The second Cabinet print of January 1856 deals with the naval campaign, excluding the work of the Naval Brigade ashore throughout the siege of Sevastopol.
While the latter operation dominated the theatre Vice Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons’ fleet maintained an effective blockade of the Russian coast, secured the vital logistics lifeline that fed armed and equipped the armies and conducted coastal attacks. The latter culminated in the key strategic move of the season when British, French and Turkish troops, with powerful Anglo-French naval support captured Kerch and opened the Sea of Azov. This allowed a small force of British gunboats to cut the main Russian logistics link across the Azov into the Crimea, effectively ending the siege.
After the fall of Sevastopol in September an allied fleet and army captured the key Russian fortress of Kinburn, an action that witnessed the first use of armoured warships. The Black Sea prints were introduced by Captain Alfred Dewar of the Naval Historical Section.
David Bonner-Smith was Admiralty Librarian, joining the library staff in March 1911. He was made deputy librarian on the death of W.G. Perrin in 1931, and appointed to the chief post in March 1932. He retired in May 1949 at the age of 60. It was said of him that he knew every one of the 100,000 books in the library, but was also familiar with all their contents. It is certain that he could direct students and enquirers to whatever reference they needed. He was editor of The Mariner’s Mirror from 1932 to 1939.