The AIB and Osborne 1915-20

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    C. M

      I am researching the life of Commander JW Linton VC and I am interested in the AIB [Admiralty Interview Board] process and his years at Osborne and Dartmouth. Linton joined the RN in 1919 and was lost in Turbulent in 1943.
      I know that an SNR member published a book about Osborne,and I was hoping that he or others may be able to assist me.
      Christopher Morgan-Jones


        Christopher, I can find no record of a book about Osborne in the Bodleian or COPAC (UK research libraries) catalogues. If you have any further information about it please let me know offline and I will try to trace the volume for you.
        Re the AIB, I’m sure the selection process for officers changed radically after Linton’s day – although I don’t think it has changed much since my own bash-through (1966).
        You may find something useful in Eric Grove (ed.) “Great Battles of the Royal Navy” which has a good overview of the history of Dartmouth from its foundation.
        Justin Reay, Forum Editor

        C. M

          A member of the SNR produced a book on Osborne a number of years ago which was sponsored by the society.The member is Michael Partridge and the book is entitled “The Royal Naval College Osborne”
          Christopher Morgan-Jones


            We have Partidge’s book, “The R N College Osborne: a history 1902-21” at the Bodleian. It was published by Suttons of Stroud for the RN Museum in 1999. This volume is kept in “deep storage” which indicates it has rarely been consulted.
            Oddly, the only other book I can trace about Osborne – which we also have in Bodleian’s deep store – was published in the same year, author Geoffrey Haskins, title “The school that Jack built: the RN College Osborne 1903-23”, a book I have heard of (but which did not come straight to mind) but have not read.
            Amazon may have second-hand copies of either, althougn I doubt either book will shed much light on Linton’s career at Osborne other than dates of passing-in and passing-out.
            The Naval List for the period will give the years of Linton’s various promotions; most years of the 20th century are available online.
            Justin Reay, Forum Editor


              The School that Jack built isn’t very illuminating, but Partridge’s book is excellent. You could also consult How to Become a Naval Officer (although I don’t know where there is a copy for that period) or The Entry and Training of Naval Cadets (I think the Bodleian has a copy).
              Ellie Romans


                Indeed we do have copies at the Bodleian of the two new titles Ellie mentions, and a few others in this field. The following list (only available to members of the University or current Readers of course, but may be sourced through AbeBooks or Amazon) may help SNR Members researching naval officer training in the early and mid C20th:
                Commander E Phillips Statham RN, The story of the “Britannia” : the training ship for naval cadets; with some account of previous methods of naval education, and of the new scheme of 1903, London 1904.
                Anon How to become a naval officer revised edn., London 1909
                Anon (Admiralty) The entry and training of naval cadets, London 1914
                E W Bush How to become a naval officer; being a detailed account of how a young man can join the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, and become an officer in Her Majesty’s Navy, London 1963
                Stanley W C Pack Britannia at Dartmouth: the story of H.M.S. Britannia and the Britannia Royal Naval College, London 1966.
                The Dartmouth entry system changed in 1965 (the year I was accepted) some of the detail of which is in the history of Dartmouth essay in Prof Eric Grove’s book “Great Battles of the Royal Navy” noted in my earlier signal in this topic.
                This curious volume from the late C18th is added for fun:
                John Bettesworth and H Fox Observations on education in general, but particularly on naval education: with a plan of a naval academy, at Ormond House, Paradise-Row, Chelsea, for qualifying young gentlemen for the Royal Navy, London 1782 Full electronic text (23 pages) online at
                Justin Reay

                C. M

                  I have exchanged emails with Dr Jane Harrold from Britannia Royal Naval College and she has provided a photograph of the officer I am researching(Commander JW Linton VC) whilst he was at Dartmouth.

                  J.M. B

                    Mr David Gallop does have some information about Cdr Linton VC as a Cadet at Osborne. Mr Gallop is a retired guide from Osborne House who has taken a special interest in the Osborne cadets. For example: he was able to send me a copy of the Osborne Magazine (Christmas 1915) when my Father (Blake Term 1914) was in the College Regatta rowing in his Term gig. Mr Gallop can be contacted on
                    Even though retired, Mr Gallop delights in giving a fascinating tour of the Old Stables where the Cadets were taught and had their dormitories (now gone). One of the unheated plunge pools attached to each dormitory is still there!
                    John M Bingeman

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