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George Henry Lifton was a surveyor who served in the Royal Naval Artillery Volunteers in Liverpool, an organization for civilians without seagoing backgrounds intended to supplement the Royal Naval Reserve (whose members were seasoned seamen). The Royal Naval Artillery Reserves were disbanded in 1891 but the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) was created in 1903 to serve the same purpose.
George Henry Lifton joined the RNVR in 1903. He was discharged in 1912 in the rank of Chief Petty Officer at his own request because he was emigrating to Canada. Beginning in 1913 in Victoria, Lifton became a leading figure in the organization of a naval volunteer force that became officially authorized in 1914 with the creation of the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve.
Scope and content
Fonds consists of service records and personal documents of W.H. Lifton and G.H. Lifton, documents related to the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, and programmes and menus from the Royal Naval Artillery Volunteer Force.
1. Certificate of service for W.H. Lifton dated 6 January 1856.
2. Certificate of continuous service for W.H. Lifton beginning 6 January 1866 and ending with service in HMS Warrior 1868 in the rank of Gunner’s Mate.
3. Certificate awarding naval pension and Greenwich Hospital Pension for W.H. Lifton to commence 21 June 1876.
4. Prayer pamphlet with handwritten note in ink on cover that reads “Lifton, H.M.S. Albion, R.N. Crimean War”.
5. Certificate of promotion to Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve for G. H. Lifton, dated 21 June 1917. Also, has a stamp across the top that says Cancelled, 31 December 1918.
6.1. Certificate of discharge from the Royal Naval Artillery Volunteer Reserve for G. H. Lifton dated 15 April 1885.
6.2. Handwritten note on Birkenhead Companies Mersey Division letterhead, consisting of a very brief letter of recommendation for G.H. Lifton dated 3 January 1912.
6.3. Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Mersey Division service certificate of G. H. Lifton containing records dating from 1903 to 1912.
7. Typed copy of Order-in-Council authorizing and constituting Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve dated 14 May 1914 in Ottawa.
8.1. Photocopy? of program for display given by the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteers dated 29 January 1914.
8.2. Notice of upcoming seamanship instruction dated 24 March 1914 and signed by G.H. Lofton, Honorably Secretary of the Victoria Volunteer Naval Reserve Organization.
9. Extract from 1919 Royal Navy List, listing the officers of the Royal navy and of the Royal Marines on the retired, emergency, and reserved lists with the dates of their seniority. Also list of Lieutenants, sub-lieutenants, mates, surgeons, paymasters, and assistant paymasters of the royal naval volunteer reserve and naval establishments of dominion governments.
10. Memorial record for George Henry Lifton who died at the age of 59, 3 October 1923.
11-29. Assorted programmes, menus and cards for the Royal Naval Artillery Volunteer Force dating from 1891 until 1906. These are illustrated with whimsical drawing of British tars and illustrate the bonds of comradeship which continued to hold members of the Royal Naval Volunteer Artillery together after it was disbanded.
30. Article printed by the Royal Canadian Navy, c. 1960, titled “Brief History”.
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