Social History ca. 1890-1914

Discussion in 'History' started by kumtra, Nov 19, 2008.

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  1. Hi!

    I'm interested in the social history of the Royal Navy of the late 19th and early 20th century. So I'm looking for any academic books or articles concerned with themes of its self image (identity), i.e. (off the top of my head) the topics of honour, manhood, heroism, nobility, democracy, order, purpose, marriage, fine arts, its view of society, its relation to the crown, sexuality, drugs (alcohol) etc. And second it's idea of a future naval war, i.e. the strategy and tactics employed, the fears and hopes, the technology and its justification.

    As of now I'm pretty disappointed with what I've found. There seems no academic work devoted to the mindset of the Royal Navy of the pre-war period except "The Royal Navy - An illustrated Social History" by Captain John Wells (Far Thrupp, Stroud, Gloucestershire u.a. : Sutton, 1994), which I found interesting but just a start for profound analysis.

    So can anyone please point me to some literature?
    Any help is much appreciated!
  2. Have you tried contacting the Royal Naval Museum Library? Reading list on their website here but they may be able to tell you more if you contact them. Historical issues of the Naval Review reflected life in the RN well. The National Maritime Museum and the Imperial War Museum also have good libraries. Contact details for most sources of useful information available here.
  3. Thanks for your advise, Naval_Gazer, and thanks for your link, TerryB.

    As of now I haven't contacted any professional institution. Maybe that's a good idea to do. And I'll definately have a look at the Naval Annual.

    As a student I thought I'd be successful by searching the libraries online cataloges and looking into the bibliographies of academic works of today, but it seems to be quite a challenging topic to delve into.

    Anyhow, thanks again for your advise. Maybe someone else went trough that process before me and can help me out before I contact some professionals...
  4. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Welcome to Rum Ration, Kumtra. "Naval_Gazer" is the fount of naval history research, however I'm sure "Higthepig" will be along soon to give you a first-hand account of what life was like back then... :lol:
  5. I have studied the humanities recently and found that some of the best evidence to be found is in works of art or literature. Academic studies tend to give the opinion of the scholar where as books and works of art give a good feel for the zeitgeist of the period that you are trying to study.

    If you go to a local bookshop that sells second hand books you might find something that was written around the early 20th century, there is loads of old navy books out there with some good stories about war. It may be a work of fiction but by analysing it you will get a feel for the social structure and attitudes towards the attributes that you are looking to study. You have to bear in mind that some of these books would have been written by people who had first hand experience of war, thus they would be better placed than some academics.

    The old books that I have read have been a great insight into how Jack lived his life 100 years ago.
  6. I would also suggest visiting the Caird Library in the National Marttime Museum. They also hold old photographs covering this period in their photographic branch, ditto the Imperial War Museum.

    The National Archives are also a mine of information. You can search for details of what they hold online via their website. You could also ask the British Library to conduct a literature search for you. Another possible point of contact is the MODs Naval Historical Library. You may also wish to contact the Navy Records Society.

    This may interest you on one particular aspect of some matelots' lives...


    Henry Baynham wrote a couple of excellent books which I recall cover the periphery of your research period:

    1) Before the Mast - Naval Ratings of the 19th Century; and

    2) Men from the Dreadnoughts

    John Winton's: Hurrah for the Life of a Sailor! Life on the Lower-Deck of the Victorian Navy

    Sober Men and True: Sailor Lives in the Royal Navy, 1900-1945 by Christopher McKee is very good.


    Finally, contrary to popular belief, Higgy was not a matelot in the Edwardian version of the FAA though it is rumoured that he shook hands with Cdr Samson when he landed his bi-plane on the grassy running track of one of HM Ships. ;)
  7. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Some titles from my bookshelf:

