Training for life at sea

archive photo of a large sailing ship

Photograph of HMS Conway on the Mersey, taken by Stewart Bale Ltd, pre 1938. Archive reference D/CON (A) 8/5/5

Life at sea was hard and required the highest standards of training to instil qualities of leadership necessary for cadets to become officers in the British Merchant Navy. The training ship HMS Conway was specially founded for this purpose, and during its 115 year existence it trained over 11, 000 young boys for life in the Merchant Navy, Royal Navy and other armed services, not only in Britain but in navies worldwide.

Eminent Conway cadets included the poet laureate, John Masefield, and Captain Matthew Webb, the first man to swim the Channel in 1875. In addition numerous distinguished captains, commanders and admirals, include four recipients of the VC and Sir Arthur Rostron, captain of the Carpathia, which rescued the survivors of the Titanic.