Training ships were run by the Marine Society, and catered for boys from a wide range of backgrounds; from fee-paying prospective Merchant Navy officers, through those in Poor Law or other institutional care, to juvenile delinquents placed on reformatory ships. The Arethusa was a wooden frigate which could accommodate 250 boys. It had seen action in the Crimea and was the last British ship to go into battle under sail. She was berthed at Greenhithe and was officially opened, as a training ship, on 3rd August, 1874, by the Earl of Shaftesbury and Baroness Burdett-Coutts. Although the ship is reported as sinking in the 1912 Leysdown tragedy she can't have been too badly damaged and must have been returned to service since it is reported that by the 1920s she had deteriorated badly and was replaced by a steamship. The Arethusa was finally broken up in 1934.
Credit for this entry to: Alan Patient of www.plaquesoflondon.co.uk