    ‘Hurrah for the Life of a Sailor’ (Life on the Lower Deck of the Victorian Navy) John Winton
    ‘Whaley’ (HMS Excellent 1830-1974) Captain John Wells
    ‘Admiral Sir William Fisher’ (1875-1937) Admiral Sir William James, 1943
    ‘The Life and letters of David Beatty’ (1884-1936) Rear Admiral WS Chalmers 1951
    ‘Action This Day’ (1895-1951) (autobiography 1960) Admiral of the Fleet Sir Philip Vian
    ‘A Fleet in Being’ Rudyard Kipling 1899
    ‘The Sky Was Always Blue’ (1895-1946) Admiral ‘Bubbles’ James
    ‘A Sailor’s Odyssey’ (1897-1946) AoF Viscount Cunningham
    ‘Full Cycle’ (Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay) (1898-1945) Rear Admiral WS Chalmers 1959
    ‘Plain Yarns from the Fleet’ C Owen, Wrens Park edn 1999
    ‘Sailor’s Soliloquy’ (1902-10) Oswald Frewen ed. Griggs 1961
    ‘The Tadpole of an Archangel’ Major WP Drury RMLI ca.1879
    ‘The Gunroom’ ca.1911 (2nd edn. 1961) Charles Morgan
    ‘Middle Watch Musings’ ca.1913 "Guns QFCâ€
    ‘Carry On’ “Taffrail†(Taprell-Dorling) 1916
    ‘Naval Occasions’ “Bartimeus†1916
    ‘The Navy Eternal’ “Bartimeus†1919?

    Otherwise, if you are really keen, get your carcass down to Portsmouth and hole up for a month in the naval collection on the top floor of the central public library there. More books on this period than you could shake a stick at, and runs of Naval Review etc etc (not sure what dates).
  8. Logon
    Home About RNEC Library Events Gallery Members

    RNEC History in the Context of Royal Naval & World Events
    Based on "HMS THUNDERER" by Geoffrey PENN (Kenneth Mason) ISBN 0-85937-321-5

    Submitted by Jock Morrison

    "We need as many engineers as possible. As there is a lack of them, invite to this study, persons of about eighteen years who have already studied the necessary sciences. Relieve the parents of taxes and grant the scholars sufficient means".

    -- Emperor Constantine the Great. 4th Century AD.

