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Part of autograph 'Diary of the War' of Assistant Paymaster (later Rear-Admiral) Noel Wright, describing three months of his service with Jellicoe's Grand Fleet at Scapa Flow, and reporting the Battle off Texel and sinking of HMS Audacious.

Rear-Admiral Noel Wright (1890-1975), Royal Navy [Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Jellicoe, Commander of the Grand Fleet, Scapa Flow; Battle off Texel; sinking of HMS Audacious]

Editorial: Covering the period from 18 October to 4 January 1915, 1914
Librería: Richard M. Ford Ltd (London, Reino Unido)

Librería en AbeBooks desde: 20 de noviembre de 1997

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163pp., 12mo. In a sturdy notebook, with brass clasp, covered in grey paper. Wright has written '4 | N W' on the front board. On the recto of the first leaf he gives the addresses of 'T', 'C', 'J', 'Adml Campbell' and 'Young'; and on the verso he writes the title 'DIARY OF THE WAR | VOLUME II', above the oval stamp 'SUPPLIED FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE'. He signs 'Noel Wright' at head of the recto of the second leaf. The diary, paginated 1-158, begins on the reverse of second leaf, and is followed by pages listed 'Places visited between 17th October 1914 and 4th January 1915', 'Coalings', 'Distances steamed', and then six pages carrying lists of British, French, Russian, German, Austrian, Turkish and Japanese losses. In landscape across the last two pages Wright gives a list of 'Bank Notes', with 'Number', 'Amount', 'Received from', 'Date', 'Disposed of to', and 'Date'. A valuable document, giving day-to-day news of the doings of Jellicoe's Great Fleet for a three month period at the beginning of the war, written by an intelligent and well-informed young officer. There are numerous references to news received from 'Poldhu', i.e. the Marconi transmitter at Poldhu, Cornwall. On 20 December 1914 Wright is one of a party who transfer to HMS Benbow, apparently from HMS Dreadnought. The diary begins on 18 October 1914 with Wright reporting news of the previous day's Battle off [sic]: 'Apparently the "Undaunted" was accompanied by 4 destroyers of the 3rd Flotilla & the action took place off the Schelt. No news yet as to whether any of our ships were damaged. Also no further news of the submarine at Scapa. We are now using Boradfoot Bay & Lough Swilly as bases. | We had a bad fright yesterday. The "Antrim" made a signal saying that she had sighted a submarine & then signalled "Am being attacked by submarines". Then a silence. C-in-C asked her if she was all right, but no reply came. We were all fearing that she had been sent to the bottom when she signalled that "submarine previously reported was evidently a "fish" blowing." It relieved the tension a lot!' At 10pm on the same day 'C-in-C [Jellicoe] had decided that "Iron Duke" [his flagship] & 4th B.S. should go into East Loch Roag (Lewis) early tomorrow. Now however submarines are reported to be in the trench: so we are not going in now, but the C-in-C is.' The following day Wright reports that 'Submarines were reported as having been seen yesterday as "oiling" from a steam oiler. We are trying to catch the gentlemen & then cut the submarines off. This morning we came across the Armenian oiler "Platuria" & have put a prize crew on board & sent her into Stornaway: reason, for having contraband of war on board. Unluckily she isn't the one we want.' After giving further news of the Texel engagement, he writes: 'Our "emploi" is intercepting trade & capturing any ships that have cargoes on board which we think may be intended for Germany.' On 21 October they pass St Kilda, and tipped in to the volume is a 13.5 x 32 cm sketch by Wright of 'St Kilda. (from the North)'. At 11pm on 27 October he reports news which would be kept from the British public for four years: 'The "Audacious" has gone! It is a terrible show & makes one wild with rage when one thinks of it. What we know is as follows. The second B.S. was to have done squadron firing about 40 miles away from here. 4 ships were just commencing a run at the target. The "Audacious" was 3rd ship in the line. The 1st & 2nd ships had just turned & the "Audacious" was in the middle of the turn when she struck a mine. This in the open sea! Everybody thought she had been attacked by a submarine &, in compliance with the recent order, rushed away from the scene. Apparently the "Audacious" was struck somewhere amidships as two of her engine rooms were flooded. [.] It makes one's blood boil to think of it. These devils have laid mines in the open sea! And, this is the worst part of it, their intention was to sink merchant ships entering the Irish Channe. N° de ref. de la librería 13045

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Título: Part of autograph 'Diary of the War' of ...

Editorial: Covering the period from 18 October to 4 January 1915

Año de publicación: 1914

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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