Part of the Acorn Archive

Hearts of Oak



Charles Lewis

Royal Navy [1891-1905]


Coastguard [1906-1945]


Charles Lewis


This is the story of a man from North Devon.

It has been transcribed from his own notes and diaries,

a great deal of which was written on board the ship HMS BLANCHE,

and there are a number of  documents, as well as his own biographical notes and letters to friends, which describe the times,

his work and life.


It must be emphasised here that these were written in a time

before present social codes and sensitivities.

It was also a very different world.

A world where words were used without malice.

A man of honour and respect.

An intelligent, humble and sensitive man.



RN Training 1891-1900

Royal Naval Service Record - Ships

China Station Service 1894-1897

Training 1897-1900


West Africa Station Service 1900-1904

Part 1   Part 2  Part 3  Part 4   Part 5   Part 6


List of Ships Mentioned


Coastguard Service from 1905

Part 1   Part 2   Part 3


Photographs, Certificate and Telegrams


Notes made for a Talk


Charles Lewis had written, in his Journal.


Ideals of Friendship


“Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort

of feeling safe with a person;

having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but,

pour them all right out as they are, chaff and grain together,

knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them,

keep what is worth keeping and

with the breath of kindness blow the rest away”

From Mrs Craik’s “Life for a Life”


“For the first time I carried on a conversation;

for the first time was the inmost sense of my words returned to me

more rich, more full, more comprehensive from another mouth.

What I had been groping for was returned clear to me.

What I had been thinking I have been taught to see”



“We were mixed up as meeting streams,

both to ourselves were lost,

We were one mass.

We could not give or take but for the same,

for he was I, I he.”







Raymond Forward