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HMS Bristol

HMS Bristol

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HMS Bristol

HMS Bristol was a Bristol Class light cruiser. Despite being the name ship of the class, she was the last to be launched, and the last to be completed. In the four years before the First World War she served in the Home Fleet (1910-1913), Second Fleet (1913), 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron (1913-1914) and the 5th Cruiser Squadron (1914).

At the outbreak of war she joined the 5th Cruiser Squadron in the West Indies. There she had her first encounter with German cruisers, when she engaged the SMS Karlsruhe in a short skirmish (6 August). The Karlsruhe went on to sink sixteen Allied ships before exploding on 4 November 1914.

The Bristol was one of the ships sent to the Falklands in the aftermath of the German victory at Coronel. She was thus present at the battle of the Falklands (8 December 1914). On the morning of the battle the Bristol had her fired drawn, and was taking on coal. By the time she had raised steam, the chase was on and it was too late for her to take part. Instead she was sent after the German colliers (with the AMC Macedonia). After the battle the Bristol took part in the hunt for the SMS Dresden, the only German cruiser to escape from the Falklands, but was not part of the squadron that eventually found her.

The Bristol served in the Mediterranean during 1915, the Adriatic during 1916-17 and around South America in 1918. In the aftermath of the war she was paid off into the reserve in June 1919, and was sold to be broke up in 1921.

Displacement (loaded)

5300t deep load

Top Speed



5,070 nautical miles at 16kts

Armour – deck





Two 6in 50 calibre breech loading Mk XI
Ten 4in 50 calibre breech loading Mk VIII
Four 3pdr
Two 18in torpedo tubes (submerged)

Crew complement



23 February 1910


December 1910

Books on the First World War |Subject Index: First World War

HMS Bristol (1711)

HMS Bristol was a 50-gun fourth-rate ship of the line built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 18th century.

  • 50 guns:
  • Gundeck: 22 × 18-pdr cannon
  • Upper gundeck: 22 × 9-pdr cannon
  • Quarterdeck: 4 × 6-pdr cannon
  • Forecastle: 2 × 6-pdr cannon
  • 50 guns:
  • Gundeck: 22 × 24-pdr cannon
  • Upper gundeck: 22 × 12-pdr cannon
  • Quarterdeck: 4 × 6-pdr cannon
  • Forecastle: 2 × 6-pdr cannon

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But the arrangement is set to cease ‘at the end of 2020’ the navy said, casting doubt over Bristol’s future.

A petition calling on the National Museum of the Royal Navy to consider taking on the vessel has so far been backed by almost 7,500 people.

And now, Portsmouth City Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson has thrown his weight behind the campaign to save Bristol.

Speaking to The News, Councillor Vernon-Jackson said: ‘Portsmouth Historic Dockyard has got a Tudor ship in the Mary Rose, a Georgian ship in HMS Victory, it’s got a Victorian one in HMS Warrior - what it doesn’t have is a good-sized, grey metal ship to add to the collection.

Some Bristol Men of Nelson’s Navy.

Christopher Beaty, 33, Quarter gunner, HMS Bellerephon.

George Beck, 25, Captain’s Clerk aboard HMS Defiance. 1805, wages to mother

George Bedford, 23, AB, HMS Naiad

Abraham Bennett, 17, Boy 2 nd Class, 1805, HMS Thunderer

John Bennett, 23, AB, 1805, HMS Orion from HMS Desiree

William Blake, Landsman, Marshfield, Glos

Walter Bond, 30, Quarter gunner, HMS Dreadnought

Richard Bowden, 21, AB, 1805, HMS Royal Sovereign

Robert Boyde, 35, AB, Downing (sic) Glos, HMS Conqueror, wages 1807 to mother, Sarah

Thomas Braine, 21, Ord Seaman. (history: 1800-4, Renown, boy 1804-5, OS Thunderer, 1805-8, OS Sirius, 1808-10, OS Diomede, 1810-11 Queen, 1811, “Captain of Mast.)

