(my great-grandfather) see family group sheet
On 6 June 1859 (age 14) Robert J. Sim enlisted as a Boy 2nd Class on "Hogue"; he was 4'10" tall, with a fair complexion, brown hair and blue eyes. He volunteered to serve for 10 years from age of 18 (December 1862). However across the document at Kew (near London) is written in difficult writing "Cancelled from? a.o. 15 Aug 62 N Bd [Naval board?] 4910 Non C[ommisioned?] Rating ap? Sick berth attendant.� He signed his name firmly and clearly, Robert J Sim. There are no further details of this first period although a note says "For trace of service vide Non C.S. Ledger 89/32". We do know that at his marriage in Greenock in 1864 he was serving as a sick bay steward on HMS "Lion" (an 80-gun second-rate launched in 1847, converted to screw propulsion in 1859, a training ship after 1871, and sold for breakup in 1905).
His Continuous Service Engagement Recordi (also at Kew) shows he enlisted again on 6th May 1872 for a further 10 years as a sick berth steward. He was described then as 5'3 with dark hair and eyes and a fair complexion. Perhaps the most interesting personal detail is that he had (I think) acquired a tatoo "a tree on right arm" He served throughout as a sick berth steward, and his character was "V Good" or "Exy" throughout. He served initially aboard the cadet ship (Jan 73 - Sep 74) where he wore two Good Conduct badges "Britannia" , , then spent a month as a reserve on "Royal Adelaide" in Devonport before joining the iron troopship Himalaya (Oct 74 - May 78) just after she gained battle honours in Ashantee and left her just before she went to serve in the Anglo Zulu War of 1879 , "Royal Adelaide" (again - this time for 3 months), "Hercules" (10 months) and "Warrior" (18 months). He was discharged to shore with a pension on his 38th birthday (2nd December 1882) after 20 years naval service.