England Expects More....

It may have been influenze combined with over working himself, the man reportedly worked 14 hour days trying to sort out the RN and he was also the kind of chap who would go around to ports to ship builders and spend his time canvassing politicians.


Monthly Donor
It may have been influenza combined with over working himself
But he died in 1939? Also you’d think something as ‘normal’ as influenza would be mentioned somewhere in the obit or his wiki article.

Given the attitudes of the day, could it possibly be some kind of “gentleman’s disease”?
He was basically a one man band. He had no deputies or staff of any real sort so he had to basically take on everything. The stress of that combined with 14+ hour days would really wear you down and knock your immune system for six. At that point t something like flu will finish you off fairly fast
He literaly worked himself to death. Historian, who is trying to "bring Henderson into spotlight" due his importance to Tribal-class destroyers and Unicorn carrier designs, and also have a nice YT channel:
said, but propably not in this video, that there are Henderson letters in archives, about navy matters, that are dated a day before Henderson death: he worked even from hospital bed, terminally ill.
England Expects More.... CH 3-8 The Cast
As the story has developed, so has the cast of characters. I have a list, but it is harder to keep track of them (and sometimes the names they have used in earlier sections!) as time goes along. And there will be more, with some making short appearances and others having major roles. So here is a list which I believe to be correct, at this time. There are a few notations and it is split into useful sections.

The cast of England Expects More (as at the end of Ch 3.):

== Actual Persons
Vice Admiral Archibald Gordon Henry Wilson Moore
Admiral Sir Henry Bradwardine Jackson (1SL)
His Majesty King George V
Prime Minister Herbert Asquith
First Lord of the Admiralty Arthur Balfour

== Fictional Persons
Commander Louis Francis Torrance Smythe (Smithy)
Lieutenant Joseph Leonard Triggs Walke (gunnery, mathematician)
Lieutenant Commander John Barker (Barky) (submariner)
Lieutenant Commander Wilson James Imrie RNR (mine sweeping, coastal navigation)
Lieutenant Robinson RNVR (experienced solicitor)

Lieutenant Cabot RNR
Lieutenant Parker RNR
Lieutenant Weldon RNR
Sub-Lieutenant Jenkins RNVR (yachtsman)
Sub-Lieutenant Talbot RNVR (very young, no nautical exp.)
Sub-Lieutenant Bothy RNVR (older, musician)

Chief Petty Officer Davyd James Davies (Davy; Davy Davy) (senior)
Chief Petty Officer Huw Alwyn Jones
Petty Officer William (Willie) Cooper (creative)
Petty Officer Malcolm John MacPherson
Steward Simkins

== Finished in the storyline (I think)
Captain John Frederick Ernest Green
Warrant Officer Lauchlin Daniel MacDougall
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You know one of the bigger problems the RN doing well so at Jutland might cause is that they might not be spending nearly as much effort on being prepared for night battle in the interwar period which will bite them in the ass come WWII.
They won half++ of Jutland at night, this time around. The combo of signals and command training (and making lots of signals to tell your friends what is going on) with command training for reaction to events in poor visibility or other circumstances is what enabled them to give the HSF such a pounding in the dark - even as they took some lumps in return. So if anything they are more aware of the need, and are already more on top of it than OTL.

I have a meeting for 2-3 hours, then next post will be up.
England Expects More.... CH 4-1
CHAPTER 4 Part 1: England Expects More....


“Good morning, Barkey. Have a cup of this coffee Jones made. It'll wake you or kill you.”

“Thank you, Wilson, I'll do just that. As a submariner I can attest that there is no coffee on earth that doesn't taste wonderful after swilling gallons of the stuff we drink on patrol.”

“Last night before he left for London I had a chat with Smithy. We reviewed what to do with the tables, and it seems that for now we just need to sort out some foundational work on what happens when a U-boat meets a ship in different kinds of circumstances.”

“So that's where you the surface operator and I the submariner come into it?”

“Precisely. The crew can help us roll through a long list of basic scenarios so we can have an idea of how things unfold.”

“You are the boss, I presume, with your RNR commission from Henry VIII, but I propose we split up and make it real attacks by my submarine – at least for the first runs. Davies and the crew know how to run scenarios and they can help us run a bunch of different models, so that we can develop some understanding.”