Joseph Briton (sic) Landsman

Philip Bretton, 18, Landsman, Bath, HMS Euryalus. Notes say he was baptised Lyncombe & Widcombe, 1785, and his sister Ann, in 1782/3. She became Ann Viner and in 1806 lived 12 Somerset St, Bath

Simon Gage Britton, Assistant Surgeon, 1804, HMS Pickle

William Broad, 24, Ord Seaman, HMS Orion from Anson

William Broad, 30, Carpenter’s crew, HMS Britannia

John Brock,41,  AB, HMS Sirius, 1804

William Brooks, 25, AB, St Garges, (sic) Glos, wages to mother Catherine

Joseph Brooks, 26, Landsman, 1804, ship’s paybook, HMS Polyphemus

James Brown, 23, Ord Seaman, HMS Conqueror, 1804

John Brown, 31, AB, volunteer, HMS Belleisle,  1802-5, at Trafalgar.

John Brown, 22, AB, HMS Swiftsure from Ulysses, 1804

Samuel Brown, 28, Bath, AB, Quartermaster, HMS Swiftsure, 1804.

William Brown, 27, Ord Seaman, HMS Neptune

William Buck, 25, Quartermaster, HMS Conqueror, 1804

William Buckley, 36, Yeoman of the Sheets, HMS Mars

Samuel Burgess, 20, volunteer, Landsman, HMS Leviathan, 1804

James Burton, master’s mate, Ratcliffe (sic)

Peter Bush, 18, Boy 2 nd Class, Kingswood, Glos, HMS Prince, 1804

Joseph Buxton, 23, AB, Hanham, Glos, HMS Conqueror

George Cannon, Landsman, Bath

John Campbell, 36, Quarter gunner, HMS Orion, 1805

William Cantell, 20, Landsman, Whitechurch (sic) Somerset, HMS Spartiate, 1804

Jacob Cappell, Pte. Queen Charlton, Somerset, (TR "Victory")

Hugh Carney, 32, Pte, Marine, St Michael, Bristol, (TR "Britannia", 1805)

Comm. John. Carslake. Born Colyton, Devon, 1785. Entered R.N. 1799. Midshipman

on "Victory" 1805. Promoted after the battle to Lieut. Retired Commander,

1852, N.G.S. Medal, two clasps. Died Clifton 1865. (TR)

Charles Cawly, 22, Landsman, HMS Naiad

John Chambers, 20, Landsman. HMS Dreadnought. (as Ord. Seaman ?TR "Dreadnought". Martinique clasp)

Daniel Chilcott, Quarter gunner

James Chivers, 23, Ord Seaman, HMS Dreadnought

William Clements, Landsman, Bath

Thomas Cobley, 44, Ord Seaman “Pardoned convicts from Cyclops”, HMS Leviathan

Isaac Cole, 23, Ord Seaman, Hanham, Glos, HMS Ajax, 1805

Samuel Cole,  26, AB, Downing, (sic) Glos, HMS Prince, 1804

John Coleman, 32, Carpenter’s Crew, Bath, HMS Ajax, 1805

Michael Collins, 21, Ord Seaman, Bath, HMS Spartiate, 1804

Thomas Condon, 22, Ord Seaman, HMS Mars, 1805

John Cook, 24, Ord Seaman, HMS Salvador, Volunteer, 1804

John Cooper, 24, Landsman, Cyson (sic) (Siston) Glos, HMS Defiance

John Cope, 24, AB. Originally a boy, “monkey gun brig” on HMS Diligence. Then 1803, HMS Utrecht, 1804-6, HMS Victory, at  Trafalgar, 1806 HMS Gelykheid, 1806-9, HMS Ocean, 1809, HMS Salvador del Mondo. Progress from Ord Seaman to AB. 1809 HMS Jalouse, Quarter Gunner, 1809-12, Captain of the mast, served 1812-16

Samuel Cowles, 26, AB, Landsman, Downing (sic) (Downend) 1805

Charles Cox, 20, Landsman, Stapleton, Glos, HMS Leviathan, 1804

John Cramer, 23, Landsman, HMS Leviathan

Robert Cuddiford, Carpenter’s crew. (TR "Naiad.)

