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An image of the front cover of a journal from the HMS Calypso


Record No: mha00000522
Title: HMS Calypso fonds
Dates: 1881-1920, 1952
Location: R71/09 MHA
Creator: Calypso (ship)
Level of Description: fonds
Extent: 50 cm of textual records
Source of Supplied Title: Title based on the most common name of the vessel
Restrictions: No restrictions.
Adm. Hist/Bio. Sketch: The HMS Calypso was a 2814 ton Third Class British naval cruiser, built in Chatham, 1881-84. In October 1902, she was assigned by the British Admiralty as a training ship for the Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve. She was stationed at St. John's and remained there until 1914, when she was used to protect Newfoundland shores and shipping during World War One. In 1916 the Calypso was renamed the HMS Briton and remained in her role until 1922 when she was sold to A. H. Murray and Company and used to store salt.
    The Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) was established by the Newfoundland Government in 1902 to strengthen Britain's naval resources in the area. In the same year the British Admiralty assigned the HMS Calypso to train the members of the Reserve. The Reserve maintained ranks of 375 reservists until the declaration of war in 1914. After that, the numbers were increased to over 1000 and by war's end in 1918, the number approached 2000. On August 1914 the Royal Naval Reserve was called up for active duty. During the war the naval reservists were dispersed throughout the Royal Navy. The Royal Naval Reserve was decommissioned at the end of 1920.
Scope and Content: Fonds consists of records relating to the construction of the ship and records created while she was commissioned with the Royal Newfoundland Reserve. The fonds includes three journals relating to the construction of the vessel, HMS Calypso, including details of the vessel's construction kept by J.H. Lovell, carpenter at Chatham Dockyard, 1881; a record of weights for the vessel, 1883-84; and detailed sketches of the machinery aboard the vessel, 1883. Each journal contains detailed hand drawn and painted illustrations. Other files include two pieces of correspondence, one of which is a letter from David Murray to the editor of Shipbuilding and Shipping Record regarding the construction and history of the vessel, 2 Aug. 1952.
    The fonds includes four drill registers created while the vessel was used to train members of the Reserve. These list each individual and the period of their drill, the vessel drilled on and remarks; a register of trainees; deck logbooks, 1914-20; regulations concerning summary punishments and character, conduct, badges etc. 1911-13; and day books recording liquor accounts. A salt delivery book recording deliveries after the vessel was sold to Murray's is also included.
    Fonds is arranged in two series:
Series 1. Construction Journals, 1881-1884, 1952
Series 2. Royal Naval Reserve drill registers, 1904-1922.
Custodial History: The construction journals belonged to David Murray, partner in A.H. Murray & Co. and remained in his possession until they were turned over to his daughter Jean Murray. The drill registers were included in the A.H. Murray fonds and were removed in 1980. They were acquired from A. H. (Bill) Crosbie.


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