    Year Event
    1670 Royal Navy formed (Charles II)
    1712 Newcomen's first static steam engine (mine pumping)
    1733 Portsmouth Naval Academy opened.
    1757 Sextant invented
    1775 Watt's steam engine invented
    1780 Communication by coded flags introduced to Royal Navy
    1790 World's first steam ship experiment
    1795 Hydrographic Department of Admiralty founded
    1801 First commercial steam-propelled ship Charlotte Dundas
    1805 Battle of Trafalgar
    1812 * War of 1812 - GB & USA (to 1814)
    * Bell's Comet conducted trials on The Clyde
    1815 Battle of WATERLOO
    1819 First Transatlantic crossing by ship with steam propulsion (SS Savannah)
    1822 RN "COMET" entered service (238tons/80hp/4psi steam)
    1825 Stockton - Darlington Railway opened with Stephenson's "Rocket"
    1826 Ampere's 'Electrodynamics' published.
    1827 First steamships commissioned into RN as "HMS".
    1829 Total of 12 paddlewheel steamships in RN service
    Engineers' Boys in steamships for 5 years' training at sea as Indentured Apprentices
    1831 Lt. Wall RN published "suggestions for the establishment of a Naval University (at Buckingham House, later Palace), with some observations on the formation of a Corps of Naval Engineers"
    1833 Factory Act passed
    1834 Cdr. Otway RN published "Elementary Treatise on Steam", forecasting need for a "training school to educate Engineers beyond mere engine-men"
    1836 * 27 steam vessels in Navy List. Built by Great Western (I. K. Brunel)
    * Naval Instructors introduced at Warrant rank
    1837 * Queen Victoria's Coronation
    * Telegraph invented (Samuel Morse)
    * Steam ships of Post Office Packet Service transferred to RN.
    * Order in Council establishes Engineers as officers "next below Carpenters"
    1838 * Steam ships cross Atlantic under sustained power- Sirius and Great Western
    * Training scheme established for Engineers' Boys (apprentices) in Dockyard workshops: 1 year Dockyard, 1 year sea, 1 year Dockyard.
    1839 First sea-going ship Archimedes driven by propeller
    1842 80 paddlewheel steamships in RN service as auxiliaries
    1843 * SS Great Britain launched (Brunel)
    * Naval Cadets introduced into the Royal Navy
    * Barque "SULPHUR" provided as accommodation for Engineers' Boys under training at Woolwich Dockyard
    * Dockyard Schools founded for training of Dockyard Apprentices, also attended by Engineers' Boys.
    1844 First Morse telegraph demonstrated
    1845 Archimedes demonstrated screw propulsion
    1846 Cunard formed first trans-Atlantic steamship line
    1848 Public Health Act passed
    Communist manifesto published by Marx & Engels
    1849 Water hydraulic gear fitted to cranes (Armstrong)
    1851 Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace, London
    1852 Commodore Perry visits Japan
    1853 Crimean War started
    1854 Charge of the Light Brigade
    1856 Lignum vitae stern-tube bearings introduced
    1857 * Indian Mutiny
    * HMS ILLUSTRIOUS to Haslar for training of Naval Cadets (age 13+)
    1859 * HMS ILLUSTRIOUS replaced by HMS BRITANNIA afloat at Portsmouth
    * Last wooden-hulled RN battleship built (HMS Victoria)
    * First commercial production of petroleum
    * First ironclad warship Gloire launched (France)
    1860 HMS WARRIOR commissioned
    1861 April - Start of American Civil War
    1862 US Ironclads, Merrimac and Monitor fight in Chesapeake Bay
    1863 * RN Engineers adopted purple stripes on sleeves
    * Engineer Students introduced (to replace Boys).
    * First submarine Hunley (CSA) to sink a warship
    * Training reviewed for Dockyard Schools at Woolwich, Sheerness, Portsmouth and Devonport.
    * Entry at age 15 years, twice yearly by examination:
    - 6 years in Dockyard factories, including 2 evenings per week at School.
    - Naval uniform and discipline after passed final exam.and entered R.N.
    - Messing separately at sea.
    * Naval Cadet training in HMS BRITANNIA moved to Dartmouth
    1864 * Self-propelled torpedo demonstrated (Whitehead)
    * Royal School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering opened at South Kensington (now Victoria & Albert Museum)
    1865 * American Civil War ends (July)
    * Morse Code communication by flashing light introduced to RN
    1867 All men over 21 given vote in UK
    1868 Engine Room Artificers introduced to RN to do more of the physical work of operation, maintenance & repair in place of Engineers
    1869 * Suez Canal opened
    * Cutty Sark launched
    * Union Pacific & Central Pacific Railroads linked
    1870 * Franco-Prussian War started
    * Rugby Football Union founded
    * Prototype steam/steel/shell battleship launched (HMS DEVASTATION)
    1872 * Rugby started at Devonport by Engineer Students.
    * Universal education started in UK for 5 - 13 year-olds
    1873 * Royal Naval College opened at Greenwich for training of engineers, constructors and military officers: all messing separately.
    * South Kensington closed
    * Evaporator installed in Crocodil (France)
    1875 * Hydraulic gear fitted to fore-turret of Thunderer
    * Cooper-Key Committee investigated "...the most scientific and practical management of engines and the highest mechanical skill for their maintenance"
    Recommended adoption of 1863 regulations including:
    - equality of pay, rank and promotion for Engineers
    - abolition of separate Engineers' messes
    - incorporation of Engineers into the Military Branch (but not Command)
    - greater scrutiny of Engineer Student candidates' social background
    - establishment of a Residence for Engineer Students in the Dockyards
    "... to become accustomed to the discipline which, in many ways, they find irksome on first appointment to a man-of-war"
    1876 Civil Service examinations held nation-wide for officer entry
    First telephone message passed (Bell)
    1877 * July - Uniforms and naval discipline introduced for Engineer Students.
    * Dec - HMS MARLBOROUGH opened at Portsmouth as Engineer Students' hostel. Students entered at 15 - 16 yr olds for 6 years training in Dockyard workshops

