Frigate Commander is based on the private journal of Lieutenant - and then Captain - Graham Moore, a naval officer serving during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Moore's journal gives a unique and detailed account of what life was like for a serving naval officer. In particular it reveals the problems an officer had in managing the crew of a frigate, maintaining discipline and turning his ship into an efficient man of war. Moore was one of the navy's 'star captain', serving continuously as a frigate commander between 1793 and 1804.
His early career took him to Newfoundland, and then, as a captain, he served with Sir William Sidney Smith's squadron operating on the north coast of France. He was present during the Naval Mutiny at Spithead in 1797, and helped to destroy the French fleet off Ireland in 1798. His most famous action occurred in September 1804, when his squadron engaged and captured a Spanish frigate squadron carrying a fortune in treasure. The following year his frigate, HMS Indefatigable, was involved in the opening of the Trafalgar campaign.
Graham Moore was an intelligent, educated naval officer, highly conscientious about his duties and deeply concerned about the welfare of his crews. His private journal gives us real insight into what life was like for a frigate commander, not only when he was on board ship - but also when he was on leave. Through Moore we see England as it was in the Georgian period and also experience the frustration and excitement of the naval war. Frigate Commander makes extensive use of Moore's own words to tell his story and in so doing, allows us to see him as a real, three-dimensional character. Only in Nelson do we come closer to a naval officer of the period.
Author: Tom Wareham
Title: Frigate Commander
First Published by: Leo Cooper Ltd
Date: 16 January 2004