Thursday, December 18, 2014

"A Naval Nobody"

In 1878, young naval officer leveled a number of criticisms against the system of education in the Royal Navy. These criticisms were published in Macmillan's magazine:
I call the whole system of our naval education utterly faulty . . . I say that we, the Navy's youth, are in some professional matters most deplorably ignorant, and the day will come when we, and England, will wake up to the fact with a start. It sounds impossible, inconceivable, that it is only a privileged few who are allowed to make a study of gunnery . . . only a privileged few who are initaited into the mysteries of torpedoes; only a privileged few who are taught . . . surveying and navigation; not even a privileged few who are taught the science of steam, and yet all this is so!
In order to protect the anonymity of the young officer, the authorship of the article was ascribed to "A Naval Nobody".  The author was Lieutenant John Jellicoe, future Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Fleet in the Great War.

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