Everyday life on board HMS Natal
A remarkable set of images have recently come to light that illustrate what life was like on board HMS Natal. They appear to have been taken in 1914 or early 1915 as there is a photograph of Rudolph the ship's cat in the set. Rudolph was one of the casualites when HMS Natal sank.
Rudolph, HMS Natal's cat. Author's Collection.
Newspaper cutting dated Jan 14th 1915 confirming that Rudolph was a casualty. Author's Collection.
This photograph shows loading coal into the ship's bunkers. Author's Collection.
The stokers after coaling, probably the same time as the previous photograph. Authors Collection.
Swabbing down the decks. This was taken from the same point as the photograph of the coaling. It seems likely that this was taken after the coaling. Author's Collection.
Small arms drill. Judging by the state of some of the uniforms and the jaunty angles of the caps, this was not a parade. Author's Collection.
An inspection parade. This photograph was taken from the same angle as the coaling pohotographs. Author's Collection.
Church Parade being held on the stern of the ship. Author's Collection.
HMS Natal's Royal Marine Bandsmen entertaining sailors and civilians. This photograph was taken in a dockyard and it is possible that it was taken in Birkenhead during the ship's re-fit in early 1915. Author's Collection.