Saturday, 29 October 2016
Merchant Seafaring Through Word War 1 1914-1918
Peter Lyon is an acknowledged expert on maritime matters and the Merchant Marine. He is a Master Mariner and a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation and the Nautical Institute, beginning his maritime career with the Blue Funnel Line of the city of Liverpool.
After spending time at sea he worked ashore with the Port of London Authority, the UK National Ports Council, serving as their Nautical Adviser.
He then went into the word of consultancy, co-founding and serving as managing partner of a highly specialist international maritime research and consultancy, based in London.
Thus he is eminently qualified to write his very impressive and highly informative book.
It commences matters by discussing the unfair lowly status of the merchant marine and the seafarers who compromised it at the beginning of the 20th century.
He examines, in considerable depth, the relationships that then existed between the seafarers themselves, the owners of the ships, the British Admiralty and the other organs of government im as much as they touched upon maritime matters.
During World War 1 there was a horrendous loss of lives of many seafarers on both British ships, Allied ships and neutral merchant ships at the hands of the U-Boats of the Imperial German Navy.
Peter Lyon then takes time to explore how this impacted upon Britain and the strain that was put on the British participation in the war.
His wide-ranging research took in a number of resources and archives including official reports, ships' logs, individual accounts of seafarers, consular reports, press cuttings and the like.
He provides an absolutely compelling account of this area of history, which has sadly been neglected by many war historians of that period.
The book although extremely well researched is not by any means a dry academic work. It brings to life the terrible depredations of sailors and passengers during what was then called The Great War, latterly known as World War 1.
The book is published by The Book Guild at £9.99 and makes a first rate Christmas gift for those with an interest in the period of history of that war.
There is a comment on the book from Lord John Prescott the former Deputy Prime Minister who served as a merchant seafarer himself.