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Book Description
Unpublished manuscript journal account written by Private Peter Thomas Dapson, Leading Seaman of Battle Cruiser HMS Repulse, who participated in "The Empire Cruise," a ten-month World Cruise made by the British Special Services Squadron, together with the official photograph album, produced for and made available for the crew. 8vo. journal, 115 pages in manuscript, plus title page. Initialed by Dapson to final leaf. Red paper boards with monogram impressed to front. Two leafs disbound and chipped at extremities, otherwise in very good condition. With a large fold-out map of the voyage, annotated with nautical notes; with a photograph postcard of decorated crewmen inscribed by Dapson, both placed within. Oblong 8vo. album contains 344 of the 348 gelatin silver print photographs with typescript captions, mounted with onto cardstock leaves. With full page colour map frontis tracking the voyage. Album made by Empire Photographic Publishing Co. of London, measuring approximately 31 x 25 x 3 cm, navy blue suede boards, titled in gilt to front, also with a clever gilt vignette of a crown formed of ships' sails. Photographs vary in size, the smallest measuring approximately 4,5 x 7,5 cm, and the largest being the frontis portrait of King George V measuring approximately 5 x 18 cm.
Dealer Notes
A most uncommon opportunity to learn firsthand of the highlights and special events enjoyed by the crew who were privileged to embark on the post World War I circumnavigation of the globe with His Majesty's Special Service Squadron.

In 1923-1924, HMS Hood, HMS Repulse, and the Special Service Squadron travelled around the world on The Empire Cruise, visiting many ports of call in the countries which had fought together during the First World War.

Departing from Devonport on 27 November 1923, the squadron's first stop was Sierra Leone. Other ports of interest include Durban and Zanzibar in Africa, Singapore, seven ports in Australia and Hobart in Tasmania, New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii, nine port on the coasts of South America from Rio de Janeiro to Valparaiso and Callao, the Falkland Islands, San Francisco, Halifax, and many more in between. The fleet would separate at various points of the cruise with the battleships passing through the Panama Canal, while some of the battlecruisers ventured around Cape Horn. Australia and New Zealand consume a substantial portion of the manuscript, approximately one third of it with 41 pages.

The Special Service Squadron arrived in Fremantle, Western Australia, on 27 February 1924. HMS Hood's Naval Brigade marched through both Fremantle and Perth. The squadron also visited Albany, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart, Jervis Bay, Sydney, and Brisbane. Whilst in Melbourne, two hundred men from the squadron were taken on a two-day tour of the Maori reserves inland, where they were generously welcomed and entertained. The writer describes the Maori people as a "fine race".

The next five months were spent in the Pacific, with visits to Fiji, Samoa, and Hawaii, then along the Northwest Pacific Coast from Vancouver, Victoria, and San Francisco before passing through the Panama Canal. Little-known to many, the writer reports that HMS Repulse also stopped at Samoa Island.

The volume concludes with a summary of San Francisco's tumultuous history, mention of the passage through the Panama Canal, its scenery and construction history, and appreciation for "the world tour Never to be forgotten by those who had the pleasure of forming the Crews of the Ships."
Author Private Peter Thomas Dapson
Date 1923
Condition Age-toning to album boards, loss or tear to 13 photographs and 2 leafs, otherwise good and original condition.

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