“Haha. Yes, RNR often find that a wee bit of gray hair and our dusty old commissions put us in charge. You should know that I discussed that with Smithy and indeed I am administratively the second-in-command. However, while he recognizes the need for seniority sometimes, if and as required, he has a rather modern post-Victorian view and wants us all to work together to get the job done. And since I think you have a splendid idea. We'll tackle it that way.”

Half an hour later they had a general list of scenarios worked out. The list included different scenarios covering different factors, starting with basics such as vessels involved and their characteristics, sea and light conditions, armament (if any), ranges, and on to other adjustments such as proximity of other vessels and anything else they thought might matter.

CPO Jones was assigned control of the schedule and planning, and made the first suggestion for focusing their attention: “Sirs, we have an awful lot to do, and it will take us a few days. We need to divide these like branches of a tree, and start with the most basic scenarios, the main trunks as it were, and do all those first. Then, having learned a bit about what matters, we can branch out into details and changes, and sharpen the rest of our list.”

Imrie nodded. “Sounds like a good idea. And in a day or so we should be getting reports in from Weldon and the others – that will help us fill in the blank spots, or identify new scenarios we need to test.”

PO Cooper, looking at the list, said, “we'll identify what doesn't matter, at least for running scenarios efficiently but also we hope doesn't matter for dealing with U-boat attacks. We keep the basic testing scenario as simple as we can while still covering what we need, and not be distracted. That's how to learn: take a simple scenario and add small changes one at a time. We could drown in details. Sirs.”

Barker spoke in agreement: “Yes, that's excellent, Cooper. There are too many meaningless details, we just have to sort out which ones. You have it right. Keep it simple. Conceptually it really is very simple: the submarine finds and catches and attacks the ship and the ship tries to escape. If it can fight back it will.”

“Very good, then. The first couple of runs will take a bit longer to work through as we get used to your methodology, but after that we'll try to work them out as rapidly as we can.” As he spoke, Imrie realized that even in an egalitarian atmosphere like this, someone still had to wrap up discussions and put them into motion. “Barky and I will each take a second in command: Cooper and MacPherson. Davies you have overall control of making it happen and directing the ratings, assisted by Jones who also monitors what we do and what matters. Lieutenant Robinson will be joining us when he can.”

After seeing nods all around, he spoke again: “Ten minutes to visit the heads and to refill our mugs, then we begin.”
England Expects More.... CH 4-2
CHAPTER 4 Part 2: England Expects More....


Coming up the steps to the Admiralty Smithy was feeling more rested than at any time since Moore had called him barely over a week ago. Was it really? No. Much closer to two weeks. Today he had slept in and had a leisurely breakfast at his parents' home in London, having come up on a late train last night. Life was good.

== ==
Admiral Moore was in his wheel chair at another entrance with his Flag Lieutenant and a steward when an RNVR Surgeon Commander marched up briskly and stamped to a halt in parade-ground fashion that would have done credit to any Royal Marine Colour Sergeant, giving Moore an equally extravagant salute. Being indoors Moore couldn't properly return it, but the Surgeon Commander was unfazed. “Lieutenant, Steward, please stand away while I have a discussion with Vice Admiral Moore. Make sure no one comes close.”

Quick to recognize an officer with battle ensigns flying, the steward's “aye, aye, sir,” was more imagined than heard as he glided away as smoothly as only a steward can manage.

Lyons' “Aye, sir,” sounded as awkward as it was, as he grabbed his briefcase and moved off.

“Admiral Moore, you no doubt remember me, Doctor Cheltenham. I have been sent by Surgeon Vice Admiral May, at the personal suggestion of His Majesty, to see how you are – and to make sure that you-do-not-die.” Moore made to speak, but Cheltenham went on with intensity. “You are still officially my patient, and I am responsible – a fact which Admiral May made abundantly clear. I have not had what in naval terms would be called 'a strip torn off' like that since I was a second year student and nearly killed a patient by my oversight.”

“Surgeon Comman....”

“Sir, I believe you should address me as 'Doctor' just to keep our roles clearly in perspective. I will not have you die on my watch. It-will-not-happen. You are exhausting yourself, and even at this early hour of the day when you should be at your well-rested best you look no better than when I last saw you two weeks ago. Sir, if I may put it plainly, I patched your rips and rents and put back together parts that should never be asunder....”

Moore had to give a chuckle at this – a bit of humour along with a bollocking. He did know that Cheltenham was a good surgeon – the best, they all said.

