Monday, October 1, 2012

A Fantastic Voyage....

The image here is the whimsical musing of British Naval Commander W.H. Coates. Three books of his drawings and their captions describe the experiences of Coates and his crew aboard the converted British minesweeper CLACTON in World War I during sweeping operations in the North Sea and Dardanelles campaigns. The CLACTON was sunk on March 8, 1916, by a German U-Boat, in the Mediterranean.

In this picture, Coates describes a German air attack on the ROWAN, another British ship, stating "Mercy me! We live in fearsome times!...This beast attacked ye hired armed brig ROWAN, dropping bombes and lances and retired...", along with much more "old English" text. Coates' imagination in depicting a 20th century conflict in 18th century imagery and words is truly a unique treasure in our collection.

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