    * Mainly practical instruction
    - fitting & turning - 18 months
    - other craft skills - 18 months
    - erecting machinery
    - fitting afloat - 30 months
    - machinery trials
    - drawing office 6 months
    Then to sea as Acting Assistant Engineers (Probationary).
    Selected students sent to RNC Greenwich for 8 months mainly for theory
    1878 Dec - Zulu Wars started
    1879 * First UK telephone exchange
    * Battle of Rorke's Drift (Royal Engineer in command)
    1880 * July - Engineering College opened "without ceremony" at Keyham, Devonport as "training school for Engineer Students" 35 students transferred from MARLBOROUGH at Portsmouth. Later to be known as RNEC Keyham
    * RN Engineering Branch strength 6,000 men.
    * First refrigerated cargo ship (Strathleven)
    1881 Training in electrical generation introduced for RN Engineers
    1884 * Impulse-reaction steam turbine patented (Parsons)
    * Steam "trawlers" introduced
    1886 * First oil tanker Gluckauf launched
    * Contra-rotating propellor patented (Ericssson)
    * 103 Engineer Students remained under training in MARLBOROUGH.
    * Theoretical lectures started in RNEC Keyham (in place of Dockyard School)
    1888 * Kodak box camera patented
    * Engineer Student (ES) made a naval rank. MARLBOROUGH closed.
    * Academic staff appointed to Keyham for 146 E.S. Course reduced from 6 to 5 years
    "...there are obvious disadvantages which any university labours under compared with Keyham... perhaps more than anything, no other training school could enforce the strict training discipline so noticeable at Keyham, and which is greatly responsible for its efficiency" (anonymous college author)
    1889 * Institute of Marine Engineers founded
    * Impulse steam turbine patented (Laval)
    * RN Barracks, Devonport opened
    1892 HMS SPIDER (525 tons/3000 hp) attached to Keyham to provide steaming and maintenance practice
    1893 * X-rays discovered.
    * Prototype Diesel engine produced (Diesel)
    * Labour Party formed in UK
    * Annual intake of Engineer Students increased from 40 to 60
    * British Merchant Shipping Act passed
    1895 * Direct Entry Engineers introduced to meet rising needs.
    * Separate Engineers' Mess at RNC Greenwich abolished.
    1896 * Radio transmission demonstrated (Marconi).
    * Decision taken to build BRNC Dartmouth
    1897 * Turbinia demonstrated steam turbine propulsion (Parsons)
    * Total strength of RN Engineers about 950.
    * South Extension to Keyham College opened.
    * "Golden Age" of Keyham Rugby begins (until 1899)
    1898 * Spanish-American War in Carribean & Phillipines.
    * First (gasoline/electric) submarine (Holland)
    * Steam "drifters" introduced
    * HMS SHARPSHOOTER (735 tons/4500 hp) replaced SPIDER at Keyham for steaming and maintenance practice
    1899 * Boer War started. (to 1902)
    * US Navy integrated Executive and Engineer Officers
    1900 * RN Engineering Branch 26,000 strong
    * Contract signed for BRNC Dartmouth
    1901 * Queen Victoria died (64 yr reign).
    * First Transatlantic radio signals (Marconi)
    * Keyham sports ground opened
    1902 * Admiral Fisher became First Sea Lord.
    * RN Engineers about 1500 strong.
    * First RN submarines arrived at Portsmouth
    * Dec - Selborne-Fisher Scheme announced: "One system of supply, entry and training...Homogenous training of Executive, Engineer and Marine Officers. . To enter the service as Naval Cadets between ages of 12 & 13... specialization to be definite and final"
    i.e. to remain (N), (G), (T), and (E) specialists for whole career
    1903 * First flight by Kitty Hawk (Wright Bros.)
    * Mar - Military-style titles introduced for RN Engineers e.g." Engineer Lieutenant" with purple stripe inserted between gold.
    * Sept Royal Naval College Osborne, I.O.W.opened
    - 2yrs (age 13 -15
    - 2yrs at BRNC (age 16-17)
    - 3yrs at sea as Midshipmen (to age 20)
    * Engineer Captain appointed "in charge" of RNEC.Keyham establishing RNEC as a naval establishment, not Dockyard college
    1904 Russo-Japanese War (to 1905)
    1905 * BRNC Dartmouth opened. First marine Diesel engine built (German)
    * Wireless communication introduced to RN.
    * "Douglas" Report published, with public disagreements on Engineer Officers' status, training and uniforms.
    * "Cawdor" memorandum (by Fisher) directed: "...all officers' duties to be carried out by Executive officers of common entry and training... specialised for different duties without separating into permanent and distinct Branches...All will be equal and Executive officers". i.e. all eligible to command ships - no purple stripe to distinguish Engineers.
    * Last "Old Scheme" enters Keyham for 5 year course as Engineer Students (to 1910)
    1906 First Diesel / electric submarine (German)
    1907 First Isle of Man TT motorcycle race
    1909 First Cross-Channel flight (Bleriot)
    1910 * First aircraft launch from warship
    * RNEC Keyham closed pending arrival of "New Scheme" (E) Specialists in 1913
    1912 * Balkan Wars started
    * Royal Flying Corps formed - Military & Naval Wings.
    * Special Entry Scheme started for 18year-old Naval Cadet entry from schools, due to shortage of junior officers from RNCs. Entire 18 months' training given at sea
    1913 * July- RNEC Keyham re-opened. First "New Scheme" Lieutenants (E) joined. Hence:
    Duration Location Typical Student Age
    2 yrs RNC Osborne 13 - 15 yrs
    2 yrs BRNC Dartmouth 15 - 17 yrs
    3 yrs (Mids) Fleet 17 - 20 yrs
    2 yrs (S/Lts) Fleet 20 - 22 yrs
    8 months RNC Greenwich 22 - 23 yrs
    1 yr RNEC Keyham (E only) 23 - 24 yrs

