Ancestry UK

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.

Training Ship Goliath on Fire, 1875
© Peter Higginbotham

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.

Memorial plaque for Richard Wheeler. © Neil Fisher

In 1877, a replacement vessel, the Exmouth took over the role, now moored off Grays in Essex and managed by the Metropolitan Asylums Board.


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