Journals of John Smith

Scope and Content

The first journal describes life on board and Smith's impressions of shore life during an outward and return voyage from England, and survey work in the Pacific from 1893 to 1896. The second volume is similar in describing the voyage out from Britain in 1898 and the return voyage in 1901. There are quite detailed descriptions of, and comments on, events at Taku in North China, between June and September 1900 where Smith's ship was part of the allied expeditionary force to suppress the Boxer Rising in Peking and Tientsin.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Smith, an Engine Room Artificer, sailed from England in March 1893 on board the troopship HMS Tyne . At Hong Kong he, and other crew members, were transferred to HMS Penguin under the command of Captain Andrew Balfour. The Penguin then proceeded to carry out survey work in the Pacific. Smith returned to England in June 1896 after a voyage of more than three years.

Smith also saw service on HMS Barfleur from October 1898 to December 1901. HMS Barfleur was attached to the China Station and in June 10th 1900, whilst in Wei-Hai-Wei was orderd to proceed to Taku "with all speed". The ship remained at Taku assisting in the allied effort to subdue the Boxer Rising until September 1900.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Purchased in 1980.

Other Finding Aids

This description constitutes the only finding aid at present.

Related Material

The diaries of Captain Andrew Balfour who commanded HMS Penguin during surveying work in the Pacific between 1893 and 1896 are at the Royal Geographical Society.

Geographical Names