The story starts strangely enough with our hero as an old man dragged out of retirement to lead a flotilla to fight the Russians during the Crimean War. As the ship is leaving port, he befriends a scared young midshipman away from home for the first time. This reminded him of long forgotten memories when he was in a similar situation, especially when he finds out that the youngster is a relative of his old friend and mentor.
From that point on, the reader is transferred back to the time when our hero was just setting out from the port of Plymouth, strangely enough not on a Royal Navy ship but on an East-Indiaman trading with India and China. Soon however, the tranquil voyage is suspended as a Royal Navy ship stops the vessel to press some seamen. From then on, with some good fortune he is allowed to join the RN as a midshipman.
Eventually, they arrive at Chatham Navy Yard only to be told that they have been given a consort, an old captured Russian Bomb vessel with an unpronounceable name. Our hero is transferred to this ship to find out that it also a rocket ship. Now the adventure really starts.
Author: William Bertram
Title: 1809 Ben Brown Rite of Passage
Series: Ben Brown
First Published by:
Date: 29 December 2011