Index

 
Miscellaneous Events - A few Odds and Sods that might have affected life in the RN


1830 Long Service and Good Conduct Medal introduced for having completed 15 years undetected crime: a twenty pound gratuity was also payable - the sum due remains the same to this day.
 
 
1852 First Sailors "Home Club" set up at Portsmouth later know as the Royal Portsmouth Sailors Home  
1853 A form of Continuous Service Engagement was introduced with a pension after a fixed number of years, but was not as successful as the later Continuous Service Engagement introduced in 1870, which lasted through to 1956 and later for apprentices.  From 1853 seamen entering the Navy were given a continuous service (CS) number.  
1853 Chief Petty Officer and Leading Rate introduced  
1858 Shipwright ratings introduced  
1858 Captain's allowed to grant regular leave  
1862 The Royal Marine Artillery with HQ at Eastney formed into a separate division  
1865 Proposals introduced to create the Navigating Branch for officers, thus replacing Masters and Second Masters etc. This was to be phased in over a period of time.
1866 Naval Savings Bank introduced  
1867 Morse Code introduced for night signalling following the sinking of the Griffon after collision with the Pandora in Oct 1866  
24 Jun 1869    The full set formally allowed (i.e. beard and moustache) if worn together and kept trimmed  
1869 Woolwich division of Royal Marines abolished  
1870ish Hammocks and bedding issued free for first time  
1870ish Free Uniform for boys who entered on Continuous Service Engagements  
1870ish Improved diet recommended, although, in general, this still only provided one proper, poorly cooked meal a day  
1870ish Improved career structure introduced with a view to providing something to strive for.  
1870 Continuous Service Engagement updated  
1871 Flogging suspended in peacetime (although it is interesting to note that in the early 1900s the memoirs of Boy Seamen and Midshipmen at this time still make reference to something that cannot be considered any different  
1873 Eyesight test introduced for officers and ratings  
1873 Official Number replaced the Continuous Service Number.  
1873 Agnes Weston's Royal Sailor's Rest built at Devonport and Portsmouth (these were temperance establishments as opposed to the Home Club which allowed the sale of alcoholic beverages) 

Devonport Branch closed its doors March 2001 through lack of use.

