Histories in Which the ML is Mentioned

In The Motor Launch Patrol we have an account by Gordon Maxwell of life in the Motor Launch Patrol during WWI. He includes numerous humorous and horrifying anecdotes, provides insights into little details of life aboard, and generally pulls the reader into the daily life of an RNVR officer during the war. I've included some excerpts from his book along with a few images to give a feel for what life may have been like aboard these boats during the war.

Gordon Maxwell also put together another book called The Rhymes of A Motor Launch which is exceedingly scarce. I've only ever seen one or two copies for sale for many hundreds of dollars and I've been most fortunate in having one presented to me as a gift and have found a second for only a few dollars!. It contains verse, lyrics, poetry, etc., associated with The Motor Launch Patrol. If you also have a copy I'd love to hear about it! Nutting (see below) includes a song—The Song of the Sea Slugs—attributed to "Anonymous" which may very well have been written by Maxwell though it is not included in this book.

William Washburn Nutting, founder of the Cruising Club of America, served as a Lieutenant in the US Navy during World War One—commanding a Sub-Chaser, the next wartime design to come off the board of Irwin Chase. The Sub-Chasers (or SC's) owed much in their design to the lessons learned in creating the Motor Launch. Nutting's book The Cinderellas of the Fleet provides an excellent account of the design and construction of the ML's as a precurser to the SC. This books is one of the best sources of detailed technical information about the ML—including the only lines drawings that look "official". (More information about the Sub-Chaers themselves may be found at Todd Woofenden's The Sub Chaser Archives.)

Donald Maxwell, older brother of Gordon, also recounted some adventures with the Motor Launch Patrol—primarily by telling of the adventures of others. In The Last Crusade we have many of Maxwell's paintings showing the ML in daily life—primarily in the Mediterranean.

Together the Maxwell brothers produced The Naval Front which draws from both of their previous books to produce a larger picture of naval life during the war. It does touch on various ML's but largely reproduces previous information.

Prolific naval author E. Keble Chatterton produced The Auxiliary Patrol to document the work of the smaller, lesser-known craft of the navy during the war—primarily craft of the Dover Patrol. Given Chatterton's experience aboard ML 181 as commander of the Queenstown ML flotilla, the ML is well treated and numerous photographs I've not seen elsewhere are provided—many perhaps from his own personal collection.

Chatterton also wrote Danger Zone which recounts his personal experience during the War (he was yet another pre-war yachtsman enlisted in the RNVR because of his knowledge and skills). This book offers a few insights into ML service in Ireland though it focuses primarily on the Queenstown Command as a whole (i.e., the destroyers, armed trawlers, etc.).

After the war, there were a number of articles that appeared in various publications which recounted the adventures of the Motor Launch Patrol. These were often simple re-hashes of previous articles or quick summaries (without attribution in some cases) of the works of others. An example is Epic of The M.L.s by Sidney Howard. This article, a rehash of information clearly drawn from The Motor Launch Patrol really introduces no new information. It is notable however, for the five images which accompany the text. These are all credited to the Imperial War Museum and offer pictures of various ML's not seen elsewhere. One picture caption actually notes that ML 55 was the "flagship" of the ML fleet at Dover.