Benjamin Dagger, 26, Carpenter’s crew, Bath, HMD Thunderer, from Renown, 1805

William Davis, 20, Ord Seaman, 1804-5, HMS Mars

William Davis, 26, Ord Seaman, HMS Agamemnon and HMS Foudroyant*. At Trafalgar

Bartholomew George Smith Day, 21, Midshipman, from Royal William, late Amsterdam, HMS Revenge, at Trafalgar, TR Revenge. "Superiere" 10 Feb 1809

Thomas Day, 27, AB, HMS Bellerephon, 1804. Fro Royal William

James Dowling, Boy, 2 nd Class

Thomas Downey, 14, Boy 2 nd Class, Bath, HMS Leviathan

John Downs, Quarter Gunner

Jeremiah Dunn, 22, AB, HMS Spartiate, 1804

Francis Eaves, 29, 1804-6, HMS Victory, at Trafalgar.Made his will 1805, naming Thomas Ansell, seaman aboard Victory. Survived. 1806-9, HMS Ocean, 1809-13, HMS Rhin, Yeoman of the Powder Room. Ran, 5.3.1813, Plymouth, from leave.

James Edwards, 21, AB, HMS Mars

Walter Ellis, 25,Ord Seaman, HMS Orion from Anson, 1805

Matthew Evans, 20, Landsman, HMS Swiftsure, 1804

Thomas Evans, 30, Yeoman of the Sheets, HMS Swiftsure, 1804-5

William Fields, 21, Ord Seaman, HMS Conqueror

Nicholas Fitzgerald, Carpenter’s Crew

Charles Fletcher, 23, AB, HMS Royal Sovereign, 1805

Thomas Fletcher, 26, Ord Seaman, HMS Thunderer, 1805

John Flooke, 16, Boy, 1 st class, HMS Tonnant, 1805

George Floyd, 26, Ord Seaman, HMS Tonnant, 1804

William Forrest, 37, AB, Keynsham, Som, HMS Belleisle, from Victory, 1804-5, was at Trafalgar.

James Fowler, 27, Ord Seaman, HMS Bellerephon, was at Trafalgar

Thomas Francis, 25, Landsman, HMS Conqueror, was at Trafalgar

John French, AB, 33, HMS Neptune (?TR "Euralyus")

Edward Fry, Landsman, 20 HMS Spartiate, 1804,  (TR "Spartiate")

John Fry, 21, Landsman, HMS Spartiate, 1803 “substitute for James Thompson, United Brothers, Resolve”

Thomas Fry, 24, Ord Seaman, Bath, HMS Ajax, 1805

Thomas Fry, 28, Landsman, Bath, HMS Ajax, 1805

Isaac Fudge, 34, Ord Seaman, Ordinary Seaman

John Gardner, 23, Landsman, HMS Prince, 1804

John/James Gardner, 20, Landsman, HMS Ajax, 1805

William Gardner, 25, Ord Seaman, HMS Bellerephon

Thomas Gascoyne, Ord Seaman

James Gerrard, AB, 26, HMS Swiftsure, 1804

George Gibbons, 24, AB, HMS Belleisle, from Victory, 1805, was at Trafalgar

Thomas Gibson, AB (?TR "Euralyus")

William Giles, 24, AB, HMS Bellerephon

William Giles, 27, Landsman, “Gainson” i.e. Keynsham, Som, HMS Ajax, 1805

Nicholas Gooding, 17, Ord Seaman, HMS Dreadnought

William Goodman, 23, Ord Seaman, HMS Minotaur, Killed in action, 21 Oct 1805

John Gordon, 28, AB, Bath, HMS Naiad

John Graham, Boy, 3 rd Class

William Graves, 25, Ord Seaman, HMS Royal Sovereign, 1805, HMS Formidable, 21 Dec 1805 to 25 Dec 1805, discharged to Plymouth hospital, Dec 1805

