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Remarkable and Tragic Stories in the Survey Returns of Officers’ Services, 1817

Posted by Evan Wilson, on May 14th, 2017


This post-war survey finally allowed the Admiralty to assess its officer corps and find out what its officers had been doing for the past two decades of war. On a pre-printed form, officers listed their ranks, the ships they had served on, the captains of those ships, the station on which the ship had been employed, when they had joined the ship, and when they had left. Thousands of officers responded to the survey, using a combination of their own records and their (often faulty) memories to recall ranks, commanders, ships, and dates. Each entry was then checked against the relevant muster books by Admiralty clerks, who inserted any corrections.

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