Index
 
Coastguard Service

General Memorandum


Admiralty, Oct. 1, [1856]

The organization of the Coastguard force to be raised or employed under the provisions of the act 19th and 20th Victoria, chap. 83, for the protection of the coast, and to form a reserve for manning Her Majesty's navy in case of war or emergency, as well as for the protection of the revenue, and of the naval coast volunteers raised under the act Victoria 16th and 17th, chap. 73, in combination with the Coastguard, will be as follows:-

The whole coast of the united kingdom will be divided into 11 districts, each of which will be under the charge of a captain in the navy, who will be appointed to the command of a guardship, to be stationed at some convenient port within the district.

On the books of such ships all the naval officers and such seamen of the Coastguard employed in the respective districts as are fit for service at sea will be borne.

The revenue cruisers and the gunboats to be employed for the defence of the coast in each district will be attached to the respective guardships as tenders, and manned from their complements.

Men and boys will also be entered on board for general service in the navy, and will be trained for service in seagoing ships.

The captains of these ships will also have the command and take charge of the naval coast volunteers within their districts.

Such officers and men of the present Coastguard as, on survey, may be found incapable of performing their present duties will be removed from the service, with such allowances as they may be entitled to. Those who, although unfit for service at sea, are capable of performing duty in the Coastguard, will be retained, with their present pay and advantages, until they are provided for by pension, superannuation, or otherwise.

There will be borne on the books of the district guardship :

  1. The captain, who will have the command and charge of all the Coastguard and naval coast volunteers within the limits of the district.
  2. He will receive the full pay of his rank, an allowance for victualling when permitted to reside on shore, and for travelling, horse hire, &c.

  3. One commander for the service of the ship, and all the inspecting commanders, lieutenants of divisions, and chief officers of the Coastguard districts, being naval officers, within the limits of the command of the captain of the guardship.
  4. The inspecting commanders and other officers will receive the full nay of their rank, and, when permitted to reside on shore, allowances for victualling, travelling expenses, and horse hire as at present.

  5. A surgeon, paymaster, and the requisite number of executive officers.

  6.  
    1. Such petty officers, seamen, marines, and boys as may be necessary for the service of the ship and her tenders.

      They will be paid and victualled as men of their respective ratings in the Royal navy.

    2. The seamen fit for service at sea employed on shore in the Coastguard within the district.

      They will be rated in the first instance as boatmen, and may be promoted, if deserving, to be commissioned boatmen, and from commissioned boatmen to be chief boatmen.

      Boatmen will receive the pay of A.B. continuous service.

      Commissioned boatmen that of leading seamen continuous service.

      Chief boatmen that of first class petty officers continuous service.

      They will be allowed 1s. 4d. per day in lieu of their provisions, and lodgings will be provided for themselves and families free of rent.

      All the men will have the benefit of medical attendance.

      Payment of wages, and allowance in lieu of provisions will be made monthly.

      When a chief boatman shall have charge, and is performing the duty of a chief officer of a station, he will receive, as heretofore, 1s. per diem in addition to his pay as chief boatman.

      In the event of war or emergency, any men whose services maybe required will be sent to serve on board any of Her Majesty's ships for such time as circumstances may render necessary, with the pay to which they may be entitled in the Coastguard, or of such ratings as they may be qualified to fill and may hold. They will be victualled as seamen of the fleet.

      In such cases their families, during good behaviour, will be allowed to remain in their lodgings so long as the men are in the service.

      These men will be subject in all respects to the same laws, regulations, and discipline, and enjoy all the same privileges and advantages, including good conduct badges, pay, pensions, &c., as other seamen serving in the fleet, and time served by them in the Coastguard will count for pensions as time served afloat.

      Men pensioned from the Coastguard will be in the same position in all respects as other naval pensioners.

      These regulations will only apply to such officers and men as may be entered in the guardships to be commissioned in the Coastguard districts, and from the date of their being borne on the books of those ships.

    3. Such men and boys as may be entered for general service on board the guardships.

      They will be in the same position as men and boys entered at the ports, and will be sent off to sea-going ships as opportunities offer.

