Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert K. Massie, the amount of detail brought to life by a wonderful sense of story-telling is most impressive.
John Rushworth Jellicoe (1859 – 1935) was Admiral of the Fleet in Britain's Royal Navy during "The Great War" (better known today as World War I); Massie spends some time giving background to "Jack": Guys like Jellicoe did, and still do, their time on a series of warships before reaching the top office. One vessel on which he served in the late 1800s was HMS Victoria; and he almost drowned after the ship was accidentally punctured by another. When the 'bang' happened Jellicoe was in bed with a dysentery-induced 103 degree (Fahrenheit) fever. He ran up to the deck to see what had happened. Not long after he began to help fellow sailors abandon the sinking Victoria, the once-mighty battleship started to capsize. In the name of "every man for himself" the executive officer fell off the side and into the sea. As Jellicoe noted in a letter he wrote to his mother after the close-call: "The curious thing is that my temperature today is normal, so the ducking did me good."
This hull-head was not familiar enough with that Royal Navy vessel, so, naturally, I consulted Wikipedia:
On it I saw a photograph that I had initially believed to be a contemporary painting. The image has a painterly quality, making my error understandable. It is a lovely, multi-textured photograph ― taken in 1888....
Jellicoe was famous for a low-key competence, the opposite of the flashy image-conscious Beatty. As a rating wrote, "You could be painting ship or some other task and the Admiral would stop to chat with you. Not only did he know what you were doing, but after a few minutes he'd have told you some way to do it better."
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