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HMS Ophir’s Royal Tour, 1901

Posted by John Johnson-Allen, on September 19th, 2023


Bryan Godfrey Godfrey-Faussett (always known as Godfrey to his friends) was a contemporary at HMS Britannia of Rosslyn Wemyss, Sir Charles Cust and Prince George. His first ship, HMS Dido, which he joined in 1879, gave him the opportunity to reveal the gift of his life-long compulsive diary keeping, which manifested itself in his midshipman’s log, which contains many fine illustrations (and is scheduled as a forthcoming NRS Online Magazine post).

As a young sub-lieutenant he was appointed to HMS Agamemnon and whilst serving in her renewed his friendship with Prince George. He also met David Beattie, then a midshipman, who was also to have an important part in his later life.

He earned young promotion to the rank of commander at the age of 36, in part to the interest of royalty but also had shown himself to be a keen and competent executive officer. Towards the end of 1899 he was invited by Prince George to serve as his aide-de-camp for the Royal Tour of 1901. This he accepted, resulting in his naval career ending; he remained a courtier for the rest of his life.

His compulsive recording of his life resulted in a two-volume journal of his time as aide de camp to Prince George on the Royal tour, extracts of which are published here.

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