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On passing the examination at the close of the Netley course, and not till then, candidates are eligible for a commission as surgeon in the Navy.
After completing three years' full-pay service, surgeons may be examined for the rank of staff-surgeon, but they cannot be promoted until they have served five years, two of which must be in a ship actually employed at sea. Certain peculiar points are to be noted in this examination. A number of written questions, framed by the professors at Netley, and approved by the Director-General of the Medical Department of the Navy, are forwarded, sealed, twice a year, in January and July, to Haslar and Plymouth Hospitals, and to each of the foreign hospitals. The necessary arrangements are made and a day fixed by the commander-in-chief on the station and the chief medical officer, and notice is given to surgeons who are eligible. On the day fixed the candidates are assembled, and the papers are opened in their presence by the chief medical officer. At the close of the examination the work-papers, signed and sealed by the writers, are delivered to the senior medical officer, who transmits them, unopened, to the Director-General of the department, under whose directions they are finally examined.*
5.- MARINE ARTILLERY AND LIGHT INFANTRY.I
Admission to the Marine Artillery as probationary lieutenants is offered to the successful candidates in order of merit, according to the number of vacancies, at the open competitive examination for admission to the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich. This examination is held twice a year, in July and December, by the Civil Service Commissioners. The limits of age are from 16 to 18, and of height 5 feet 5 inches. The successful candidates are appointed lieutenants on probation, and join the Naval College at Greenwich for a course of two years.
On passing out of the College the probationary lieutenants are sent to the Excellent for a course in gunnery and torpedo instruction, at the conclusion of which they join headquarters and are instructed in their drill and military duties, for service ashore and afloat.
Admission to the Marine Light Infantry is obtained in the same way as that to the Marine Artillery, by open competition, except that the examination is held at Sandhurst instead of Woolwich. The limits of age are from 17 to 20, but they are varied for university graduates and lieutenants in the militia who are eligible for Army commissions. The successful candidates are appointed lieutenants without any further trial, seniority being determined as usual by the order of merit at the examination. On passing they join their divisions at once, and are instructed in their drill and military duties, going through a course of garrison instruction. * Full information in regard to medical education in the
English Navy will be found in the admirable report of Dr. Richard C. Dean, Medical Inspector, U. S. N., published by the Bureau of Medicive and Surgery.
Regulations, May 14, 1877, Navy List, p. 501.
6.-PAYMASTERS, SECRETARIES, AND CLERKS.
The duties pertaining to these civil branches of the Navy are performed by what is essentially a single corps, though with a somewhat loose organization, having apparently a regular line of promotion through the four grades of paymaster, assistant paymaster, clerk, and assistant clerk. In general, the course of this promotion seems to be tolerably regular, though officers are sometimes appointed in other grades than the lowest. The clerks and assistant clerks act not infrequently as assistant pay. masters, and they perform duties at sea similar to those of captain's and paymaster's clerks in the United States Navy. Both paymasters and assistant paymasters may also be detailed as secretaries to flag officers. A special examination enables them to qualify as secretaries, and they may also qualify as interpreters in the same manner as line officers.*
Two examinations for assistant clerkships are held semi-annually at the Naval College at Greenwich, in June and November. The limits of age for candidates are from 15 to 17 years, and they must produce certificates of birth, good conduct, and good health. They must also pass a medical examination.
The mental examination is competitive, the number of competitors for each examination being fixed by the Admiralty. It consists of two parts; a test examination and a voluntary examination for competition. The subjects and relative weight are as follows:
Marks, 1. Writing from dictation in a legible hand
100 2. Writing a letter on a given subject......
75 3. Writing the substance of a chapter or portion of a chapter read out, taking into consideration the time in which this exercise is performed. ....
75 4. French; reading and translation from French into English, and from English into French, and grammar......
150 5. Addition, simple and compound, with reference to time
50 6. Arithmetic generally
250 7. Modern geography and English history.
150 8. Scripture
II.–VOLUNTARY EXAMINATION. 9. Elementary mathematics, viz., algebra, including quadratic equations and problems producing them, and the first three books of Euclid ....
200 10. Latin ; translation of passages from books usually read at schools, translation of English into Latin, and grammatical questions ...
200 11. The German, Spanislı, or Italian languages, as in French
100 12. Elementary physics, viz., chemistry, heat, and properties of solids and fluids,
electricity and magnetism..... 13. Drawing; free hand and from models
In the test examination, 40 per cent. is required in each subject in order to pass. Of the voluntary subjects not more than three may be taken, unless drawing be one, in which case four may be taken.
* Regulations of September, 1874, Navy List, p. 501.
