ROYAL NAVAL RESERVE

Papers and Addresses – Lord Brassey. Vol. II., p.52. “Our Reserves of Seamen. Pamphlet, 1872.”

Extract :- “The Royal Commission of 1859…. Recommended that the Coast Guard should be maintained at a strength of 12,000, and the Royal Naval Reserve at 20,000 men. The actual numbers are – Coast Guard 4,300, Royal Naval Reserve 15,000 men.  The present Reserves of the Navy are, therefore, much below the standard proposed by the Royal Commission…. The Royal Commission, confirming the high estimate of our fishing population as a Naval Reserve by the Committee of 1852, advised that the force should be raised to 10,000 men, and recommended that the Royal Naval Reserve should be divided into two divisions, the first consisting of able seamen from the merchant service and school ships, and the second division recruited from the resident seafaring population; in other words, the fishermen and seamen employed in the coasting trade. It was contemplated that the second division would absorb the Royal Naval Coast Volunteers. According to the figures in the last naval Estimates, the Royal Naval Coast Volunteers have been reduced to 1,500 men, and the attempt to create a second class has been an utter failure.

 It cannot be said that eligible men are wanting. The last return shows that 153,000 men and 14,000 boys are employed in the vessels engaged in the fisheries of Great Britain and Ireland…. The local knowledge of the fishermen is an important qualification. Our regular man-of-war’s men and the seamen of our mercantile marine being chiefly employed on foreign service, it is impossible to over-estimate the advantage of having a body of men in our Reserve who possess an intimate acquaintance with the intricate navigation of our own coasts. The fishermen never sail under a foreign flag. They have fixed places of residence, can always be found when their services are required, and their moral character is in the highest degree meritorious. Referring to the men to be obtained on the coast of Essex, and of whose qualifications and conduct I have had the best opportunities of judging, I cannot speak too highly in their praise. The fishermen in my employ, exposed, when serving in a yacht, sometimes for months, to the temptations foreign ports, have ever shown themselves superior to the enticements of the shore, and have regularly remitted to their families more than two thirds of their earnings. The result is happily manifested in the comfort of their village homes, which are all that the philanthropist could desire. The short and simple annals of the poor contain no more creditable or reassuring tale than the story of these, my humble but beloved companions on many a pleasant cruise – pleasant, because of their good conduct and faithful discharge of every duty.

 The fishermen of England as a class are men whom we can ill afford to lose from our Reserves. It is possible, by a wise modification of the rules, to create from among their number a Reserve for the manning of our gunboats. If it was intended that the second-class Reserve should be formed as a substitute for the Royal Coast Volunteers, the qualifications required in candidates for admission into the force were unnecessary. The original idea was that all the fishermen or boatmen should be eligible for the Coast Volunteers. Under the regulations for the entry of the men into the second-class Reserve, a knowledge of seamanship as practised in square-rigged vessels is insisted upon, and thus our longshore population, whose services in gunboats would be invaluable, are excluded from our sea militia. At the village of Rowhedge on the Colne, whence yacht-owners obtain most excellent crews, there are 300 fishermen, and two-thirds of these men have never sailed in a square-rigged vessel. At Brightlingsea there are from 600 to 700 fishermen. Few of their number have had experience of other than fore-and-aft vessels.

