Advancement: Tarpaulin Sailors & the Royal Navy Academy

“In the early 18th century, the “tarpaulin” sailor found it ever increasingly difficult to advance in the Navy of the British Empire (Karsten, 1972).

Most officer candidates were coming from the more educated class of the nobility and gentry because they could provide for their own education.

However, to further enhance naval officer education and prepare officers for naval service, the British Navy established the Royal Navy Academy in 1733.

It was formed at Portsmouth, and became the Royal Navy’s first officer training school ashore.” (Lehner, 2008, p.10).


Lehner, W.D. (2008) An Analysis of Naval Officer Accession Programs. Master’s Thesis. Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School.


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