Written Accounts

Compared to the stories of other small fighting ships, mentions of the ML and of those who served aboard them are few and far between. The ML served largely in the shadows until the events of St. George's Day, 1918 at Zeebrugge and Ostend where they played key roles in providing smokescreen cover and rescuing the crews of the blockships. Like most other auxiliary craft, the ML apparently tended to blend into the background except in the minds of those who served aboard them. Fortunately, a few of those men took the trouble to document some of their experiences in words, photographs and art. Additionally, a few small details may be gleaned from the mentions in despatches within the London Gazette which shed a tiny amount of light on life within the Motor Launch Patrol during the war. Finally, the ML shows up in works of fiction once or twice. I've included images and extracts from the text of various books that helps outline the function and daily lives of the ML's and the men who served aboard them.

This section is divided into five broad categories: The ML as it appears in the pages of The Yachting Monthly (which served as the official magazine of the RNVR during the war); the ML as it appears in histories written after the war; the ML as mentioned in despatches published in the London Gazette; the ML as mentioned in personal accounts and reminiscences; and the ML in fiction (a small category to be sure).

The Yachting Monthly

Histories Published After the War

Mentions in Despatches

Personal Accounts

The ML in Fiction

Finally, there is one other written source of information about the ML. That is the formal documentation regarding the operation and maintenance of the vessel that was provided by Elco and The Standard Motor Construction Company as a sort of "library" shipped with each vessel. I have a copy of the Instructions, Care and Operation of Machinery Plant manual detailing all of the mechanical systems aboard ship. I'll eventually scan the book and make it available online. I don't yet know how many other manuals were part of the ML's standard inventory.