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Recollections of an Unsuccessful Seaman


by Leonard Noake (Author), David Creamer (Editor)

This moving book was written by George Leonard Noake who wrote these tales to keep himself occupied after learning of his incurable illness from which he died, aged 42 years, in 1929. It is a true unpretentious insight into life in the mercantile marine some 90 years ago and has been magnificently edited by his great-nephew, David Creamer. Born in 1887, he joined the nautical training establishment, HMS Conway, in 1903 and then served an apprenticeship at sea until 1908 when his detailed memoirs commence with him sailing as a second officer in the European/West African trade. In 1915, during the First World War, he sailed in several ships carrying horses, grain and coal. He survived not only being torpedoed in the English Channel, but also making 112 trips between England and Europe on a ship carrying war materials. His tales go on to cover joining one of the largest tankers in the world to becoming master of a ‘Glasgow Puffer’. Sometimes harrowing, but often humorous, this is a true gem and a poignant portrayal of life at sea and ashore in the 1900s.

Number of copies

Book Author

Leonard Noake


General Interest


HMS Conway


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