H.M.S. Vernon (Torpedo Training School)

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Contents

History

In 1871 it was decided that Commander John Fisher would become Chief Torpedo Instructor at H.M.S. Excellent and educate officers in electricity and torpedoes.[1] In 1872 H.M.S. Vernon was selected to become the Royal Navy's torpedo training school as a tender to Excellent. Vernon was a fifty gun frigate designed by William Symonds which had been laid down in October, 1831 at Woolwich Royal Dockyard and launched on 1 May, 1832. She was described by Sir Charles Napier as the "most magnificent frigate ever built by any nation". She was hulked in March, 1863 and moved to Portsmouth for fitting out under the supervision of Fisher and was ready by the Spring of 1873.[2][3][4] In 1876 the Admiralty decided to separate Vernon from Excellent, and the former was commissioned in her own right on 26 April, 1876 under Captain William Arthur, with Arthur K. Wilson as Commander (Second-in-Command).[5]

In addition to instruction, research and testing of experimental devices were core activities which were published in a series of annual reports.

Captains

Dates of appointment given:

Numbers Trained

This data is generally contained in Section I of each edition of the Annual Report of the Torpedo School. The editor who photographed copies only occasionally caught some numbers in the introductory remarks section.

Number trained by Vernon
in total
1910 2,368[33]
1911 2,322[34]
1912 2,801[35]

At some time prior to 1918, a course in Torpedo Control was instituted.

Men trained in Vernon in Torpedo Control
1918[36]
Cdrs & Lt-Cdrs, R.N. 4
Lts, R.N. 62
Sub-Lts, R.N., R.A.N. & R.C.N. 287
Mates, R.N. 111
Midshipmen, R.N. & R.C.N. 13
officers, R.N.R. & R.A.N.R. 94
officers, R.N.V.R. 20
officers, R.A.F. 29
officers, R.M. 25
Instructor Lts. 13
Warrant Schoolmasters 50
Total: 708

Radio

In 1901, the school was noted as having or being slated to receive one Jackson, two Marconi and one "1 to 52" W/T set.[37]

At the end of 1909, she was to receive one of eleven Short Distance Radio Sets, to be installed at her next refit behind armour near the fore bridge, intended to supplant flag signaling.[38] In mid-1913, this gear was redesignated as Type 3.[39]

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Mackay. Fisher of Kilverstone. p. 106.
  2. Sharp. Memoirs of the Life and Services of Rear-Admiral Sir William Symonds, Kt.. p. 135.
  3. Lyon; Winfield. The Sail & Steam Navy List. p. 104.
  4. Mackay. Fisher of Kilverstone. pp. 109-110.
  5. Mackay. Fisher of Kilverstone. p. 125.
  6. The Navy List. (March, 1879). p. 249.
  7. The Navy List. (December, 1881). p. 249.
  8. The Navy List. (September, 1885). p. 256.
  9. The Navy List. (March, 1887). p. 253.
  10. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Friday, 14 December, 1888. Issue 32569, col B, p. 10.
  11. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Friday, 5 February, 1892. Issue 33553, col E, p. 4.
  12. Blond. Technology and Tradition. p. 167.
  13. Blond. Technology and Tradition. p. 167.
  14. Blond. Technology and Tradition. p. 167.
  15. Egerton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 396.
  16. Blond. Technology and Tradition. p. 167.
  17. Briggs Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/20. p. 654.
  18. Briggs Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/20. p. 654.
  19. Blond. Technology and Tradition. p. 167.
  20. Blond. Technology and Tradition. p. 167.
  21. Nicholson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 214.
  22. Blond. Technology and Tradition. p. 167.
  23. Blond. Technology and Tradition. p. 167.
  24. The Navy List. (December, 1918). p. 926.
  25. Waistell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 344.
  26. Signed the Annual Report of the Torpedo School for three years starting then.
  27. Allen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44 f. 44.
  28. Signed the Annual Report of the Torpedo School.
  29. Signed the Annual Report of the Torpedo School for two years, starting then.
  30. Signed the Annual Report of the Torpedo School for two years, starting then.
  31. Signed the Annual Report of the Torpedo School for 1928 on that date.
  32. National Archives. Papers of Rear Admiral Brian Egerton (1886 - 1973)
  33. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1911. p. iv.
  34. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1911. p. iv.
  35. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1911. p. iv.
  36. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1918. p. 227.
  37. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1901. p. 112.
  38. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1909. Wireless Appendix, p. 25.
  39. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 306 of 20 June, 1913.

Bibliography

  • Blond, A. J. L. (1993). Technology and Tradition: Wireless Telegraphy and the Royal Navy 1895-1920. Unpublished PhD Thesis. Lancaster: University of Lancaster.

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