Training Ship Clio
1877 to 1920
The Clio was an Industrial Training ship like the TSMountEdgcumbe. This meant that she was not a reformatory ship like the TSAkbar, but she was certainly not a prestigious school like TSWorcester. The ship HMS Clio had been a 22-gun Pearl-class corvette, built at Sheerness Dockyard and launched on 28 August 1858. She became the flagship of the Australia Station from 3 September 1870 to 16 October 1873 before returning the Britain and then into the hands of the Society of the Industrial Training Ship Clio for Homeless, Destitute and Poor Respectable Boys in 1877.
The first commander of the Clio as a Training Ship was an ex-naval officer called Captain Moger W M. He had previously served in the Baltic during the Russian War, and got the Baltic Medal. Beginning as the Honorary Secretary to the Provisional Committee of the Training Ship Clio he was responsible for fitting out the ship, and was then appointed to command.
She accepted boys aged between 12 and 15, they had to be physically able and of good character. Once part of the ships company however boys where not allowed to leave again until they had completed their training at 15. A boy could be sent there for many reasons either by their parents, or by a magistrate if it was thought that, by the standards of Victorian Britain, it would be better for them than their homes. A complete list of the rules that could get you sent to an Industrial Training Ship can be found on my page on TSMountEdgcumbe.
1892 boys from the Clio started to learn about sea cookery using instruction from Alexander Quinlan who wrote a series of books on the subject. 1894 boys from TSIndefatigable, TSAkbar, and TSClarence also started to work towards the certificates that he offered. This turned out to be quite useful for their future careers as the 1906 Merchant Shipping Act made it compulsory for a ship over 1000 gross tons to carry a trained cook.
Due to the type of boys that were sent there Clio was seen by many locals as almost like a reformatory ship, even though that was absolutely not the case. As an Industrial Training Ship boys with criminal convictions were explicitly banned from being allowed on board. Discipline on board was harsh as that is what was believed was needed to get these 'wayward' boys back onto the strait and narrow, and to prepare them for the rigours of a life at sea. Unfortunately there are also reports of serious bullying on this particular ship. Because of all this, like the TSMars in Dundee, the Clio became somewhere that parents would use as a threat to scare their children with being sent to the "naughty boys’ ship".