 While the qualifications required of candidates are unnecessary, the severity with which they are tested equally deserves criticism. Several men from Rowhedge have recently applied to be re-enrolled in the first Reserve ship at Harwich. They have been rejected for failure in heaving the lead in man-of-war fashion. In small vessels there is no opportunity and no necessity for the display of this accomplishment. To heave the lead properly in man-of-war fashion a scope of some three fathoms of line is required. In a small vessel with perhaps from three to four feet freeboard the necessary scope of line can never be given. The fishermen, although well acquainted with the use of the lead and perfectly competent to take true soundings, are rejected from the service because they are not perfect leadsmen according to the naval standard. When men have proved themselves well qualified in other respects, they should not be rejected for failure in one point only, in which, moreover, if they were allowed a few days for practice they would become sufficiently expert. If a knowledge of the art of reefing and handling topsails, and sending yards up and down, were considered essential, it would be worthwhile to give to bona fide fishermen instructions in those evolutions. [Suffolk and Norfolk fishermen then mentioned] …. If a modification of the rules and regulations at present in force for the enrolment and drill of the seamen of the Reserve is not enough to raise the force to the strength at which it may be necessary that it should be permanently maintained, the establishment of a certain number of training ships at the great commercial ports will doubtless prove an effectual means of creating an adequate Reserve. While economy is justly regarded as the paramount duty of Government, of all forms of naval expenditure that involved in the establishment of training ships will be found the most satisfactory in its results. A well-conducted training ship should not merely be a school of instruction, but a place of education in the highest sense. How miserable are the haunts in which a large number of our seamen exhaust their hard earnings in degrading pleasures! To bring the seafaring population within the reach of humanising and benign influences is a difficult task which well deserves our thoughtful consideration. Good impressions firmly fixed in early life are the best shield against temptation in later years; and thus the work of recruiting for the Naval Reserve will incidentally promote the nobler object of elevating, both in character and in intelligence, a section of our population most difficult to reach, and to whose enterprise and patriotism our national greatness is largely due.”

Royal Naval Reserve Ratings’ Records Of Service - National Archives.

 

"These are a selection of service records of ratings who served in the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) between 1860 and 1955.

There are over 148,000 records for this period. Predominantly these cover the First World War (1914-1918).

The RNR was established with the Naval Reserve Act of 1859 as a reserve force of seamen, extended to include officers in 1862, and men from deep-sea merchant ships who could be called upon during times of war or crisis to supplement the forces of the Royal Navy. By 1890 there were 20,000 men in the RNR."

 

BT 377/7/25179 ALLEN, Clifford Rudolph born Rowhedge 20 May 1880. Number: B 2855

BT 377/7/42680 ALLEN, Clifford Rudolph b. Rowhedge 20 May 1880. Number: D 2693

BT 377/7/25685 BARNARD, Arthur Clarence b. Rowhedge 8 January 1876. Number: B 3362

BT 377/7/35507 BARNARD, Benjamin Harvey b. Rowhedge 2 November 1879. Number: C 3273

BT 377/7/33492 BARNARD, Frederick Norman b. Rowhedge 11 October 1877. Number: C 1247

BT 377/7/42279 BARNARD, Frederick Norman b. Rowhedge 11 October 1877. Number: D 2288

BT 377/7/25203 BARNARD, George Henry Robert b. Rowhedge 13 July 1884. Number: B 2879

BT 377/7/42706 BARNARD, George Henry Robert b. Rowhedge 13 July 1884. Number: D 2719

BT 377/7/41744 BARNARD, Oscar Joseph b. Rowhedge 24 September 1874. Number: D 1751

BT 377/7/25684 BARNARD, Paul Rowland Upperton b. Rowhedge 29 November 1874. Number: B 3361

BT 377/7/3823 BARNARD, Thomas Silvester b. Rowhedge 26 August 1888. Number: A 3808

BT 377/7/36792 BARNARD, Thomas Silvester b. Rowhedge 26 August 1888. Number: C 4568

BT 377/7/44477 BARNARD, Thomas Silvester b. Rowhedge 26 August 1888. Number: D 4391

BT 377/7/11788 BENSON, Thomas William b. Rowhedge 4 April 1905. Number: A 11825

BT 377/7/46430 BENSON, Thomas William b. Rowhedge 6 (sic) April 1905. Number: D 6174

BT 377/7/167 BROWN, Albert b. Rowhedge 1868 (only). Number: 3766

BT 377/7/119583 BYFORD, Alfred b. Rowhedge 20 March 1866. Number: U 849

BT 377/7/8326 CARTER, Jesse b. Rowhedge 30 August 1893. Number: A 8316

BT 377/7/24175 CARTER, William Henry b. Rowhedge 7 December 1883. Number: B 1850

BT 377/7/71393 CARTER, William Henry b. Rowhedge 9 (sic) December 1883. Number: E 102

