A Comprehensive Archive of letters and photographs: January 1914 to August 1921
WORLD WAR ONE: John Bostock RN
No Place No Publisher. 1914-1921.
Two extensive albums of letters, photographs and documents, a unique archive from Cadet and later Midshipman and
Acting Lieutenant John Bostock R.N. The 270 manuscript letters cover his service as a cadet in the training cruiser HMS Cornwall during her cruises to the Mediterranean and in Home and Norwegian waters (January - July 1914); as a midshipman in HMS Cornwall during her deployment in the South Atlantic on patrol and shipping examination duties following the outbreak of war, including a full account of his ship's part in the sinking of the German cruiser Leipzig in the Battle of the Falkland Islands (August 1914 - January 1915); as a midshipman in HMS Warspite (5th Battle Squadron, Grand Fleet) including a long description of his experiences at the Battle of Jutland (June 1915 - June 1916); as a junior officer in HMS Medway (13th Destroyer Flotilla, Grand Fleet) including an account of the Heligoland Bight action of 17 November 1917 and of Armistice day celebrations (November 1917 - November 1918); and as a Lieutenant in the Mediterranean Fleet battleship HMS Ajax, with particular reference to her participation in the evacuation of White Russian forces and refugees from ports in the Black Sea and to the activities of the Nationalists in Turkey (January 1920 - January 1921). The description of the Battle of Jutland is particularly graphic. Warspite was hit fifteen times during the battle and he describes his part in rescuing sailors from a burning turret including warrant officer Walter Yeo, who became one of the first men to receive facial reconstruction via plastic surgery. A copy of these letters is held by the Imperial War Museum Department of Documents and were used by Peter Hart and Nigel Steel's book published in 2007, Jutland 1916: Death in the Grey Wastes. Bostock served again in the Second World War and among the documents is an invitation to a Royal Garden Party in 1950.