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Our Coastguard

This an extract from an article called "Our Coastguard" by Mr. W.S. Miller dated June 18th 1892

"An erroneous, though very popular, idea is entertained that he passes most of his time in loafing about with tele-scope under his arm, doing nothing in particular, except occasionally raising his glass and looking out to sea - at nothing in particular; and that his sole object is to guards our coasts against foreign invasion.

The Coastguard, formerly known as the Preventive Service or Revenue Coastguard, has existed ever since customs" duties were levied on certain commodities imported into this country, such as, for example, brandy, lace, tea, hollands, silks, etc and was formed and maintained to prevent smuggling.........."

Early 19th century print from HM Customs & Excise photographic collection.

Early 19th century print from HM Customs & Excise photographic collection.

Let us, for instance, take the case of one of these men. He enters the Royal Navy, say, as a lad of sixteen, and, after medical examination and production of certificate of good character, he is passed into one of the training ships.

After about eighteen months he is sent to sea as a 1st class boy, and on arriving at the age of eighteen, he is rated an "ordinary seaman", his pay being 1s. 3d. per diem and rations. If he is a smart lad, and has taken pains with his work in the training ship, he passes at eighteen for an A.B.

From that time many rates are open to him - such as T.M. (trained man), S.G. (seaman gunner. After eight years continuous good character, he is eligible for Coastguard, and then, no matter what his rating afloat - even though he is a chief petty officer - if he enters the Coastguard he begins afresh at the bottom of the ladder as a boatman. He has to serve about five to seven years in this rating at three shillings and forpence per diem, if wearing two good conduct badges, which is generally the case.

An example of an individual "Boatman" taken from Port Kennings Fleet List ;
William Macey,



D.O.B. 12/07/1835

Rate of pay: 1s. 7d. per diem

Served on two ships Dec "65 and Dec "67 respectively (ship names illegible)

Joined Coastguards: 01/01/1868

Character: 3 badges, very good

Discharged: 15/10/1869 as unfit for service.

(unable to scan actual document due to poor quality of print)

Night Patrol

0 Comments · 7532 Reads · Print  -> Posted by Tony on April 28 2007


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