Archive for November, 2016

The Parker Report on the Royal Navy

November 29, 2016

Why are Royal Navy vessels failing? Why does it take so long for newer ships to be built? Will the Royal Navy even have enough ships? These and a host of other questions, along with solutions, are contained in An Independent Report to Inform the UK National Shipbuilding Strategy as authored by Sir John Parker. This report comes out as the  House of Commons Defence Committee releases Restoring the Fleet: Naval Procurement and the National Shipbuilding Strategy that warns of low-replacement rates for the Royal Navy’s current ships. Correspondence as well as oral and written evidence generated in the issuance of the latter report are here.

Life below Deck

November 7, 2016

It is rare indeed to find reminiscences of seamen; so many were illiterate.  These are some volumes that speak to the life below deck.

Bates, Joseph. Autobiography of Elder Joseph Bates. (1868).

Firth, C.H. ed. Naval Songs and Ballads (1908. Compiled by a pre-eminent British naval historian, “…the ballads describe with vividness and realism certain aspects of maritime life, and supply a life and colour which is lacking in formal records….”(vii)

Gardner, James Anthony. Recollections of …. (1906).

Goodall, Daniel. Salt Water Sketches; Being Incidents in the Life of Daniel Goodall, Seaman and Mariner (1860).

Glascock, W.N. Naval Sketchbook (2d ed, 2 vols, 1826).

Leech, Samuel.  Thirty years from home, or A voice from the main deck (1843).

Nicol, John. The life and adventures of John Nicol, mariner (1822).

Wathen, James.  Journal of a Voyage in 1811 and 1812 to Madras and China…. (1814).

Naval Exploits from the London Gazette

November 3, 2016

The Bulletins of State Intelligence were supplements to the [London] Gazette where you can find military and naval exploits culled from the main paper and presented without the “clutter” of many of the other news items. Originally named the Bulletins of the Campaign, the title later morphed into the Bulletins and Other State Intelligence. The above highlighted link contains all three titles in an almost complete run from 1793-1883. As far as I can tell, each volume has its own index; I have not found a cumulative index as of yet.