Our Portrait Study: Lieut. Arthur Briscoe, R.N.V.R.

During its early years, The Yachting Monthly presented a portrait study of some person best representing those qualities the magazine held in highest regard: a strong, upright character, leadership, seamanship, a love of sport, etc. The first portrait study was of HM King Edward, VII. During the war, when the magazine acted as the official publication for the RNVR, a number of volunteer officers were presented.

The November, 1916 issue included this study of Arthur Briscoe (about whom, more can be found here):
Lieut. Arthur Briscoe, RNVR
The Yachting Monthly, November, 1916
THE more fortunate among us have an instinctive desire to laugh, and one can only pity those who are not so blessed. Yet philosophers and scientists have never discovered why we laugh, or by what subtle psychological influence laughter arises, in some of us it is but a fleeting twinkle of the eye; in others a physical convulsion. In whatsoever form, however, it is the greatest blessing bestowed upon humanity. "Laugh, and the world laughs with you." For many years the subject of these notes has made us laugh, and with a keen sense of humour himself, he has the ability to tickle our risible muscles with his inimitable pen. We well remember a cartoon drawn some years ago.one of the "Things We Have All Met" . called "The Cleat," wherein a man had just caught his naked toe on a large cleat. Nursing the stricken foot in both hands, his inflamed head oozed oaths from every pore. Visiting a friend some days after its publication, his man ventured to remark "You should 'a seen the guv'nor laugh at that cursin' sailor.he.s laughin' yet in the after cabin." Many will therefore look with gratitude on our present Portrait Study.

For two years Lieut. Briscoe has been hard at work. A clever and bold sailor, he is of good value to his country; yet to quote his own words "I long for the time when I can pull on a rope again and watch a sail work." For ten years we have in these pages followed his wanderings on the sea. As a boy he sailed in all manner of craft; centre-board sailing punts, ship's lifeboats and the like. Slowly he progressed from two to twelve tons, the latter representing the Vera, a boat still remembered in Holland and Belgium. Seeking more power and accommodation, he built the 21-ton Golden Vanity, and with his wife and a boy he sailed her "all over the show," from "the line Helder-Lowestoft to the line Land's End-Brest." Paid hands he never ships, and while the boy may come under the category of professional help, he only survives so long as he is out of the way and never offers advice. Lieut. Briscoe, as we know, prefers cruising to racing, and he is keenly interested in all manner of craft which have evolved without the influence of arbitrary rules . coasters, fishing and pilot boats. His present life leaves little leisure for his customary contributions to our pages, but we shall all be glad enough to laugh with him once more when the "big job" is coiled down.