Written by Peter Keeling.
On 10 May 1888 a notice headed ‘STRICTLY NON-POLITICAL – GREAT BRITAIN’S DANGER’ appeared in The Times. Placed there by a group of naval officers and city businessmen led by Captain Lord Charles Beresford and Admiral Sir Geoffrey Phipps Hornby, it asked ‘Englishmen of all classes and politics’ to consider the truth of the following statements:
The Naval and coast defences are quite inadequate to the absolute requirements of the nation.
The country is to-day unprepared for war, and would risk a serious reverse were such to occur.
Our commerce would be at the mercy of an enemy in the present weak state of the Navy.