Friday, August 29, 2014

John Arbuthnot "Jacky" Fisher, First Baron Fisher, First Sea Lord

In his illuminating book on British Battleships, 1892-1957 (London: Putnam, 1957) Commander Randolph Pears, R.N. (Retd.) relates this amusing anecdote about the future Sea Lord entering the Royal Navy of the mid-nineteenth century.  As Commander Pears relates, in those days prospective cadets wishing to become officers were subject to close scuritiny:
When the future Lord Fisher of Kilverstone entered the Navy himself in the 'fifties of the last century his examination mainly consisted of having to jump stark naked over a chair and to recite the Lord's Prayer, no doubt having to put his clothes on again for the second feat, but that is not related.  He was rewarded with a glass of sherry.
Fisher as Midshipman 1856-1860

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