Jack Nastyface: Memoirs of an English Seaman

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Chatham, 2002 - Great Britain - 155 pages
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William Robinson, whose pseudonym may well have been his lower-deck nickname, volunteered for naval service in May 1805. This was in itself unusual by this time, but, rather more true to form, he eventually deserted in 1811. However, in his six years as an ordinary seaman he saw much action, including fighting at Trafalgar in the 74-gun Revenge - and less gloriously at the controversial Basque Roads attack, and the disastrous invasion of Walcheren in 1809. His experiences were probably typical of a Channel Fleet sailor of those years, and Robinson's descriptions are particularly valuable because, while he was an intelligent observer, he never became embittered by the harsh conditions, so his account is balanced and credible.

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