Diary of Midshipman N K Calder
Midshipman N K Calder RAN was one of the original entry of twenty eight Cadet Midshipmen who joined the Royal Australian Naval College at the time of it's foundation on 01 January 1913. After four years study he graduated along with twenty two others who completed their training on 12 December 1916. N K Calder would go on to serve in the RAN for a further 43 years. His specialisation was "Torpedo" and during WW II would command Australia's only minelayer, HMAS Bungaree. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) on 01 January 1943.
On 17 January 1917, Midshipman Calder and the others of his term embarked aboard HMT Omrah and sailed for England and "a great adventure".
This copy of the transcript of his father's Diaries for the years 1917 and 1918 has been provided by Mike Calder. For the majority of the two years Midshipman Calder served onboard a capital ship, HMS Royal Sovereign, at Scapa Flow.
The diaries provide an intriguing insight in to the life of a Midshipman under training, of his thoughts on life in the Royal Navy and those he met in those uncertain times; including comments on what was happening else where in the War which provides an interesting time-line.
If you have an interest in Naval History with respect to the First World War, Naval Social History and life on board a Big Ship, or as a Family Historian simply want to put some flesh on the bones of your relatives, you will find these diaries of interest.
I would think that this document is probably a bit of a rarity, in that, as stated by Mike's Father, the keeping of diaries during this period was forbidden.
Please see the introduction for each year for the highlights and for more information on each of the diaries.
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© Michael Calder February 2003