Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: February 09, 2016
Webpage updated: April 21, 2022

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HMS "Vivid", the Royal Naval Barracks at Devonport.
From a postcard.

"The Naval and Military Record" reported that on Tuesday June 4th 1889 almost 500 men transferred ashore from HMS "Royal Adelaide" to the new barracks and gave a description of the buildings.  A warrant officer and a small group of men were left on board the ship.  The following year the Barracks took on the name HMS "Vivid".

The Big Gun Drill at the Royal Naval Barracks circa 1907.
Not sure what the sailor on the right of the picture is meant to be doing.
From a Gale and Polden Limited postcard.

A pigeon loft was added in 1894, and the Clock Tower was erected at the Main Gate in 1896.  HMS "Indus" was set to become an accommodation hulk annexed to the Barracks in 1897 but was sold instead.  The Barracks were again described in August 1897.  Work on extending the Barracks was commenced in March 1898.  Their Majesties the King and Queen visited HMS "Vivid" on March 8th 1902 and shortly afterwards a description of the dining hall was published.  A Grand Ball was held in the Officers' Mess  and Officers' Quarters in January 1903.  A new Sick Quarters building was started in June 1903.  The foundation stone for the Royal Naval Church was laid in March 1905 and work started on new quarters for the officers and the new gunnery school to replace the ship HMS "Cambridge".

The Swimming Bath at the Royal Naval Barracks.
From a postcard.

A swimming bath was officially opened in May 1905 and a gymnasium in 1906.  In February 1907 the Anglican Church of Saint Nicholas was dedicated and the new guardhouse was completed.  Later that year the new Gunnery School was officially opened.  During 1907 the Drill Shed was doubled in size.

Dinner time at the Royal Naval Barracks.

Dinner time at the Royal Naval Barracks.
From a postcard.

HMS "Vivid" itself was sold and moved to Glasgow in November 1912 and when the Great War started Johnston Terrace Elementary School was taken over to provide extra accommodation for sailors.

Helping to support the wives of sailors while they were away at sea were the many local branches of the Royal Naval Friendly Union of Sailors' Wives.

Devonport's first "Navy Week" took place in August 1928, publicized by the Barracks' Bluejacket Band marching around Devonport, Plymouth and East Stonehouse, while in October the former cinema and beer hall was converted into a theatre.

At the very first Drake Dinner it was suggested that the base should take the name Plymouth's famous seafarer and so in 1934 HMS "Vivid" became HMS "Drake".