Catalogue description Ms. diary of Midshipman Lycett Gardner. Vol.II

This record is held by Imperial War Museum Department of Documents

Details of LG/2
Reference: LG/2
Title: Ms. diary of Midshipman Lycett Gardner. Vol.II

On 30 July 1914, as mobilization got under way, Gardner, who had just completed his six months in the training cruiser Cornwall (Captain W.M. Ellerton), was ordered to rejoin that ship for active service as a midshipman. The 9,800 ton Cornwall, armed with fourteen 6 inch guns, sailed from Devonport on 2 August and, the day after war broke out, she captured her first prize, the German tramp steamer Syra. Throughout August Cornwall remained on patrol duties in the Eastern Atlantic, mostly in the vicinity of the Canary Isles, but only one further prize, the Italian liner De Vittorio which was carrying some German reservists (15 August), was taken. Opposite his diary entries for 14-19 August Gardner wrote a short but amusing essay called "24 hours in the life of a Snottie in HMS Cornwall", which emphasizes his dislike of the monotonous nightly watch all the midshipmen were required to keep while the ship was at night defence stations. These watches were occasionally enlivened by the running battle between the midshipmen and the first Lieutenant and Gunnery officer, Lieutenant-Commander J.W. Murray (see, for example, 20 August, 21 December, 22 January, 4 February) which only ended when he left the ship in February 1915. Gardner also refers from time to time to the other discomforts of life at sea - coaling, the intense heat in the gunroom and the repetitive diet of corned beef and corned pork. His journal also provides a useful record of all the petty crime committed on board.

Date: 14 January - 26 March 1915
Held by: Imperial War Museum Department of Documents, not available at The National Archives
Language: English
Physical description: 47 pp.

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