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Digital Subscriptions > History Revealed > August 2017 > Letters


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You chose a wonderful photograph of the wrecked ship, HMS Foudroyant, on Blackpool beach in your recent issue (Snapshots, June 2017. But did you know that its owner, Wheatley Cobb, once ran the Foudroyant as a naval training ship for boys? Parents paid to send their sons to the vessel, where they would receive rudimentary education in the skills needed to be a sailor. Then, when they were ready to move on to the officer training ships, the boys would have a head start.

In an effort to raise more money (he estimated it cost over £4,000 a year to run the ship, and the boys’ fees went only so far), Cobb decided to sail her around the coast to popular seaside resorts, and welcome the public on board – for a fee, of course. The trainees would sail the ship, aided by six qualified crewmen. Twenty-one boys were on board when disaster struck.

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About History Revealed

Discover the daring escapes and rescue missions of the Dunkirk evacuation, find out how the Victorians revolutionised British summers with the creation of the seaside holiday, and meet the exotic dancer-turned-World War I spy, Mata Hari.