The House That Jack Built; The Story of H. M. S. Excellent

Aldershot: Gale and Polden Limited, 1955. First Edition [stated], presumed first printing. Hardcover. Format is approximately 5 inches by 7.5 inches. xii, 183, [1] pages. DJ has some wear, soiling, tears and chips and is in a plastic sleeve. Some edge soiling. Frontispiece. Foreword by Admiral of the Fleet Lord Chatfield. Illustrations. Appendix One through Four (Appendices include documents, chronology, register of tenders and gunnery firing ships, and list of officers). Index. Inscribed by the author to Admiral R. D. Oliver on the fep stating "Who's work in 1930 made this volume possible in 1955". Also includes a TLS from the author to Admiral Oliver asking permission to quote from the Admiral's work on the H.M.S. Excellent. There is also an ALS from the author to the Admiral with a question about a Commander from the 1830s. There is a final, ALS forwarding this copy of the book and again thanking him for his help. This latter note had been taped to the inside of the front cover (and is now unattached) and there is tape residue there. Vice Admiral Robert Don Oliver CB CBE DSC DL (17 March 1895 – 6 October 1980) was a Royal Navy officer who was appointed Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff. Oliver served in WWI taking part in the Battle of the Falkland Islands, fighting at Gallipoli and undertaking mine-laying off the German and Belgian coast. He served in WWII and was commanding HMS Devonshire on 21 November 1941 when he was informed that German U-boats were going to be surfacing near him, to refuel from a merchant raider, the cruiser Atlantis. Using the intelligence, Devonshire sunk Atlantis. He later commanded the gunnery school HMS Excellent. He retired in 1948. HMS Excellent is a Royal Navy "stone frigate" (shore establishment) sited on Whale Island near Portsmouth in Hampshire. HMS Excellent is itself part of the Maritime Warfare School, with a headquarters at HMS Collingwood, although a number of lodger units are resident within the site, the principal of which is the headquarters of Fleet Commander (Navy Command Headquarters). In the 1829 a Commander George Smith advocated the establishment of a Naval School of Gunnery; accordingly, the following year, the third-rate HMS Excellent was converted into a training ship and moored just north of Portsmouth Dockyard, opposite Fareham Creek. Smith was given oversight and set up Excellent not only as a training establishment but also as a platform for experimental firing of new weapons (the creek was used as a firing range). In 1832 Smith was replaced in command by Captain Thomas Hastings, under whom the school grew both numerically and in reputation, as trained gunners began to prove their effectiveness in combat situations. In 1834 the original Excellent was replaced by the second rate HMS Boyne which was duly renamed Excellent. In 1845 Captain Henry Ducie Chads took over command of Excellent in succession to Hastings. He remained in post until 1854, by which time the Admiralty had purchased 'Whaley Island' (which at the time was little more than a sandbank). Chads was succeeded first by Captain Thomas Maitland and then, in 1857, by Richard Hewlett. In December 1859 the first-rate Queen Charlotte took over the role of gunnery training ship and was likewise renamed Excellent. Commander R T Young OBE RN prepared a typescript partial autobiography starting with his training as a cadet at the Royal Naval Colleges Osborne and Dartmouth (1911 - 1914). He saw service as a midshipman was in the battleship HMS CANOPUS (August 1914 - April 1916) including her deployment as a guardship in the South Atlantic and South American waters where she was involved in the Battles of Coronel and the Falkland Islands and with the Eastern Mediterranean Squadron during the Dardanelles operations on patrol and bombardment duties in support of the Allied landings and then on the Smyrna patrol. He then briefly served as a Sub Lieutenant in HMS BENBOW (4th Battle Squadron, Grand Fleet) including the Battle of Jutland (May 1916 - January 1917). He was then a junior officer in the destroyer HMS LOCHINVAR, which was attached to the Dover Patrol and then the Devonport Escort Flotilla (January - December 1917), HMS RIVAL in the 13th Destroyer Flotilla (Grand Fleet) and the Devonport Escort Flotilla again (January - June 1918) and the Dover Patrol destroyer HMS MASTIFF (July - December 1918). He then had further training at Emmanuel College, Cambridge and on Lieutenant's courses (1919). He then qualified as a specialist gunnery officer (1921 - 1922); had command of the Royal Australian Navy Gunnery School at Flinders (1923 - 1925), and had appointments as gunnery officer, in HMS MONTROSE, of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean Fleet (1926 - 1928) and as 1st Lieutenant, and gunnery officer, of the submarine depot ship HMS MEDWAY. Condition: Good / Good.

Keywords: H.M.S. Excellent, Rear-Admiral Robert Don Oliver, Shore Establishment, Stone Frigate, Dry-land Ship, Gunnery School, Astley Cooper, John Fisher, Jacky Fisher, Thomas Hastings, Percy Scott, Whale Island

[Book #84810]

Price: $275.00

See all items by