The Call to Service

Royal Naval Auxiliary Patrol

Motor Boat Service

May, 1916.
Representatives of the British Admiralty have arrived in Canada for the purpose of entering officers and men for service in the motor craft employed in the Auxiliary Patrol. An office has been established in Ottawa in the Department of the Naval Service. The Admiralty officers will visit; in due course, every part of Canada from which recruits are likely to be forthcoming.

The British Admiralty calls for two classes of recruits: (1) Commissioned Officers for deck duties in patrol motor boats; (2) Mechanics to run the engines.

The essential qualifications required of candidates for a commission are first rate experience in the handling of small craft under sail or power, at sea or on the Great Lakes; and a good knowledge of practical seamanship. Some knowledge of elementary navigation is desirable. Officers have no engineering duties to perform. The selected candidates will be provisionally entered in Canada, and sent at once to England where, their entry being confirmed, they will commence their training forthwith.

The training consists of a month's course in navigation at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, a month or six weeks at Southampton in the depot ship H.M.S. Hermione, where the newly entered officer receives instruction in rifle drill, simple gunnery, semaphore and Morse signalling, and practical seamanship, and as his training advances, does duty in the local patrol boats. From Southampton officers are drafted to various small motor craft employed in the Auxiliary Patrol, and after two or three months experience in these vessels, proceed to Portsmouth for a further course of instruction. This course concludes the training period, and officers are then appointed to the larger and faster armed motor vessels which are engaged in patrol and other duties around the British coasts and in other parts of the world.

The men required for Engine Room duties need have no previous experience afloat, but must be mechanics by profession, with good experience in the running and repairing of internal combustion engines, preferably of the gasoline type. Two grades are required - Chief Motor Boatmen and Motor Boatmen "E." For the higher rating, which corresponds to Chief Petty Officer in the Royal Navy, at least five years' workshop experience is required. Two years in the shops will qualify a man for rating as Motor Boatman "E." A man entered in the lower rating can gain promotion to the higher if he proves efficient. The men are given a course of training in H.M.S. Hermione, whence they are drafted, either direct or after a short period of service in the smaller motor boats, to the Engineering School at Portsmouth, where they undergo a course of instruction in the running of the high-powered engines used in the large patrol boats.

The rates of pay and allowances for officers and men are as follows:-
Officers are granted commissions as temporary Sub-Lieutenants, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, and receive the ordinary pay of an officer of that rank in the Royal Navy, viz., 7s. 6d. ($1 82 cents) per day. In the Motar Boat Service they receive in addition £15 ($72 91 cents) for uniform, and certain allowances which vary according to the duty on which they are employed. These allowances average about 3s. (72 cents) per day when the officers [sic] victuals himself. Separation allowance is not paid by the British Admiralty to the wives and dependents of commissioned officers.

Chief Motor Boatmen receive 5s. 6d. ($1 45 cents) per day, allowances on a similar scale as officers, £7 lOs. ($36 45 cents) for uniform, and separation allowance on the same scale as a Chief Petty Officer in the Royal Navy. Motor Boatmen "E" are paid 2s. 6d. (60 cents) per day and allowances, £5 10s. ($26 73 cents) for uniform, and separation allowance as for seamen R.N.

Officers and men are entered for the period of hostilities, and are given free transport to England and back to their homes on receiving their discharge.

Candidates should apply in the first instance in writing to the Auxiliary Patrol Recruiting Committee, c/o Department of the Naval Service, Ottawa, stating the nature of the appointment which they desire. They will then receive an official application form, and full particulars as to pay, allowances, etc. Having filled in and returned the form to Ottawa, the applicant is notified of the date and place when he will be examined as to his qualifications and general fitness for the Service.

[It is interesting to note that W.J. Dawson, in the introduction to his son Coningsby Dawson's book Carry On which collected various correspondance between the author and his family during his service in France during the war, states that a Commander Armstrong was in charge of Naval Patrol recruitment in Canada - at least during the summer of 1916.]