Daedalus and the Deep pictorial Guide 3 – Living

Even on a small vessel such as HMS Daedalus, the living space occupied by officers and men was strictly divided. Officers (and senior warrant officers) had small, hutch-like cabins in the wardroom, which was the general space where they lived and dined.

Warrior Wardroom

Wardroom – the wardroom was for commissioned officers and senior non-commissioned officers such as the Sailing Master. Midshipmen and warrant officers would live in the gunroom. Names had changed over time. At the opening of the French Revolutionary Wars, the officers inhabited the gunroom, and the Midshipmen the cockpit. The 19th century wardroom was rather grander than its forebear though, as HMS Warrior’s wardroom demonstrates. The doors to the individual cabins can be seen at the end of the table, with the varnished wooden slats providing a little ventilation while retaining some privacy.

An officer’s cabin on HMS Warrior. By 1860 some ships were equipped with bunks as here, whereas in Daedalus’ day, officers would have slept in swinging cots.

Warrior cabin

And one of the much more basic cabins for warrant officers such as the Boatswain and Carpenter.

Warrant officer cabin

Hammocks – It was a different matter for seamen, who would sling their hammocks on the berth deck in time-honoured fashion which lasted until after the Second World War. Here, hammocks on HMS Victory demonstrate the 14 inch spacing each man was allowed, though by Daedalus’ 1840s cruise, crews were smaller and there would have been more space for each man.

Victory hammocks

In contrast, the Captain enjoyed more space than most of the other officers put together. Even with the modern round stern cramping the space compared with older frigates to the same design, the ‘great cabin’ of HMS Daedalus would have been the most impressive living space on the ship by some way. This is HMS Unicorn’s cabin

Unicorn great cabin - courtesy of www.frigateunicorn.org
Photo courtesy of www.frigateunicorn.org

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