A Midshipman (left) making up his journal in the Wardroom Mess, HMS Ashanti, 1941. Image copr. IWM A6769.

Journal for the use of Midshipmen

S. 519 Revised March 1927.

1.The journal is to be kept during the whole of a Midshipman’s sea time. A second volume may be issued if required.

2. The Officer detailed to supervise the instruction of Midshipmen will see that the Journals are kept in accordance with the instructions hereunder. He will initial the Journals at least once a month, and will see that they are written up from time to time during the month, not only immediately before they are called in for inspection.

3. The Captain will have the Journals produced for his inspection from time to time and on a Midshipman leaving the ship, and will initial them at each inspection.

4. The following remarks indicate the main lines to be followed in keeping the Journal:-

(i) The objects of keeping the Journal are to train the Midshipman in (a) the power of observation (b) the power of expression (c) the habit of orderliness

(ii) Midshipmen are to record in their own language their observations about all matters of interest and importance in the work that is carried on, on their stations, in their Fleet, or in their Ship.

(iii) They may insert descriptions of places visited and of the people with whom they come in contact, and of harbours, anchorages and fortifications.

(iv) They may write notes on fuelling facilities, landing places, abnormal weather, prevailing winds and current, salvage operations, foreign ships encountered and the manner in which foreign fleets are handled, gunnery and other practices, action in manoeuvres, remarks on tactical exercises.

On the ship making a passage of sufficient interest they should note weather and noon positions.

(v) Separate entries need not neseccarily be made for each day, full accounts should be given of any event of interest.

(vi) The letter press should be illustrated with plans and sketches pasted into the pages of the Journal, namely: –

(a) Track Charts

(b) Plans of Anchorages (these should show the berths occupied by the Squadron or Ship, and if a Fleet was anchored the courses steered by the Fleet up to the anchorage).

(c) Sketches of places visited, of coast line, of headlands, of leading marks into harbours, of ships (British or Foreign), of Ports or fittings of ships, or any other object of interest.

5. The Journal is to be produced at the examination in Seamanship for the rank of Lieutenant, when marks to a maximum of 50 will be awarded for it.