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The Royal Marines.
The Marines are a body of soldiers employed in the fleet and naval service, under the direction of the Lords of the Admiralty. When on board ship they are subject to the laws relating to the government of the Queen's forces at sea; but as these forces are often quartered, or are on shore; or sent on duty on board transport ships, merchant vessels, Queen's ships; or may be in circumstances in which they would not be subject to maritime laws; a Marine Mutiny Act is annually passed for their discipline.
It resembles, in all essential particulars, the Military Mutiny Act, with some exceptions, which will now be pointed out; and where no distinction is shown, it may be taken that the Marine Act is the same as the other. *
The Marines' Articles of War are not made by the Queen, but by the Lords of the Admiralty, and are given under the hands of two of these Lords. They apply in any place on shore or afloat, in or out of the Queen's dominions, at any time, when or under any circumstances in which the marine forces are not amenable to the laws for the government of Her Majesty's ships, vessels, and forces by sea.
The Lords of the Admiralty from time to time grant commissions or warrants, under the hands of two or more of them, for holding general and other courts-martial. They also grant commissions or warrants to officers commanding in chief, for the time being, any force of Marines in any part of the world, to convene, and also giving authority to convene, courts-martial, as occasion may require, whether the offence to be tried was committed before the officer took the command or not. The officer so commissioned must not be below the degree of a field-officer, except on the coast of Africa, where he may be a captain. The offence is tried where the offender is at the time of trial, not necessarily where the offence was committed.*
* Marine Mutiny Act, 1854, Preamble.
The constitution of maritime courts-martial is exactly the same as in the Army, except that the sentence of a district or garrison court-martial requires confirmation by the general officer, governor, or senior officer in command of the district, garrison, island, or colony, where the case is tried.
The regimental court-martial of the Army is, in the Marines, termed a divisional court-martial. Their constitutions are identical.
When necessary or expedient, officers of the land or marine forces sit in conjunction on courts-martial, whether the commanding officer assembling the court belongs to the land or marine forces. If the prisoner is a marine the proceedings of the court follow the Marine Mutiny Act; if a land soldier, then those of the Military Mutiny Act. I
If there is no superior officer of the land force present in command of a district, garrison, or other station where Marines may be serving, any officer of the Royal Marine Corps of the degree of a field officer, and holding a commission from the Lords of the Admiralty for that purpose, but not otherwise, may convene or assemble a district or garrison court-martial; and the Court may try any Marine below the rank of commissioned officer for any offence cognizable by a district or garrison court-martial. The sentence requires the confirmation of the senior officer of the Royal Marines, not being a member of the court, in the district, garrison, or other station. But if there should be any superior officer of the land forces present in command of the district, garrison, station, or place where there are Marines, it is lawful for him to convene or assemble such a court-martial. In this case, the trial is on the same principle, and the sentence requires the same confirmation as before.*
* Marine Mutiny Act, 1854, sec. 7. | Idem, secs. 8 to 12. | Idem, sec. 13.
In the year 1853, five thousand seven hundred Marines were employed afloat, and five thousand three hundred on shore, making in all eleven thousand. The whole cost of this force, including wages, £7,000 for good conduct-pay to Marines afloat and ashore, clothing and appointments, barrack stores and necessaries for the four divisions, was £317,982.
The Royal Marines are divided into infantry and artillery. The force is separated into four divisions, the Chatham, Portsmouth, Plymouth, and Woolwich companies.
The senior officer of the whole force holds the rank of major-general, each division being commanded by a colonelcommandant, and a colonel second commandant. There are also two colonels-commandant who are aides-de-camp to the Queen. There are besides 14 lieutenants-colonel, 82 captains, 15 of whom hold higher rank by brevet, 78 first lieutenants, 55 second lieutenants, besides 8 adjutants, and 4 quartermasters chosen from among the first lieutenants, and 4 other quartermasters.
The artillery force is officered by 2 lieutenant-colonels, 7 captains, 2 laboratory captains, 22 first lieutenants, 6 second lieutenants, and one first lieutenant acting as adjutant.
* Marine Mutiny Act, 1854, see. 14.
The rank of major is unknown in the Marines. The duties of colonels-commandant are of a special nature; those of the rest of the officers on shore at head quarters correspond with the duties of officers of the line regiments. Promotion in the Marines has hitherto been governed entirely by seniority, but it is not improbable that this will at no distant period be altered.
The general staff of the Marines consists of a deputy adjutant-general and assistant adjutant-general; the former also holds the rank of major-general; the latter is generally a captain, holding higher rank by brevet, and receives higher pay for this office.
The Marines rank between the 49th and 50th regiments, and bear the motto, “per mare, per terram.”
The qualifications of a Cadet of the Royal Marines are:age, fifteen to nineteen; an acquaintance with arithmetic; algebra; Euclid's Elements, books 1, 2, 3, 4, and the usual college portions of books 6 and 11; proof of rules in trigonometry, and the construction of logarithmic tables; application of trigonometry to the determination of heights, distances, &c.; trigonometry, theoretical and practical; mensuration of planes and solids; problems in gunnery; and to write correctly from dictation.*
The Marine service, by its nature, is generally rendered in small detachments, under captains and subalterns; and by the practice of field-officers seldom being employed on sea duty or foreign service, it frequently happens that the senior officer of Marines in a great naval engagement holds no higher rank than that of captain.
Stocqueler, p. 86; Navy Estimates for 1854 ; Marine Mutiny Act ; Naval and Military Enquiry, 1840.
NOTE ON THE MEDICAL STAFF.
It was intended, as announced in a previous part of this work, to give a full account of the Medical Staff, but it has been found impossible to obtain any very satisfactory information. The work called “
The work called “ Royal Regulations for the Medical Service" is out of print; nor has it been found possible to obtain anything from the Director-General's office. The following, however, is a short account of its organization.
The system has been more often changed than any other portion of the army service. The present head is termed the “ Director-General;” under him are two “ InspectorsGeneral,” stationed in Bengal and Turkey. Under these are 19 “ Deputy Inspectors-General,” of whom 4, viz., those at Canada, Windward and Leeward Islands, Dublin, and Gibraltar, have the local rank of Inspectors-General. The principal medical officer of Chelsea Hospital has the local rank of Deputy Inspector-General for the duties of Chelsea Hospital.
The remaining ranks are, Surgeons of the first class (45), Surgeons of the second class (64), a principal Apothecary and 4 Apothecaries (which are offices lately re-established), Assistant-Surgeons (128), Acting Assistant Surgeons (16), a Purveyor-in-Chief, and 13 Purveyors.