 
Jan 1875  Mulcts (fine) of pay increased from 1 day's pay for 24 hours absence to 1 day's pay for every 3 hours absence or part thereof (desertion at this time was running at 12,000 per annum)  
Jan 1875 10A punishment introduced i.e. grog stopped, leave stopped, dog watches and spare time spent holystoneing and blacking down rigging and any other dirty work etc, although on some ships there is reference to simply watch the paint work.  
1878 Torpedo-Lieutenants appear in the Navy List 
1879 The practical abolition of flogging  
1881 Wardroom rum rationed ceased, except for warrant officers. 
1881 Naval Allotments introduced: some sailors allotted money home to wives and mothers, others to the manager of the Home Club for safe keeping (see above) whilst others perhaps to the National Savings Bank W
1884 Newspaper article entitled "The Truth About the Navy" in addition to the Russinan War scare started to ring warning bells regarding the Navy's ability to fulfill its role and brought about public pressure to improve the finances of the Navy and improve the building and training program.  
1884 Female nurses introduced into Naval Hospitals at Haslar and Plymouth  
1885 Correspondents from the National newspapers view Home Fleet annual manoeuvres C
1890 Salute with the left or right hand introduced W
1890 Leave became a right and not a privilege for ratings of good character. W
1890 Sail as a means of propulsion had disappeared, except in some training vessels and keeping the men fit becomes a problem! W
1893 Men allocated to home port, ie Chatham, Portsmouth or Devonport, but allowed to make a choice dependent on where they lived, but this created many anomalies with men from the North West being allocated to Devonport.  
1893 Drafting offices set-up in Port Divisions in the "home ports" of Chatham, Portsmouth and Devonport  
1894 The procedure for issuing official numbers was changed again and prefixes were introduced which gave an indication as to the branch to which a rating may belong.  
1900 Physical Training becomes a specialist qualification: training of Physical Training Instructors (PTI) takes place at HMS EXCELLENT.  
1901/2 Defence estimates included an element for the first time to build 5 submarines.  
1903 A new engagement called the Short Service engagement or "5 and 7" and "7 and 5" engagement brought about a new series of official numbers prefixed SS  
1906 Dental Surgeons introduced at Naval Hospitals 
1906 Ration Allowance introduced for personnel not in receipt of service provisions  
1908 Telegraphist Branch formed attached to HMS VERNON - the torpedo party looked after the sets, whilst signalmen actually operated the sets. By 1910 they were working in cordination with the Signal School at Portsmouth.  
July 1914 Royal Naval Air Service formed.  
1914 Regulating Petty Officers (RPO) (nickname Crusher) took over from Ship's Police who were either Royal Marines on large ships or unqualified naval personnel who invariably couldn't make the grade in their own branch and were the source of much "graft" and discontent on the lower deck.  The RPO worked under the Master at Arms (MAA) (Nickname Jaunty).   On small ships of destroyer size and below it was usually the Coxswain who was responsible for discipline.  
c 1905 Bakeries and refrigerators recommended along with improved training for cooks.   Canteen arrangements reviewed with a view to removing some of the "fiddles" and reducing prices.  General messing, borrowed from the US Navy, reviewed and introduced with a view to improving the quality of food and morale W
c 1905 Mechanician rate introduced to give Leading Stokers an improved advancement route W
1917 WRNS Established for first time.  
1917 Ratings received an extra 2d. a day.  
1917 Kit Upkeep Allowance introduced. Previously men were responsible for maintaining their own kit, although some grades (eg Boys) had received a free uniform on joining the RN.
 
1918 Rum ration ceased for Warrant Officers 
1 April 1918 RN Air Service transferred to Royal Air Force  
1919 ABs' daily pay was increased from 1s. 8d. to 4s.  
1919 WRNS service discontinued see 1938  
1920 Marriage Allowance introduced for ratings over 25  
1922 NAAFI took over from Naval Canteen Service  
1925 Pay cuts for new entrants - to receive 25% less than those serving eg an ABs pay was reduced to 3 shillings a day.  
1926 Master at Arms lost responsibility for day to day routine which became the responsibility of the Executive Officer's Department (usually a Chief GI, Coxswain or other Seaman CPO became responsible)  
1937 RN regained control of the Fleet Air Arm from the RAF (see 1918)  
1938 WRNS reintroduced  
1938 Officers over 30 granted Marriage Allowance 
1946/7 Electrical Branch formed from the old Anti Submarine Branch which in turn became the Torpedo and Anti-Submarine (TAS) Branch  
1948 Flogging removed from the list of punishments, although suspended in 1879  
1954 The Navy News founded ie the navy had its own newspaper for the first time.  
1955 First Batch of Married Quarters completed?  
1955 Uniform Regulations overhauled  
1956 The Naval Drafting Authority (NDA) was set up at Lythe Hill House, Haslemere, Surrey.  Thus the drafting (movement of ratings) was centralised and the old Port area drafting authorities at Chatham, Portsmouth and Devonport were closed along with many of the loop-holes that were said to exist e.g. barrack stanchions, were closed!  And, it is said that naval manpower could be utilised much more efficiently and early attempts were made to computerise drafting and advancement, although this created a number of amusing incidents in the early days before all the records had been properly validated! Lee-on-Solent continued to be responsible for Fleet Air Arm drafting  
1961 Last National Serviceman left the RN  
1970 The NDA (Naval Drafting Authority), an accounting tender to HMS PRESIDENT, moved to a purpose built building at Gosport, Hants and renamed HMS CENTURION who was also became responsible for all Naval Pay and Accounts by 1974.  
1976 WRNS became subject to the Naval Discipline Act  
1997 Last locally entered personnel (LEP) leave the navy. 

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