Mutinous before The Mutiny: Sarah Sands’ Disastrous Journey

Sarah Sands"Men have sailed the seas for so many years and have there done such amazing things in the face of danger, difficulty and death, that no one tale of heroism exists which cannot be equalled by at least scores of others. But since behaviour of bodies of untried men under trying circumstances is always interesting, I am trying to tell again the old story of the Sarah Sands, as an example of long-drawn-out and undefeatable courage and cool-headedness." –Rudyard Kipling


Ace in the Pack of Wulfs – ‘Pinky’ Glen’s double-kill sortie

SpitfireNine-victory Spitfire ace Arthur Allan 'Pinky' Glen flew with 41 Squadron in 1941 before commanding the unit in 1944. He claimed his final two victories flying the Supermarine Spitfire XII when he destroyed a pair of Fw 190s over Northern France on 24 Sep 1943, earning the bar to his D.F.C.


Cambridgeshire Bravery: Herbert Howard's Sacrifice

rsz howard 2It was whilst at St Pierre Divion on the Somme that Pte. Herbert Quey Howard, of the 1st Battalion Cambridgeshire Regiment, was called to the extremes of duty. Captain Corfield set the wretched scene as the Germans retook the Scwaben Redoubt:

'The Battalion is all to pieces; in your next draft include all possible signallers, Lewis gunners and N.C.O.s'


Ships in the Ice: The Discovery, Terra Nova and Morning’s Antarctic Expeditions

MorningThe S.Y. Morning was relief ship to Scott's British National Antarctic Expedition. J.D. Morrison was her Chief Engineer, photographer and diarist. Here follows some of Morrison's first-hand accounts of events, taken from his personal log. It offers a very candid take on events at sea and ashore, including his colourful criticism of the state of the Shakleton's Terra Nova, and the bitter anger at the superior attitudes of the Royal Navy to officers of the Merchant Service. It sold at Bonhams for £9500.


Ships Ahoy! H.M.S. Thunderer's account of the Battle of Trafalgar

ThundererThe ship's surgeon, James Marr Brydon, was taking a break from tending to yet another bout of scurvy. His crewmates aboard H.M.S. Thunderer were in disarray ever since Nelson's had personally stepped on board – usually an honour, Nelson had personally overseen the trial of Boatswain Keefe, who was charged with embezzling from the stores. Salt meat rations had been reduced for everyone since Plymouth and Acting Captain John Stockham had been so embarrassed, he had begged to be relinquished of the Thunderer and prove himself to Nelson on the Victory.


I Sacked the Sheriff of Sierra Leone: Ministerial Manoeuvres after the Freetown Riots

Freetown, Jan 28th 1955rsz 11001

Anthony Sheriff Keeling arrived in the capital of Sierra Leone, after sailing from Liverpool with his wife, Marjorie. He picked up their luggage in a hurry and kissed her briefly on the cheek.
"Now, make sure you get Manie to lock the security gates when you get in," he instructed.


1000 Miles to Hope Bay: Robert Taylor’s Dog-Powered Sleigh Ride

Antarctic expedition1Robert Julian Taylor served as a sledge dog physiologist at Hope Bay in 1954/55. He took part in eight sledge journeys involving 248 days in the field, travelling nearly 2750 miles. Working with Alan Precious and Ron Mottershead, he studied the dogs' diet, work output and breeding, gaining a ground-breaking insight into the dogs' stimuli which was discovered after travelling with them throughout the year.


Band of Brothers: the sacrifice of a Great War family

On the verge of the Great War, the census marks down the name Mary Lucas of Coulsdon, Surrey. rsz 003 1Her status entry is simple and stark: 'WIDOW'. Mary's husband, the late Capt. B.W. Lucas of the old 59th Regiment, would barely recognise the war that was about to be unleashed across Europe and beyond; a war of trenches, mustard gas and flying machines. But before 1914, Mary's house, 'Fairmount' was never a lonely place, as it contained her three young sons who would follow in their father's marching footsteps and serve their country as officers, as leaders of men.


Courage Under the Surface – Tunnelling Battles of Le Touquet and Trench War at Mouse Trap Farm

Tunnelling 1Captain Woodgate joined the 1st Bn. King's Own in the Le Touquet sector in the winter of 1914, engaged in mining operations. His unit held the part of the Railway Barricade Trench. Woodgate was positioned in a listening gallery which was being extended towards enemy lines when he saw unfamiliar flashes of light in the tunnel.


Fighting Franco in the Spanish Civil War

HMS Hunter

There is a Naval Memorial in Plymouth on which is inscribed the name of a Welshman: Able Seaman Ernest Thomas of Trealaw, Glamorgan.  His is a tale of gallant acts upon terrible, burning, black Spanish waters, recognised by an honour bestowed by King George VI. For Thomas was a crew member aboard H.M.S. Hunter; a seaman and ship both destined to rest in eternity on the freezing Norweigan seabed near the mouth of the harbour at Narvik.


Mystery Ships and the heroic ‘folly’ of Lieutenant-Commander Lockington

Werner-KrausThe term ‘Mystery Ship’ evokes a misty maritime image of the Marie Celeste’s famous flotsam. However, it is term also connected to the First World War, and a tactic devastatingly more real than the dressed-up decoys used in Pirates of the Caribbean.

It was noticed by some shrewd seadog that when German U-boats sank smaller, unescorted merchant ships in the Atlantic, in order to save torpedoes, they would first surface then destroy the vessel with gunfire. In response to this, the Royal Navy started to use Mystery Ships, also called ‘Q-ships’ after their home port of Queenstown, Ireland.


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