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Book Description
Manuscript log book of George Tate Medd, beginning at the dawn of the Crimean War and recording his gallant service while attached to HMS Rodney and HMS Sidon, including daily proceedings and engagements, as well as his eyewitness account of the Battle of Alma, with 4 manuscript drawings, two of which are in colour. Also containing 6 steel cut engravings and 2 newspaper clippings. Quarto. 163 pages, blue watermarked leafs. Authorship inscription on front pastedown: 'G.T. Medd.' Original boards, wrapped in hand-stitched flag cloth. Signed in the original to final leaf. Volume measures approximately 33 x 21 x 2 cm.
Dealer Notes
This volume features an impeccably detailed primary source account of one young and gallant English sailor's participation in the Crimean War as he also records increasing preparations for war with tensions rising between Russia and the Ottoman Empire, followed by military and navy engagements, and his direct participation in the Siege of Sevastopol and subsequent Battle of the Alma.
An extraordinarily mature production for a young boy, the author being only fifteen at its commencement, it is divided into two sections, first as he served on HMS Rodney at the dawn of the Crimean War, then having been transferred to HMS Sidon with which he would be engaged in the campaigns of both the Siege of Sevastopol and the Battle of the Alma.
Each page of the journal has been ruled by Medd into entries of between five and eight columns, for date, winds, weather, course, navigation, and more detailed remarks. He also began each of the two sections with its own title-page naming the ship, captain, date, and so forth.
Tipped-in are three lovely full-page drawings by Medd, two newspaper clippings of primary source accounts contemporary to the war (one of which was one of his own letters published), six relevant steel cut engraved illustrations, and one map of the Black Sea. The first is a full-page manuscript drawing by Medd, signed and dated 20 February 1854, of 'HMS "Bellerophon" getting her bowsprit in. This depicts the bow of the ship with its rigging, complete with a lettered key. The second drawing is a large map showing the track of HMS Rodney in company with the combined Fleets, as she sailed from Bosporus to Sinope and back, from 4-22 January 1854. The third drawing is a map of "Beikos Bay with the allied Fleets, March 1854", with the shorelines coloured in blue, soundings throughout the Bay, the formation of vessels clearly illustrated, and a key of "Ships Names" for a complete depiction of the scene.
Especially scarce is this volume's detailed account from a participant's frontline perspective of the Crimean War, particularly concerning the Siege of Sevastopol and the Battle of the Alma, complete with his hand drawn map of the Allied Fleets already positioned for defending Beikos Bay in March 1854, some six months before the official start of the war.
George Tate Medd (1837-1907), was a Royal Navy officer who enlisted as a naval cadet at only 12 years old and subsequently saw an illustrious career with the Navy. As an astute midshipman in the Crimean War, he served onboard the paddle frigate HMS Sidon which was under the command of his cousin and godfather Captain (later Admiral) George Goldsmith (1806-1888). With this ship until 31 December 1854, he was directly involved in active service during the Crimean War Allied invasion, including the blockading of the Black Sea coast from Kavarna to the mouths of the Danube, the transporting troops and leading search vessels in the Black Sea, and participation in the Battle of Alma. (Medd had one or more of his private letters on the Crimean War published in the Stockport Advertiser.) He retired in 1861 invalided with the rank of Lieutenant. Evidently he cherished his navy life and preserved his own journal for safekeeping, making a scant few annotations in the margins, as late as 1902, when receiving news of, or meeting with, some of the men from his Crimea days.
Author George Tate Medd
Date 1853-1854
Condition Some age-toning, loss of upper half of second page, otherwise in very good condition.

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