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LIFE, TRAVEL, AND ADVENTURE;
MILITARY AND CIVIL ;
SCIENTIFIC AND LITERARY.
R. G. HOBBES,
H.M.'s Dockyards at Sheerness and Chatham.
IN TIVO VOLS.
CIVIL SERVICE IN SHEERNESS AND CHATHAM DOCKYARDS.
HOME AND FOREIGN TRAVEL.
“Our very existence as a nation may depend on the safety of our dockyards."—koyal Commission on Fortifications.
"On whom, in these latter days of the nineteenth century, does the safety of London, and the safety of England's great mercantile strength depend, but on our soldiers and sailors, and those employed in our dockyards?"—Dolling.
"On the stability of the work performed in the dockyards the safety of the navy depends." --Admiral Sir W. King Hall, K.C.B. “The fleet of England is her all in all."
Tennyson, “ Thus arm'd, may Britain long her state maintain, And with triumphant navies rule the main !"
HE present volume relates the story of the writer's
forty years' continuous civil service in Her Majesty's Dockyards at Sheerness and Chatham, first as a Clerk, and afterwards as a Principal Officer, in the several departments of Cash, Naval Stores, and Accounts. Little did the author imagine when first appointed to Sheerness that it would be his privilege to see the Navy and Civil Service alike transformed and reorganized, inspired with a new life, and launched on a new career. As little did he conceive that it would be his destiny to witness revision after revision of Dockyard organization. It is almost needless to remark that the Accounts of the Dockyards, with which during the whole period of his service he was more or less immediately connected, and of which he has much to tell, are of vast importance to the nation; as without such Accounts there could be but imperfect control of our naval expenditure, and no satisfactory explanation of the same, and all, indeed, would be a chaos. The statements relative to the Cash arrangements, with which the author was also associated—and millions of public money have passed through his hands-may, it is hoped, be found interesting to our taxpayers, who are deeply concerned in the integrity and acumen of their money-paying officers, and in the confi
dence of the employés in the equitable and prompt adjustment of their claims.
Some sketches of the author's holiday travels have been introduced ; and some notes of his visit to Spain in 1860 with the Astronomical Expedition sent out to observe the Total Eclipse of the Sun; and his visit to Canada in 1884 as a Member of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
It may be added that many subjects and occurrences of imperial, professional, literary, scientific, and popular interest, with which the writer was connected, or which came under his observation during the forty years comprehended in his narrative, are noticed in his story. At the same time he must express his acknowledgments to local and other authorities to whom he has been indebted for information. He has been induced to place his name on the title-page of this second volume, as he sees no reason any longer to withhold it.