HMS FISGARD SERIES 32 ARTIFICER APPRENTICES
The 87 boys of Series 32, age 15 to 17, arrived at HMS FISGARD on completion of a rigorous, competitive, selection process. In a day or two they would be required to 'sign on' for 12 years' service from age 18. For most, arriving in civilian clothes, it was the first taste of life in the Royal Navy and for many the first time away from home. A few arrived in the 'square rig' uniform of boy seamen from training establishments such as HMS Ganges, HMS St Vincent, RHS Holbrook and TS Mercury. For them the 'boarding school' regime of Fisgard would be welcome relief.
Apprentices were allocated divisions; Anson, Blake, Collingwood, Duncan on the West Side of the establishment, Exmouth, Frobisher, Grenville, Hawke on the East Side. Each division had a divisional officer, an engineer Lieutenant/ Lieutenant-Commander, supported by a divisional Chief Petty Officer. There were 4 accommodation huts per division, a CPO apprentice in charge of the new entry class hut, PO apprentices and Leading apprentices allocated to the other huts.
If successful in school exams and workshop test jobs apprentices spent 4 terms at Fisgard; advancing from 1 class to 4 class in 16 months to complete Part 1 training. They then went on for a further 2½ to 3 years Part 2 specialist training as follows: