The Society has, in the past, managed two charities, The Chatham Memorial Fund and the Captain Marrack Memorial Fund.
The Chatham Memorial Fund was a charity set up to commemorate all those members of the Society from the Chatham Division who lost their lives in the service of their country during WWII. The investment income generated by the fund financed a prize that was awarded to the Artificer Apprentices and Special Duties List Officers who achieved the highest marks on their respective training courses; the awards for Artificer Apprentices being directed towards craft and skill of hand.
The Captain Marrack Memorial Fund was a charity set up to commemorate the life of Captain Philip Marrack who died in 1911. During his naval career he earned the reputation of being a champion of high engineering standards who devoted himself to achieving the recognition for naval engineering he felt it deserved. He was held in high regard by all members of the engineering branch and, on his untimely death, a collection was made to establish, in a permanent form, their appreciation and respect for a truly remarkable engineer officer. Thus was formed the Captain Marrack Prize Fund. Income from the fund’s investments was used originally to finance a prize for the best essay on an engineering subject as it was believed such a memorial would have appealed to Captain Marrack had he been consulted.
Over the years the form of the Captain Marrack Prize was adapted to reflect the developments in naval engineering and latterly it was awarded to the best overall apprentice passing out of “Fisgard Squadron” in HMS Raleigh.
With the change from Artificers to Technicians the opportunity was taken by the Trustees of both funds to review the awards and it was decided that the amounts generated from the investments should be given to the 3 Training schools, HMS Sultan for the Defence School of Marine Engineering (DSMarE) and the Royal Naval Air Engineering and Survival School (RNAESS) and HMS Collingwood for the Maritime Warfare School (Weapons Engineering) for the use of the training staff to encourage engineering excellence by recognising the outstanding achievements of engineering students on their various courses. The only proviso being that awards should not simply be monetary.
Unfortunately, both funds, despite the best efforts of their Trustees, suffered in the prevailing economical climate and experienced significant reductions in their investment income. On several occasions it became necessary for the Society to provide financial support to enable the funds to meet their commitments to the Training Schools.
Following the retirement of the Chairman of Trustees it was decided by the Trustees of both funds that the charities should be wound up and their assets transferred to the Society. The Society would then manage those assets within its investment portfolio and make such awards as it was agreed by the Society and the appropriate Training Schools.
The day to day management of the awards and liaison with the schools is now the responsibility of the Publications Editor. The management of the Prize Fund account is the responsibility of the General Manager. The overall policy for awards is set by the Executive Council, who are advised by the Publications Editor. The conduct of the RNEBS Prize Fund is overseen by the Society’s Trustees and the account is subject to audit by the Society’s auditors.
Prizes are presently awarded to Leading Engineering Technicians (LETs), Petty Officer Engineering Technicians (POETs) and Senior Upper Yardmen (SUYs) and take the form of engraved glass tankards or decanters. Presentations are made at Ceremonial Divisions when possible. The annual total outlay for awards made by the Society is in excess of £2,400.
The details and recipients of Society Charity prizes will be published in the Bulletin.