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Royal NavyRoyal Navy

20th Century

At the start of the 20th Century, a further period of rapid naval expansion took place in Great Britain and once again the numbers of men required to man the new Dreadnoughts were looked at; it seemed that even with all the men of the Royal Naval Reserve available, there were still too few to be able to operate and fight them, so a new solution was sought.

In 1903, a scheme was introduced whereby men in civilian careers (which were usually unconnected with the sea) could train on a part-time basis for service with the Royal Navy at special shore establishments in parallel to their careers, thus forming the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR), which by the start of the World War I, had grown to more than 30,000 officers and men.