In connection with the ill-fated ship Clarence, the destruction of which has been reported in these columns, it is interesting to know that Captain Yonge had overcome many of the difficulties which had embarrassed the successful management of the ship as a reformatory institution. That this was the case may be gathered from the fact that a week before the fire bccurred The Liverpool Daily Post devoted a long article to the demonstration of the claims of the vessel to a higher local contribution so as to place it on a footing with other bodies. In the course of this article several quotations were made from the reports of various inspectors to show how entirely satisfactory and praiseworthy was the work and administration of the vessel. From these reports we take the following;
Captain Echlin, Admiralty Inspector, in his last report says :
I am very much pleased with the result of my inspection. The appearance of the boys improves each year, and this is my fourth inspection of them. Their conduct also i3 much improved. All parts of the ship were visited, and all found thoroughly clean, dry and wholesome. The bilges are very clean indeed. The boys are well up in their drills, and are well instructed. I wqs much pleased with their smartness aloft and in the boats, and I consider that much credit is due to the captain, chief officer and officers, and also to the boys themselves. I visited the sleeping deck about 15.45 p.m., and was much impressed by the admirable arrangements which exist there, both in the way of ventilation and light, and also in the sleeping space allotted to each boy. The band, under the able leadership of Mr. Farrell, is greatly improved, and is a great feature in the training system.
During the last visit of the Channel Fleet to Liverpool, de Commander cf her Majesty's ship 7hundel er, who inspected the Clarence, wrotP as follows : The boys looked very clean and healthy, evidently being well attended to. Visited all parts of the ship. The decks were very clean and tidy. The arrangement of the bandrcom, theatre ar.d gymnasium was excellent, showing what consideration and thought were given to the well-being and recreation of the boys. The chapel also showed that their religious welfare is not overlooked. The ventilation is very good throughout.
Captain the Hon. Foley Vereker, R.N., Professional Adviser to the Hoard of Trade, wrote as follows with reference to a visit he recently paid to the Clarence.
I visited every part of the ship during my stay, and was much pleased with all I saw and the exceptional cleanliness of the vessel. The boys were smart, clean, and healthy in appearance, and showed ready obedience to orders, and an alacrity in executing them, that showed great credit to their training. . . . I saw the boys at school, at drill, pulling, marching and sleeping. The beautifully furnished chapel, with its costly appointments, indicates that the spiritual welfare of the boys is well taken care of, and I congratulate Captain Yonge on the excellent state of discipline prevailing on board, and on the happy and contented appearance of the boys.