Instructions for the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors
A Corps of Shipbuilding Officers having been established by Her Majesty's Order in Council of the 23rd August 1883, the following instructions are issued for the guidance of those concerned:—
1. The number, the designation, and the salaries of the members of the Corps will be as follows:—
Director of Naval Construction, 1,500l. a year, rising to 1,800l. after five years' service.
Surveyor of Dockyards and Chief Constructor, 600l. a year, rising to 850l. by 25l. a year; Duty pay of 100l. for acting for Director of Naval Construction; and a London allowance of 150l. a year.
2 Chief Constructors, 600l. a year, rising to 850l. by 25l. a year; and a London allowance of 150l. a year.
3 Constructors, 400l. a year, rising to 550l. by 20l. a year; and a London allowance of 120l. a year.
5 Assistant Constructors, First Class, 300l. a year, rising to 450l. by 15l. a year. Duty Pay of 50l. a year to Assistant Constructor in charge of foreign records. Duty Pay of 50l. a year to Assistant Constructor acting for Chief Constructor.
6 Assistant Constructors, Second Class, 160l. a year, rising to 240l. by 10l. a year, and a London allowance of 50l. a year.
3 Chief Constructors, Chatham, Portsmouth, and Devonport Dockyards. 700l. a year, rising to 850l. by 25l. a year, and a house.
3 Chief Constructors, Sheerness, Pembroke, and Malta Dockyards, 600l. a year, rising to 700l. by 25l. a year, and a house.
8 Constructors, 400l. a year, rising to 550l. by 20l. a year, and a house.
1 Constructor, Hong Kong, 400l. a year, rising to 550l. by 20l. a year; a house or an allowance of 150l. a year in lieu thereof; and a Colonial allowance of 100l. a year.
1 Constructor, Bermuda, 400l. a year, rising to 550l. by 20l. a year, a house, and a Colonial allowance of 100l. a year.
10 Assistant Constructors, First Class, 250l. a year, rising to 300l. by 15l. a year.
18 Assistant Constructors, Second Class, 160l. a year, rising to 240l. by 10l. a year.
9 Assistant Constructors, Third Class, 110l. a year, rising to 150l. by 10l. a year.
2. The Corps of Naval Constructors will be under the Controller of the Navy.
3. The Director of Naval Construction will be the Head of the Corps, and will perform such duties as may be assigned to him from time to time by the Board of Admiralty.
4. Chief Constructors and Constructors will be entrusted with the designing, building, fitting, and repairing ships for Her Majesty's Service.
5. Assistant Constructors of the First Class will be employed in the office of the Controller of the Navy in preparing designs and specifications of ships to be built or refitted, or on such other duties as may be assigned to them by the Controller. In the Dockyards they will take charge of the drawing officers, conduct special experimental investigations, act as Foremen of the Yard, when selected for that office, and be employed as Overseers of works in progress at Contractors' premises.
6. Assistant Constructors of the Second Class will be employed in the office of the Controller of the Navy to assist in the preparation of drawings and specifications; as Overseers or Assistant Overseers of works in progress at contractors' premises; as professional secretaries to the Chief Constructors at the Home Dockyards; in the supervision of the record of weights of materials worked into ships in process of construction; in the preparation of returns of weights carried, and other estimates of the draught and trim of ships; and in giving such assistance to the superior officers of the Corps as may be directed by the Controller of the Navy, or by the Superintendents of the Dockyards to which they may be attached.
7. Assistant Constructors of the Third Class will be employed in the Dockyards in the supervision of the weights of materials worked into ships in process of construction; in the preparation of returns of weights carried, and other estimates of the draught and trim of ships; and in giving such assistance to the superior officers of the Corps as may be directed by the Controller of the Navy, or by the Superintendents of the Dockyards to which they may be attached.
8. Studentships.—Studentships in Naval Construction, not exceeding three in nubmer in any one year, will be offered for public competition at the annual competitive examination for Engineer studentships in Her Majesty's dockyards, the limits of age, subjects of examination, and other conditions being those prescribed from time to time for such studentships. The studentships in Naval Construction will be offered to the successful candidates at the examination in order of merit.
9. The candidates who receive appointments as students in Naval Construction will reside for a term of six years at Portsmouth in the Training School for Engineer students, and be subject to the same conditions as to fees, pay, uniform, and other details as may be prescribed from time to time for Engineer students. Their course of instruction will be laid down from time to time.
10. With a view to obtain candidates from the existing source of supply concurrently with those entered by public competition, the following regulations will be adopted for the training of shipwright apprentices in the Dockyards:—
(a) The limits of age for the entry of apprentices* will be from 14 to 16 years.
