Victorian Naval Campaign Groups
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WILLIAM JOHN HAYNES
His first overseas ship was HMS Falcon to which he was drafted on 20 Sep ’81. HMS Falcon was one of the many smaller wood/iron
composite screw coal (with sails) powered gun vessels of 1877 that were in service in the later Victorian navy & saw service all over
the globe, many of them seeing active service in various Victorian era campaigns.
Falcon served on foreign stations as well, serving in the Mediterranean fleet & thus saw active service during the 1882 Egypt
campaign.  Unfortunately Falcon did not see service on 11 July at the bombardment of the main fortifications at Alexandria; she
arrived in the theatre on the 12th. However on the 19th just after sunset, she was sent to anchor off the north coast of Egypt
between Port Said & Fort Gemail in order to distract the Egyptian’s attention from the upcoming attack on Port Said the following day.

HMS Falcon turned out to be a super draft for Haynes as he was promoted to Leading Seaman on 1 Feb ’83 & Petty Officer 2nd class
(PO2) on 1 Feb ’84.  Then on 20 Mar ’84 he was advanced to Gun Captain (CG) so he must have been quite proficient in gunnery to
receive that appointment prior to be being qualified at HMS Cambridge. All of these advancements gained him higher rates of pay.
He left Falcon on 9 Feb ’85, returning to Cambridge to re qualify on 12 Oct ’85.
On the same day as he passed his requalification he was promoted to Petty Officer 1st class (PO1), & Captain of the Main Top (CMT).  
Haynes now qualified for the award of the Naval long Service medal which he received on 16 Jun ’86 in the rate of Captain of the Main
Top. His conduct up to that time had been consistently assessed as Exemplary or very Good.

He was advanced to Gunner’s Mate(GM) & Gunnery Instructor(GI) on 5 Oct, the same day being drafted as GI to HMS Royal Adelaide,
depot ship at Devonport.

Haynes then went to HMS Defiance to qualify in Torpedos which he completed & rated Seaman Gunner Torpedo 1st cl (SGT1) on 1
Jun ’88. These advancements also gave him a raise in daily pay.  He  then  returned to Cambridge where he was employed as a GI
from 4 Jun ‘88 until being drafted to HMS Conquest on 16 Feb ’89. Conquest was a larger screw Corvette (later to be re classed as
3rd cl cruisers) of 1878 & served on the East Indies station. Now he was to see some real active service.

During Oct of 1890 members of the crew of Conquest took part in the punitive expedition against the Swahilis in the area of Witu in
Africa.  The expedition was initiated in order to punish the murderers of eleven German citizens who were working on a timber
concession in the forest around the fort of Witu.

HM Ships Boadicea, Cossack & Conquest took part in the expedition.  Initially  they were sent to Mkonumbui and Baltia villages where
the Germans were murdered & burned the two villages.  The expeditionary force of approx. 750 officers & men then landed at Kipini
& on 25 Oct commenced the march to Witu. Several times enroute to Witu the convoy was ambushed & suffered several ratings
wounded in skirmishes along the way. Upon arrival the stockaded fort of Witu was bombarded & the gates were blown in. The Sultan
Fumo Bakari fled & was chased for three miles  & many of his followers were killed. The fort gave up  after a brief resistance & both
fort & town were subsequently burnt. Casualties were light , eleven ratings were wounded during the campaign. The expedition
returned to Kipini on 28th. The men who went on the Witu expedition were subsequently awarded the new East & West Africa
campaign medal with clasp Witu 1890. If they were not part of the land expedition they did not receive the medal or clasp.  190
officers & ratings of HMS Conquest were awarded medal & clasp.
William Haynes was born at Torpoint,
Cornwall on Apl 20, 1858. He was an
errand boy prior to joining the RN on 30
Apl ‘73 as a Boy of  15 yrs of age. He
commenced his initial training on the old
ship of the line HMS Impregnable, then a
Boys training ship at Devonport. His next
ship in Nov ’74 was HMS Agincourt where
he was advanced to Boy 1st class.
Agincourt at that time was the ship that
boys were drafted to to gain experience in
handling sail. The Victorian navy still had
many ships under sail at that time.

