c1915 ORIGINAL WWI BRITISH ROYAL NAVY DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY A DEDICATED VOLUNTEER RESERVE SIGNALMAN

By: ARTHUR FENTON

Price: $3,455.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Fair


On offer is a fascinating journal written by a Royal Navy sailor during WWI. The journal measures 7 inches by 4.5 inches and contains 144 pages. It is about 65% complete. There is damage to the front cover and several pages have also been damaged. The spine of the journal is broken and the front cover is partially separated. However, the writings are intact and the handwriting is legible. The SS Armadale Castle began life as a passenger cruiser. Laid down in 1909, she was requisitioned by the Royal Navy in 1914 and taken into service. Converted to an armed merchant cruiser, she sailed under the name HMS Armadale Castle. Her voyages mostly took her down the west coast of Africa, sometimes rounding the Cape of Good Hope to sail as far north as Dar es Salaam and Mombasa. One voyage took her across the Atlantic to Halifax, Canada and a second one to New York City. She also sailed regularly along the west coast of England, as far north as the Faroe Islands. The cruise described in this journal sees the Armadale Castle leaving her home port of Devonport and sailing south as far as Sierra Leone and then returning to her home port. After coaling and replenishing, she sailed unescorted to New York City to load cargo for England. She sailed back in convoy along with the SS Canopic, SS Vauban and several others, escorted by the USS Montana. Following the war, she was returned to commercial service in 1919. She was laid up in 1935 and scrapped in 1936. The author of the journal is Arthur Fenton, a signalman in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. His journal details the day-to-day events of life on board. 'Today we were up before reveille and set off from the Palace after farewells at 9.0 o.c The band played us to the station and we said goodbye to the Devonport Draft. We got to Portsmouth at 2:30 and did nothing much besides changing and lashing hammocks ... [Feb 11] ... I'm getting more used to the routine now & every duty done & learned takes away some heaviness of heart. The worst of it is I'm lonely ... [Feb 13] The watch in the telephone box passed off all right yesterday ... A signalman from the "Motagua" (HMS Motagua, another armed merchant cruiser) was in the box with me and he told me some things about her. She's had three accidents - first with ice, then a mine & this time in drydock through fouling a Yankee destroyer. The depth charges and some torpedoes in the destroyer went off & blew half her stern away. ... [ Mar 5] In New York City, he anted to see some of the sights but his pay papers got left behind in England. With a sailor's customary ingenuity, he devised a plan: ... In the afternoon, I wrote to Gertie and made a lot of the fact (of no pay) for the benefit of the censor which had the desired effect, though unexpectedly, yesterday. The Paybob sent down for me, asked me what I thought was owning & gave me a quid. ...[Apr 11] With money in his pocket, he takes his shore leave and explores central New York. Among the many places he visits is the Hippodrome theatre: ... The Hippodrome was a great show, a revue "Cheer Up". Its an enormous place and the stage had hundreds on at a time. ... In the last scene there was a tank of water on the stage into which girls were diving & a man, Houdini, got himself out of a bound box in the water. ... [Apr 15] Back at sea, life was all business again. A few weeks later, they were being stalked by a U-boat: ... I was in the wheelhouse when I heard the destroyer ahead of us sound her siren and rushed out to see the B flag up & the destroyer rushing round at full speed across our bows. ... I stood at the port end of the bridge and saw something come up & down about thirty yards away which I think must have been a periscope. Things quieted down after that except for some shots at a submarine on the port wing of the convoy. ...[May 7] Also included are two undated black and white photograph - one of a young boy and the other of a man. The picture of the boy was taken in Swinton, which is his home town. The 2nd picture noted that it was taken in 1924 in Kent. Context suggests that these may be pictures of Fenton. This is an outstanding piece of history from WWI. It is well-written and describes the life of a merchant seaman in wartime. A historian can use this journal not only as a record of this ship's movement but also to cross-reference other ships mentioned in the book. ; Manuscript; 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall; KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, ARTHUR FENTON; ROYAL NAVAL VOLUNTEER RESERVE; HMS ARMADALE CASTLE; ROYAL NAVY; SS CANOPIC; SS VAUBAN; ARMED MERCHANT CRUISER, WWI, WW1, WORLD WAR ONE, NAVAL, MARINE, MARINERS, SAILORS, BATTLE FOR THE ATLANTIC, BRITISH ROYAL NAVY, GREAT BRITAIN, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNALS, PERSONAL HISTORY, SOCIAL HISTORY, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, 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

Title: c1915 ORIGINAL WWI BRITISH ROYAL NAVY DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY A DEDICATED VOLUNTEER RESERVE SIGNALMAN

Author Name: ARTHUR FENTON

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

Publisher: NORTH ATLANTIC TO MOMBASA, 1915

Book Condition: Fair

Seller ID: 0007030

Keywords: Keywords: History Of Arthur Fenton; Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve; Hms Armadale Castle; Royal Navy; Ss Canopic; Ss Vauban; Armed Merchant Cruiser WWI WW1 World War One NAVAL MARINE MARINERS SAILORS