Price: $22,855.99

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Book Condition: Good+

On offer is a sensational, historically significant manuscript relic of British naval history being the handwritten journal of F. G. Hedingham, a sailor on the British Royal Navy cruiser the HMS Pegasus, working in the Australian Station. The back of the front cover reads: “Rough notes on the Commission of H.M.S. Pegasus. On the Australian Station. F. G. Hedingham. January 31st 1905.” The journal begins, “Commissioned in Sheerness dockyard on 31st January. 1905. Left the dockyard on the 24th of Feb after repairs to boilers were finished...proceeded straight up to Chatham and into Dry dock the same day...Took in 250 tons of coal in the morning of the 9th and went down the River to Saltpan reach in the afternoon. Raised steam on the morning of the 10th and left Sheerness at 2.20pm and proceeded down Channel.” The ship faces rocky weather almost immediately: “...had a rough passage all the way out, at times in the Bay of Biscay we were only doing about 2 knots an hours.” The ship arrives in Gibraltar, takes on more coal, and see the Duke and Duchess of Connaught. On the way down to Australia, the ship stops in Malta, Aden, Suez, Colombo, and Batavia. Hedingham gives pretty quick and to-the-point accounts of each day, stating larger and more straightforward observations, such as weather events, ships seen, ports left from or sailed to, rate of the ship's progress, etc. In Batavia, a man on the Pegasus dies: “Weds: May 10th. We were going to sea at Daybreak this morning but the stoker in the steam-boat got sun-stroke and was carried inboard about 6pm last night, he died at 9am this morning. I went to his funeral on shore this afternoon he was buried about 3pm about 1/4 mile from the harbor.” The next day it is back to normal, going on towards Albany, Australia, described as “a large harbor but not very deep water. With hills all around.” The ship moves on to Sydney, where the Pegasus gets a number of repairs done on it, a process that takes about six weeks. In the meantime, Hedingham spends his days in town, going to see sports, walking around the city, going to the National Gallery, taking day trips to places like Manley. His days are easy and enjoyable. On September 26, “Admiral [Arthur] Fanshaw hoised his flag as full admiral on the flagship for the first time this morning and the ships in harbour fired the salute.” The ship leaves Sydney and goes to Jervis Bay for military exercises, then back to Sydney. The ship leaves again a couple weeks later for Noumea, the capital of New Caledonia, which Hedingham reports: “‘Noumea’ it has a population of 6,000 of which 2,000 are blacks. The majority of the houses have only one story can hardly call the town pretty but the country about is very nice. The cemetery is large and well kept with a lot of expensive wreaths.” A fire starts on the dock shortly after the Pegasus arrives in Noumea and there are a number of days of a ‘court of inquiry’ into the cause of the fire. The ship moves on to “Port Sandwich at one of the Islands in the New Hebrides.” Hedingham continues, “We have 5 n****rs on board as prisoners since we were at ‘Noumea’ we are taking them down to the Islands for exile as they have committed a murder.” The ship leaves ‘Port Sandwich’ and arrives at the Island of Mallicolo. The Pegasus joins a French ship on the island. What happens next is a sad legacy of European colonialism. Hedingham and a party of “about 80 men and officers” land on the island and proceed to massacre the local population as revenge for alleged recent murders of French members of the schooner ‘Lily’ by the natives of this small island. The event is harrowing, but is written with the same cool and calm demeanor as all the other entries: “...we carried two Maxim guns and the men armed with rifles and bayonets and some with cutlass and revolvers each man carried 120 rounds a small party landed at the same time from the French ship, we all line up on the beach and the whole marched off together into the bush, the party passed through a friendly village about a mile from the beach, and about two miles further on they came to another village a halt was made and about 100 rounds fired from the Maxim and when they came into the village it was deserted....again to another village with the same result the natives firing one or two shots. The village which was called ‘Billias’ was then set on fire, cokeonut trees and fruit trees were cut down and all the wooden idols blown up after...the party marched back again to the other village which was also burned down....steep hills all the while...” The ship then moves on to another part of the island, landing another armed force on the village and threatening, “that we would blow the village up if they do not fetch off two others that escaped this afternoon...” The natives deliver the men the next day. The ship leaves and goes back to Noumea, where Hedingham reports: “one of the last two n*****r prisoners that we took on board jumped overboard in the night and tried to escape but they lowered a boat and brought him back.” About a month later, another raid and massacre on the natives occurs: “As soon as the natives saw that they had got to go with us they started resisting one of the broke away and they shot him down as soon as they heard the shot all the lot made a rush in all directions down the hill, they fired at them as quick as they could and several of them fell, they ceased firing and all we had was four men and two women. We left those that were shot where they fell and marched back about 2pm. On the way down 2 of the men broke away at different places and were shot. So when we got to the beach we only had two men and two women.” The French take the prisoners off with them. Another landing happens a few days later, at the town of Atchin, in Malekula island. They demand the natives give up their “pigs and rifles” and the natives give in, bringing “all together about 24 pigs and about 60 Snider Rifles.” This is the last landing as the ship soon goes back to Sydney harbor. There is shore leave in Sydney, where Hedingham takes the train to Menangle Australia to shoot rabbits. 1906 begins with more of the same, patrolling the Australian station, doing military exercises with other ships, and remarking on the occasional shore leave, regatta, or holiday. In April, Hedingham gets appendicitis and is holed up in the sick bay for a couple days. There is more patrolling, and the occasional landing in New Hebrides or Vanuatu to capture alleged criminals. For example: “Wed. June 5th. Landed an armed Party this afternoon and brought off two chiefs to be punished for stealing canoes. Gave them a dozen strokes each in their own village.” Beginning in November, 1906, the ship begins to head back to England, arriving at the end of January, 1907. The book is approximately 260 pages in length, of which close to 200 pages have writing in them. The covers are marbled paper over board, and are faded and speckled, especially at the corners. The spine is in fair condition, showing wear and tear at the top and bottom. No pages are fully detached from the book, but many are detached from the spine. The book still holds together, but should be handled with care. The paper, especially in the beginning and end shows some foxing and age-toning, but not enough to affect the legibility of the content. The handwriting is crisp and clean throughout and the ink is still quite dense, fading only at a few points throughout. (Background: The HMS Pegasus was one of 11 Pelorus-class protected cruisers ordered for the Royal Navy in 1893 under the Spencer Program and based on the earlier Pearl class. The ship was sunk at the Battle of Zanzibar in 1914.) OVERALL: G+; Manuscript; 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall; KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, F. G. HEDINGHAM, H.M.S. PEGASUS, AUSTRALIA STATION, BRITISH ROYAL NAVY, PRE WORLD WAR 1 BRITISH NAVY, COLONIALISM IN OCEANIA, VANUATU, NEW HEBRIDES, NOUMEA, ENGLISH COLONIAL EMPIRE, DOWN UNDER, OZ, AUSSIE, SOUTH PACIFIC, ANGLO-FRENCH JOINT NAVAL COMMISSION, ENGLISH SUBJUGATION OF NATIVE PEOPLES, PELORUS-CLASS, PROTECTED CRUISER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM, BRITISH NAVAL DOMINANCE, PRE-WW1 OCEANIA, BRITANNICA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, KEEPSAKE WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ARCHIVE, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNAL, LOG, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL


Author Name: F. G. HEDINGHAM

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


Book Condition: Good+

Seller ID: 0009182

Keywords: Keywords: History Of F. G. Hedingham H.m.s. Pegasus Australia Station British Royal Navy Pre World War 1 British Navy Colonialism In Oceania VANUATU New Hebrides