He was next drafted to ironclad HMS
Minotaur on 6 Aug ’75 where he was
advanced to Ordinary Seaman on his 18th
birthday, 20 Apl ’76 & to Able Seaman on
1 Apl ’77.  He then went to HMS
Cambridge, gunnery training ship at
Plymouth & qualified as a Seaman Gunner  
1st class(SG1) on 26 Apl ’80. He was to
return to Cambridge many times during his
career in order to requalify  & qualify for
higher gunnery rates.
CPO WILLIAM JOHN HAYNES R.N.
He returned ashore to HMS Cambridge in May ’92 where again he was
employed as GI from 31 Oct.  He then gets drafted to the Ironclad
HMS Superb, again as GI, on 31 Oct ’92. He only remains on Superb
for a short while being drafted back to Cambridge on 17 Apl ’93 ,
where he again serves as GI from 16 Jun ’93 & is promoted to Acting
Chief Petty Officer GI (CPO GI) on 19 Mar ’94.  
Haynes had now reached the top of the Gunnery branch ladder. He
was confirmed in his rank of CPO on 19 Mar ’95.

He remained at Cambridge until being drafted to ironclad battleship(’
82) HMS Colossus on 16 Mar ’96, & to ironclad battleship HMS
Alexandra on 8 Nov ’97.
On both of these ships he was rated as CPO GI & Chief Capt of the
Main Top.

Haynes time was up when drafted to Alexandra as he had achieved
20 yrs service, however, he obviously liked the navy as he signed on
for another 5 yrs.
He was pensioned from Alexandra on 14 Mar ’01 & joined the Royal
Fleet Reserve (RFR) on 11 Apl’04.

Haynes did not remain ashore for very long tho, as he signed on HMS
Vivid (base at Devonport)  as an AB Pensioner on 11 Apl ’01.  
Pensioners were permitted to sign on base/depot ships as part of the
staff of those ships. Generally they were employed in their former
rates in order to free younger men up for sea drafts.

He was drafted to HMS Triumph (base ship at Plymouth) on 1 Jan ’02
& subsequently to HMS Temeraire (base ship for the Reserve Fleet at
Devonport)  on 16 July ’02, where he remained until 31 Dec’03. On 1
Jan ’04 Temeraire was replaced by HMS Indus as base ship for the
Reserve Fleet & Haynes was moved over to her upon commissioning.
He remained on Indus until 16 Jun ’05 when he went to pension
again, this time permanently. He was discharged from RFR on 20 Apl ’
08 upon reaching the age limit of 50. During his career Haynes’
conduct was consistently either Exemplary or very Good with no
offences or cell time.
He was too old for call up for mobilization or  hostilities in 1914.

William Haynes family -  William married Elizabeth in 1885.

Their daughter Minnie, was born the following year & was still living
with them, aged 15, in 1901.

They also had William’s sister in law, Alice Collins living with them in
1901. At the time their residence was 8 Clarence Rd in Torpoint,
Cornwall.

In 1911 census both are still alive, now living at 5 North Hill Terrance,
Torpoint. William is age 52 & Elizabeth is 48. Minnie has now left
home.

William is shown as naval pensioner & employed as a Verger(assistant
to the minister), presumably at one of the churches in Torpoint.

William Haynes died in Feb 1912 in his 54th yr of age. He was still
living in Torpoint at the time.  It is unknown when Elizabeth died.

William Haynes had a remarkable career – his time started in the
sailing navy & he progressed to the coal/steam powered ironclad navy
& was still serving for the advent of submarines in 1901 & had just
returned to pension when HMS Dreadnought was commissioned in
1906. He would have seen & participated in many changes in the
development of gunnery, as well as a lot of change from the navy he
joined as a boy in 1873.  He likely trained many of the Seaman
Gunners as they went thru gunnery training on the many ships he
served on during his career.
Above: The single gun/crown/star rate would
have been worn from approx 1890-1909

.Below: Gunnery Instructor rate that would have
been worn by Haynes from approx 1885-90.