East and West Africa Medal, bar Witu 1890, John Jennings, Stoker, HMS Boadicea, who after a very long career with the Navy, was posted to Canada to become a founding member of the Royal Canadian Navy, Naval Service of Canada in 1910.
John Jennings was a local from Landport, Portsmouth, born on 9th November 1869, having worked as a Labourer he attested for the Royal Navy on 2nd March 1888 on HMS Asia as Stoker 2nd Class.
He was posted to HMS Boadicea on 10th May 1888 and served onboard for 3 years including the Witu campaign of 1890.
During this time he was promoted to Stoker on 16th May 1899.
He was extensive sea service over 22 years before he was finally shore pensioned from HMS Vernon, holding the rank of Stoker Petty Officer 1st Class on 10h April 1910, joining the Royal Fleet Reserve on 13th April 1910.
Then on 25th July 1910, at the age of 41 he was officially discharged to join the fledgling Royal Canadian Navy and posted over to Canada as a Stoker Petty Officer. At the time the name of the new service was the “Naval Service of Canada”.
As this was the beginning of a brand new venture for Canada, with the Naval Service Act only passing through Parliament in May 1910, they required manpower, and more importantly experienced men to train and man the fleet, however at the time their humble naval forces consisted of HMCS Niobe and Rainbow, cruisers recently acquired from Britain, surplus to Royal Navy requirements and deemed obsolete from a lack of side or deck armour.