Thomas Griffiths, 27, Ord Seaman, HMS Conqueror

William Griffiths, 21, Landsman, HMS Salvador, volunteer, 1805

Charles Grimes, 23, Ord Seaman, HMS Thunderer from Renown, 1805

Joseph Gullick, 23, Landsman, HMS Salvador, volunteer. 1805

Thomas Hall, 19, Landsman, “Battern” i.e. Bitton, Glos, HMS Spartiate, Volunteer

Samuel Hammans, 23, Ord Seaman, Somerset, HMS Spartiate, Killed in Action, 21 Oct 1805

Thomas Handley, AB (TR "Bellerophon"

John Hannam, 44, Carpenter’s Crew, 1805, HMS Ajax,  (TR as Hannan "Ajax")

Joseph Hannam, Boy, 2 nd Class

John Harding, 28, Ord Seaman, HMS Prince, 1804

Thomas Harding, 23, Landsman to Ord Seaman, HMS Ajax, 1805

Samuel Harris, 21, AB, HMS Royal Sovereign, 1805

Thomas Harris, 25, AB, 1805, HMS Ajax. Wages to mother in Bristol. Discharged 1807 to HMS Glatton

John Hartland, 46, Ord Seaman, HMS Spartiate, 1804

James Harvey, 17, Ord Seaman, HMS Dreadnought, 1805

Samuel Hawkins, 33, AB, HMS Royal Sovereign. Made will 1804 in favour of his aunt,Eliz, living Devon, 1804. Was at Trafalgar, service details from 1796-1811

George Hayes, 26, AB, HMS Achille, 1805, was at Trafalgar

James Helliar, 27, Ord Seaman, HMS Orion from Anson, 1805

William Hemmings, Landsman

William Henderson, Trumpeter

Edward Henley, 39, Landsman, HMS Defence. (Armourer’s Mate in AN)

Job Henley, 22, Landsman, volunteer, HMS Achille, was at Trafalgar, discharged to Plymouth hospital, Nov 1806

William Herbert, 25, Ord Seaman, HMS Belleisle, 1802-6, was at Trafalgar

Augustus Thomas Hicks, 15, Volunteer 1 st Class, Berkeley, HMS Defiance. (TR Defiance", died 1857)

John Hinds, 28, Quartermaster’s Mate, HMS Neptune

Thomas Christopher Holland, Midshipman, Bath

Charles Hopkins, 24, Ord Seaman, HMS Conqueror from Salvador, Sirius, “prest”. was at Trafalgar, discharged to Cadiz hospital 26 Oct 1805

David Howell, Trumpeter, Bath

John Howell, 28, Ord Seaman HMS Belleisle, 1803-5

William Howell, 21, Landsman, Manilsfield sic – (Mangotsfield), Glos, HMS Temeraire, was at Trafalgar, Killed in Action, 25 Oct 1805

William Hubber, 30, Ord Seaman, HMS Polyphemus, 1804. was at Trafalgar (TR "Polyphemus")

Aaron Hubert, 16, Boy, 2 nd Class, Cosham sic – (Cotham?), Bristol. aged 16. On "Victory" 1803-6, at Trafalgar. HMS Ocean 1806.

Abraham Hughes, 30, Ord Seaman, HMS Conqueror

William Humphries, 28, Qtr. Gunner, Bath, HMS Mars, was at Trafalgar (TR "Mars")

William Hutchinson, 29, landsman to Ord Seaman, HMS Royal Sovereign, 1805

Thomas Hyde,22,  Landsman, HMS Conqueror, was at Trafalgar(TR "Conqueror")

James Jackson, 23, AB, HMS Swiftsure, 1804

Richard Jackson, 36, Landsman, HMS Defence

James James, 23, Landsman, HMS Achille, from Kite (sloop) 1805, was at Trafalgar

Stephen Watts Jeffries, 29, Ord Seaman, Mangotsfield, Glos, HMS Spartiate

James Jenkins, 46, Ord Seaman, HMS Dreadnought, 1805

John Jenkins, 29, AB, HMS Dreadnought,

George Johnson, 19, Bath, HMS Thunderer, 1805.