    * Training at all RNCs included
    - 1,346 hrs engineering (incl. practical work) 22%
    - 1,023 hrs science 17%
    - 249 hrs seamanship 4%
    - 258 hrs navigation & pilotage 4%
    - 3,222 hrs general education 53%
    - 6,096 hrs total training

    1914 * Panama Canal opened.
    * July - Royal Naval Air Service formed.
    * Aug - War started against Germany
    * BRNC Dartmouth emptied.
    * Special Entry Cadets (N,G,T) sent to RNEC Keyham for 3 - 5 month course.
    * Sept - Executive Captain appointed in charge of RNEC Keyham
    1915 * Jan Engineering Branch officers given "executive curl" on stripes and military status.
    * June BRNC Dartmouth Entry cadets overflow to RNEC.
    * Order in Council creates 5 Branches: Military, Medical, Accountant, Instructor and Artisan.
    * Dardanelles/Gallipoli Campaign
    1916 Battle of Jutland
    1917 * First landing by aircraft on warship - Sopwith Pup on HMS Furious
    * Russian Revolution and Civil War starts
    * Insufficient volunteers as (E) specialists from BRNC Dartmouth - Special Entry Scheme expanded to make up (X) & (E) numbers
    1918 * Jan - Training of (E) volunteers re-started at RNEC Keyham ( K Classes ) - 6 month engineering course followed by appointment to sea.
    * April - Royal Air Force formed: amalgamation of RFC & RNAS
    * First purpose-built aircraft carrier completed (HMS ARGUS).
    * Nov - Armistice
    * Universal Old Age Pension introduce in UK
    1919 * First Transatlantic flight (Alcock & Brown).
    * Royal Australian & Royal Canadian Navies formed.
    * First all-welded ship Fullagar (Cammell Laird)
    * March - First (E) volunteers started at RNC Greenwich - G Classes.
    * Oct - Last Special Entry Cadets left RNEC Keyham.
    * G (Greenwich) Classes entered RNEC Keyham for training on 1913 - 14 scheme.
    * For (E) Specialists
    - 2 yrs at RNC Osborne
    - 2 yrs at BRNC Dartmouth (Cadets)
    - 6 to 9 months Fleet-time (Cadets / Midshipmen)
    - 6 months RNC Greenwich
    - 15 months RNEC Keyham, mainly theory.
    * Mates (E) (i.e. Artificers), started courses at RNEC Keyham.
    * 'Instructor Officer' title introduced, mainly honours degree qualified
    1920 League of Nations founded.
    "Geddes Axe" made large reductions in RN officer numbers
    1921 RNC Osborne closed
    1922 * May - Long Course introduced for (E) Specialists, modifying 1913-14 Scheme.
    * Purpose-built aircraft carrier USS Langley launched
    1923 * Fleet Air Arm formed: composite of RN & RAF personnel.
    * Mates(E) Course moved to RNC Greenwich
    1924 First RADAR range-finding experiment
    1925 The Great Betrayal
    Military Branch split into Executive (Command stream) and Engineer (non-Command stream)
    Mid (E) volunteers of 1922 / 23 / 24 Long Courses lost promised opportunity for Command, having been sent early to RNEC Keyham. Lack of training as Midshipmen at sea made transfer back to Executive (Command) specialisation unrealistic.
    Long Course continued for (E) specialists after 1 year common training in Training Cruiser, entering RNEC Keyham as 18 yr old Midshipmen for 4 year course in general engineering, (including electrics). Left RNEC as 22 yr old S/Lts.
    Engineers made to wear "more distinctive shade" of purple between gold stripes.
    Most (E) specialists direct entry from "public" schools, few BRNC volunteers
    1926 General Strike in UK
    1928 * Women of 21 allowed to vote
    * Talking cinema started
    1929 First round-the-world airship flight (Zeppelin)
    1930 Television introduced to Great Britain
    1935 * Italo-Abyssinian War started
    * Practical RADAR system demonstrated
    * Conversion course for OE Officers started at Whale Island - to manage Ordnance Artificers in place of (G) Specialists
