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Gunnery Drill Book For His Majesty's Fleet (1913)

Gunnery Drill Book For His Majesty's Fleet (1913)

Price $123.00 Sale

(Book II)

Instructions For
Hand Worked Mountings

H.M.S.O., 1913

printed by EYRE AND SPOTTISWOODE, London, 1913

Printed in 1913, Gunnery Drill Book II is a rare handbook covering the use of the various guns in service with the Royal Navy at the start of WW1. From the large calibre 6-inch guns, to the rifle calibre .303 Maxim Gun, the use of these weapons is described, with loading and firing instructions for each gun. The guns covered include: BL 6-in, 4-in, QF 12-pr, 4-in, 4.7-in, 3-pdr, 3-pdr Hotchkiss, 3-pdr Vickers and .303 Maxim Machine Guns. The book is well illustrated with diagrams, line drawings and several excellent coloured fold-out plates. There is an interesting section on 'Manning and Arming Boats', which gives  details of all the weapons and supplies to be issued when embarking in wooden staemboats and cutters. On a steam cutter of 32 feet and below, for example, the crew were to carry a cutlass, and the Coxswain and Signalman would also have a pistol. Even the engine room ratings had to have their cutlasses ready for action.

The book is signed on the front endpapers by its original Royal Marines owner, 'D.20691 Pte. J. L. Ferneyhough'. There is also an ink stamp of 'Instructor of Gunnery, R.M.L.I. Chatham', dated 17 January 1917.

James Leonard Fernyhough: was born in 1899 and enlisted in the Royal Marines in 1916. He went on to have a long career in the Marines, rising to the rank of Company Sergeant Major and serving until 1937. During WW1 he served on the battlecuiser HMS Courageous from 1917-1918, most probably as a gunner, and saw action at the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight in November 1917. A copy of CSM Fernyhough's service record will be included with the book.

HMS Courageous: was the lead ship of her class of three battlecruisers built for the Royal Navy in WW1. Courageous was completed in late 1916 and spent the war patrolling the North Sea. She participated in the Scond Battle of Heligoland Bight on 17th November 1917. During the battle, the German ships—four light cruisers of II Scouting Force, eight destroyers, three divisions of minesweepers, eight trawlers, and two other ships—were spotted at 7:30 am. Courageous and the light cruiser Cardiff opened fire with their forward guns seven minutes later. The Germans responded by laying an effective smke screen. The British continued in pursuit, but lost track of most of the smaller ships in the smoke and concentrated fire on the light cruisers. Courageous fired 92 fifteen-inch shells and 180 four-inch shells in the battle, and the only damage she received was from her own muzzle blast. At the end of the war, Courageous was present when the German High Seas Fleet  surrendered in 1918. Courageous was rebuilt after the war as an aircraft carrier in the mid-1920s. In September 1939 Courageous was torpedoed by a German U-boat and sank with the loss of more than 500 of her crew.

Royal Marines Light Infantry, Chatham: The Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham was a military installation occupied by the royal Marines and located at the Gun Wharf at Chatham in Kent. The barracks were situated immediately to the south of the Dockyard, just above the Ordnance Wharf. The barracks were closed in 1950 and demolished in 1960.


In very good condition. The boards are in good condition, with minor signs of wear and use, and some marks. The binding and hinges are good and secure. The text and illustrations are in very good condition, with somew marks. Signed on the front endpapers by 'D.20691 Pte. J. L. Ferneyhough'. There is also an ink stamp of 'Instructor of Gunnery, R.M.L.I. Chatham', dated 17 January 1917.

Published: 1913
Blue boards with gilt titling
Illustrated with diagrams and coloured plates
Dimensions: 105mm x 130mm
Pages: 272