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When did the port division system start?

 
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Bart150



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:52 am    Post subject: When did the port division system start? Reply with quote

It is well known that a sailor was allocated to one out of the three port divisions - Portsmouth, Devonport or Chatham. There he returned every time on leaving a ship and there he waited for his next ship. But when did this port division system start?

My grandfather served as a stoker of various grades 1877-1902. His service record has him as port division Devonport. From 1890 on, whenever between ships he is always on Vivid, just as I would expect.

I know the name Vivid was not used at Devonport before 1890, but I was expecting that before that point his between-ships service would be on some hulk at Devonport. But no. Before 1890, whenever between ships, he is consistently on Asia, the hulk in Portsmouth dockyard.

So I see two possibilities. Maybe the port division system was only introduced in 1890. Or alternatively perhaps the system was introduced earlier than 1890, but not for all specialisms, and until 1890 all the navy’s spare stokers were kept together at Portsmouth. Which of these is the explanation or is there some other?
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