John Johnson, 24,  Landsman, HMS Britannia

John Johnston, 33, Ord Seaman, HMS Spartiate, volunteer, 1805

Francis Jones, 21, Landsman, Bath, HMS Bellerephon, volunteer

George Jones, 24, Landsman, HMS Britannia

Isaac Jones, 22, Ord Seaman, HMS Royal Sovereign

Richard Jones, 20, Ord Seaman, HMS Conqueror

William Jones, 26, AB, HMS Ajax, 1805

Thomas King, 25, Ord Seaman, HMS Thunderer, 1805

William King, 26, Ord Seaman, HMS Thunderer, 1805

Edward Kingston, 19, Ord Seaman, HMS Dreadnought,  “late Plymouth Hospital”, was at Trafalgar, (TR "Dreadnought")

George Lacey, 24, AB, HMS Neptune

Samuel Lacey, 24, Ord Seaman, HMS Polyphemus

Solomon Leonard, 40, Ord Seaman, HMS Colossus

John Lisle, 26, Ord Seaman, HMS Prince, 1804

William Lloyd, 24, Ord Seaman, HMS Polyphemus, 1804

George Long, 20, Landsman, HMS Neptune

William Long, 20, Ord Seaman, HMS Tonnant, 1804-5

William Loveless, 24, Landsman, Winterbourne, Glos, HMS Africa, Volunteer from HMS Sussex, hospital ship. Details 1805-1811

Robert Luton, 32, Ord Seaman, HMS Britannia

William Maggs, 21, Landsman, Bath, HMS Prince

George Manning, 18, AB, Bath, HMS Swiftsure (?TR as Ord. Seaman "Victory", and Basque Roads)

Thomas Mansfield, 46, HMS Dreadnought, yeoman of the Powder Room

John Marks, Ord Seaman, Bath

James Marshall, 24, AB, Ord Seaman, HMS Neptune, 1805, discharged to Plymouth Hospital

James Marshall, 28, Landsman, HMS Prince Frederick, from hospital, 1805

William Marshall, 26, Ord Seaman, HMS Temeraire, 1804

John Martin, 35, AB, HMS Minotaur

William Matthews, Ship’s Corporal, Bath

Thomas Mason, 30, AB, HMS Dreadnought

George May, 15, Boy, 2 nd Class, Bath, HMS Swiftsure, 1804

Mark McMullen, 18, Landsman, Camerton, Som. HMS Naiad, 1805

Henry Merchant, 42, Ord Seaman, discharged from HMS Bellerephon to HMS Bedford 1807 and wages paid to wife Ann.

Thomas Merchant, 21, Ord Seaman, Bath, HMS Euralyus, was at Trafalgar

John Miller, 19, Ord Seaman, HMS Temeraire, from HMS Salvador, late Lousia, 1805, “Prest”

Simeon Moon, 25, volunteer, AB, 1803, HMS Utrecht, 1803-6, HMS "Victory".  Wounded at Trafalgar. Discharged 31.1.1806, “unserviceable”.

John Mooney, 12, Boy 3 rd Class, HMS Dreadnought

Joseph Henry Moore, Boy 2 nd Class, Bath

Thomas Moore, Landsman, Bath

James Morris, Ord Seaman/AB, HMS Temeraire, 1804-5

William Mountain, 30, Landsman, HMS Defence

Thomas Murphy, 57, Quarter Gunner, MS Ajax, 1805

Richard Musto, 20, Bosun’s mate, HMS Agamemnon. service listed 1805-1808, when Captain of afterguard incl hospital stay, Deal, Kent, and payment of wages to wife Elizabeth, 1807, at Portsmouth. 

George Nash, 47, Quartergunner, HMS Spartiate, 1804

Thomas Nash, 22, Quartergunner, HMS Spartiate, 1804

Thomas Neal, 22, AB, HMS Prince, 1804,  was at Trafalgar, TR “Prince”

Thomas Neal, 34, Ord Seaman, HMS Minotaur

Richard Newman, 26, Ord Seaman, HMS Conqueror

Thomas Norman, 25, Ord Seaman, HMS Naiad

John Norton, Ord Seaman, Bath, HMS Ajax, 1805

Thomas Owens, 20, Landsman, Bath, HMS Britannia (NB appears AN as “Ovens”)

William Owen(s), 23, AB, HMS Orion, 1805

Charles Parker, Landsman, Bath

Giles Parker, 14, Boy, 3 rd class, Wootton under Edge, HMS Achilles, volunteer, 1810

Joseph Parker, 22, Ord Seaman, HMS Bellerephon

Job Parsons, 27, Landsman, HMS Thunderer, 1805

Thomas Partridge, 35, AB, Bath, HMS Swiftsure

John Patterson, 35, AB, HMS Dreadnought, “from American gun vessel” (see my blog on he war of 1812 – perhaps a naturalised American?)

George Pearson, 13, Volunteer 1st Class, Som, HMS Bellerephon

*John Peart, 27, HMS Africa,  see letters, a Portsmouth Man, was at Trafalgar

Erasmus Peeps, 26, Midshipman/Quartermaster’s Mate, Pill, Somerset, HMS Leviathan, 1805

William Peirce, 23, Ord Seaman, HMS Polyphemus, 1804

Anthony Perks, 43, Ord Seaman, HMS Temeraire, 1804

William Perry, 23, Landsman, HMS Polyphemus, 1804

Comm. John Phepoe. Born Dublin, 1776, entered RN, 1801. Midshipman "Ajax" at  ‘Trafalgar. Ret’d Commander, 1848, N.G.S. medal with clasp. Died Clifton 1862, buried Clifton St Andrews. (TR)

James Phillips: according to his obituary in Felix Farley’s Bristol Journal of 14 March 1818, he was Lord Nelson’s boatswain on board the "Victory" at the Battle of Trafalgar, "having proved his attachment to his brave Admiral by numerous wounds, viz. four large sabre wounds on his head, many gun shot wounds on his body and three balls in his right thigh and leg, his knee being then shattered. He obtained an honourable discharge and a liberal pension from his King and Country. He was boarded however by the grim tyrant of death in North Street, Bedminster on Monday last, having just attained his 47 th year, the age of his beloved Commander and he will be lowered to his last berth in Redcliff Church tomorrow at o’clock." His name does not appear on the Age of Nelson website. Another report in the Bristol Observer of 25 March 1994, says his name was "Slasher" Brown! HE IS NOW BELIEVED TO BE AN IMPOSTOR!

William Phillips, AB, 38, “Prest” HMS Achille, etc, service listed 1805-1813, allotment from wages made to wife Elizabeth, 1805, paid Bristol. Discharged 1814 “unserviceable” to HMS Gladiator.

Colston Pierce, 30, Ord Seaman, HMS Spartiate, 1804

George (or David) Pitt, 19, Ord Seaman, HMS  "Victory". Wounded at Trafalgar. 1804, 1803, "Puissant", 15 January 1806, "Ocean" (TR "Victory")

George Pontin, 20, Ord Seaman, HMS Naiad

Robert Pordie, Yeoman, Bosun’s Store room

John Powell, 18, Boy, 2 nd class, HMS Thunderer

John Powell, 22, Ord Seaman, Bath, HMS Conqueror,  (?TR as "AB" "Conqueror")

William Powers, 27, AB, HMS Royal Sovereign, 1805

Charles Price, 28, Frampton, Glos, Ord Seaman, HMS Conqueror

James Price, 21, Landsman, HMS Royal Sovereign, 1805 (TR "Tennant")

Thomas Prior, 21, Ord Seaman, HMS Temeraire, 1804

Francis Pritchard, 23, Landsman, HMS Bellerephon, allotted wages paid to his mother, Joan, discharged from Temeraire to HMS Bedford, 1807

Thomas Pullen, gunsmith, Downing

Samuel Randall, 23, AB, Bath, HMS Ajax: at Trafalgar. Discharged 25 Oct 1805 Sent in the launch to assist the St Augustine Spanish Prize the boat broke a drift from the ship in a very boisterous night and the men were either lost or made prisoners probably the former.

William Read, 25, Yeoman of the Sheets, HMS Swiftsure, 1804

Thomas Rees, 28, AB, HMS Africa, 1805, was at Trafalgar, from Ceres, substitute, 1808-9, rank: cooper,died 9 Jan 1809. Argonaut, hospital ship.

