(Annual Report)

There have been two deaths, one from cerebral meningitis and one from an accident at the swimming bath. The boy sank near the deep end and through the cloudy state of the water at the time he could not be seen until too late.


1891 January, 12th.

Aberdeen Weekly Journal


James Buchan (11 ½ ) Dunnotar.

James Merchant.


1891 Courier & Argus

January 22nd.


    George Moss (?) Stoddart (12), from Leith, was brought before Bailie Keith at the Police Court under the Industrial Schools Act. The applicant was found sleeping in a stair in Greenmarket on the night of Friday last. It was stated that he was the son of Alexander Stoddart, boilermaker, James Street, Leith. The boy said he came from Leith with his mother about two months before the New Year, and that they lived in Cherryfield Lane till about the end of December, when his mother left him and went back to Leith. He was taken to his grandmother’s house in Lochee, where he stayed a week, and then he ran away from her, and he had been living in common lodgings and sleeping on stairs since the New Year. His grandmother said she would have nothing more to do with him, as he had gone entirely beyond her control. His father stated in a letter that the boy was entirely beyond his control, and had been taking up with bad company. He had a good home, but would not stay with his parents. With his father’s consent, the boy was committed to the Mars Training Ship.


1891 Courier & Argus

Monday, 26th January.


Before Bailie Keith – Peter Ward (12), millworker, Ann Street, was brought up for having stolen a coat, a vest, and a shirt from his father’s house in Ann Street on the 9th inst. he pleaded guilty. Mr Dewar withdrew the charges of theft. The boy, with the consent of the father was committed to the Mars Training Ship.


1891 Courier & Argus

Monday, 9th February.

STOCKING THE MARS – Nugent, Hughes.

On Saturday in the Dundee Sheriff Court – before Hon. Sheriff-Substitute, DS. Littlejohn – William Nugent (12) and William Hughes (12) were brought forward as applicants for the Mars Training Ship. Mr Campbell, Boys’ Home, stated that the boys had no proper guardian, and were in danger of drifting into crime. They were sent to the Mars Training ship till they attained the age of 16.


1891 Courier & Argus

17th February.

A former Mars boy misconducting himself

 At Cupar yesterday a young lad named William Taylor, described as a bobbin-turner, residing at Springfield, was charged at the Sheriff Court with having, on the 14th inst, and the house in Springfield occupied by James Matthewson, general dealer assaulted Mrs Matthewson by striking her a severe blow with his clenched fist, and with cursing and swearing and committing a breach of the peace. He was also further charged with having, on the 15th inst stolen from the bothy of Russell Mains Farm a sliver watch and chain. Accused pleaded guilty, and in answer to the Sheriff, said he had nothing to say. The boy’s mother, who was in the body of the Court, said she could not explain how he has come to commit the offence unless he had been taking drink; he had never done anything like it before. In answer to his Lordship, accused said he was 18 years of age, and it is true that he had never before been brought up for anything of that sort.

His Lordship – I understand you were trained in the Mars Training Ship?

Accused – Yes.

The Sheriff said - he was anxious to give a lad like the accused an opportunity of leading a respectable life. If he sent him to prison possibly his chances in life would be gone. By a recent Act of Parliament his Lordship could bind him over to come up again to receive sentence any time within six months if he misconducted himself. His Lordship said in accused’s case he was glad to take advantage of that Act. Accused would now see the danger of taking drink. He had not only committed an assault, but had also been guilty of theft. By which he had endangered his whole future prospects, but, if he would promise to avoid drink and behave better in future, he would discharge him just now on the condition ha had formerly mentioned. Accused readily gave his Lordship the required promise, and he was dismissed from the bar.


1891 Courier & Argus

Friday, 20th February.


…On 376 boys reported on as having left the ship in the three years 87, 88, 89, 16 had since died, 26 couldn’t be traced, 9 were reported on unfavourably, while no fewer than 325 were reported on as Doing Well.

…6 boys had passed into the Royal Navy during the past year, 9 boys had been found qualified in music, and were admitted to the army, and 3 of the number had been sent for special musical training to Kneller Hall, Middlesex.

(Kneller Hall is in England at Twickenham and is the Royal Military School of Music (RMSM) formed in 1857 by Field Marshall HRH Duke of Cambridge, then Commander in Chief of the British Army.)


1891 Courier & Argus

Monday, 2nd March.

RECRUIT FOR THE MARS – McKenzie, Peebles

In the Sheriff Court yesterday – Hon. Sheriff-Substitute Littlejohn – an applicant was made by Mr Campbell, Boys’ Home, West Bell Street, to have Thomas McKenzie (11), Irvine Square, and David Peebles (12), Fleuchar Street, sent to the Mars Training Ship. Mr Campbell stated that the boys had been keeping bad company, and were in danger of drifting into crime. His Lordship sent them to the Mars until they attained the age of 16.


1891 Courier & Argus

Tuesday, 3rd March.


In the Dundee Sheriff Court before Hon Sheriff-Substitute Littlejohn – Mr Campbell, Superintendent of the Boys’ Home, submitted an application to have Thomas Burns, 11 years of age, South Road, Lochee, admitted to the Mars Training Ship. Mr Campbell stated that the boy was keeping bad Company, and would not go to school, and was in danger of falling into crime. He was sent to the Mars.


1891 Courier & Argus

Saturday, 28th March



     The tidings of the sudden death of Miss Jessie Scott daughter of Captain Scott, of the Mars, cast quite a gloom over Newport yesterday. Miss Scott was in her usual health, and visited Dundee in the early part of the week. The attack with which she was seized developed serious symptoms only late on Thursday night, and Miss Scott succumbed early yesterday morning. The deceased young lady was a great favourite amongst her many friends and acquaintances in the village.


