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Training Ship Cornwall

Training Ship Cornwall
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Title: Training Ship Cornwall
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The Training Ship Cornwall was a reformatory ship and has one of the more complicated stories because of the way that ships can be moved and renamed. Sir George Henry Chambers wanted to help poor and destitute children who had fallen foul of the law. After seeing the success of the TSAkbar on the Mersey he had the idea of creating a training ship for this purpose. The navy offered to lease him HMS Cornwall, a 3rd rate 74 gun ship launched at Deptford in 1812, on the condition that he could raise £2000. At the time this was a considerable sum of money, but he managed it so on 5th May 1859 the ship was certified for 260 boys under the auspices of the School Ship Society.

A boy could be sent to the Cornwall if he was aged between 13 and 15, his sentence was more than 3 years detention, and that he was physically healthy. For every boy that they trained the School Ship Society was paid by the government, however they were not actually paid enough to cover the actual costs of the training and so the Society was in constant need of extra funds from philanthropic sources.

In 1868 the original Cornwall was moved to South Shields to become TSWellesley, this time an Industrial School rather than a Reformatory. However that left them without a ship, so a new one had to be found. The one that was found was HMS Wellesley, a 3rd rate 72 gun ship. This ship, like TSGanges, was built from Teak and so very durable. She was launched on 24th February 1815 and only finally broken up in 1948, with her timbers being in such good condition that they were used in Law Courts in London: so in a way continuing her role as a Reformatory.

So the ship that had been HMS Cornwall became the Training Ship Wellesley, and the ship HMS Wellesley became the new Training Ship Cornwall, all a bit confusing. At the time Training Ship Cornwall was run by the School Ship Society, which changed its name to the Reformatory Ship Cornwall in 1881, and then later to the Training Ship Cornwall.

The Cornwall was involved in a great scandal in 1903 when seven boys contracted typhoid. It was discovered that cheap blankets from army hospitals, unwashed and infected, had been sold to the ship. This did not stop her work and she was re-certified 1st April, 1908 for 275 boys, in 1926 removed to Gravesend and re-certified for 200 boys. In 1927 she was given permission to fly a defaced Blue Ensign with the letter C on it. In 1932 Admiral Commanding Reserves suggested that the ensign should be red, since boys from the ship were not eligible to enlist in the Royal Navy, and found employment ashore, or in the Merchant Navy. It became an Approved School from 1933 for 175 boys, combined ship and shore. The ship sunk when it was bombed in 1940,

Last change 23 April 201521:00:22

by: Site Administrator
Given names Surname Sosa Birth Place Death Age Place Last change
David Stenhouse
18 October 1874143Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland819239448Essex, England3 November 2014 - 18:58:44