BT 377/7/28292 CLARK, George William b. Rowhedge 9 November 1895. Number: B 5982

BT 377/7/37846 CLARK, George William b. Rowhedge 9 November 1895. Number: C 5604

BT 377/7/45587 CLARK, George William b. Rowhedge 9 November 1895. Number: D 5307

BT 377/7/25204 COLE, William Alfred b. Rowhedge 26 October 1884. Number: B 2880

BT 377/7/42677 COLE, William Alfred b. Rowhedge 26 October 1884. Number: D 2690

BT 377/7/35064 COOK, Cyril Charles b. Rowhedge 21 February 1879. Number: C 2820

BT 377/7/41769 COOK, Didymus b. Rowhedge 3 June 1868. Number: D 1776

BT 377/7/40696 COOK, Henry James b. Rowhedge 9 July 1865. Number: D 702

BT 377/7/3755 COOK, Thomas William b. Rowhedge 21 February 1890. Number: A 3740

BT 377/7/23880 COOK, William Edward b. Rowhedge 4 October 1883. Number: B 1555

BT 377/7/40697 FALE, John Augustus b. Rowhedge 25 July 1868. Number: D 703

BT 377/725072 FISK, Robert b. Rowhedge 29 June 1874. Number: B 2748

BT 377/7/42139 FISK, Sidney b. Rowhedge 15 January 1879. Number: D 2148

BT 377/7/37886 FOOKES, Percy Robert b. Rowhedge 30 July 1891. Number: C 5643

BT 377/7/45576 FOOKES, Percy Robert b. Rowhedge 30 July 1891. Number: D 5296

BT 377/7/40937 GLOZIER, George Sutherwood b. Rowhedge 13 January 1868. Number: D 943

BT 377/7/62848 HEMPSTEAD, Alfred Philip b. Rowhedge 28 June 1886. Number: DA 16422

BT 377/7/23291 HILLYARD, Christopher Charles b. Rowhedge 26 July 1880. Number: B 946

BT 377/7/35110 HILLYARD, Christopher Charles b. Rowhedge 26 July 1880. Number: C 2867

BT 377/7/26135 HILLYARD, Edward Joshua b. Rowhedge 19 November 1885. Number: B 3813

BT 377/7/3732 JAMES, Philip Benjamin b. Rowhedge 15 June 1893. Number: A 3717

BT 377/7/40731 KING, John Boysten b. Rowhedge 29 January 1866. Number: D 737

BT 377/7/34124 KNIGHTS, Philip Thomas b. Rowhedge 5 December 1874. Number: C 1880

BT 377/7/92731 MARTIN, Charles b. Rowhedge 4 January 1872. Number: SD 299

BT 377/7/3793 MILLS, Joseph Frederick Alfred b. Rowhedge 2 February 1893. Number: A 3778

BT 377/7/36724 MILLS, Joseph Frederick Alfred b. Rowhedge 2 February 1893. Number: C 4500

BT 377/7/44453 MILLS, Joseph Frederick Alfred b. Rowhedge 2 February 1893. Number: D 4379

BT 377/7/74457 MILLS, Joseph Frederick Alfred b. Rowhedge 2 February 1893. Number: EX 873