    4. And temporarily such naval coast volunteers as may be called into service under the provisions of the act of 1853, for the time that they are so called out.

      Men of the naval coast volunteer service will in future be under the command of the captain and officers of the guardship of the Coastguard districts, and will be trained to the use of guns, &c., at the Coastguard batteries, in the guardship, or in her tenders; and they will be entered it such districts respectively, under the provisions of the act 16th and 17th of Victoria, c. 73, with the same liabilities privileges, and pay as are therein specified.

By command of their Lordships,
Thos. Phinn.


Entry of Seamen into the Coastguard

(Circular No. 268.)

Admiralty, Oct. 1, 1856

Seamen who have served seven years * with "man's ratings" in any ship of Her Majesty's navy, and not exceeding 37 years* of age, are eligible, on their ship being paid off, for service in the Coastguard, upon their receiving the necessary certificate of good conduct from the commanding officer of such ship.

When a ship is ordered to be paid off, the commanding officer will send to the Admiralty a list of the men whom he recommends for admission to the Coastguard.

Continuous service men are eligible for the Coastguard, although they may not have completed the term of service for which they entered

Seamen gunners on board the gunnery training ships may be recommended for the Coastguard by the captains of those ships when they have completed the five years' service as seamen gunners, provided they are otherwise qualified.

Men who have served seven years, with "man's ratings," in a revenue cruiser, and not exceeding 37 years of age, may be appointed to the Coastguard on the recommendation of the Controller-General.

The men so selected will be directed to join any district where there maybe vacancies, and will be placed on the books of the Coastguard ship of that district, and victualled on board until lodgings are provided for them and they can be transferred to the shore.

They will be rated in the first instance as boatmen, and may be promoted, if deserving, to be commissioned boatmen, and from commissioned boatmen to be chief boatmen.

Boatmen will receive the pay of A. B. continuous service.

Commissioned boatmen that of leading seamen continuous service.

Chief boatmen that of first-class petty officers continuous service.

Coastguard-men doing duty on shore will be allowed 1s. 4d. per day in lieu of their provisions, and lodgings will be provided for themselves and families free of rent.

The annual pay and allowance for provisions of men serving ashore will, therefore, be as follows :-

  Pay Allowance
for
Provisions.
 
  s d s d s d
Boatmen 28 17 11 26 4 8 53 4 7
Commissioned Boatmen 31 18 9 26 4 8 56 5 5
Chief Boatmen 36 10 0 26 4 8 60 16 8

Payment of wages and allowance in lieu of provisions will be made monthly. They will also have the benefit of medical attendance.

When a chief boatman shall have charge, and is performing the duty of a chief officer of a station, he will receive, as heretofore, 1s. per diem in addition to his pay as chief boatman.

The amount of reward for seizures, according to the rank of those belonging to the station or vessel who are present or on duty at the time of seizure, will be as heretofore :-

  Shares
Chief officer 25
Chief boatman 10
Commissioned boatman 8
Boatman 6

Men belonging to the Coastguard will be subject in all respects to the same laws, regulations, and discipline, and enjoy all the same privileges and advantages, including good conduct badges, pay, pensions, &c., as other seamen serving in the fleet, and time served in the Coastguard will count for pensions as time served afloat.

In the event of war or emergency, any men whose services may be required will be sent to serve on board any of Her Majesty's ships, for such time as circumstances may render necessary, with the pay to which they may be entitled in the Coastguard, or of such ratings as they may be qualified to fill and may hold. They will be victualled as the seamen of the fleet.

In such case the families of the men employed on shore will, during good behaviour, be allowed to remain in their lodgings so long as the men are in the service.

Men pensioned from the Coastguard will be in the same position in all respects as other naval pensioners.

These regulations will only apply to such officers and men as may be entered in the guardships to be commissioned in the Coastguard districts, and from the date if their being borne on the books of those ships.

By command of their Lordships.

Thos. Phinn.

Note.-Such officers and men of the present Coastguard as, on survey, are found incapable of performing their present duties will be removed from the service, with such allowances as they may be entitled to. Those who, although unfit for service at sea, are capable of performing duty in the Coastguard will be retained with their present pay and advantages until they are provided for by pension, superannuation or otherwise. Those naval officers and seamen who are fit for service at sea will be entered and borne on the books of the district guardships, and from the date of their being so entered will come under the above regulations.

