The Sea Cadet, No. 8, Vol. 2, April 1945

The story-picture o f atypical crew o f a Merchant Navy ship, lined up at a British port when they had brought their charge back unscathed through U -boat lanes. Below is a numbered diagram identifying the personnel i, Master 2, 1st Mate 3, 2nd Mate 4, 3rd Mate 5, Apprentice 6, 1st Radio Officer 7, 2nd Radio Officer 8, 3rd Radio Officer 9, Chief Engineer io, 2nd Engineer 11, 3rd Engineer 12, 4th Engineer 13, Carpenter 14, Bosun 15, Able Seaman 16, Ordinary Seaman 17, Able Seaman 18, Ordinary Seaman 19, Ordinary Seaman 20, Able Seaman 21, Able Seaman 22, Able Seaman 23, Able Seaman 24, Naval D.E.M Gunner.S. :25, Army Gunir-r 26, D .E.M.S. Gunner 27, Army Gunner 2S, D.E.M Gunner.S. 29, D.E.M Gunner.S. 30, Chief Steward 31, Assistant Steward 32, 2nd Steward 33, Messroom Steward 34, Chief Cook 35, Galley Boy 36, Docker 37, Docker 38, Docker 39, Firem an-Trim m er 40, Fireman-Trimmer 41, Greaser -42, Firem an-Trim m er 43, Firem an-Trim m er 44. Greaser 4s. Firem an-Trim m er 46, Fireman Trimmer 47, Fireman-Trimmer 48, Firem an-Trim m er 49, Fireman-Trimmer. Lifeboat drill is, of course, an impor­tant item in the training, and there maybe a sudden alarm, at anytime of the day or night, when everyone goes at the double to “lifeboat stations ”for a practice drill. The working routine of a ship at sea is liable to be interrupted at any moment by some emergency, so “emergencies ”are introduced into the work of the schools. It is an essential part of the training of a good seaman. The boys have to undertake duties as well as instruction—cooking, serving meals, watch-keeping, and soon. At the end of the period of training there is an examination. Those who obtain a 1st Class Pass have immediate entry into the Merchant Navy as junior ordinary seamen, when they earn £8 a month, plus seafarers’ war risk money of £10 a month. A 2nd Class Pass means going to sea as a deck boy at £410s. to £5 a month plus £5 a month war risk money. Deck boys can be up-graded by their masters at anytime after reaching the age of 17. The basic pay starts the moment a boy leaves the school he does not have to wait until he is appointed to a ship. So his new career begins straightaway. After twelvemonths’ service, if he is over 18 years, the junior ordinary sea­man can sit an examination for the Certificate of Qualification as an Effi­cient DeckHand. Then his pay is the same as an able seaman’s—£14 a month plus war risk money of £10 a month. 230 After four years at sea one can qualify to sit for the Second Mate’s Certificate of Competency, and there are approved nautical schools to help in passing these examinations. Corre­spondence courses can betaken, or one can attend a nautical college ashore if preferred. After further sea service, examinations can betaken first for first mate and later for master. Conditions at sea for officers have also been greatly improved, and the National Maritime Board Officers’ Pension Scheme covers all Merchant Navy officers. A similar scheme for seamen is likely to be introduced. Thus service with the Merchant Navy is a much more attractive life than ever it was in its “romantic ”days, and as a career for boys who are keen on the sea it has a lotto offer. But don’t forget, if you do want togo to sea, that the Merchant Navy wants the best and only the best, and you will have to be ready to work hard and learn quickly if you are to earn the privilege of sailing under the Old Red Duster.
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