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The Diary of T.F. Richards: From Colombo to Macao on HMS Kent, 1906

Posted by Jane Wickenden, on April 11th, 2022


This post presents extracts from the diary of T.F. Richards of his experiences on HMS Kent on a voyage from Colombo to China in 1906. The diaries have been passed down through his family and have never before been published. This is the second extract to be published by on the Online Magazine. T.F. Richards’ experience on HMS Kent at Jutland can be followed here

F. (Thomas Frederick) Richards, born in Scilly, joined the Royal Navy on the 8th January 1897, not long after his 21st birthday, as an Acting ERA (Engine Room Artificer) 4th class on the books of HMS Vivid II, the Stokers and Engine Room Artificers School in Devonport. Eight years later, in 1905, he was promoted to the warrant rank of Artificer Engineer. This diary, which begins in the New Year of 1906, is among the private papers of Thomas Richards’s descendants. It was probably on the strength of his promotion that Thomas married Bessie Calnan in November 1905; on page 3 of the diary he writes, ‘It is the first time we have been parted since our marriage (two months). After all my easy times in Devonport Reserve Division & no watches on board for 2 years & 4 months!! This brings a fellow up with a deuce of a jerk!!’

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