The Training Ship Mercury was founded in 1885 and closed down in 1968. Initially
located on a ship moored off the Isle of Wight, for most of its existence it was
located at Hamble near Southampton, England and consisted of a substantial shorebased
school with a dormitory ship moored nearby in the River Hamble. Today, the heritage
of the school is kept alive by the Mercury Old Boys’ Association which consists of
approximately 500 members scattered across the world. Annual reunions are held as
well as other events. A quality magazine is produced annually.
We welcome all those interested in finding out more about our unusual school and
the Mercury Old Boys' Association, as well as requests from relatives researching
their family history. For those Old Boys and former staff wishing to join the association,
please contact the Membership Secretary. Associate Membership is also open to relatives
of former Mercury boys and others who have an interest in the establishment.
It is with great sadness that we learned today that Peter French, our Vice Chairman,
has lost his battle with a long illness. Peter was one of the longest serving members
of both the Association and the Committee, serving the latter in various capacities.
His enthusiasm for all matters Mercury coupled with a common sense approach did
so much for the Association over many years. He and I were in the same year at Mercury.
I valued him then and do so even more now, as both a very close friend and for all
the loyal support he has given me as your chairman. He and Gilly are numbered among
our very closest family friends.
Despite his failing health Peter, with his usual determination, honed at the school
and then in the Army, took on all responsibility for overseeing the design and construction
of the magnificent new Mercury War Memorial in St Andrew’s churchyard, Hamble. He
was justifiably proud of this which, in every sense, is a fine epitaph not only to
our school but also to a wonderful guy who epitomised the true spirit of an old Mercury
On behalf of the Association we extend our heartfelt condolences to Gilly, her two
sons and the rest of their family at this very sad time. We will all miss him.