Naval Question- What is a "Landsman"


#1

I have to ask the indulgence of the forum to ask this question but I don’t know anywhere else that might know.
I have recently learned that an ancestor of mine George Borthwick (then 22) from Dalkeith Scotland served in the Navy and was on the ships muster of HMS Victory at the time of the battle of Trafalgar.

Now as you can imagine I am pretty excited about this. His rank was described as “Landsman” Does anyone know what a Landsman was? He could read and write. He left the navy aged 36 and settled in Newcastle.


#2

A Landsman is a person who has not been to sea before and has no experience of the Royal Navy. The Landsman was the lowest rank in the Royal Navy at that time.

But seeing as he could read and write I imagine he would have had a specialist role maybe as a signaler.


#3

Slightly of the subject, I just learnt about Major William Martin (whose real name was Glyndwr Michael), the most famous Royal Marine of WWII. He is buried in Huelva,Spain. Really cool story, I want to get the book.


#4

[quote=“Armourer”]A Landsman is a person who has not been to sea before and has no experience of the Royal Navy. The Landsman was the lowest rank in the Royal Navy at that time.

But seeing as he could read and write I imagine he would have had a specialist role maybe as a signaler.[/quote]

Thanks for that Armourer, thats more or less what i had suspected.