How long to train or get ticket


G

Graham Pickles

Guest
Hi All

This is a general question and hope someone out there can give me a rough idea on it.

What sort of training in 1880s to 1912, would someone have to go through to become a quartermaster .

Also what was involved to be a master mariner.

Also in the 1880 at what age would you go to sea. either working or private.

hope you can help
regards
graham
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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308
Hallo, Graham -

Can give you the legislation on becoming an AB. The qualifying period for the rating of AB was, by the Act of 1906, reduced from four to three years. Section 126 after the 1906 regulations reads as follows:

126. (I) A seaman shall not be entitled to the rating of AB, that is to say, an able-bodied seaman, unless he has served at sea for three years before the mast, but the employment of fisherman in decked fishing vessels registered under the first part of this Act shall only count as sea service up to the period of two years of that employement; and service in a trading vessel in addition to two or more years' sea service on board of decked fishing vessels so regirstered.

In order to attain a master's certificate a candidate had to have earned his second mate's and then first mate's certificate. Each certification required a BOT examination, examination fee, sea time, and had to produce 'satisfactory evidence of his sobriety, experience, ability and general good conduct on board ship' (usually in the form of references from masters the candidate had served under). If he had not served an apprenticeship he had to have served as an A.B.

A typical progression might involve the candidate going to sea as an apprentice for four years, after which he was eligible to sit for his second mate's certificate. If he passed this, he had to serve a set period of time at seatime as a mate before being eligible for his first mate's certificate. More sea time, and he could sit for his master's certificate (and extra masters, if so inclined). Most following this route went to sea at the age of 14 (or as young as 13) or perhaps a few years older, and had their master's by the time they were in their early twenties (22 or 23 being fairly common).

It was not necessary to have served an apprenticeship - Lowe, for example, did not do so. However, he started his climb up the career ladder later than his colleagues as he had to make his way through from ship's boy through O.S. to A.B. He did not gain his master's certificate until he was just shy of his 28th birthday.

If you don't mind me asking, are you hunting the possibilities of Hitchens having earned a master's certificate? Although his CR 10 file lists him as a mate, no certificate number is entered. I was going to have a look for a master's certificate application for him the next time I look them up. Alternatively, he might have served as a mate on domestic ships that did not require a foreign-going master or mate's certification.

~ Inger
 
G

Graham Pickles

Guest
Hi Inger,

Thank you for the reply.
Yes I am trying to attain if Hichens had a masters certificate.

Lets see working on what we know he was born late 1882, if he went to sea at 13 this makes it late 1895, you could call it 1896. he get's married 1906 this gives him 10 years to become a master mariner. That is what is down on his wedding certificate.

So it would be a safe bet to assume that he gained this working for the Cunard line I think.

By the way do you know the dates for him working on the Dongola? I have been given several dates for this and only one comes from a relative who is not sure.

regards
graham
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
5,342
38
308
I'll have a hunt around for a certificate application (don't know when I'll get that done, however, as I might have to get a proxy researcher to look it up for me or take time off work). There are a few problems with the idea of him having a master's certificate by 1906.

There is no mention of it in his CR10 files which is curious - I haven't come across a case yet of someone holding a BOT certification for master or mate and not having the number listed in his record. It is possible, however - I've been mostly looking up higher profile officers with the larger shipping companies.

It's not unheard of for someone holding a 2nd mate's certificate to go back to sea in the capacity of an AB until they could find a position as an officer. This was particularly common among young men who had just earned their certification. I would have thought it would be somewhat less common in the case of a man holding a master's certificate, however.

Hichens makes no mention of holding any BOT certification at either inquiry, although he does discuss his experience at sea. As an outside chance, do you think that he had perhaps been relieved of his duties as an officer with some other line (to put it politely) and had been forced by circumstances to go to sea as a Quartermaster? If he was reluctant to be questioned on why a man holding a master's certificate was serving as a QM, it could explain why he didn't mention his qualifications at the inquiries.

I'm sorry I don't have his dates for the Dongala - eventually I hope to get back to the PRO and have a look for some of his RN or RNR records.

All the best,

Inger
 
G

Graham Pickles

Guest
Hi Inger,

Yes I have to agree with you on all counts regarding RH and Master Mariner.

The theory of him just earned it seems to be blown out of the water as on the Dongola he was a Q/Master. On Titanic again Q/Master. and like you say at the hearings he do's not mention he has a master's.
Then in 1919 he is on the Magpie not as QM. but if my memory serves third officer.

Regarding his testimony at the hearing, he says he has been in the Baltic, Most of Hull's non fish trade was with Scandinavia and The Baltic he returnd to Hull in 1941 so why not before Titanic?

He may well of been relieved of his duty on a shiping line, Who knows with RH anything is possable.
How hard would it of been to hide alcholism when on the T. He was definatley a alchoholic in 1933. he could of lost his masters way back if he was earlier.

I do which that the dates for the Dongola where around and vessals before that. I still think Hull like I said a long time ago now is a spot to find out a bit more on Hichens.

regards
graham
 
G

Graham Pickles

Guest
Hi Inger and anyone else reading this.

Inger wrote
"I'll have a hunt around for a certificate application
(don't know when I'll get that done, however, as I might
have to get a proxy researcher to look it up for me or take
time off work). There are a few problems with the idea of
him having a master's certificate by 1906."

Thanks a lot Inger this is much appreciated but please do not spend too much time and certainly don't spend money on it.

And yes you are correct there is a few problems with him having a masters certificate.
One of the main ones is at the US Inquiry he is asked how long he has been a QM for, his reply is "for 7-8 years"
This like I think you mentioned earlier he makes no comment about any other certificates held.

"There is no mention of it in his CR10 files which is curious
- I haven't come across a case yet of someone holding a BOT
certification for master or mate and not having the number
listed in his record. It is possible, however - I've been
mostly looking up higher profile officers with the larger
shipping companies."

This is also true surly it would be mentioned in the CR10's I too have not heard of anyone not having the No put in.
I would not of thought that possession of person would make any difference.

"It's not unheard of for someone holding a 2nd mate's
certificate to go back to sea in the capacity of an AB until
they could find a position as an officer. This was
particularly common among young men who had just earned
their certification. I would have thought it would be
somewhat less common in the case of a man holding a master's
certificate, however."

I agree. If he was unable to find work then a drop would be in order. But a big drop with a lot less pay. I doubt it.

"do you think that he had perhaps
been relieved of his duties as an officer with some other
line (to put it politely) and had been forced by
circumstances to go to sea as a Quartermaster? If he was
reluctant to be questioned on why a man holding a master's
certificate was serving as a QM, it could explain why he
didn't mention his qualifications at the inquiries."

It is possible that he was relieved from duty. we do not know how long he was a big drinker for do we. He could well of slipped through the net at the Titanic registration. He of course had a family at that point to look after so a job is a job.
And if he had been found out and lost a qualification somewhere he is not going to want to talk too loudly about it is he. Also if TWSL did know about his drinking and de-motion this would be sufficient grounds for a deal to be struck between the two of them.

"I'm sorry I don't have his dates for the Dongala -
eventually I hope to get back to the PRO and have a look for
some of his RN or RNR records."

Not to worry IM sure they will turn up from someone one day.
Good luck at the PRO when you have a chance.

regards
graham
 

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