    1936 * Keel of Queen Elizabeth laid - largest liner ever built (at 83,673 tons)
    * Spanish Civil War started
    * First powered flight of (twin-rotor) helicopter.
    * Keyham living and teaching conditions overcrowded preventing re-expansion of numbers in training after "Geddes Axe" cuts
    1937 * Fleet Air Arm formed. under joint RN & RAF control.
    * Manadon estate in North Plymouth bought by Admiralty
    1939 * May - Fleet Air Arm established under full RN control
    * Sept - Second World War starts
    * RNC Greenwich evacuated to Keyham.
    * BRNC Dartmouth evacuated to Eaton Hall
    * 1940 Aeronautical Engineering introduced to all RNEC courses.
    * 300 officers at Keyham in accommodation built for 150 on 8-term courses
    - 1 term at Eaton Hall
    - 7 terms at Keyham, of which 5 as Midshipmen and 2 as S/Lt.
    * Manadon site opened with temporary buildings, for eating and sleeping
    1941 * First flight of turbo-jet engine (Whittle).
    * Air engineering courses started at Manadon.
    * Dec - Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour
    1942 Nuclear chain reaction achieved
    1943 * First programmable electronic computer (COLOSSUS) at Bletchley Park - 11 built in total, 2 transferred to GCHQ at end of war
    * Sea training re-started for RNEC courses.
    * Nov - Mids (A) RNVR (HNC level) started 6 month air engineering course at Manadon
    1944 * Jun - Normandy Landings.
    * Dec - Mids (E) RNVR (graduate level) course started
    1945 * May - VE Day.
    * 700 officers under training at Keyham/Manadon; incl. 427 Mids (A) & 61 (E).
    * Instructional Block at Manadon completed.
    * Aug - First operational atomic bomb dropped (Hiroshima) - VJ Day - Second World War ends
    * UN founded.
    * Sept - RNEC Flight established at Roborough.
    * Dec - First "King's Sword" presented on completing training at RNEC
    1946 * Separate TAS and Electrical Branches formed
    * HMS WIZARD attached to RNEC for sea training of courses
    * Sept - Long A/E Conversion Course started to correct shortage of air engineers
    * Dec - RNEC commissioned as HMS THUNDERER with Captain "in Command
    1947 * May - S/Lts (E) (ex-ERAs) course returned to Manadon
    * Mids (A) & (E) RNVR courses ended
    * Electrical Officers joined RNEC prior to Cambridge University & Greenwich (London University External) B.Sc. courses
    1948 * Berlin airlift.
    * Branch List introduced, replacing Warrant Officers.
    * Sept - BRNC Dartmouth entry age raised from 13 to 16 yrs. iaw 1944 Education Act.
    * Special Entry at 18yrs. retained. Basic training included
    - 8 months in Cadet Training Ship
    - 8 months in Fleet as Midshipman.
    * RNEC 2 year Basic Course introduced:
    - 24 months RNEC "Basic Engineering Course"
    - 12 months at sea - practical marine engineering.
    - be followed by a Specialist Course at RNEC
    1949 * USSR tests its first atomic bomb
    * Sept - Branch Officers (E)s' technical course started at RNEC (1 term)
    1950 Korean War started (to 1953)
    1951 * April - Last Long Course (4 years duration, age 18-22, started in 1925) left RNEC.
    * Sept - First 1 year Specialist Course joined RNEC.
    - ME, OE or AE. (Qualified as full members of the Institution / Institutes of Mechanical Engineers, Naval Architects, Marine Engineers, or Royal Aeronautical Society).
    * Option of 24 months advanced engineering "dagger" courses for selected officers at RNC Greenwich (ME,OE) or Cranfield (AE)
    1952 First US hydrogen bomb test
    1953 National Service graduates at RNEC for naval engineering training
    1954 * First nuclear-propelled submarine (USS Nautilus) launched
    * May - French surrender in Vietnam.
