Taffrail

Taffrail was the pseudonym used by Captain Henry Taprell Dorling, D.S.O, R.N. (8 September 1883 - 1 July 1968.)

He was born the son of an army officer in Berwick, his birth recorded as Taprell Henry Dorling, later being changed to Henry Taprell Dorling (1908) and H. Taprell Dorling (1910.)

After entering the Royal Navy (HMS Britannia, 1897), he served as a Midshipman in H.M.S. Terrible (South Africa, China and Peking.) He was promoted Sub-Lieutenant in 1902, Lieutenant on 31 December 1904, Lieutenant-Commander on 31 December 1912, Commander on 31 December 1916. He retired with the rank of Captain on 8 September 1929. He variously held command of HMS Lynx, Fairy, Leven, Murray and Telemachus, serving mostly in the North Sea, being mentioned in dispatches, and in 1918, receiving the D.S.O. During World War Two, he returned to service with the Ministry of Information and the Press Bureau, was gazetted on 24 October 1944 and appointed Officer of Legion of Merit for Distinguished Service in the Allied Cause in North Africa, retiring for the second time 30 August 1946.

He was the author of a number of books during the inter-war period, including well acepted historical works and some fiction obviously oriented to encouraging youngsters to join the Royal Navy.

He was thanked by Admiral of the Fleet Viscount Cunningham for a role with his autobiography A sailor's odyssey which may have amounted to ghost-writing.

Year Title Illustrator Publisher Description
1912 All about ships: a book for boys Cassell & Co, London xii, 371 pages, 4 col plates, drawings, photos, (octavo)
1915 The Boy Castaways; or, Endeavour Island William Rainey Blackie & Son, London vi, 360 pages, (octavo)
1916 Carry on!: naval sketches and stories C. A. Pearson, London [6], 122 p., 19 cm.
1916 Pincher Martin, O.D.: a story of the inner life of the Royal Navy. By 'Taffrail Clifford Fleming-Williams W. & R. Chambers, London 340 p., 20 cm.
1916 Service medals, ribbons, badges and flags George Philip & Son, London In 4 parts: [6], 86, 48, 48, 45 p., ill..(some col.), 18 cm.
1916 Stand By!: naval sketches and stories C. A. Pearson, London 120 pages, (octavo)
1916 The secret submarine: a story of fighting by sea and land C. M. Padday Blackie & Son, London 352 pages, (octavo)
1917 Minor Operations C. A. Pearson, London 120 p., 20 cm.
1917 Off Shore C. A. Pearson, London 121 p., 18 cm.
1917 Sea, Spray and Spindrift: naval yarns W. Edward Wigfull, Neville Southeby Pitcher C. A. Pearson, London 159 pages, illustrations, (octavo)
1917 The sub: being the autobiography of David Munro, sub-lieutenant, Royal Navy Hodder & Stoughton, London 356 p., 5 leaves of plates, 20 cm.
1918 A Little Ship W. & R. Chambers, London 337 pages, (octavo)
1918 The watch below: naval sketches and stories C. A. Pearson, London 121 p., 18 cm.
1920 H.M.S. anonymous H. Jenkins, London 320 p., 19 cm.
1920 Oh, Joshua! Hodder & Stoughton, London 318, [2]p., 19cm.
1925 Sea venturers of Britain W. Collins, London xix, 316 p., plates, ports., maps (part. fold.), 19 cm.
1927 Sea Escapes and Adventures P. Allan & Co, London 286 pages, (octavo)
1929 Men o' war: St. Vincent, Cochrane, Marryat, Fisher, Beresford P. Allan & Co, London 308 p., ill., maps., 22cm.
1929 Pirates Hodder & Stoughton, London 311 pages, (octavo)
1929 Shipmates Hodder & Stoughton, London 316 pages, (octavo)
1930 The lonely bungalow Hodder & Stoughton, London 320 p., 19 cm.
1931 Endless story: being an account of the work of the destroyers, flotilla-leaders, torpedo-boats and patrol boats in the great war Hodder & Stoughton, London 451 p, illus, 25 cm.
1931 Kerrell Hodder & Stoughton, London 319 p., ill., 19 cm.
1932 Cypher K Hodder & Stoughton, London 315 pages, (octavo)
1932 The scarlet stripe: being the adventures of a naval surgeon Hodder & Stoughton, London 310 p., plan, 18 cm
1933 Dover-Ostend: a cross channel thriller Hodder & Stoughton, London 351 p., 1 map, 19 cm.
1933 The man from Scapa Flow Hodder & Stoughton, London 320 p., (octavo)
1934 Seventy North (70(octavo) N) Hodder & Stoughton, London 319 p., 20 cm.
1935 Second Officer Hodder & Stoughton, London 310 p., 20 cm.
1935 Swept channels: being an account of the work of the minesweepers in the Great War. Hodder & Stoughton, London 388 pages, (octavo)
1935 Second Officer Hodder & Stroughton, London
1936 Mid-Atlantic Hodder & Stoughton, London 318, [1] p., 20 cm.
1936 Mystery at Milford Haven Hodder & Stoughton, London 319 pages, (octavo)
1937 Mystery Cruise Hodder & Stoughton, London 320 p., 20 cm.
1938 Operation 'M.O.' Hodder & Stoughton, London 288 pages, (octavo)
1938 Micheal Bray Hodder & Stroughton, London
1939 Fred Travis, A.B. Hodder & Stoughton, London 336 p., 20 cm.
1939 The Shetland plan Hodder & Stoughton, London 256 p., maps, 19 cm
1940 The navy in action Hodder & Stoughton, London 224 p., 19 cm.
1940 The Navy is here: a convoy of naval novels Hodder & Stoughton, London 753 p., (octavo).
1943 Chenies Hodder & Stoughton, London 282 p., 20 cm.
1943 White Ensigns G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York 280 p.
1946 Ribbons and medals, naval, military, air force and civil George Philip & Son, London viii, 208 p., illus., xvi col. pl. on 9 l.; 19 cm
1947 Western Mediterranean, 1942-1945 Hodder & Stroughton, London 461 p., ill.., 8vo.
1949 Toby Shad Hodder & Stoughton, London 317 p., 20 cm.
1951 The jade lizard Hodder & Stoughton, London 256 p., 19 cm.
1952 Salt water quiz Hodder and Stoughton, London 157 p., illus. 20 cm
1952 The new moon Hodder & Stoughton, London 254 p., 19 cm.
1953 The Hurlingham Club, 1869-1953 Hurlingham Club, London 69p., ill., 21cm.
1953 Euridice Hodder & Stoughton, London 286 p., 19x13cm, red cloth hardcover, original price 12/6
1956 Arctic convoy Hodder & Stoughton, London 315 p., 21cm.
1973 Blue Star Line at war, 1939-1945 Foulsham, Slough 159,xiii p.,: ill, maps(1 col), ports, 23cm.
1974 Ribbons and medals: the world's military and civil awards George Philip & Son, London 359 p., illustrations (some colour), 23 cm