A WOODEN AUXILIARY BARQUENTINE of 393 tons, Thames measurement, the fourth Southern Cross, of the Melanesian Mission, was built in 1891 at Wivenhoe, Essex. She had a length of 131 feet, a beam of 26 ft 7 in and a depth of 14 ft 3 in. The Southern Cross did useful missionary work among the South Sea Islands.
To meet any sudden emergency, the Navy must always have at its disposal a large number of high trained officers and men. The Royal Naval Reserve, founded in 1859, has a magnificent record of wartime service and a growing list of applicants for commissions. Ever since the days of Alfred the Great the Navy has looked to the Merchant Service to serve it in war. The original idea of the Press Gang was to take only trained men ready to serve in the Navy, but they took anybody they could get. Of recent years the work of sailors in the Royal Navy has become more and more specialized, so that it is now necessary for RNR officers and men to receive special training. The RNR sustained heavy losses during the war of 1914-
There is a separate article on the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in part 21.