Naval Diving

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Naval divers have been used for a long period of time for various tasks and must have extensive training before qualifying as a Royal Navy diver. We show some photographs taken in the early 1900's of the steps taken to get a diver ready.

HMS Deepwater, Royal navy Diving Tender 1959 

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  ? Walker Archive. Order Code PHX185

We have received the following message from 'Frank' regarding this photo : The photo shown of HMS Deepwater shown on your site was taken long before 1959.

I trained as a Diver 3 in 1958 at HMS Vernon and the Deepwater was virtually a hulk alongside at HMS vernon, looking nothing like the photo

Thanks for pointing that out 'Frank'.  The photo came within a christmas card, which we believe was dated 1959, however this evidently applied to the card and not the photograph, so any further suggestion of a date for this photo would be appreciated..

The Diver on Board Ship (1895)

The diver, with his equipment of helmet and dress and air tubes, is an important institution on board the modern man-of-war, where his services often prove of the highest utility and importance.  He is available in any emergency, whether it be to clear a fouled screw, or to examine a ship's bottom under water after stranding or collision, or in shallow waters to recover anything gone astray - from an unshipped iron gangway ladder to a missing torpedo.  He is a specialist, and graduates in one of the "Submarine classes" that are attached to each of the gunnery schools at Portsmouth, Devonport and Sheerness.

Original magazine photo page published 1895 - 1902.  Price ?25.   Or reproduction of photograph ready mounted. Price ?25. Click here to order.  ORDER CODE 1V25

 

Photograph of a Lieutenants diving class c.1902.

 

Photograph showing the warm clothes worn under the heavy diving suit.

 

Being helped into the diving suit.

 

Fitting the metal corselet of the diving suit.

 

The last thing to go on is the helmet.

 

Fully clothed in the divers suit and ready to enter the water.

 

On the ladder and preparing to descend.

 

Finally getting into the water.