Reading for the Weekend: Frigate Commander

Frigate CommanderOne more biography from British Navy. This time it is turn of Graham Moore in Frigate Commander (Tom Wareham, ISBN# 9781783032327). Moore started his career from not so humble origins since he had connections that would give him a good, but perhaps not unfair start. Eventually he did steadily rise to be admiral but not without difficulties. Moore was a man that is not known from splendid career, or dashing appearance. He is known mostly because he was keeping journal and hence shedding light to daily life in the ship. 1777 Moore had been secured position of midshipman abroad 60 gun Medway.

Besides of missing all the important events, or locations and serving mostly in blockade and fruitless patrol duties in remote stations, with little prospect for prizes and wealth, Moore is known from detesting disciplinarians and his adverse reactions to corporal punishment. His journals describe quite well the non-active side of the shipboard life and how frustrating it is to spend years at seas with no sight of proper action.

Moore spend unusually long career in Frigates, where most men would have been already moved on to ship of the line, Moore had yet another Frigate to command. As the highlight of his career, he received command of 44 gun Indefatigable, a ship commanded earlier by Pellew, the renown frigate captain that rose from being nobody to great prominence, only to fade in the background by Nelson. Even in late years, Moore had no desire to have command of ship of the line, albeit he eventually had to, even if it did not last until he requested to be superceded. It is not left unclear that he felt out of place when posted elsewhere than at the quarterdeck of a frigate. Moore’s always unreliable health finally gave away and he died 1843.

Book is very well written and excerpts from Moore’s journals are most insightful and interesting read. Outside of the excerpts from the journals, author tells the story of his life and places the excerpts in proper context and that makes the book very nice read for anyone who has interest in naval history.

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