Not less than 20 per cent. must be obtained in any one of the voluntary subjects in order that it may be reckoned towards the total. If a canlilate fails to pass the test, he cannot appear at any subsequent examination; but if he passes the test, and yet is unsuccessful in the competition, he can compete once again at the following examination, even though he may be over age.
Test examinations are held for promotion to the grades of clerk and assistant paymaster.
FORMER SYSTEMS OF EDUCATION.
The way in which the present complicated system has grown up can only be fully understood by reference to former regulations.
The Naval Academy was first established at Portsmouth dockyard in 1729, for the education of 40 students. The age at admission was Be. tween 13 and 16. In 1806 the name of the school was changed to the “Royal Naval College," and in 1816 the age was fixed at from 12 to 14 years. The course lasted two years, and comprised various branches of elementary mathematics and English studies, somewhat similar to the present Britannia course. After leaving the college, the students served for a year as “ volunteers of the first class," on board cruisers, and were then rated as midshipmen. After six years' service as midshipmen, and after passing an examination in seamanship and navigation, they became mates (the present sub-lieutenants), and were eligible for promotion to lieutenants. During the term of service at sea, some little instruction in navigation was given by the chaplains, or naval instructors, if there happened to be any on board.
Only a part of the young officers of the Navy went through the course at the Naval College, and those who did had no incentive to continue their studies after they left it. Accordingly, in 1837, the college was abolished, and the efforts of the Admiralty were directed towards the improvement of the corps of naval instructors.
In 1839 the Royal Naval College was again opened, but on an entirely different basis; in fact, it was practically another establishment. It was to provide further means of scientific education” for a certain number of officers and mates, the latter of whom studied at the college for a year. At the same time the instruction given on shipboard was improved and broadened. By subsequent orders the college was extended so as to take in, in a certain measure, students in the higher ranks of the Navy and marines, officers qualifying for the marine artillery, masters, naval instructors, and engineers. Its intention was to teach advanced pupils, and it corresponded to the present college at Greenwich, as its predecessor had corresponded to the Britannia.
But the Admiralty, which, in 1837, discovered the want of higher education in the Navy, and to that end abolished the old college, in 1857 discovered the want of elementary training, and again opened a junior school, this time, however, without abolishing the other. The new school was the beginning of the present Britannia system, though much has since been changed in details. It comprised a stationary training ship, an easy entrance examination, and a course of fifteen months, afterward lengthened to two years. The limits of age at admission were fixed at 13 and 15 years, which were changed in 1859 to 12 and 14, then to 12 and 13,
and lastly to 12 and 13). In 1868 a special sea-going training ship was attached to the school, but this has since been discontinued, and cadets are now sent to sea in every variety of large cruiser. The course in the sea-going ship lasted a year. The examination for admission to the school was competitive, only half the number of candidates examined receiving appointments. The number nominated varied from 40 to 80, and the number appointed was always one-half; but competition was entirely done away with in 1875.
After leaving the special training ship, cadets were rated midshipmen and began their regular duties in ships of the fleet. Here they had still some limited instruction from naval instructors, or navigating officers, or officers specially detailed for the duty. A half-yearly examination of a somewhat crude character was held by the captain, and at the end of two years and a half (later eighteen months) midshipmen passed the thorough intermediate examination in navigation, chart-drawing, surreying, steam, French, and seamanship. In 1873 both the half-yearly and the intermediate examinations were discontinued, and in their stead full examinations were held in January of each year. These new annual examinations differed from the intermediate examinations in several points, but chiefly in the addition to the required subjects, of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, mechanics, and hydrostatics. The change was made on account of the general complaint that junior officers forgot or neglected the elementary mathematics they had already learned. In 1975 the annual examinations were placed in July, and the half-yearly examinations were revived in December, a regulation still in force. Meanwhile a more important change had been accomplished in the final abolition of the Naval College at Portsmouth, which had been in existence since 1839, and the opening of the new college at Greenwich, with a vastly improved organization, on the 1st of February, 1873.
It will be well to notice in this connection the School of Naval Architecture, first opened in 1811 at Portsmouth, and closed, for no particular reason, in 1832. It was reorganized, with considerable changes, as the Central School of Mathematics and Naval Construction, and closed, with as little reason as before, about 1853. In 1864 a third school was opened at South Kensington, which, in 1873, was united with the Naval College at Greenwich; and this last organization bids fair to be permanent.
It will be seen from the above sketch of the history of naval education in England that, while there has been undoubted progress, it has been after a long series of changes, experiments, renewed experiments, and expedients of all kinds, from which even now it cannot be said that a harmonious or satisfactory system has been evolved. In fact, it is rather a combination of makeshifts, resulting from a series of tentative and spasmodic efforts in almost every form which naval education is capable of taking. The naval administration never seems to have looked at the subject as a whole, from the beginning in the entering examination of cadets to the final stage at the promotion to sub-lieu