L is for Lean's Navy Lists
|Portrait of a Naval Officer ca 1918 courtesy of Pellethepoet on Flickr. Creative Commons licence here.|
Simon Fowler says on page 48 of Tracing Your Naval Ancestors:
Lean's Navy List dates between 1878 and 1916. Lean's is worth looking out for as they provide rather more information about officer than other official Lists, such as birth years of individuals as well as short biographies of their service and decorations.
I looked for them on WorldCat too. Have you used WorldCat? You should if you haven't - very useful. There I discovered that they are also at the National Library of Scotland and Bodleian Library Oxford. It's also at the San Francisco National Maritime National Historical park. There are probably more libraries that have it. Why don't you check your local fabulous library? I have only been able to find it in the State Library of Western Australia as far as Australia is concerned.
Here's a glowing endorsement of Lean's List from the Age in 1903
|FOUR BOOKS OF REFERENCE (1903, March 21). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), , p. 4. Retrieved April 7, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197896647|
I haven't been able to find out much about Lieut-Colonel Francis Lean apart from the fact that he was married to and then was divorced rather quickly from Florence Marryat (yes, the daughter of Captn Marryat who wrote The Children of the New Forrest and Mr Midshipman Easy. Florence sounds quite a woman from the biographies I have found on the internet. (If you are a member of the National Library of Australia you can read her official biography on the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography site). She was a novelist, playwright, spiritualist, singer and actress according to this website and performed in Gilbert and Sullivan operas.
I think it is time for my favourite Gilbert and Sullivan performer Drew Forsythe to sing you a little ditty from HMAS Pinafore.