RNTE Shotley

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The mast at Shotley in 2004

Royal Naval Training Establishment Shotley, known in the Royal Navy as HMS Ganges, was a naval training establishment at Shotley, near Ipswich in Suffolk. Starting in 1905, it trained boys for naval service until it closed in 1976, following the raising of the school leaving age from 15 to 16.[1] It had a mixed reputation in the Royal Navy, both for its reputed harsh methods of training boys in order to turn out professionally able, self-reliant ratings and for the professionalism of its former trainees. It is particularly famous for its 143-foot (44 m) high mast which all boys under training were required to ascend, at least to the half-moon and for the mast manning ceremonies held whenever a dignitary visited the establishment.

During the later 1980s and 1990s RNTE Shotley was used as a residential centre for civilian police officers to complete their basic training. Forces which used this centre included Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Thames Valley and South Wales.[2] Local police forces continued to use the site in 2007.[3]

In fiction[edit]

In Arthur Ransome's children's novels We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea and Secret Water, the character Commander Walker is an officer stationed at Shotley.


  1. ^ "History of HMS Ganges". HMS Ganges Museum. 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "New talent to be given showcase in charity gala" (PDF). The Law (277): 2. November 1996. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  3. ^ "Police training returns to HMS Ganges". East Anglian Daily Times. 1 March 2007. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°57′25″N 1°16′19″E / 51.957°N 1.272°E / 51.957; 1.272