Lower Deck Reforms from 1900 - 1919

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The characters of change

October 1905 saw the appointment of the First Sea Lord Admiral Fisher who was soon to start revolutionising the way the Navy manned and operated its ships with new equipment and strategy. Former sailor-turned journalist Lionel Yexley became editor of the The Fleet newspaper in 1905 and in 1906 Britain elected a new Liberal Government on the manifesto of making sweeping social changes.

Ships Bookstall- selling The Fleet
Ships Bookstall- selling The Fleet (RNM)

Yexley's editorship of The Fleet sought to revise the catering and disciplinary arrangements and introduce, a system that allowed good young ratings to gain promotion to officer rank. Combined with the annual 'Appeal', which from 1906 onwards was written by a joint committee of the various Lower Deck benefit societies, changes in naval systems were more successful. This 'Appeal' had gained credibility and by 1906 had effectively become a semi-official document. Following investigations into existing catering and cooking systems, two committees led by Rear Admiral Login brought about the first reforms in 1907. Further changes in promotion and discipline were to occur when another key character came to the Admiralty.

To find out about the Brock Committee, select Next


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