Royal Navy Officer's Pocket-Book, Hardback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


"The art of command be the complete master, and yet the complete friend of every man on board; the temporal lord and yet the spiritual brother of every rating; to be detached and yet not dissociated.' A Seaman's Pocket-Book, 1943', has found huge appeal with the British public.

Presented in the same format, the Officer's Handbook gathers together useful advice and instruction for those naval officers fighting the Second World War on all aspects of their job, expressed in the benevolent language of the day, when authority was respected.

The Handbook has been compiled and edited by Brian Lavery, who provides commentary and an introduction.

Sections include: the Officer's Aid Memoire containing notes of the training course at one of the officer training schools; Notes for medical officers and treatment of battle casualties afloat; Notes for captains on taking command of their first ship; Notes for commanding officers; Notes on the handling and safety of ships and notes on dealing with disobedience and mutiny. While suffused with nostalgia and charm, the various contents of this book are an authentic presentation of matters of training, authority and deportment in the wartime navy.

The book is sure to appeal not only to those who served in the war or had a relative who was in the officer class, but also to anyone who wants to gain a greater understanding of the day-to-day administration of the wartime navy. '..this is an important document, significant for its sense of time and place'.

Good Book Guide 'Pure undiluted nostalgia!'. Ships Monthly magazine ' authentic presentation of life in the wartime Navy and issues of leadership, discipline and initiative'.

Best of British magazine '..this book has enough illustrations, layouts, definitions and first hand information to keep any naval enthusiast fascinated for hours'.

Family History Monthly '..exceptional value in every respect'.

Navy News '...very highly recommended - another 'little gem' to go alongside the Seaman's Pocket Book on your yacht bookshelf'.

Royal Naval Sailing Association Journal


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 120 pages, 40 illustrations
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: General & world history
  • ISBN: 9781844860548

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Nostalgia trippin' for us retired Royal Navy officers. I served from 1967 unti 1987 and in the 40-odd years between the times these "advice notes" were issued and my retirement, nothing much changed in naval personnel thought. I believe that is not the case in the 20-odd years since my retirement. I checked this as being "a book by someone I have known" because I swear I met Brian Lavery while I was doing an officers course at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. His name rings bells for me but I cannot bring forward in my head a picture of what he looked like. Still, I thank him for his efforts in compiling this little pocket book and I thank my pal, Commander Rob Martin, RNZN Rtd, for purchasing this copy for me. I expect to be opening it every now and then just for the memories.