William Reeves, AB, 29, HMS Ajax, 1805, was at Trafalgar. 26 October 1805
Comments: Discharged 26 Oct 1805 Sent in the launch to assist the St Augustine Spanish Prize the boat broke a drift from the ship in a very boisterous night and the men were either lost or made Prisoners. Probably the former.

James Reynolds, 11, Boy, 3rd Class, HMS Royal Sovereign, 1805, “from Marine Society”

John Reynolds, 31, Ord Seaman, Bath, HMS Swiftsure, 1804

Francis Rice, 23, Landsman, HMS Conqueror, career listed 1803-1814, (AB) was at Trafalgar, muster for HMS Barham stated he was born in Abergavenny.

John Rice, 22, Landsman, HMS Conqueror

Daniel Rich, 23, Landsman, HMS Conqueror, career listed 1803-14, Ord Seaman, was at Trafalgar

Joseph (?) Richardson, 22, AB, Bath, HMS Phoebe, 1802

Arthur Roberts, 34, Ord Seaman, HMS Bellerephon, wages paid to wife Sarah, Portsmouth, discharged to HMS Bedford, 1807

James Roberts, 24, Ord Seaman, HMS Naiad

William Roberts, 26, AB, HMS Leviathan

William Roberts, 19, Landsman, HMS Conqueror

Daniel Rogers, 28, Ord Seaman, Bedminster, Bristol, HMS Britannia

Richard Rogers, 22, AB, HMS Polyphemus, 1804

William Romney, 33, Landsman/AB, HMS Leviathan, 1804

John Rudge, 20, Landsman, HMS Spartiate, 1804, (TR "Spartiate")

James Sanders, 26, AB, Bath, HMS Royal Sovereign

John Saunders, 21, Ord Seaman, HMS Conqueror, 1804. Allotment of wages to wife Mary in 1806

Richard Searle, 30, AB, Bath, HMS Victory, 1803-6, was at Trafalgar, 1806 at Haslar Hospital

Samuel Sensbury, (Sainsbury?) 40, Gunner’s mate, HMS Swiftsure, 1804

Comm. Joseph Seymour. Master RN, 1796, Master of "Conqueror" 1804, at Trafalgar. Ret’d Commander 1846. NGS Medal with two clasps. Died Bristol 1862, buried Arnos Vale. (TR)

Elias Shaddock, 30, Quarter Gunner, HMS Royal Sovereign, 1805

Benjamin Shepherd, 42, Ord Seaman, HMS Orion from Anson, 1805

John Shepherd, 28, Ord Seaman/AB, HMS Polyphemus, 1804

James Sherbourne, 22, Landsman, HMS Thunderer, from Salvador, 1805, “Prest”.

William Simmonds, 20, AB, HMS Leviathan, from Union – merchant ship

Benjamin Simmons, 38, Carpenter’s Crew, HMS Thunderer, from Renown, 1805.  (TR "Thunderer")

William Simmons, 28, Ord Seaman, Bath HMS Neptune

William Smart, 21, AB, Bath, HMS Leviathan, from Portsmouth, volunteer

Lionel Smith, Armourer’s mate, Bathford, Som

Thomas Smith, 19, Landsman, HMS Sirius, 1804

Thomas Smith, 21, AB, HMS Thunderer, 1805, volunteer

Thomas Smith, 27, Ord Seaman/AB, Bath, HMS Royal Sovereign, career listed 1803-7, was a Trafalgar

William Smith, 23, Landsman, HMS Mars

William Smith, 29, Ord Seaman, HMS Spartiate 1804

Christopher Spring, Ord Seaman

John Steager, Landsman, Keynsham, Somerset

Joseph Stokes, 23, Ord Seaman, HMS Bellerephon

James Stone, 20, Midshipman, Bath, HMS Leviathan

Thomas Stone, 21, Landsman, HMS Polyphemus, 1805

William Stone, 27, AB, HMS Royal Sovereign, career 1803-5, joined as a volunteer from HMS Braave

William Strong, 22, Ord Seaman, HMS Leviathan, 1803, from merchant ship Zephyr, “prest”