“...however you have a long road to get out of the woods, or safely ashore if you prefer, and be able to just live comfortably and with reasonable physical capacity. Your ultimate recovery will not be to the state of health and vigour to which you have been accustomed. We have discussed that. You know that if you ever go to sea it will be as a passenger.” He heaved a deep breath. Moore had not counterattacked. “Sir, I know you want to do this job. Admiral May told me what you are working on. If you want to continue, then you will do as I say, sir.”

“Tell me what you propose, Comm... Doctor.”

“Sir, this is not a proposal, it is a clear prescription from your doctor. It is the set of conditions under which your doctor will permit you to continue with light duties.”

“Very well.” Moore was on a three legged stool: chagrin at being pulled up like this, frustration at recognizing that Doctor Cheltenham was right, and desperation with the desire to lead his team – because he just knew that at some point there would be a key to the puzzle.

“Before that. Your men are keeping others at bay, so please allow me to feel your pulse, and check your lungs.” A stethoscope had magically appeared in Dr. Cheltenham's hands. Moore sat quietly while Cheltenham felt his pulse briefly, then pressed the instrument against his back. “That's it sir, just lean forward a bit and take slow deep breaths. Very well.”

“Sir, you are recovering well, very well for your age, but much more slowly than might a man half your age. And for that you need rest and modest activity.” He grimaced. “You see that 'modest activity' as your lever to act as you have been doing, but you have gone too far this past week. And your meetings today – which I agree may go forward – will exhaust you. So we must slow you down a bit. As your strength builds in the coming days and weeks we can extend your range slowly and as may seem prudent.

“First, sir, you will for the time being restrict yourself to quarters with the exception of three half-days per week when you may attend meetings at your offices or other convenient locations. We will extend that as may seem advisable. You may take copious fresh air as weather and other factors permit, but you must keep the stress and strain as low as possible. Psychological stresses seem to impede recoveries almost as if physical stresses – so bear that in mind. Sir.

“Second, sir, you may meet with your second-in-command and one other at your quarters on the alternate days of the week, but for no more than a half day, less would be better. If others must also attend these meetings, then no more than four and no more than one hour for the larger group.

Third, sir, you will have a full-time sick berth attendant assigned to you. He will be with you wherever you go, and he will report directly to me twice daily. He will meet you at your quarters in Portsmouth tomorrow morning. You will find that he is a very good man, mature, and with a quiet and assured way about him. He is the best SBA in the RN.”

Cheltenham paused, and smiled. “Sir, David Malcolmson* is retired from almost 50 years practice as a veterinary...you can laugh but he knows a lot of medicine and can read man or beast exceedingly well, no matter what they do or do not tell him. The Army would not take him as a vet – but he's an old friend of my parents who wanted to help. I thought his insight and wisdom, to say nothing of his medical skills, would help many injured get back on their feet.” At this, he paused again and stood back. “Sir, I will do all in my power to have you back on duty, but now is just too soon.”

“Very well. Doctor.” Moore had to repress a smile. Cheltenham might be a surgeon, but was a pretty good naval psychologist too. “I will follow your prescriptions, and Dr. Malc..., he is a doctor of veterinary I presume?” Cheltenham nodded. “And Dr. Malcolmson's recommendations – as long as they do not include playing fetch and chasing foxes. If he is indeed wise in the ways of the world then maybe he will also become a valuable member of my team.”

Cheltenham put his hat back on, signaling to Lyons that he was making ready to leave. “Sir, while I am at your call at any time, you will find that Sick Berth Petty Officer Dr. Malcolmson is widely read and learned in many fields, and plays a solid game of chess.” With that he went back to his Royal Marine imitation and threw a perfect salute, caring not that it was quite inappropriate indoors, and stamped and wheeled away.

Moore smiled in spite of himself. It looked as if Dr. Cheltenham had watched too many guardsmen at the Changing of the Guard!

== ==
*Dr. David Malcolmson is a ficticious character.
Excellent stuff and it seems he's not going to be able to work himself to death despite his seeming best efforts!
If Western Approaches Command (RN WW2) had an equal medical staff assessing officers and ratings manning escorts would Captain Frederic John Walker have worked himself to death in July 1944?
If Western Approaches Command (RN WW2) had an equal medical staff assessing officers and ratings manning escorts would Captain Frederic John Walker have worked himself to death in July 1944?
I think even in the RN (which had a habit of overworking its best officers Collingwood .. and some not so good Pound )
there is a great difference between a man with no known medical issues when put into post working himself into the ground
and a known invalid given a post on the basis that he is recovering overdoing things (even without Royal intervention)