Brocklebanks 1770—1950

Both volumes signed by a Naval officer involved in the SS Malakand destruction in the Liverpool Docks Blitz in May 1941


John Frederic Gibson


Henry Young and Sons, Liverpool, 1953
Brocklebanks 1770—1950Brocklebanks 1770—1950Brocklebanks 1770—1950

Printing Details

First edition, hardback in dustwrapper, complete in two volumes. 22.5 × 14cm each, v1: xvi + 287pp, v2: 231pp.

Both volumes have been signed by Captain H G Allan, MBE. Captain Allan served in the Navy in the Second World War and is mentioned in the index. Further research online shows that he was at the Brocklebanks shipyard in Liverpool during a particularly heavy night of bombing during the Blitz in early May 1941 when SS Malakand was destroyed. "One of the standby Chief Officers, HG Allan on his first day on duty after sick leave, who two months earlier had been rescued from the sea in the Atlantic after his ship had been torpedoed, went forward with others to smother the incendiary bomb with sand but was hampered by the remains of the balloon which was still flapping about. It next swept over them and exploded in a sheet of flame setting the hatch cover on fire with flames reaching as high as the crows nest. Mr Allan was hurled across the hatch and half way down the fore deck, losing his helmet and with his hair on fire, luckily otherwise uninjured he was able to organise the extinguishing of the fire." Source:

An illustrated history of Brocklebanks, the shipbuilders who started in America in the eighteenth century. The book has details of the ships built, and is particularly interesting on the work and service of the ships during the World Wars of the twentieth century. As mentioned, these books belonged to Captain Allan, and he has left bookmarks in the relevant places where he was involved.


A good reading set. The dustwrappers are quite heavily tanned, and the blue cloth boards to volume one has some mottled damp fading. The books are a trifle musty but the pages are clean and the binding is secure. They remain perfectly readable.

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Brocklebanks 1770—1950Brocklebanks 1770—1950Brocklebanks 1770—1950

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