    * COST Committee recommended:
    - abandonment of 16 year-old Cadet Entry.
    - all Cadet Entry to be at ages 17 - 18 yrs.
    - lowering of entry educational standards except for Electrical Cadets
    1955 * HMS VANGUARD (last battleship) mothballed.
    * March - Engineers' purple stripe & Electrical Officers' green stripe removed.
    * May COST training scheme started at BRNC:
    - 2 terms BRNC
    - 1 term Dartmouth Training Squadron
    - 2 terms BRNC
    - 1 term DTS
    - 1 term BRNC
    - 18 months Fleet time - watchkeeping certificates
    followed by:
    ES - 36 months Long Engineering Course
    X - Sea Training
    then C, G, ND, SM, H, TAS, P and O specialist "Long Courses"
    1956 * Transistor developed
    * First Transatlantic cable laid
    * First sea-going hovercraft demonstrated (Cockerill)
    * General List introduced (AFO 1/56) (Mansergh Committee)
    1957 * Jan - Special Duties List introduced, replacing Branch List.
    * First nuclear-powered surface vessel (Lenin)
    * Sputnik satellite launched (USSR)
    1958 * Direct-dial telephones introduced in UK
    * Jan - Supplementary List Air Cadets to RNEC for 1 term basic training.
    * Jul - RNEC Manadon wardroom block opened
    * Sept COST 3-year Long Engineering Course started at RNEC
    * Sept Pilot course for London University External B.Sc.(Eng) started at RNEC followed by 1 year Application Course.
    * Murray Committee reported: "...did not believe that there is any convincing evidence that higher intelligence and higher academic performance are incompatible with the possession of good personal qualities and leadership potential... basic scientific and engineering knowledge in X officers, no less than E and L officers, are rapidly appreciating asset... also been impressed by the practice of the American and Canadian (and Russian) Navies... which now take all their officers in training to the level of a university degree in what may be called liberal engineering studies".
    * Naval Cadet entry qualifications restored to 2 Advanced levels
    1959 * Vietnam War started
    * Nov - Keyham re-opened as Dockyard Technical College & Constructors' Training Office.
    * First Polaris missile-armed SSBN George Washington launched (USN)
    1960 * European Free Trade Association formed
    * Sept - First 'Murray Scheme' course started at BRNC.
    - 1yr BRNC Dartmouth 18 - 19 yrs
    - 1yr Fleet-time (Midshipman) 19 - 20
    * Dec - Last Supplementary List Air Cadets left RNEC Manadon
    1961 * LASER demonstrated
    * Berlin Wall built.
    * Weapons & Radio (WR) Branch created from OE & Electrical Branches.
    * Dec. - US troops to Vietnam
    1962 * Aug - Engineering Degree Course introduced fully at RNEC (to match Murray Scheme):
    - 3yrs RNEC Manadon
    - 1yr Application Course at RNEC ME/MESM/WR/AE
    * SD Officers' courses at RNEC Manadon in ME, H, AE & OE sub-specializations.
    * London (Greenwich) & Cambridge University graduates joined Application Courses at RNEC Manadon "It's hardly surprising that we were completely de-navalized after virtually 3 years out of the Service, during which time we were exposed to every sort of reactionary influence. Naturally it has been difficult to re-adjust ourselves to the Navy again (some doubt if we ever will completely...!) - Cambridge graduate W&R officer. RNEC Magazine Autumn 1963.
    * Direct Graduate Entry (DGE) officers joined RNEC Manadon
    1963 * Indonesian Confrontation (to 1966).
    * Geo-synchronous communications satellite launched (US).
    * First RN SSN (HMS DREADNOUGHT) commissioned.
    * Royal Naval Engineering Service (RNES) formed.
    * Keyham site vacated by Navy
    1964 * "Healey" Defence Review. CVA.01 cancelled. Strategic base withdrawals.
