1914 - 1919 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY A ROYAL NAVY VOLUNTEER RESERVE [RNVR] SIGNALMAN DEDICATED TO HIS NEWBORN DAUGHTER WHO WOULD ONE DAY SOON ENOUGH CHERISH HER FATHER'S BRILLIANT, INTIMATE RETELLING OF HIS NAVAL SERVICE AGAINST GERMANY

By: LT. SIGNALMAN ALEXANDER MCGILL

Price: $8,255.99

Quantity: 1 available


On offer is a superb, original manuscript relic of Britain's World War I efforts against the German Navy mostly in the Northern Patrol and North Sea areas. The large folio Signalman's book, used as a diary, was handwritten by Lieutenant Signalman Alexander McGill of the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve [RNVR]. This super work provides historians and researchers of the Royal Navy during WWI a unique perspective with a truly intimate, finely detailed account of one man's service from December 8th 1914 through to January 27th 1919 on some very significant ships to the war effort. What raises this narrative from a simple diary of events is that McGill was communicating to his newly born daughter of his newly consecrated marriage. [He married Agnes Beatrice Shaw on shore leave in February 1915 and they had a daughter called Edna D. McGill, born March 1916.] The book begins with a charming dedication to 'Miss Edna McGill' from 'Daddy Signalman' and there is little doubt in reading that his purpose was to describe with the utmost clarity his life and service likely with the thought that he might not survive the War. We do note that ironically he survived the War but died a decade later. Adding even more depth to this remarkable work are several hand drawn illustrations and maps detailing actions and positions at significant events like the Battle of Jutland. Here are some snippets: Upon arrival at the Cedric 8th Dec he says: 'It was a shame to see all her fancy woodwork inside being scrapped, just leaving the shipside cabins and a few amidships'; he lists the structure of the company on board and names the officers, he also lists the daily routine hour by hour throughout the diary there's a lot of stuff about the patrols, who they board and who gets escorted under armed guards to Kirkwall. Target practices, fun, games and entertainment moments of action and possible action. 'We boarded an American steamer...and sent her to Kirkwall. Her crew Yankees were very glad we had captured them as they were feared of the mines in the North Sea. This ship was let go by the Govt but did bump a mine and sunk'; 'Two of our ships were completely lost in the late storm. HMS Clan McNaughton and Viknor. All hands lost about 400 each, also 12 officers and 120 men, German reservists being taken in on the Viknor. No word or anything to show what happened in either case'; 'I have some good fun in spare time now quite a clique of us get together and play a foo-foo band etc. some band, cardboard instruments ha ha ha, in fact if you could have suddenly seen us you would think you were amongst a lot of loonies'; 'We left Mersey at midnight...I felt very sad leaving this time after getting married to your darling mother, 21st February being the fateful day'; 'We passed one of our dummy battleships, i.e. a merchant ship made up to look like the Dreadnought King George V, have wooden guns etc. she did look like the K.G.V. until very close indeed'; 'Intercepted a message saying 'Bravo well done Teutonic' we believe she has captured a big prize off the Norway coast, a German merchant ship'; 'Quite a lot of strong language being used freely over Lusitania having been torpedoed'; 'Report from HMS India that a torpedo just missed her. It looks as if a submarine attack is being made upon on this patrol....Orotava sighted submarine but she too far off. Things are very warm just now eh!' Re-coaling takes place at Busta Voe (Shetland) and he draws and describes the chain gate with anti-sub nets blocking the entrance to the bay. There is also regular mention throughout the diary of how quickly they can shift the coal onto the ship, quoting tonnage and time taken. 'We left Liverpool 9th [dec 1915] on way out passed largest ship afloat 'Britannic' on her maiden trip. She is a hospital ship and looked fine with yellow funnels and grey sides with large red crosses'. 20th January 1916 the crew leave the Cedric (northern patrol - patrol A) and continue on northern patrol (patrol B) on the Teutonic. 'I witnessed a bitter fight between two seamen on the mess, both stripped, a bit unequal but after a severe mauling the smaller man put his man to sleep'; 'Search being made for a seaman. No trace of him so he must have committed suicide. He was very despondent during trip. His newly married wife been false while he has been away, so much so as to give him the disease from which he was suffering when he went over the side'. 'Heard that a Cunard Steamer Thracia had been sunk off the Isle of Man'. 'The ships firemen (mercantile marine reserve men) refused to work, citing they wanted merchant steamer food and not navy rations. The Admiral of the Port (Steinman) was called and he brought 50 armed guards with him. He called each man out and asked if he would do his duty or not. 8 refused and were marched off the ship to face a court martial. It was held on HMS Victorious 2 weeks later. Mcgill lists all attending and states: 'The court martial lasted 35 minutes, sentence of 2 years each in detention Gaol Devonport. Admiral Tupper came on board a few days after and gave them a speech on about not grumbling too much and doing their duty.' 'Our wireless staff busy, news of a German raider disguised as an English steamer trying to get through, also a few submarines operating round the Shetlands. We being in charge have altered all patrols to 60 miles further west.' Mcgill lists the names of boats and ships intercepted in patrol and all the ships in the northern patrol, including tonnage, guns and max knots. Many officers are also named. 'Another of our armed guards reports having met a submarine but they hid below while commander of sub asked the Capt of ship where he was bound etc then she pushed off. The sub was the one that has been operating on American coast and must have been on her way home'. December 1916 they leave the Teutonic for a six month refit and after barracks time they join the Orvieto in February 1917: 'I have had an eye witness of big naval action called the Jutland fight sent to me by an old shipmate. Here goes copy. 31st May 1916 HMS Faulkner' and then there are four pages of details of the battle, word for word from his witness friend. Towards the end he states: 'our estimation of enemy losses. 6 battleships, 2 battle cruisers, 2 submarines, 15 to 20 destroyers, 2 zeppelins, 6 light cruisers'. 'Wireless people intercepted RMS Celtic wiring Liverpool. She had bumped a mine. She was about 2hrs astern of us so we were lucky not to have done this'. 'About 11:45am all crew except watch were at dinner when masthead lookout sighted periscope of submarine. It disappeared immediately and all the starboard lookouts sighted torpedo coming at us....navigating officer was navigating the ship....torpedo passed about 20yds astern and broke the surface 500yds on port side'. 'A submarine was sighted about 12 miles ahead so we altered course....a gun began to speak and action bells started ringing. Scrambling up to my station on bridge, an explosion took place not far off on our port bow. Debris and oil filled the water etc a cease fire was sounded. I learnt we had sunk a submarine. 4 shots fired altogether. 2nd hit and explosion occurred, with 3rd and 4th shots lyddite shells. We cruised round full speed but nothing to save etc. the crew must have been blown to smithereens...a warm place here for the subs'. 'After discovering that my old firm were rather reluctant to take me back except at starvation wage, I got the offer for a position at another firm if I could get immediate release...ship was leaving for Belfast refit in the morning...all went well until the absence of the Surgeon, who has to pass me A1, delayed proceedings until the morning...to Birkenhead to get the surgeon agent to witness my medical sheet. Returned to ship...eventually was fully demobilized and got ashore with my bag, 1/4hr before the ship sailed, near thing'. The 13 x 8.5 x 1 inch book has approximately 100 pages with narrative, about a third of the book in total. Overall G+.

