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Navy CP - November 1936

Western Morning News, Plymouth, 7 November 1936

Boy disillusioned

Learnt His Mother Was In Mental Home

From our own correspondent
Portland, Friday.

When two boys appeared before a court-martial in H.M.S. Titania at Portland to-day, on certain charges, the Chaplain of H.M.S. Nelson, flagship of the Home Fleet, in which they were serving, told the Court that one of the boys was "thrilled when he learnt he had a mother."

But, added the Chaplain, he was disillusioned and his character disoriented when he found that his mother, brother, and sister were in homes for mental defectives.

The lads were ordered to receive twelve strokes of the birch each.

Dorset Daily Echo, Weymouth, 7 November 1936

Boy In Tears at Portland Court-Martial

Two youths, both with the rank of "boy" aboard H.M.S. Nelson, were at a court-martial on H.M.S. Titania at Portland yesterday ordered 12 strokes with the birch. They were accused of an offence aboard H.M.S. Nelson.

The Rev. D. Bunt, chaplain, said one boy's character deteriorated after he found his mother was in a mental hospital. He had also been "ragged" because he was seen in chapel a lot and saying his prayers.

This boy wept when he told the court that people laughed at him because of his smallness. At times he found himself not caring what he did. He never had letters like other boys, and said he seemed to have no one to think of.

blob These are believed to be the last-ever birchings in the Royal Navy. Although the above reports omit to state the offence, it is known that the naval birch, since its reintroduction in 1917, was ordered only for homosexual offences. -- C.F.

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