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ALSTON KENNERLEY was born into a seafaring family and his own early experience at sea included ten month’s service as a cadet aboard the German four-masted barque Passat. Later, after reading History at the University of Wales, Lampeter, he went into teaching and became Principal Lecturer in the Institute of Marine Studies at the University of Plymouth. He retired in 2000, since when he has maintained an active research portfolio in maritime social history.