View Full Version : Navy League: Wallasey/Liverpool

Alan Garrett
17th February 2012, 09:17 PM
I am doing some research into my Father's background. Can anyone point me in the direction of any information on the place my Father went to when he was a lad, it was always refered to as 'navy league' but it was MN not RN and although it was something to do with Liverpool I believe it was in fact on the other side of the Mersey in Wallasey. I believe he was there for a year or two before going to sea, which would have been in the late 1920's possibly early 30's.

Any info on the kind of life he would have led there would be very interesting to me.



Jim Brady
17th February 2012, 09:34 PM
Alan,get in touch with, I'm not sure if it's the Birkenhead or Wirral Branch of the Merchant Navy Association.I imagine they meet once a week in some pub.there is a guy there John a Blue Flu man all his life and I'm sure he will point you in the right direction.There is a couple of members on here from the One Eyed City (or is it one I'd) who maybe can tell you when they have the weekly meet up.

Chris Allman
17th February 2012, 11:18 PM

I hope this helps, I have compiled a bit about the Navy League in Wallasey for you as follows :-

The Lancashire and National Sea Training Homes for Boys. Established in 1896 as the Liverpool branch of the Navy League. From1907 - 1908 the Home was called ‘The Lancashire (Navy League) Home for Poor Boys’. The name was subsequently changed in 1916 to the title ‘Lancashire and National Sea Training Home for Boys’ and remained so until 1945 when they merged with TS Indefatigable .

The Lancashire Navy League operated a Sea Training Home at Clifton Hall, Withens Lane, Liscard, Wallasey, and places were available to any ‘British boy of good character, health and physique, regardless of religion or poverty.

Clifton Hall and approximately five acres of land was sold to the Navy League for £6,100 in 1901. The navy league was an organisation started in 1895-6 to take poor young boys of good character off the streets and train them for the Royal Navy or the Merchant Navy. The foundation stone was laid on October 18th 1902 by Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal. By 1903 additional buildings for training and living were opened for use. The Captain Superintendant lived in 'Clifton Hall' itself.

Clifton Hall' was quite imposing. Built in stone, two storey's high, the ground floor was emphasised by strong horizontal lines in the stone whilst the upper floor was finished in a tighter joint. The front elevation faced south away from Withens Lane and was accentuated by a protecting porch with composite fluted columns. The front was five bays wide with tall single windows, and the parapet above the bays was higher over the end and centre sections and finished in an overhanging coping giving it the look of an Egyptian temple. At the rear of the hall to the north was a large conservatory. The entrance to the grounds was via a pair of double iron gates set in stone columns with single gates on either side. Beside the gates was a small lodge which lasted longer then the hall. The drive went in a circular route to the hall and around the grounds terminating by a coach house and stable and nearby on the north boundary was an orchard with greenhouse.

The Boys were full time boarders for up to two years receiving training in seamanship and allied interests, which would fit them for life at sea. Local cinemas gave them privileged rates for some performances and Church Parade was a regular event accompanied by their band. Due to the economic recession and various other difficulties the Homes did not survive the Second World War.

’ The Admiral Commanding Reserves was so impressed when he inspected the school that it was granted an Admiralty Warrant, dated 6 June 1917, for a Blue Ensign defaced with the badge of the Navy League. At the time it was the only shore establishment authorised to fly a defaced Blue Ensign. In 1931 this anomaly was investigated by Naval Law Department, who decided that they did not have the authority to cancel it, and would instead consider the establishment comparable to a Training Ship. [NL 2433/31]

The last number is a reference number for the Navy League in the National Libraries which you may want to follow up.

Kind regards


Alan Garrett
19th February 2012, 07:23 PM
Thanks to both for the information, I'll follow it up and see what come out.