Training Ship Warspite

The first Warspite, and there were several, came into the hands of the MarineSociety in 1876 replacing their earlier ships. After her launch on 16 November 1807 at Chatham Warspite had served in the Napoleonic wars and then been finally paid off in 1846. She was a 74-gun third-rate ship providing cramped accommodation for up to 500 boys. She had extensive facilities including a shore establishment included swimming baths, hospital, laundry, storehouses, plus their own sea going SailingTender. Warspite was initially moored at Woolwich but In 1901 she was moved down the Thames to Greenhithe.

Boys were admitted between the ages of 14 and 16½. They had to meet a minimum physical standard including a minimum height of 4 feet 11 inches without shoes. The only payment required was a fee of £15 on the boy's admission, however once in they were committed to their new life as they had to sign indentures for 2 years from date of admission. They were required to be of good character, and to go to sea at the end of their training continuing the Marine Societies goal of recruiting sailors for both Royal and Merchant navies.

On 20th January 1918 a fire broke out on board Warspite and she burned to the waterline. After the fire the Marine Society moved the former inmates of Warspite into the nearby Worcester as a temporary measure. At this point they didn't actually want to continue with the ship and tried to merge with TSArethusa. Maybe the people that had run Arethusa and the ShaftsburyHomes had already noticed something about the Marine Society and the way that later they were to start gobbling up other maritime charities, but they turned the offer down. Unable to simply transfer their charges to Arethusa a new ship was acquired, this time one made of metal called HMS Hermione. Hermione changed her name to Warspite and training resumed.

Warspite was finally shut down in 1940 because she was thought to be at risk from enemy bombers, and never re-opened.


TSWarspite (last edited 2012-06-20 06:06:46 by chrisbunker)