BT 377/7/3757 MILLS, Samuel James b. Rowhedge 3 August 1891. Number: A 3742

BT 377/7/36698 MILLS, Samuel James b. Rowhedge 3 August 1891.  Number: C 4474

BT 377/7/44449 MILLS, Samuel James b. Rowhedge 3 August 1891.  Number: D 4377

BT 377/7/74450 MILLS, Samuel James b. Rowhedge 3 August 1891.  Number: EX 865

BT 377/7/43263 MOULTON, Arthur b. Rowhedge 10 November 1885. Number: D 3258

BT 377/7/25569 MOULTON, Henry b. Rowhedge 10 January 1885. Number: B 3245

BT 377/7/43164 MOULTON, Henry b. Rowhedge 10 January 1885. Number: D 3164

BT 377/7/71478 MOULTON, Henry b. Rowhedge 10 January 1885. Number: E 187

BT 377/7/24323 MOULTON, John b. Rowhedge 29 March 1882. Number: B 1998

BT 377/7/35791 MOULTON, John b. Rowhedge 29 March 1882. Number: C 3562

BT 377/7/42470 MOULTON, John b. Rowhedge 29 March 1882. Number: D 2483

BT 377/7/23780 MOULTON, John b. Rowhedge 30 June 1883. Number: B 1454

BT 377/7/24743 PARKER, Henry b. Rowhedge 26 June 1884. Number: B 2418

BT 377/7/35985 PARKER, Henry b. Rowhedge 26 June 1884. Number: C 3762

BT 377/7/42645 PARKER, Henry b. Rowhedge 26 June 1884. Number: D 2658

BT 377/7/35010 PEARMAN, Bertie Robert b. Rowhedge 18 July 1881. Number: C 2766

BT 377/7/43637 PEARMAN, Cecil b. Rowhedge 16 August 1886. Number: D 3630

BT 377/7/33589 PEARMAN, Samuel b. Rowhedge 22 July 1879. Number: C 1345

BT 377/7/42399 PEARMAN, Samuel b. Rowhedge 22 July 1879. Number: D 2408

BT 377/7/42913 PERCIVAL, Albert Ernest b. Rowhedge 10 October 1876. Number: D 2918

BT 377/7/54908 PERCIVAL, Joseph Brown b. Rowhedge 28 June 1869. Number: DA 8454

BT 377/7/40932 PERCIVAL, William Edward b. Rowhedge 10 April 1867. Number: D 938

BT 377/7/36784 POWELL, Cecil Charles b. Rowhedge 28 June 1892. Number: C 4560

BT 377/7/44435 POWELL, Cecil Charles b. Rowhedge 28 June 1892. Number: D 4370

BT 377/7/40695 POWELL, Charles Isaiah b. Rowhedge 12 May 1865. Number: D 701

BT 377/7/33365 POWELL, Harry Thomas b. Rowhedge 12 October 1878. Number: C 1120

BT 377/7/42138 POWELL, Harry Thomas b. Rowhedge 12 October 1878. Number: D 2147

BT 377/7/4620 POWELL, Horace b. Rowhedge 1 November 1894. Number: A 4605

BT 377/7/3758 POWELL, Lewis Isaiah b. Rowhedge 20 March 1893. Number: A 3743

BT 377/7/44493 POWELL, Lewis Isaiah b. Rowhedge 20 March 1893. Number: D 4399

BT 377/7/105115 ROPER, Walter George b. Rowhedge 23 July 1890. Number: T 3271

BT 377/7/79972 ROPER, Walter George b. Rowhedge 23 July 1890. Number: S 3311

BT 377/7121504 ROPER, Walter George b. Rowhedge 23 July 1890. Number: U 2774

BT 377/7/124076 ROPER, Walter George b. Rowhedge 23 July 1890. Number: W 127

BT 377/7/123704 ROPER, Walter George b. Rowhedge 23 July 1890. Number: V 1796

BT 377/7/26354 ROPER, William Alfred b. Rowhedge 16 November 1875. Number: B 4033

BT 377/7/8384 SCOWEN, (Philip) Benjamin b. Rowhedge 12 January 1896. Number: A 8375. Ancestry gives “Philip”

BT 377/7/35396 SEBBORN, John Warren b. Rowhedge 11 September 1883. Number: C 3160

BT 377/7/60999 SIMONS, Lewis Alexander b. Rowhedge 26 February 1881. Number: DA 14547