Title: 1914 - 1919 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY A ROYAL NAVY VOLUNTEER RESERVE [RNVR] SIGNALMAN DEDICATED TO HIS NEWBORN DAUGHTER WHO WOULD ONE DAY SOON ENOUGH CHERISH HER FATHER'S BRILLIANT, INTIMATE RETELLING OF HIS NAVAL SERVICE AGAINST GERMANY

Author Name: LT. SIGNALMAN ALEXANDER MCGILL

Categories: Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 20th Century Manuscript, 20th Century Diary,

Publisher: RMS TEUTONIC, RMS CEDRIC, RMS ORVIETO NORTH SEA, 1914

Book Condition: Good+

Type: Manuscript

Size: Folio - over 12" - 15" tall

Seller ID: 0002123

Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, LT. SIGNALMAN ALEXANDER MCGILL, RNVR, RMS TEUTONIC, RMS CEDRIC, RMS ORVIETO, ROYAL NAVY NORTHERN PATROL, RN, ROYAL NAVY VOLUNTEER RESERVE, ARMED MERCHANT CRUISER, 10TH CRUISER SQUADRON, WWI, WORLD WAR I, WW1, THE GREAT WAR, THE WAR TO END ALL WARS, ENGLAND AGAINST GERMANY, MARINE, MARITME, SEAFARING, WAR AT SEA, BATTLESHIPS, DESTROYERS, TROOP SHIPS, BATTLE OF JUTLAND, NORTH SEA PATROLS, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, AUTOGRAPHED, AUTHORS, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, KEEPSAKE, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, PERSONAL HISTORY, ARCHIVE, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNAL, LOG, PRIMARY SOURCE, FIRST HAND ACCOUNT, SOCIAL HISTORY, PERSONAL STORIES, LIVING HISTORY, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL,