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The Original Nelson’s Column

The Original Nelson’s Column Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square has been a landmark in London since it was completed in 1843. It is just under 170 feet tall (including the statue of Nelson himself at the top) and the four sides of the pedestal carry relief panels that commemorate Nelson’s four great fleet actions – [...]

The Original Nelson’s Column2019-03-12T20:02:59+00:00

The ramming of HMS Vanguard 1875

The ramming of HMS Vanguard, 1875 Vanguard is a name that has been used by no less than eleven ships of the Royal Navy. The first entered service in 1586 and the most recent, still serving, is a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine  that gives her name to a class of four. The name is also associated with [...]

The ramming of HMS Vanguard 18752019-03-08T19:58:44+00:00

The Loss of the East Indiaman Kent, 1825

The Loss of the East Indiaman Kent, 1825, and its immortalisation in verse Ship losses at sea, though still at an unacceptably high level today, were even more frequent in the days before radio, radar, echo-sounders and others aids to navigation. Loss of life in such incidents was very high, since before the advent of air [...]

The Loss of the East Indiaman Kent, 18252019-03-05T20:08:03+00:00

How HMS Flora died hard: 1808

How HMS Flora died hard: 1808 A blog some weeks ago, “HMS Flora 1780: the Carronade’s arrival”(click here to read it), dealt with a spectacular action in which this 36-gun frigate was engaged shortly after her first commissioning. The present article is however more melancholy, since it tells how this fine ship met her end [...]

How HMS Flora died hard: 18082019-03-01T22:20:06+00:00

Horror at Sea – the loss of the SS London, 1866

Horror at Sea - the loss of the SS London, 1866 “Globalisation” is a term often applied to our own time but the process was in full swing a century and a half ago. The 19th Century saw a vast increase in seaborne trade and passenger-transportation, as new export markets were opened and as economies expanded [...]

Horror at Sea – the loss of the SS London, 18662019-02-19T22:30:00+00:00

HMS Flora 1780 – the Carronade arrives

HMS Flora 1780: the Carronade's arrival In sea battles from the 1780s to the end of the Napoleonic Wars a decisive factor was often the use of the carronade. Few of these guns were carried on any one ship, and they were not counted in a ship’s rated number of guns so that, in practice, [...]

HMS Flora 1780 – the Carronade arrives2019-02-15T20:04:43+00:00

Grace Darling, Unexpected Heroine, 1838

Grace Darling, Unexpected Heroine, 1838 Grace Darling by Thomas Musgrave Joy November 15th 2015 was the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of the great Victorian heroines. Grace Darling gained widespread acclaim for her courage, was celebrated in verse, prints and Staffordshire pottery and remained for several generations afterwards an almost legendary [...]

Grace Darling, Unexpected Heroine, 18382019-02-12T21:51:38+00:00

HMS Argyll and the Bell Rock Lighthouse, 1915

HMS Argyll and the Bell Rock Lighthouse, 1915 Between 1902 and 1908 a total of 34 armoured cruisers were built for the Royal Navy. Expensive ships, almost all in the 10000 to 16000-ton range, they were of comparable displacement to contemporary pre-dreadnought battleships. Fast and, except in the case of the later classes, very inadequately [...]

HMS Argyll and the Bell Rock Lighthouse, 19152019-02-05T21:20:02+00:00