MORE than 20,000 naval postcards, thousands of photographs and slides, and a large quantity of books will be put up for sale at Lawrences in Crewkerne in May.
The remarkable archive was formed by two prominent naval
historians, Oscar Parkes and Wilfrid Pym Trotter. Both collections
have been held in a trust, and are now appearing at auction for the
After entering the Navy, Dr Oscar Parkes served with the Naval
Intelligence Division at the Admiralty. He later worked as editor
of Jane's Fighting Ships from 1918 to 1935 and contributed
to many naval journals. He was the author of several books and also
a very capable marine artist, exhibiting at the Royal Academy.
Wilfrid Pym Trotter joined the Royal Fusiliers in 1915 and was
awarded a Military Cross for his part in a successful raid on
German trenches in the Ypres Salient in 1917. Later that same year
he was awarded a bar to his MC after the bitter fighting at Menin
After retirement from the army, Trotter worked in banking and
concentrated on developing his vast collection related to British
naval vessels, having his own rooms at the Imperial War Museum
which housed his collection, and where curators could seek his
The archive has been divided into over 350 lots and includes all
manner of craft: there are postcards of Dutch naval vessels, oil
tankers, tugs, Royal yachts, motor launches, coastal destroyers,
whalers, submarines, paddle steamers, minesweepers, lifeboats,
barges, trawlers and landing craft.
Lawrences' Simon Jones said: "This is an amazingly extensive
collection and an absolute must for naval enthusiasts. The sheer
quantity of items and information contained in this collection is
quite remarkable and it should attract a huge amount of interest
from collectors and institutions."
Estimates have been set to attract private collectors and begin
at just £40 for a lot of 50 postcards with 30 photographs. The
collection will be offered on May 5 as part of a two-day militaria
and collectors' sale.