Torpedo Officers and Instructors

Extract From Circular 24 Of 25th July 1877.


Officers selected to qualify as Torpedo Lieutenants must have previously serve one year at sea as Lieutenants (with the exception of those already appointed), and have completed a full term of instruction at the Royal Naval College at Greenwich. They will subsequently undergo a thorough course of training in the " Vernon," at the expiration of which they will be finally examined, and those who are found qualified to be awarded 1st and 2nd Class Certificates, will receive the same extra pay as Gunnery Lieutenants, viz. :

    1st Class Certificate. . . 3 s. 6 d. a day.
    2nd Class Certificate. . . 2 s. 6 d. a day.

Torpedo Lieutenants will be employed on the staff of the "Vernon," and in flag ships on foreign stations, or in any other ships, as may be directed, but they will not be in addition to the ordinary complement of the ship.

Circular No. 30.-C.W.

Admiralty, 25th February 1879.


My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty are pleased to approve of the following regulations for the instruction of Torpedo Lieutenants:

  1. Lieutenants desirous of qualifying as Torpedo Lieutenants are, when employed, to be recommended to the Admiralty by their Captains through their Commanders-in-Chief.

  2. Appointments will be made to the " Vernon " on the 1st October in each year, and Officers so appointed will remain on the books of that Ship during the whole course. Candidates who have not previously served one year at sea as Lieutenants will, if selected, be appointed to a sea-going ship to complete that period as Officer of the Watch.

  3. The total period of instruction, including a Vacation of three weeks, will be 18 months.

    This period will be distributed as follows; viz.,

      Months Weeks.
    Theoretical Course at Greenwich 9 0
    Senior Torpedo Course 2 0
    Whitehead Instruction 0 3
    Diving Instruction in "Excellent" 0 2
    Vacation 0 3
    Torpedo Instruction in "Vernon" 5 0
      18 0

  4. The final examination will be in March, after passing which the Torpedo Lieutenant will, unless his services be imperatively required in a sea-going ship, take part in the Senior Torpedo Course which terminates in June, and assist in the instruction of Officers; if not then required for Sea Service, he will also assist in the Senior Course terminating in September. Between these two courses a period of 14 days leave will be allowed.

  5. Should it be found during any part of the course of instruction that a Lieutenant is not likely to prove efficient as a Torpedo Officer his name is to be submitted to the Admiralty with a view to his removal from the books of the " Vernon."

  6. Officers qualifying within the stipulated period will be allowed to count the whole time they are borne in " Vernon " as time on full pay. Officers who have taken more than the regulated time to qualify will count any surplus as half-pay time; and Officers who do not qualify, will count the whole time they have been borne in, "Vernon" as half-pay time.

  7. Torpedo Lieutenants' Examination


          Maximum No. of Marks
    A.   Pure Mathematics :- ---  
      I Arithmetic and Mensuration 100  
      II Geometry including the subjects of the first six books of Euclid - 200  
      III Algebra, including the Binomial and Exponential Theorems and Logarithms 300  
      IV Trigonometry 300  
      V Co-ordinate Geometry, including Conic Sections. 400 1,300
    B.   Applied Mathematics:-    
      I Statics 300  
      II Hydrostatics 300  
      III Kinematics and kinetics 300 900
    C.   Physics, including Heat, Light, Electricity, and Magnetism :-    
      I Theoretical 500  
      II Practical 300 800
    D.   Chemistry:-    
      I Theoretical 500  
      II Practical 300 800
    E.   Marine Surveying - 300
        Total - 4,100

    For a 1st Class Certificate in the Theoretical Course a good knowledge of all the subjects will be required, and 2,500 numbers must be obtained.

    For a 2nd Class Certificate a fair knowledge of all the subjects will be required, and 1,200 numbers must be obtained.


        Maximum No. of Marks
    I Electricity as applied to Naval purposes 200
    II Submarine Mines 100
    III Outrigger and Harvey Torpedoes 100
    IV Attack of Submarine Mines and Defence against Torpedoes 100
    V Whitehead Torpedo 200
    VI Ability as a lecturer 100
      Total 800

    For a Certificate in the Practical Course 650 numbers must be obtained.

  9. Torpedo Lieutenants will be divided into two classes according to their Certificates in the Theoretical Course.

  10. The scale of additional pay to be granted to Torpedo Officers who have qualified under these regulation while performing Torpedo duties, will be as follows:

    • Torpedo Officers 1st class - - 3s. 6d. per day.
      Torpedo Officers 2nd class - - 2s. 6d. per day.

  11. A Lieutenant appointed to a Ship for Torpedo duties, on attaining the position of Senior Lieutenant of the same ship, provided he combines both duties, and until another Lieutenant is appointed for and commence Torpedo duties, will be entitled to Torpedo allowance according to his class, in addition to his allowance a Senior Lieutenant.

  12. The Staff of Lieutenant Torpedo Instructors in the " Vernon " is to consist of four, including the Lieutenant in Command of the " Vesuvius. " The Senior Lieutenant and the Lieutenant in Command of the " Vesuvius " will hold their appointments for three years ; the others for two years. Their time whilst holding these appointments will count as does the time of the Staff Officers in the Gunnery ships.

By Command of their Lordships.

Robert Hall.

To all Commanders-ill-Chief, &c.


Admiralty, 25th July 1877.


(1st Class Petty Officers.)

To be selected from the Seamen Gunner Torpedo Men of the Fleet to undergo a thorough course of training, and when qualified, to be placed in the same relative position with regard to rank and pay as Gunnery instructors.

3. Chief Torpedo Artificer,

One " Chief Torpedo Artificer" to be allowed for service in the "Vernon" to rank with a Chief Engine Room Artificer, and to receive the pay of 6s. 6d. a day.

His uniform to be that of a Chief Engine Room Artificer.

4. Torpedo Artificers.

(To be trained in the " Vernon.")

To be employed in the "Vernon" and in the Flag Ships on Foreign Stations or in any other ship, as directed.

These men are to be selected from the Armourers of the Fleet, and when duly qualified, are to receive the rates of pay - retaining their former rank and uniform of 1st Class Petty Officer, viz.:-

s. d.      
5 0 a day for the first 3 years
5 6 a day for the next 3 years
6 0 a day for the next 6 years

5. Gunner Instructors of" Vernon"

To be paid the same as the Gunner Instructors in the Gunnery Ships.

When appointed to Seagoing Ships, they will receive the pay of Warrant Officers in charge of stores, and if employed in lieu of Torpedo Lieutenants, they will be allowed 1s. 6d. a day addition.

By command of their Lordships,

Robert Hall

To all Commanders-in-Chief, &c.

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