This is the first of two posts from the fascinating diaries and photograph albums of Lieutenant Mervyn Bryan. A subsequent post will explore the photographs in Bryan’s album. Mervyn Stawell Norris Bryan was born in 1851, youngest son of Reverend J W Bryan, of Cliddesden, Basingstoke, Hampshire, England. He wrote three journals describing his experiences in the Royal Navy. He also left a photograph album of his travels between 1869 and 1879. His visited many Mediterranean ports, the Azores, St Helena and Ascension Island, the West Coast of Africa, South Africa, the West Indies and Australia. Lieutenant Bryan’s diaries cover his life at sea, commencing as a midshipman on HMS Royal Albert and HMS Caledonia, as a sub-Lieutenant, on HMS Hector and HMS Encounter, as a Lieutenant on HMS Barracouta and HMS Boxer. This brief article focusses on his time in the Navy during the 3rd Ashanti War (1873-4), on the Gold Coast of Africa, aboard the Encounter and Barracouta.
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