Book presented to Rear-Admiral John Lee Barber in 1957

Presented to John Lee Barber by the officers who had served under him on HMS Griffin in the early years of WWII on his appointment to the role of Admiral-Superintendent of Malta [Dockyard] as well as promotion to the rank of Rear-Admiral.

Peter Hill

Peter Goldsmith, Chairman, The Nottage Maritime Instiuute receiving the book inscribed to Rear-Admiral John Lee Barber from Peter Hill, Chairman, Wivenhoe History Group
Photo by Frances Belsham
The inscription to the book presented to Rear-Admiral John Lee Barber
Peter Hill, Chairman, Wivenhoe History Group handing the book given to him by Wendy Creed to Peter Goldsmith, Chairman, The Nottage Maritime Institute accompanied by Lesley McCabe (right), Publictity & Social Media, and John Collins, Archivist, and Sue Glasspool, Librarian, at the Nottage
Photo by Frances Belsham
Wendy Creed who discovered and saved the book in Liverpool and gave it to Wivenhoe
Photo owned by Wendy Creed
Rear-Admiral John Lee Barber
The book: War at Sea by S.W. Roskill

This book, written by Captain SW Roskill and called The War at Sea [Vol. 1], was given to John Lee Barber in 1957 by the officers who had served in HMS Griffin under his command in the early years of WWII.  These officers signed their names in the inside cover of the book and had the following inscription added to its flyleaf:

Presented to Rear-Admiral J. Lee Barber DSO and Bar, R.N. with our congratulations on his promotion to Rear-Admiral and appointment to Admiral – Superintendent, Malta, from Officers present who served on board H.M.S. Griffin under his command duriing the period of World War Ii covered by this volume.

An address was added together with the date of 9th February 1957 

This book was discovered by Wendy Creed who gave it to The Nottage Maritinme Institute via Peter Hill, Chairman of the Wivenhoe History Group. Peter presented it to Peter Goldsmith, Chairman of the Nottage in August 2023.

Wendy said how she came across this book:

” During Covid I became a collection point to store items that people were clearing out (items that may be used for charitable purposes). I have continued to do so since and my friends and neighbours pass me items on a regular basis to raise funds for the most appropriate charity or to pass the items to their charity shop. Some of the charities that I sponsor are Royal British Legion, local Animal Charities and The Seafarers Centre in Liverpool.

In 2021, I was given a large number of  books relating to wars. The owner of the donation is unknown to me as they were passed to a neighbour who runs a community library. He did not have the space to add all the books to the library and thus passed a large number to myself. Upon looking at them we found this edition with the inscription giving details of the presentation to John Lee Barber. The book is the first volume of a collection but no other books in that collection were passed over. After a little research we think the signatures are from his crew rather than more prominent war personnel but we are unable to match the signatures to names.

I wanted to contact John Lee Barber’s family to see if this book had somehow been passed away from their ownership in error. After researching on and off for two years, I finally found information linking me to Wivenhoe and located the existence of the Wivenhoe History Group.  I made contact with Peter Hill in May 2023.  Peter has been  unable to locate any family. I was told about the Wivenhoe museum and wanted to keep the book local to John Lee Barber’s home area .

I am donating the book to be held by the Wivenhoe History society and the Nottage Maritime Institute as a piece of local history.”

This page was added on 16/08/2023.

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