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Diary and notebook kept by George Lea, Telegraphist aboard HMS LION.


Object connections:

Collection Archive
Gallery locationNot on display

Record details:

Biographical details HMS LION was a battlecruiser of the Royal Navy, the lead ship of her class, which were nicknamed the "Splendid Cats". LION served as the flagship of the Grand Fleet's battlecruisers throughout World War I, except when she was being refitted or under repair. She sank the German light cruiser Cöln during the Battle of Heligoland Bight and served as Vice Admiral Beatty's flagship at the battles of Dogger Bank and Jutland. She was so badly damaged at the first of these battles that she had to be towed back to port by the battlecruiser INDOMITABLE and was under repair for more than two months. During the Battle of Jutland she suffered a serious propellant fire that could have destroyed the ship had it not been for the bravery of Royal Marine Major Francis Harvey, the turret commander, who posthumously received the Victoria Cross for having ordered the magazine flooded. The fire destroyed one gun turret which had to be removed for rebuilding while she was under repair for several months. She spent the rest of the war on uneventful patrols in the North Sea, although she did provide distant cover during the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight in 1917. She was put into reserve in 1920 and sold for scrap in 1924 under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty. George Lea was born 26 March 1897 at Birkenhead, Cheshire. He joined the IMPREGNABLE as boy 10 February 1913, he joined HMS LION as telegraph boy 25 May 1914, the PRINCESS ROYAL 25 Feburary 1915, HMS LION 16 April 1915 as a telegrapher and log telegrapher till 31 March 1920. He joine the Royal Indian Marines in 1920 as a Wireless Operator with the rank of Warrant Officer.
Description A diary kept by George Lea in 1 January 1918 on board HMS LION mentions the captured crew of HMS TARA and events during the Armistice from 11 November 1918 after receiving messages from the Eiffel Tower and ships celebrated by firing coloured lights and making as much row as possible on their sirens. Also contains a handwritten notebook book titled 'Sparks from a Sparker's Spark Gap' containing drawings, music and poems from 1914 to 1920 and diary kept by George Lea, 1914-1920, with a dedication to a friend at the beginning.
George Lea's service records are on the National Archives reference: ADM 188/693/23187.
Date made 1914-1920

Finding Reference JOD/310
Catalogue section Manuscript volumes acquired singly by the Museum
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Extent 2 volumes
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