Royal Navy Quotes

Quotes tagged as "royal-navy" (showing 1-10 of 10)
Stephen Taylor
“The wife of a junior officer cooped up in a horrible canvas partition in steerage for five months wrote:
"I had enjoyed much peace there in the absence of every comfort, even of such as are now enjoyed in jail. I used to say that there were four privations in my situation - fire, water, earth and air. No fire to warm oneself on the coldest day, no water to drink but what was tainted, no earth to set the foot on, and scarcely any air to breathe. Yet, with all these miserable circumstances, we spent many a happy hour by candlelight in that wretched cabin whilst I sewed and he read the Bible to me.”
Stephen Taylor

“The dangers of the sea should always take precedence
over the violence of the enemy’

Rear-Admiral Ben Bryant CB, DSO and two bars, DSC”
Ben Bryant

David        Cook
“He had panicked.
Tessier cursed his own stupidity. He should have remained in the column where he would have been protected. Instead, he saw an enemy coming for him like a revenant rising from a dark tomb, and had run first instead of thinking.
Except this was no longer a French stronghold. The forts had all been captured and surrendered and the glorious revolutionary soldiers had been defeated. If the supply ships had made it through the blockade, Vaubois might still have been able to defend the city, but with no food, limited ammunition and disease rampant, defeat was inevitable.
Tessier remembered the gut-wrenching escape from Fort Dominance where villagers spat at him and threw rocks. One man had brought out a pistol and the ball had slapped the air as it passed his face. Another man had chased him with an ancient boar spear and Tessier, exhausted from the fight, had jumped into the water. He had nearly drowned in that cold grey sea, only just managing to cling to a rock whilst the enemy searched the shoreline. The British warship was anchored outside the village, and although Tessier could see men on-board, no one had spotted him. Hours passed by. Then, when he considered it was clear, he swam ashore to hide in the malodorous marshland outside Mġarr. His body shivered violently and his skin was blue and wrinkled like withered fruit, but in the night-dark light he lived. He had crept to a fishing boat, donned a salt-stained boat cloak and rowed out to Malta's monochrome coastline. He had somehow managed to escape capture by abandoning the boat to swim into the harbour. From there it had been easy to climb the city walls and to safety.
He had written his account of the marines ambush, the fort’s surrender and his opinion of Chasse, to Vaubois. Tessier wanted Gamble cashiered and Vaubois promised to take his complaint to the senior British officer when he was in a position to. Weeks went past. Months. A burning hunger for revenge changed to a desire for provisions. And until today, Tessier reflected that he would never see Gamble again.
Sunlight twinkled on the water, dazzling like a million diamonds scattered across its surface.
Tessier loaded his pistol in the shadows where the air was still and cool. He had two of them, a knife and a sword, and, although starving and crippled with stomach cramps, he would fight as he had always done so: with everything he had.”
David Cook, Heart of Oak

“Black seamen - or "Black Jacks" as African sailors were known - enjoyed a refreshing world of liberty and equality. Even if they were generally regulated to jobs such as cooks, servants, and muscians and endured thier fellow seamen's racism, they were still freemen in the Royal Navy. One famous black sailor wrote, "I liked this little ship very much. I now became the captian's steward, in which I was very happy; for I was extremely well treated by all on board, and I had the leisure to improve myself in reading and writing.”
Tony Williams, The Pox and the Covenant: Mather, Franklin, and the Epidemic That Changed America's Destiny

“The captain was amusing. He said that he himself couldn't draw and proved his words by drawing his own house for his prisoner to see. It was just such a house as the babies drew in the kindergarten: a square box with four square windows, a door and two chimneys, each with a neat curl of smoke. "That's best I can do," said the Captain, laughing.
Max laughed with him for politeness' sake, though inwardly he was shocked that an important man like the Captain made a fool of himself. "Vater does not draw," he said kindly, "nor does Mutti; but they are both very keen on photography. Perhaps you are good at that?"
"Not brilliant," said the Captain.”
Constance Savery, Enemy Brothers

“...a large and ridiculous gunner told me that I looked like an out-of-work chorus boy. He was very startled when I told him that was exactly what I was, but that I found it easier to get work as a naval officer, a job requiring considerably less talent.”
william donaldson

David        Cook
“The defenders retreated, but in good order. A musket flamed and a ball shattered a marine’s collar bone, spinning him around. The soldiers screamed terrible battle-cries as they began their grim job of clearing the defenders off the parapet with quick professional close-quarter work. Gamble trod on a fallen ramrod and his boots crunched on burnt wadding. The French reached steps and began descending into the bastion.
'Bayonets!' Powell bellowed. 'I want bayonets!'
'Charge the bastards!' Gamble screamed, blinking another man's blood from his eyes. There was no drum to beat the order, but the marines and seamen surged forward.
'Tirez!' The French had been waiting, and their muskets jerked a handful of attackers backwards. Their officer, dressed in a patched brown coat, was horrified to see the savage looking men advance unperturbed by the musketry. His men were mostly conscripts and they had fired too high. Now they had only steel bayonets with which to defend themselves.
'Get in close, boys!' Powell ordered. 'A Shawnee Indian named Blue Jacket once told me that a naked woman stirs a man's blood, but a naked blade stirs his soul. So go in with the steel. Lunge! Recover! Stance!'
'Charge!' Gamble turned the order into a long, guttural yell of defiance.
Those redcoats and seamen, with loaded weapons discharged them at the press of the defenders, and a man in the front rank went down with a dark hole in his forehead. Gamble saw the officer aim a pistol at him. A wounded Frenchman, half-crawling, tried to stab with his sabre-briquet, but Gamble kicked him in the head. He dashed forward, sword held low. The officer pulled the trigger, the weapon tugged the man's arm to his right, and the ball buzzed past Gamble's mangled ear as he jumped down into the gap made by the marines charge. A French corporal wearing a straw hat drove his bayonet at Gamble's belly, but he dodged to one side and rammed his bar-hilt into the man's dark eyes.
'Lunge! Recover! Stance!”
David Cook, Heart of Oak

“[Admiral Sir Erasmus Gower] 'No other contemporary officer approached his accumulated experience...'
From Champion of the Quarterdeck: Admiral Sir Erasmus Gower 1742-1814.”
Ian M Bates