Read our blog to get the lowdown from our experts and go behind the scenes at Royal Museums Greenwich.
Sinking of the Lancastria, 17 June 1940 (BHC0673)
Contrary to popular belief, the Titanic disaster of 1912 was not Britain’s greatest loss of life at sea. The Lancastria disaster of 1940 is the most catastrophic loss recorded, see our following story of the event.
Winsome Mary Kemp (nee Bull), Assistant Principle, First World War Scrapbook (WRN/14)
One of my favourite things about being an Archives Assistant is that I am able to rummage around in the uncatalogued collections and rediscover items which were acquired for a specific and important reason or event, but have since lost prominence. With the centenary of the formation of the Women’s Royal Naval Service falling this year, I felt it was time some of our uncatalogued Wrens material received some attention!
The 'Dreadnought' off Greenwich
We’re very pleased to announce the launch of the Dreadnought Seamen’s Hospital online resource. As part of a collaborative project, a team of e-volunteers have generously devoted their spare time to transcribing details from records held at the National Maritime Museum. The Dreadnought Seamen's Hospital Admissions and Discharges, 1826-1930 can now be searched and viewed on the Ancestry family history website.
The Caird Library has recently installed a new display of archive and library material. The theme is Prisoners of War at Home and Overseas, 1793-1815, and it reveals what life was like for the men and boys captured during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. During this period, hundreds of thousands of prisoners of war were held captive at depots, barracks, and on board prison ships all over the world, from North America to the Indian Ocean. The documents on display focus on the experiences of captured British and French sailors and soldiers.
Futility by Morgan Robertson (RMG item ID: PBF5926)
October’s Item of the Month looks at a prescient work of fiction from 1898, Morgan Robertson’s Futility (RMG item ID: PBF5926).
The Shipmasters' Society: The British Mercantile Marine: it’s Past, present, and probable future.’ pp.1-26, No.1, Jan.1890
As journals librarian I am always eager to share the discoveries I uncover in the collection. May I introduce ‘The Shipmasters’ Society London’ journal.
A plan of the 1904 scheme of extension works
Having grown up in north Kent, I always keep an eye out for archive material relating to shipping on the River Medway and the naval dockyard at Chatham. During cataloguing work earlier this year, I was drawn to some papers from the period when Admiral Sir Gerard H.U. Noel was commander-in-chief at the Nore station. They include an appeal for the extension of Chatham Dockyard; see the items numbered NOE/51/5/9 in the Archive Catalogue.
Cutty Sark - Lloyd's Survey Report
Regular readers may be familiar with the Lloyd’s Register Survey Reports; a collection of detailed surveys on ships’ materials and construction, used by underwriters and others in the shipping industry for reliable information on these vessels. You may not be aware that this collection was on loan to the National Maritime Museum for some 50 years.
Illustrated London News, 24 October 1868 (item ID: ILN)
Journals written by seamen can provide a rich source of information about life onboard both naval and merchant ships, and also provide a glimpse into how those seamen viewed the people and places they visited.
JOD/4 - Page 45
Montagu’s journals revealed a subtle ability and versatility of character and in many ways he was quite similar to his cousin, Samuel Pepys, whom Montagu was patron to. He was many things: an able soldier, a distinguished admiral, a Fellow of the Royal Society and an ambassador and diplomat. He was highly valued and liked by both Cromwell and Charles II; and praised by Clarendon and Milton. He delivered Charles II to England from exile and fought in the Dutch Wars, but was killed at the Battle of Solebay before he could reach the age of fifty.