Training Ship 'Goliath', Grays, Essex
From 1870-75, the Forest Gate School District operated a ship called the Goliath moored on the Thames. It provided boys from all London's Poor Law authorities with training to help equip them to enter the Royal or Merchant Navy. The scheme proved highly successful, but the ship was destroyed by fire on December 22nd,1875, with the loss of twenty-three lives.
Amongst those who died in the fire was schoolmaster Richard Wheeler. Wheeler was a recent graduate of the Winchester Training College, now the University of Winchester, and a memorial plaque was put up at the college by his former fellow students.
Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.
- London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London EC1R OHB. (The Ancestry website also has LMA records relating to workhouses and other institutions — more details.)
- Carridice, Phil Nautical Training Ships: An Illustrated History (2009, Amberley Press)
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
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