BT 377/7/27125 SIMONS, Claude Clarence b. Rowhedge 1 June 1889. Number: B 4820

BT 377/7/33519 SPRINGETT, Enos Walter b. Rowhedge 2 January 1879. Number: C 1274

BT 377/7/42144 SPRINGETT, Enos Walter b. Rowhedge 2 January 1879. Number: D 2153

BT 377/7/25088 SPRINGETT, Oliver b. Rowhedge 22 January 1875. Number: B 2764

BT 377/7/43054 SPRINGETT, Oliver b. Rowhedge 22 January 1875. Number: D 3057

BT 377/7/4618 STIFF, Percy b. Rowhedge 11 August 1894. Number: A 4603

BT 377/7/37066 STIFF, Percy b. Rowhedge 11 August 1894. Number: C 4843

BT 377/7/44870 STIFF, Percy b. Rowhedge 11 August 1894. Number: D 4590

BT 377/7/74564 STIFF, Percy b. Rowhedge 11 August 1894. Number: EX 992

BT 377/7/24258 TAYLOR, Edward b. Rowhedge 27 August 1883. Number: B 1933

BT 377/7/40691 THEOBALD, Walter George b. Rowhedge 27 November 1864. Number: D 697

BT 377/7/37840 WADE, Edgar Henry b. Rowhedge 18 August 1891. Number: C 5598

BT 377/7/45575 WADE, Edgar Henry b. Rowhedge 18 August 1891. Number: D 5295

BT 377/7/8323 WADE, Edgar Henry b. Rowhedge 18 August 1891. Number: A 8313

BT 377/7/24451 WADE, John Edward b. Rowhedge 21 September 1883. Number: B 2126

BT 377/7/40717 WADLEY, Richard Michael b. Rowhedge 8 December 1866. Number: D 723

BT 377/7/3768 WAKELAND, Percy William b. Rowhedge 30 April 1893. Number: A 3753

BT 377/7/25078 WARREN, Charles b. Rowhedge 5 February 1882. Number: B 2754

BT 377/7/107 WATSON, Frederick b. Rowhedge 28 June 1886. Number: A 1116

BT 377/7/37021 WILKIN, Alfred Stanley b. Rowhedge 31 December 1893. Number: C 4798

BT 377/7/4619 WILKIN, Alfred Stanley b. Rowhedge 31 December 1893. Number: A 4604

BT 377/7/37021 WILKIN, Alfred Stanley b. Rowhedge 31 December 1893. Number: C 4798

BT 377/7/44860 WILKIN, Alfred Stanley b. Rowhedge 31 December 1893. Number: D 4584

BT 377/7/3934 WILKIN, Horace Abrathar (sic) b. Rowhedge 13 July 1892. Number: A 3919

BT 377/7/103864 WISBEY, Herbert Thomas b. Rowhedge 6 December 1875. Number: T 2016

BT 377/733637 WISBEY, Samuel Henry b. Rowhedge 24 April 1872. Number: C 1393

BT 377/7/76738 WILKINSON, Benjamin James b. Rowhedge 14 August 1889. Number: S 203

BT 377/7/104334 WILKINSON, Benjamin James b. Rowhedge 14 August 1889. Number: T 2485

BT 377/7/102347 WILKINSON, Walter b. Rowhedge 28 July 1877. Number: T 493

BT 377/7/120569 WILKINSON, Walter b. Rowhedge 28 July 1877. Number: U 1835

A few faces to accompany the names

         Oscar Joseph Barnard        Paul Rowland Upperton Barnard   Thomas Silvester Barnard      Frederick Norman Barnard      Philip Thomas                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Knights

             Arthur Moulton                           Henry "Harry" Parker                    Cyril Pearman                    Lewis Powell                 Philip Benjamin                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Scowen

CHELMSFORD CHRONICLE – Friday 29 September 1911. “Mr. Philip Thomas Knights, of East Donyland, who is only 36 years of age, has been awarded the long-service medal of the Royal Naval Reserve.”

Essex Newsman - 10 December 1938

Royal Naval Reserve Ratings’ Records Of Service 1860-1955 - National Archives

 

BT 164/4/2 FIRST CLASS DECK RATINGS 1887-1888. James Simons (below) is the only local man among the thousands listed. Apart from the physical description these records list previous yachting engagements.