      At Woodhaven, Newport, Fife, suddenly, on the 27 inst, Caroline Jessie Lennox, second daughter of Captain Scott, R.N. Training Ship Mars, aged 31 years. Funeral on Monday from St Mary’s Episcopal Church, Newport, at one p.m., to Western Cemetery, Dundee, carriages at Craig Pier, Dundee at 1.50. All friends invited.


1891 Tuesday, June 16th.

Aberdeen Weekly Journal

Taylor Keith (13) Sent to the Mars, from Huntly.


1891 Courier & Argus

Friday, 31st July.


     In the Dundee Sheriff Court yesterday – Sheriff Campbell Smith on the bench – Alexander Tevondale (12) and Alexander McLaren (11) were, at the instance of Mr Campbell, agent of the Dundee Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, committed them to the Mars until they attain the age of 16.


1891 Courier & Argus

Wednesday, 2nd September.


     James Johnston (12) and David Graham (10), schoolboys, Foundry Lane, were charged with having stolen two penny bottles of essence of coffee from a confectioner’s shop in Blackscroft on the 19th ultimo. The boys admitted the charge. They had been in trouble before, and their parents said they were beyond their control. Mr Dewar withdrew the charges of theft, and the Bailie committed Johnston to the Mars and Graham to Baldovan Industrial School.


1891 Courier & Argus

Saturday, 5th September.

……Thomas McGuire was sent to the Mars under similar circumstances. (Two boys had been brought before Hon. Sheriff-Substitute Littlejohn…it was stated that the mother of the lads was dead, and that they had gone beyond the control of their father.)


1891 Courier & Argus

Tuesday, 15th September.


         On Saturday afternoon Mr J. Lindsay Bennet, of London and St Andrews, accompanied by a number of friends, visited the Mars Training Ship and distributed the annual prizes gained by the boys.  Best Behaved Boy in School – Alexander Gilzean, Watch and Chain.

Best Behaved Boy on Deck – David Wilson, Watch and Chain.

Best Oarsmen – James Wilson, Sailor’s Jersey; William Coyle, Sailor’s Jersey; Alexander Grant, Sailor’s Jersey; Thomas McFadgen, Sailor’s Jersey.

Best Swimmers – Robert Hughes, Sailor’s Jersey; John Orr, Sailor’s Jersey.

Best Helmsmen – James McQuarry, Sailor’s Jersey; Thomas Wilburn, Sailor’s Jersey.

Best Band Boys – John Pirie, £1; John McLachlin, Melodeon; James Carrol, Melodoen.

Best Coxswains – Peter Anthony, Monkey Jacket; John Hunter, Monkey Jacket.

Best Tailors – Henry Tweedie, £1; John Ward, £1.

Best Shoemaker – Joseph Whyte, £1; Thomas McNair, £1.

Best Carpenter – Andrew Pullar, £1.

Tidiness and Care of Clothes – Thomas Knox, £1.

School prizes for Good Conduct and Application –

Patrick Leyden, Book; Patrick Carroll, Book; James Goldie, book; James Stark, Book; A. McInney, Book; Colin Graham, Book; R. McGlashan, Book; William Doyle, Book; James Irvine, Book; John Mitchell, Book; William Bell, Book; Mark Gibson, Book; Alexander Stewart, Book; John Welsh, Book; John Stewart, Book; Abraham Profit, Writing Desk, James Willcoat, Writing Desk.


1891 Courier & Argus

Wednesday, 30th September


     Francis Devannagh (11) schoolboy, Peter Street, was brought up charged with two acts of theft – first - with stealing a vest from a house in Peter Street, and second – two keys from a ship lying in King William Dock. The boy pleaded guilty. His father, who was in Court, said he was beyond his control. Mr Dewar withdrew the charges, and recommended the Bailie to deal with him under the Industrial Schools Act. His education had been evidently neglected. The Bailie committed the boy to the Mars till he attained the age of 16.


1891 Courier & Argus

Tuesday, 20th   October.


Yesterday before Hon Sheriff-Substitute Littlejohn – Alexander Walker (13), Nelson Street, and Hugh Wilson (12), Hospital Wynd, were, with their parents’ consent committed to the Mars Training Ship till they attain the age of 16.


1891 Courier & Argus

Thursday, 19th November.


Before Bailie Keith – David Taylor (12), schoolboy, James Street, was charged with having stolen a vest from his father’s house on October 20th last. Mr Dewar said he did not want a conviction recorded against the boy, he having been brought up at the instance of his parents. He had been staying out at night, and sleeping on the stairs. He had absented himself from home for nearly a week. With the consent of his parents, the Bailie committed the boy to the Mars Training Ship until he attains the age of 16.


1891 Friday, November 28th.

(Aberdeen Weekly Journal)


   At Aberdeen Police Court yesterday, two boys aged 12, named Robert Farquharson and John Forbes, residing in Kintore Place, admitted having, on Wednesday, stolen a 1lb tin of salmon from a shop in George Street. Farquharson has been previously convicted and Forbes twice – their last conviction being on the 18th inst., when they were admonished and dismissed. A request was made on behalf of Mrs Forbes to send her boy to the Mars Training Ship but Bailie Crombie pointed out that no boy could sent there who had a conviction recorded against him. There could only one of two punishments – either to send the boys to prison for ten days and thence to a reformatory, or apply the birch rod. He would delay sentence till this morning, and he would ask the mothers of the boys to wait for a few minutes after the court was over that he might consult them.