1787: This is the first of a series of nine books about the life of one fictitious person, Benjamin Rundel. We experience the Napoleonic Wars through his eyes and those of his friend, Thomas Murphy.
Rundel was born in 1780 and is orphaned at age one. He is raised for a time by a friend of his mother's but does not know his real name. When Auntie Jo has to leave to care for a sickly relative, Benji is cast adrift and wanders from one house to another.
Ben ends up in an orphanage and sees the horrors of the work house. He plans a careful escape and lives on his own for a time. After a serious illness, he realizes that he cannot make it on his own.
At age 7 he stows away aboard the Faithful, an Admiralty ship under Captain Bailey. He is such a sincere child that he quickly wins the love of the captain and entire crew, all except a leftenant who knows that Benji saw him stealing the captain's spirits in the lazarette.
Ben goes on to learn many skills aboard ship, which will later make him a fine captain. He escapes from a French patrol on land and saves his shipmates from death by quick thinking. His serious nature gets him assigned to loblolly boy and later as surgeon's mate. His surgical skills result in him being assigned to a most unhappy ship, the HMS Hawk, under corrupt Captain Sharpe.
This is the story of a young boy growing up at sea and facing many challenges from the four terrible ship's boys to a vindictive leftenant. It is pumped with action and still shows the challenges that make Benji a fine captain under often near impossible odds.
Author: N. Beetham Stark
Title: Humble Launching: The Story of a Little Boy Growing Up at Sea
Series: The Napoleonic Wars at Sea
First Published by:
Date: 14 June 2011