Unit History: Wallasey Sea Training School

Wallasey Sea Training School
The TS Stork and Liscard Training School had ensigns defaced with the badge of the Navy League. This was a national organisation dedicated to supporting the Royal Navy. In 1910 it took over the Naval Lads’ Brigades, that had been formed to care for destitute children in sea ports.
In 1975 the Navy League was ended in favour of the Sea Cadet Association, and it is possible that the Sea Cadet badge may have been a development, or variation of the Navy League badge. The badge used on stationery by the Navy League of Canada was a naval crown above a circle, in which a foul anchor was set between the words NAVY LEAGUE above, and KEEP WATCH below. In 1918 Rear Admiral Benson, General Secretary of the Navy League of Canada applied for a warrant for a Blue Ensign defaced with the Navy League badge. "The Union Jack with the Navy League badge in the centre has been used in this country and throughout the Empire for twenty years." The Blue Ensign warrant was refused in June 1919 but, "would be considered if the League should have established training ships of their own with a substantial number of boys in continuous training."
TS Stork
formerly a surveying ship, was lent to the Kensington Branch of the Navy League and moored on the Thames near Hammersmith Bridge from 1913 until 1948. An Admiralty Warrant for a Blue Ensign defaced with the Navy League badge was issued on 6 June 1917 [NL 67008/17]. On 15 February 1922 a General Warrant for Navy League Sea Cadet Units was issued. It authorised the Navy League badge on a Red Ensign. Stork’s existing Blue Ensign warrant was forgotten and not cancelled until 1932. All special ensign warrants lapsed on the out-break of war, and it is unlikely that the ensign was flown on Stork after 1939.
The Lancashire Navy League operated a Sea Training Home at Liscard, Wallasey. The Admiral Commanding Reserves was so impressed when he inspected the school that it was granted an Admiralty Warrant, dated 6 June 1917, for a Blue Ensign defaced with the badge of the Navy League. At the time it was the only shore establishment authorised to fly a defaced Blue Ensign. In 1931 this anomaly was investigated by Naval Law Department, who decided that they did not have the authority to cancel it, and would instead consider the establishment comparable to a Training Ship.

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