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Manuscript diary of the purser of the Royal Navy Armoured Cruiser HMS Cornwall, describing Mediterranean and Baltic tours of duty (while Captain W. R. Hall was spying for Britain)

Purser's diary, Royal Navy Armoured Cruiser HMS Cornwall, under Captain (later Admiral Sir) William Reginald "Blinker" Hall (1870-1943), future Director of Naval Intelligence; golf]

Editorial: 1 January to 17 December, 1909
Encuadernación de tapa dura
Librería: Richard M. Ford Ltd (London, Reino Unido)

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Manuscript diary of the purser of the Royal Navy Armoured Cruiser HMS Cornwall, describing Mediterranean and Baltic tours of duty (while Captain W. R. Hall was spying for Britain), with descriptions of golf and other sports and recreations. 'Letts's No. 46 Indian and Colonial Rough Diary Giving Half a Page a Day. 1909'. 12mo, 161pp. Good, on aged paper, in worn boards. Diary proper consists of 210pp., with entries on three-quarters (159pp.) of them (few entries for periods of leave), preceded by two pages with lists of family birthdays and of books read. A few childish scrawls throughout, not affecting text. The author (whose family is from Staines, and who trained at the Royal Naval College, Osborne, Isle of Wight) is intelligent and cultured (among books read are Erskine Childers' 'Riddle of the Sands' and 'Ras Plata' by 'Lieut Makharoff I.R.N. [Semenoff]'). HMS Cornwall was a 9,800 ton Monmouth-class armoured cruiser, launched in 1902 and sold for scrap in 1920. Her captain in 1909 was William Reginald 'Blinker' Hall, future Director of Naval Intelligence, who, unbeknownst to the author, was conducting intelligence missions throughout period covered in the diary. The ship's movements in 1909 were: Algeciras and Gibraltar (1 January), Algiers (12 January), Alexandria (19 January), Cairo (21 January), Malta (12 February), Algeciras and Gibraltar (25 February), Plymouth (3 March), 'Christiana [Oslo]'(22 May), Malmö (2 June), Copenhagen (4 June), Arhus (13 June), Fredericia (16 June), Kiel (22 June), Sonderburg (7 July), Apenrade (9 July), Bygdo (18 July), Christiana (6 August), Aarhus (7 August), Warnemunde (11 August), Memel (13 August), Libau (18 August), Reval (24 August), Danzig (2 September), Swinemunde (7 September), Stockholm (24 September), Nyborg (6 October), Spithead (14 October), [author on month's leave in Staines from 6 November,] Devonport (6 December). At the time of the diary the Cornwall served as a cadet training ship, which may perhaps explain the emphasis on sporting activities. However the author's enthusiasm for golf goes beyond the call of duty, and he contrives to play the game from Alexandria and Helouan in Egypt to Marsa in Malta to Kitzeberg in Germany, as well as Mount Batten and Tavistock in England. The diary also records inspections of the ship by the German Kaiser and King and Queen of Norway. The following extracts convey the tone: 1 January: 'Coaling Ship. Went over to Algeciras by 12.20 steamer and after luncheon at Reina Christina had a good walk out to waterfall & cork woods. Country reminded me much of Platea. Back to Hotel to tea, and to Gib[raltar]. by 5.30 p.m. steamer. Dined on board - Ship clean & 1200 tons of coal in.' The following day he pays the ship's company. On 3 January there is 'Church on Quarter Deck', with Sir Edward Carson on board. He calls on the Bakers, and meets Mrs Baker for the first time: 'I like her - very jolly & natural & think they will get on excellently'. The following day 'Played Bedford Regiment at hockey and drew with them but we had a weak team. Paid Quarterly Allowances.' And on 5 January 'Played Garrison at hockey & beat them 4 goals to 1. Paid Savings.' On 7 January 'Left Gibraltar 2 p.m. for Algiers having the Governor - General Forrestier [sic] Walker and his sister (?) on board. Sea as smooth as a mill pond and sunset very fine indeed.' In Algiers on 12 January: 'Tennis at Bradleys in afternoon and dance at Excelsior in evening given by Mrs. Hay Newton, Mrs. Arthur & Baroness de Vivier. Miss Arthurs coming out & V-r was making the running for all he was worth. Danced till 3 a.m.' 14 January: 'Lunched at French Admiralty - Contre-Admiral Arago. Very enjoyable party & fine old Arabian House. Talked French by the yard - An "At Home" on board - 3 to 5.30 p.m. about 150 people English & French. Ten of us went to Opera after dinner, having been given Mayors & Governor General's boxes'. The following day the ship leaves Algiers and he 'Issued clothing.' On. N° de ref. de la librería 11591

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Detalles bibliográficos

Título: Manuscript diary of the purser of the Royal ...

Editorial: 1 January to 17 December

Año de publicación: 1909

Encuadernación: Hardcover

Ejemplar firmado: Signed by Author(s)

Descripción de la librería

Private premises. Autographs, manuscripts and archives on any subject. Particular interest in publishing and bookselling history. Occasional catalogues. Company number: 03785276

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