(b) A limited number of apprentices, who pass the best examination† at the end of their third year, and are recommended for conduct, will be permitted to attend school for another year.
A like rule will apply to the examination of apprentices at the end of the fourth year.
(c) After the examination at the end of the fifth year, apprentices who pass a highly creditable examination and are recommended for conduct will be eligible for transfer to the Training School. The number to be admitted to the School will be fixed annually by the Board of Admiralty in accordance with the requirements of the Service.
The selected apprentices will remain in the School for one year.
(d) To meet the expenses attendant upon admission to the Training School, the selected Apprentices will receive studentships of the value of 25l. each, tenable for one year.
11. Students in Naval Construction, on passing satisfactorily from the Training School, will be admitted to the Royal Naval College at Greenwich, on probation, for one year, at the expiration of which period a report of their progress will be made to the Admiralty. Should the report be unsatisfactory, the students will be discharged from the Service or sent back to the Dockyards as apprentices, as the case may be.
12. The Engineer student who stands first in the final examination, held annually in the Training Schools for Engineer students, will, if recommended by the Director of Studies, be allowed the option of admission to the Royal Naval College as a student in Naval Construction.
13. While at the College, students in Naval Construction will be required to wear a suitable uniform.
14. Bonds.—On entry, a student will be required to join with his parents or guardians in a bond for 300l. to enter into the Service as Assistant Constructor, if his services are required.
15. An Assistant Constructor will not be permitted to leave the Service until seven years have expired after the completion of his term at the Royal Naval College, unless he shall pay the sum of 300l. if entered as a student from the apprentice class, or the sum of 500l. if entered a student by competition.
16. Liability to Foreign and Sea Service.—Every student entering the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors will be liable to serve at any foreign Naval Establishment the Admiralty may direct; he will also have to proceed to sea, if so required.
17. Such students only as obtain first and second class professional certificates on their final examination at the Royal Naval College will be admitted to the Corps; the students who obtain first class certificates will be appointed Second Class Assistant Constructors, and the students who obtain second class certificates will be appointed Third Class Assistant Constructors. Students who obtain third class certificates will not be admitted to the Corps, but will receive, as heretofore, appointments as draughtsmen in the Dockyards.
18. Foremen of the Yard eligible for Corps.—Any Foreman of the Yard whose age does not exceed 50 years, and who is specially recommended by his superior officers, may be admitted to the Corps of Naval Constructors as a Second Class Assistant Constructor, provided he passes a qualifying examination in the elements of ship design and the calculations connected therewith.
19. Foremen so transferred will have all the superior appointments in the Corps open to them.
On admission into the Corps, Foremen will retain their existing scale of salary so long as they remain in the grade of Assistant Constructor of the Second Class.
20. Candidates from outside the Service.—A limited number of candidates under 25 years of age, who can furnish evidence of character, and of thorough training in practical shipbuilding, will be permitted to attend the annual examination held at the Royal Naval College at the conclusion of each session. Should these candidates succeed in obtaining first or second class professional certificates, they will be offered appointments as Assistant Constructors in the class to which their certificates would entitle them.
21. Assistant Constructors of the Third Class will serve for five years in that grade before being eligible for promotion, and such promotion will be by seniority as vacancies occur, provided that the officer is favourable reported for character, ability, and industry.
22. Assistant Constructors, on promotion to the Second Class, will generally be employed for a time in the Department of the Controller of the Navy.
23. Promotion from the Second to the First Class will be by selection. Assistant Constructors who obtain first class certificates will be eligible for promotion after five years' service from the date of leaving the Royal Naval College, and those who obtain second class certificates will be eligible after seven years of such service.
24. Vacancies in the grade of Constructor will be filled by selection from the Assistant Constructors of the First Class.
25. Vacancies in the grade of Chief Constructor will be filled by selection from the Constructors.
26. In making selections for advancement in all grades of the Corps the Admiralty will be guided solely by consideration of special fitness for the vacant appointments. To mark this unmistakably, the names of the gentlemen belonging to the Corps will be arranged in alphabetical order in their respective classes.
27. Annual reports on the Assistant Constructors will be made by the Chief Constructors of the Yards and forwarded by the Superintendents to the Admiralty. These reports should mention the large or principal works upon which each Assistant has been employed during the year.
28. The present regulations as to compulsory retirement at the age of 60 years will remain in force.
Admiralty, 19th November 1883.
* Ship fitter apprentices will be eligible to compete on equal terms with shipwright apprentices.
† The subjects of examination will be those common to the apprentices and the students in the Training School.
- The National Archives. ADM 116/3392.