Commander George Manley Alldridge joined the Navy in July 1829 and was first employed on anti-smuggling duties on the south coast of England before transferring to the Admiralty Surveying Dept. in May 1830. Passing his examination for Mate in 1836, he was commissioned Lieutenant in 1844 and made Commander of the Fisgard in 1855. During his early career he assisted with numerous surveys in the Aegean and off the coasts of Asia Minor before returning to Home Waters to work on various important surveys of the Irish Sea, Belfast Lough, the Isle of Man, Holyhead Bay and the Bristol Channel. Given command of the G.P.O. paddle packet Asp in 1850, he laid the first telegraph cable across the Irish Sea (Holyhead - Dublin) and, after moving to the waters off south-west Wales, received the thanks of the Admiralty and a silver salver with a purse of sovereigns from the owners of the steamer Owen Glendower for the skill he showed in saving the vessel from destruction when she ran ashore in Freshwater Bay, near Milford Haven, in September 1853.