*This period of service, qualifying for entry, and the age of admission into the service of the Coastguard may be a1tered from time to time by the Lords of the Admiralty.


Circular No. 35.-N.

Admiralty 5th August, 1875.

Qualification for Entry of Men in Coast Guard.

My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty having been pleased to reduce the period of Service required to qualify men for appointment to the Coast Guard to eight years. the following Regulations are to be substituted for those contained in their Lordships' Circular of the 7th July, 1869 (?) No. 38 (N).

Regulations

1. Seamen of good character who have served in Her majesty's Navy 8 years with Man's rating (continuous service), provided their age does not emceed 37 years will be eligible for entry in the Coast Guard upon the recommendation of their Commanding Officer.

2. There will be no restriction as to the number of Candidates to be recommended from any particular Ship: but the admissions will depend upon the number of vacancies.

3. None but Trained Men and Seamen Gunners will be appointed, and all Candidates must be Badge Men.

4. Seamen Gunners will not be allowed to retain their Gunnery Pay, except when actually doing as Instructors, but all Trained Men, including Seamen Gunners will be allowed their Gunnery Pay of One Penny a-day.

5. All Coast Guard Men will be liable to be embarked in turn for such cruise as the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty may appoint, and if found unfit for active service vice at sea, they will be discharged with such pension or gratuity as they may be entitled to from their services.

6. The age for absolute discharge from the Coast Guard. whether fit for service or not, will be for:-

Boatmen - 50

Commissioned Boatmen - 50

Chief Boatmen - 50

Chief Boatmen in charge - 55

7. A limited number of Stokers will be admitted, provided they have qualified as Trained Men.

8. Divisional Carpenters of the Coast Guard will be appointed, as vacancies occur, from Artificers of the Carpenter Class serving in the Fleet.

9. Men who enter the Coast Guard must renew their continuous service engagements while serving in that force, and they will only be appointed an that condition.

10. Circular No. 38, N, of the 7th July. 1869, is hereby cancelled.

By Command of their Lordships, Robert Hall.

To all Commanders-in-Chief, &c.


A letter to the Editor regarding the Coastguard

The Coast-Guard Service.

The Editor of the Portsmouth Times and Naval Gazette

Sir, As I have been a constant reader of your valuable columns, and seeing the many proposals for the improvements of the several branches of our government servants, which has proved in many cases very beneficial to them I am sorry to say I have seen none for the benefit of the Revenue Cutters men and Coast Guards, who are an honourable body on whom we might place confidence in time of need.

What I have to say, sir, is this, the coast guard are exposed to many trials and hardships during the long successive winter nights on a solitary beach or Cliff, and stationed in bleak and barren sites on our coast far from any town or village, that they are unable to layout their earnings to advantage, but must take what their creditors choose to bring them or none at all, and generally no school for their children, who in such cases are brought up in such ignorance that they would stare at the sights to be seen in a town, as would the wild Indian ; yet under all this they are content with the rules of that Service, except in one clause, which presses hard upon all the treasury men or civilians that have joined that service since the year 1829, - they have to pay to a superannuation fund at the rate of 2 per cent, which their predecessors did not, and yet receive a greater amount of pension than the former. This cannot be just, for those that pay for it ought certainly to receive more than those who have not. Again, there are men who are constantly joining the revenue cutters, and from the revenue cutters to the coast guard since 1845, who have in each case to sign a document to serve in her Majesty's navy in case of emergency, still paying to this fund, (which must be getting very strong, so many men having left the service, and gone elsewhere, leaving all their payments behind, for there is no refunding it), while men joining the coast guards from the royal navy, do not pay anything, nor are they liable to be called up in sooner than the former, who receive 1 7s 3d less wages annually than the naval men, and receive no better reward for their services ; this cannot be just. Hoping this timely hint will move some abler pen than mine in their favour to mend this little wrong for the benefit of this valuable class of men, before the time comes which will require their services.

I remain, your well-wisher. A Lover of Justice.

27 Mar 1853

^ back to top ^