At last in command of his own ship, the ten years between 1849 and 1856 show Charles Barker carrying out naval duties, first, in the Straits of Malacca and, then, off the west coast of South America, in what one might call the “workaday” peacekeeping role of the Royal Navy.
Much of naval life for Lieutenant Charles Barker in the years between 1839 and 1846 might be described as pleasant but unexciting. Excitement, when it at last came, proved more than a little dangerous. This article will attempt to show the Royal Navy acting – sometimes a little too forcefully – in its role of peacemaker in the interests of Britain overseas.
Persona Naval Press is pleased to welcome the following articles from a new contributor, Marjorie Rear, MA (Oxon) who has edited the letters of her husband’s ancestor, Captain Charles Barker RN, 1811-1860. This first article is an attempt to summarise, using the evidence of his own words, the life of a young man in the Royal Navy before that most important first achievement – a lieutenant’s commission.