of Your Majesty's Navy : And whereas large reductions of these lists have been thereby effected, which, though highly satisfactory in one point of view, have resulted in a great stagnation of promotion : We are of opinion that it is expedient to provide temporarily for a more uniform flow of advancement to these ranks ; to relax slightly the rules regards the age at which Flag Officers and Captains may be optionally retired, and to modify still further the restrictions respecting the advancement to Flag Rank of Officers on the Retired List and promotions on that List.

  2. We would therefore most humbly submit to Your Majesty :-

    1. That we be empowered for the present to promote annually seven Captains to Flag Rank, effecting this by promoting to Flag Rank as heretofore in vacancies caused by death and retirement, and by supplementing any vacancies short of seven at the end of each year, so long as a maximum number of sixty-eight Flag Officers be not exceeded:-
    2. Adjusting the Flag Ranks thus:-
    3. 3 Admirals of the Fleet. Total 68
      10 Admirals.
      20 Vice-Admirals.
      35 Rear-Admirals.

      Promotions to the List of Admirals to be in the proportion of one to two in vacancies caused by retirement until the number is reduced to ten, and the addition to the list of Vice-Admirals and Rear-Admirals to be in the proportion of one Vice-Admiral to every two Rear-Admirals added to the list ; should there be more than seven vacancies in any year the excess not to be filled up in that year, provided the list of Flag Officers is kept up to fifty.

    4. That, for the present, we be also empowered to promote annually twelve (and should vacancies occur as many as fifteen) Commanders to the rank of Captain, effecting this by filling ever- vacancy and supplementing any vacancies short of twelve at the end of each year, so long as a maximum number of one hundred and seventy-five Captains be not exceeded ; should there be more than fifteen vacancies in any year the excess not to be filled up in that year.
    5. That, for the present, we be also empowered to promote annually twenty (and should vacancies occur as many as twenty-five) Lieutenants to the rank of Commander, effecting this by filling every vacancy, and supplementing any vacancies short of twenty at the end of each year, so long as a maximum number of two hundred and twenty-five Commanders be not exceeded ; should there be more than twenty-five vacancies in any year the excess not to b be filled lip in that year, provided that the list is kept up to two hundred.
    6. That, for the present, we be authorised to sanction the optional retirement of Flag Officers and Captains at the following ages, viz.:-
    7. Admirals and Vice-Admirals . 55
      Rear-Admirals 50
      Captains 45

      Such optional retirement to be subject in each case to our approval, and to be restricted to three Flag Officers and six Captains annually, power being reserved to us, with the sanction of file Lords Commissioners of Your Majesty's Treasury, to extend this. option to a larger number hereafter should such a course appear desirable.

    8. That one step in rank according to seniority, be granted to all Rear-Admirals and Captains who may have been, or who may hereafter be placed on the Retired List, under the provisions of Your Majesty's Order in Council of twenty-second February, one thousand eight hundred and seventy, irrespective of any qualifying service ; such advancement not to carry with it any increase of retired pay.
    9. We further beg to state that the Lords Commissioners of Your Majesty's Treasury have given their assent to the cost of 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


    No. 22.-C.W.

    Order in Council.

    At the Court at Windsor,

    The 4th day of December 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 3rd of December 1878, in the words following, viz.:-

      Whereas by clause eight, section one, of Your Majesty's Order in Council of 22nd February 1870, it is established that:-

        Rear-Admirals shall not be eligible for promotion to the rank of Vice- Admiral on the Active List until they have completed one year's Sea Service, or its equivalent in Harbour Service as Flag Officer ; but such officers as arrive at their turn for promotion without having completed the qualifying service, and not having attained the age for retirement, to remain on file Active List until qualified for promotion or until retired ; if promoted, to take rank according to former seniority.

        And whereas Your Majesty's subsequent Order in Council of 5th August 1875, with a view to providing temporarily for a more uniform flow of advancement to the ranks of Flag Officer, Captain, Commander, and Lieutenant in Your Majesty's Navy, authorised an increase, by 10, of the number of Rear-Admirals as laid down in the order in Council of 22nd February 1870, by which increase, in consequence of the limited, number of appointments open to that rank, it is rendered impossible to provide for every Officer obtaining the necessary qualifying service before he arrives at his turn for promotion ;- We do most humbly submit that, in order to avoid the necessity of passing over Officers who are, in other respects, well qualified for advancement We be empowered to cancel the before-recited clause of Your Majesty's Order in Council of 22nd February 1870, and to supplement the powers conferred by the same Order in Council so far as refers to the compulsory retirement of Admirals and Vice-Admirals by the following provisions:-

        Flag Officers who have not hoisted their flags, as Flag Officers, to be retired at the age of 60.

      The Lords Commissioners of Your Majesty's Treasury have signified their concurrence in the cost of this proposal.

    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.


    Order in Council, No. 8.- C.W.

    At the Court at Osborne House, Isle of Wight,

    21st day of July 1876.

    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 19th of July 1876, in the words following, viz.:-

      Whereas we have had under our consideration the case of the Commanders of Your Majesty's Navy who have been placed on the Retired List their Rank under Your Majesty's Orders in Council of 22nd February 1870, and 4th August 1873, and who, not having the required sea service, are not entitled to a step of rank on retirement ; and whereas under the provisions of Your Majesty' Order in Council 5th August 1875, Captains are allowed one step in rank, according to seniority, after retirement, irrespective of any qualifying service. We most humbly submit to your Majesty that Commanders who have already been retired, or who may hereafter retire, without having served sufficiently long at sea to qualify them for promotion to the rank of Captain, may, at our discretion be allowed to assume the rank of Retired Captain on attaining fifteen years' seniority, but without any increase of Retired Pay or Widow's Pension.

    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.

    (Signed) C. L. Peel


    Note.-Since this Order in Council the title of Staff Surgeon has been altered to Fleet Surgeon by Order in Council of 4th February 1875 : that of Surgeon to Staff Surgeon 2nd Class by Order in Council of 24th March 1873, and to Staff Surgeon by Order in Council of 4th February 1875: that of Assistant Surgeon to Surgeon by Order in Council of 24th March 1873.

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