Bonner-Smith, Dewar

Vol (),

David Bonner-Smith was Admiralty Librarian, joining the library staff in March 1911. He was made deputy librarian on the death of W.G. Perrin in 1931, and appointed to the chief post in March 1932. He retired in May 1949 at the age of 60. It was said of him that he knew every one of the 100,000 books in the library, but was also familiar with all their contents. It is certain that he could direct students and enquirers to whatever reference they needed. He was editor of The Mariner’s Mirror from 1932 to 1939.

His publications include

  • The Letters of Earl St. Vincent, 2 volumes (Navy Records Society, 1921, 1926).
  • Letter and Papers of Admiral the Hon. Samuel Barrington 2 volumes (Navy Records Society, 1937, 1941).
  • Captain Boteler’s Recollections 1808 – 1830 (Navy Records Society, 1942).
  • The Russian War, 1855, Baltic (Navy Records Society, 1944).
  • The Second China War, 1856-1860 (Navy Records Society, 1954).

A.C. Dewar entered the Royal Navy and retired with the rank of Lieutenant in 1910, had been given the War Service rank of Commander in 1916 and retired for a second time as a Captain shortly after the Armistice. Both were serving in the Admiralty when Lord Beatty (then First Sea Lord) required an opposite view to the Harper Record (see The Jellicoe Papers, Volume 2, and The Beatty Papers, Volume 2). Their Naval Staff Appreciation is biased in favour of Beatty, and was never published, being suppressed by Beatty’s successor, Charles Madden.

His publications include

  • The Navy and the Conference (Quarterly Review, 1922).
  • Our Navy for a Thousand Years, with Sir S. Eardley-Wilmot (Sampson Low, 1932).
  • The Russian War, 1854: Baltic and Black Sea with D. Bonner-Smith (Navy Records Society, 1943).
  • The Russian War, 1855: The Black Sea (Navy Records Society, 1945).



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