Further Reading

For those who wish to know more about the history of the Training Ship “Mercury”, its boys and the remarkable people who were associated with the place, the following is a list of books which may be available through a lending library, on line book sellers or from a book search organisation. They are non-fiction unless otherwise stated.

Life Worth Living

The autobiography of C.B. Fry, first published in 1939.
Reprinted in 1986 by Pavilion Books Ltd. ISBN 1 85145 027 0

C.B; The Life of Charles Burgess Fry

A biography by Clive Ellis.
Published in 1984 by J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd.. ISBN 0 460 04654 3.

Hamble;  A Village History

A history of the village by Hamble historian the late Nicolas Robinson. Includes a chapter on T S Mercury.
Published in July 1987 by Kingfisher Railway Publications. Southampton ISBN 0 946184 32 1.

C.B. Fry;  An English Hero

A definitive biography by Iain Wilton.
Published in 1999 by Richard Cohen Books. ISBN 1 86066 170 X.

The Training Ship “Mercury” –  A History

The story of the establishment by former Mercury boy A. L .”Snowy” White (4151) 1952-55. Published in 2003 by the T S Mercury Old Boys’ Association.

The Indomitable Beatie

A biography of Beatrice “Ma” Fry and the Mercury by former Mercury boy, Ronald Morris (3578) 1945-47.
Published in 2004 by Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0 7509 3710 6.
This is a revised and extended version of Morris’s ‘The Captain’s Lady’ published in 1985 by Chatto & Windus and the Hogarth Press, London. ISBN 0 7011 2946 8.

C.B. Fry;  His Golden Years at West End (1898-1908)

By Pauline Berry.
Published by the author in 2004. ISBN 0 9540899 1 X.

The following books have been written by or about Mercury Old Boys. Apart from “The Lunatic Spy” which is now rare and difficult to locate, the others should be obtainable from libraries, second hand book sellers or book search organisations.

The Lunatic Spy

Autobiography of former Mercury boy, showman and British spy, Frank Groundsell (0857) 1903-04.
Published in 1935 by Jarrolds Publishing (London) Ltd.

Business and Law for the Shipmaster

By former Mercury Boy, Captain Frederick Neville Hopkins Ex.C. (1605) 1917-18
First published in 1961 and became the standard work on the subject running to at least 7 Editions.
Published by Brown, Son & Ferguson Ltd., Glasgow.

Modern Long Distance Swimming

By former Mercury boy and Channel swimmer Commander Gerald Forsberg OBE RN Rtd., (2198) 1926-28.
Published in 1963 by Rutledge & Kegan, London.

Verdict on a Lost Flyer; The Story of Bill Lancaster

The remarkable biography of former Mercury boy and aviation pioneer William Newton Lancaster (1282) 1918 by Ralph Barker.
Published by in 1969 by George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd. SBN 245 59691

Coastwise Cruising

By former Mercury boy Commander Tim Sex RN (3732) 1947-50.
Published in 1970 by the Nautical Publishing Co., Ltd., London.
ISBN 978-0245596896.

Salvage from the Sea

By former Mercury boy, Commander Gerald Forsberg OBE RN Rtd., (2198) 1926-28.
Published in 1977 by Rutledge & Kegan, London. ISBN 978-0710086983

Pocket Book for Seamen

By former Mercury boy, Commander Gerald Forsberg OBE RN Rtd. (2198) 1926-28.
Published in 1981 by Brown, Son and Ferguson Ltd., Glasgow.
ISBN 978-0851743912

From the Fo’csle Mess Deck to the Wardroom

By former Mercury boy Lt. Commander John Charles Jones MBE RN (1645 ) 1918-19. A memoir of 35 years service in the Royal Navy.
Published in 1987 by The Book Guild Ltd., Lewis, Sussex.  ISBN 0 86332 205 0

The Price of Surrender 1941: The War in Crete

By former Mercury boy Ernest Walker (1777) 1919-20, captured during WW2 during the battle for Crete.
Published in 1992 by Blandford Books. Broadway, Worcs. ISBN 0 7137 22967.

First Prize for Signals

Autobiography of former Mercury boy Donald Orde (2382) 1929-30.
Published in 2000 by his daughter Corinne Orde.

The Crew; A Portrait of Merchant Seamen at the End of the Tramp Steamer Era

By former Mercury boy Lt. Commander Tom Peppitt RNR (3620) 1946-48.
Published in 2000 by Chaffcutter Books. ISBN 0 9532422 2 6.

From Mercury to Mines

Biography of former Mercury boy Lt. Commander Roy Berryman Edwards DSO RN (1507) 1916-18, mine disposal officer killed in action June 1942. By his daughter Sylvia Hammond.
Published in 2006 by Hammond Publishing. ISBN 0 9552989 0 3.

The Last Of The Last

Autobiography of former Mercury boy Claude Choules (1392) 1915-16, the last surviving combatant of WWI who died in Australia aged 110 in May 2011.
First published in Australia in 2009 by Hesperian Press. ISBN 978 0 85905 480 5 and in Britain in 2010 by Mainstream Publishing. ISBN 18459663317.

The Last District Officer

Autobiography of former Mercury boy John Pitchford (3745) who was at TSM for a few months in 1948. Mostly about his later life as a Colonial Officer.
Published in 2013 by Librario Publishing Ltd, Kinloss. ISBN 978-1-909238-06-0.

Travels in Darkest America

Autobiography of former Mercury boy Maurice Keeler (4264) 1954-57.
Published in the USA in 2014 by M&M Publishing, Palm Desert, California.
ISBN 13.978-1499379051.

Bletchley Park Family

The story of former Mercury boy Robert George Budd (1245) 1912-15, his family, and his Second World War association with the secret communications monitoring centre at Bletchley Park. By his son Neville Budd.
Published privately in 2014 by Neville J Budd.

The Voyages of Captain Ned – Odes to a Sailor (Fiction)

By former Mercury boy David Wells (4066) 1951-53; the fictitious tale of a sailing ship master. Published in 2014 by My Voice Publishing, Eastbourne.
ISBN 978-1-909359-43-7.

Bromhead: Scratching a Living

Autobiography of former Mercury boy and cartoonist Peter Bromhead (3731) 1947-48. Published in New Zealand in June 2016 by Penguin Random House. ISBN: 978-1-74-348727-3.  Also available as an E book Kindle Edition.

The Isles of Scilly in the Great War

By former Mercury boy and Scilly resident Richard Larn OBE (3426) 1944-46.
Published in July 2017 by Pen and Sword Books. ISBN: 978-1473867666.
(Note; Together with his wife Bridget, Richard has written over 60 books and countless articles on maritime history and archaeology, shipwrecks and the sea, including ‘Shipwreck Index of the British Isles‘ (Vol’s 1-6) a monumental work completed in 1998 with details of 45,000 ships, for Lloyd’s Register of Shipping).


Memoir of former Mercury boy Captain Rex Mudway (3317) 1943-45 covering nearly 40 years of life as a Mercury Boy and Merchant Navy Officer.
Published privately around 2016.

Crystal Vision (Historical Fiction)

By former Mercury boy Alan M Young (4664) 1961-64. A fictional interpretation of the historic, yet tragic story of Sir John Franklin’s three year expedition to find the North West Passage through the Arctic, linking the Atlantic to the Pacific that commenced in 1845.
Published in March 2017 by Grosvenor House Publishing Limited. ISBN: 978-1786230577.