The commanding officer of Britannia Royal Naval College, Captain Sarah Oakley RN, hosted John Thring and his sister Susan, who had made the journey to the college to give the BRNC their grandfather, Walter Thring’s collection of Naval memorabilia.
Walter Hugh Charles Samuel Thring passed the Competition of Cadetships to join the Royal Navy in 1887 aged 13.
His Naval career beginning when the Naval College was still a hulk moored on the Dart. In 1888 Walter won the Term Prize and was presented with an engraved telescope – one of several awards Walter would receive in his naval career.
In 1891 he was presented with the First Admiralty prize for drawing. His talent for drawing was captured in his Midshipman’s journal kept while serving on HMS Warspite.
The journal illustrating Warspite’s northward movements is filled with hand-drawn pen and ink charts and watercolour pictures of memorable sites and scenes. Assigned to the battleship HMS Vengeance based at the China Station, the now Commander Thring received the Order of the Rising Sun, awarded for his service as advisor to the Japanese Navy in 1904.
The Thring family felt BRNC would be the most fitting place for his journal and awards. Historians Jane Harrold and Richards Porter received the collection for display in the college museum.
Captain Sarah Oakley said: “As a navigator, to see hand-drawn charts to such detail and precision will be something of special interest to the officer cadets and visitors. We thank the family for taking the time to visit us.”