    * First female student officer joined RNEC (for air engineering course).
    * RNEC Manadon Engineering Diploma Course started (Mech. & Elect.)
    1965 * Engineering Branch ("Big E") formed
    * W&R Branch became WE Sub-Branch
    * First Manadon (London Univ. External) graduates in electrical engineering.
    * Manadon degree courses recognised by CNAA
    1966 Manadon wardroom accommodation completed (for 380 officers)
    1967 * First RN SSBN (HMS RESOLUTION) commissioned
    * World's largest oil-spill (Torrey Canyon)
    * Proposal for Tri-Service "Royal Defence Academy" to provide engineering training of officers of all three Services abandoned.
    * Supplementary List graduate (DGE) ME officers' training started at SULTAN
    1968 First UK heart transplant
    1970 * Fleet Chief (Warrant) rank introduced.
    * Daily rum ration abolished
    * Last London Univ. external degree exams taken at RNEC Manadon
    1971 Advanced Marine Engineering Course transferred to RNEC from RNC Greenwich
    1973 * March - Engineering Branch Development (EBD) started, leading to transfer of "heavy electrics" from WE back to ME sub-specialists.
    * RNEC Manadon accommodated about 400 officers
    1974 First RN-designed aero gas turbine-powered warships commissioned: destroyer (HMS SHEFFIELD) and frigate (HMS AMAZON)
    1975 * April - Vietnam War ended.
    * Principal Warfare Officers' (PWO) scheme started.
    * Sea Harrier brought into service.
    * RNES merged with Royal Corps of Naval Constructors (RCNC)
    1976 Advanced ME (Dagger) Course recognised by CNAA for award of M.Sc.
    1978 Sept - New Naval Engineering Degree B.Sc.Course introduced at RNEC Manadon to produce "Systems Engineers". Hence:
    - 1 term at BRNC Dartmouth
    - 1 term in Dartmouth Training Ship
    - 6 months in Fleet, followed by Fleetboard examination
    - 3 years degree course at RNEC
    - 1 year Application Course at RNEC & specialist branch "school"
    1979 EBD completed. ME sub-specialists responsible for electrical systems.
    First "Through Deck Cruiser" (HMS INVINCIBLE) commissioned
    1981 * First graduates of new RNEC Manadon Naval Engineering Degree course
    * Special Duties (SD) officers provided 30% of total engineer officers
    * SD (E) officers receive sub-specialist (AE,ME,WE) training at RNEC qualifying them as Technician Engineers of main national Engineering Institutions
    1982 April - Falklands Campaign starts
    1983 * RNEC Manadon naval engineering degree course revised to award BEng, open to suitably qualified X officers with Operational Analysis course option
    * July - HM Queen visits RNEC
    1985 * RNEC Keyham building demolished.
    * Maritime Defence Technology courses introduced at RNEC Manadon Diploma & MSc, for E and X officer graduates.
    * Warfare Technology module of Principal Warfare Officers Course introduced
    1987 Ro-Ro ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsizes & sinks
    1990 Berlin Wall demolished
    1994 Electrically driven Azipod thrusters first installed in icebreaker (Uikku)
    1995 * RNEC Manadon closed - RN ceases to train graduate-level engineers in-house.
    * Training transferred to civilian universities and RN specialist "schools"


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  9. Thought you might find my previous cut and paste useful
  10. In Search of The Golden Rivet,Sodomy in the Fleet by MEM Brane
  11. Thank you all for your helpful advise.

    Unfortunately it seems the topics I'm in particular interested in aren't researched sufficiently. But your comments and suggestions are very much appreciated.

    Thanks again!

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