Mars showing boys drilling, Dundee

Mars showing boys drilling, Dundee - Ref: WC2144

This photograph shows an example of the training boys received on the Mars Training Ship. The ship, anchored on the River Tay from 1869 until 1929, could accommodate 400 boys.

These boys were there for a variety of reasons. They could be criminals, or likely to become criminals or orphaned. A familiar parental threat made to many misbehaving Dundee boys was, "You'll be sent to the Mars."

Alexander Wilson who took this photograph, was a supervisor in a Dundee jute mill for over 20 years. He bequeathed much of his collection and £50, to cover the costs involved, to the Free Library Committee of Dundee in 1923.

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