William Symonds, 23, Landsman, HMS Temeraire, 1804

William Symonds, 33, Landsman, HMS Temeraire

Francis Taylor, Boy, 3 rd class

Hugh Taylor, 23, AB, HMS Dreadnought

William Taylor, 29, Armourer’s Mate, HMS Conqueror, wages to mother, 1803 & 1807, paid from Bristol

John Thomas, 19, Ord Seaman, HMS Tonnant,  1804-5, (TR "Tennant")

John Morris Thompson, 32, HMS Conqueror, Master’s mate. Quartermaster 1805, wages paid to wife Mary, 1807, Plymouth,

Joseph Thompson, 20, Landsman, HMS Naiad

William Thompson, 28, Ord Seaman,  HMS Naiad (TR "Victory")

Joseph Thorn, AB, Ratclift (sic)

Nathaniel Thorne, 21, Landsman, HMS Thunderer, volunteer from Salvador

Bowham Tomkyns, 14, volunteer, 1st class, HMS Tonnant, at Trafalgar

Thomas Tripp, 20, Seaman, HMS Leviathan, from Pegasus, active cutter

James Tucker, 39, Carpenter’s Crew, Bath, HMS Dreadnought

John Tucker, 37, Ord Seaman, HMS Leviathan, 1804-5

William Turner, 22, Landsman, HMS Dreadnought

Jeremiah Vincent, 21, Landsman, Bath, HMS prince, 1804

* John Viner, 25, Landsman, HMS Spartiate, 1804, See letters.

George Warren, 26, AB, Bath, HMS Ajax, 1805

John Webb, 38, Quartermaster’s mate, Alveston, Glos, HMS Achille, 1804-14. died HMS Achille at Rio de Janeiro, 20 Sept 1814.

William Webb, 45, AB, HMS Prince, 1804

George White, 27, AB, HMS Defiance. Killed in Action at Trafalgar, 21 Oct 1805

John White, 28, AB, volunteer, Bitton, Glos, HMS Achille, killed in Action at Trafalgar, 21 Oct 1805

Thomas White, 44, Master at Arms, Som, HMS Britannia

Thomas White, 28, AB, Som, HMS Neptune

James Whiting,  Ord Seaman, Bath

James Whittington, 32, AB, HMS Britannia

Richard Whittington,20, Landsman, Kingswood, (nr Wootton-under-Edge) JMS Leviathan (TR "Leviathan")

George Wilkins, Ord Seaman, 25, On "Victory" at Trafalgar. 11 May 1803, Utrecht, 15 January 1806, "Ocean"

Henry Wilkins, 25, Ord Seaman, HMS Victory. Died accident at sea 6 Feb 1810

John Wilkins, 28, Ord Seaman, HMS Prince, 1804

John Wilkins, AB, 28, Churchill, Somerset, HMS Neptune

Thomas Wilkins, AB, Keynsham, Somerset

James Williams, 20, Landsman, HMS Conqueror

James Williams, 40, Landsman, HMS Achille, 1805-9, was at Trafalgar, discharged April 1809, unserviceable

John Williams, 21, Ord Seaman, HMS Conqueror (?TR "Defiance" or "Britannia")

John Williams, 23, AB, HMS Naiad

Stephen Williams AB, 25, HMS Revenge, (TR Revenge")

Thomas Williams, 44, Ord Seaman, HMS Spartiate

Francis Willis, 52, AB, HMS Polythemus, 1804 from Stately

George Wilson, 17, Boy, 2 nd Class, HMS "Victory". Killed in action at Trafalgar 21 Oct 1805. Joined 27 April 1803. Buried at Sea, 21 October 1805

Samuel Wilson, Ord Seaman, Bath

Thomas Wiltshire, 20, Armourer’s Mate, Cainsan (sic) (Keynsham) HMS Agamemnon, 1804-9, was at Trafalgar. Wages paid, 1807, to mother, Elizabeth, Bristol.   (TR "Agamemnon", and St Domingo, Malaga.)

Andrew Winter, 21, Landsman, HMS Thunderer, volunteer from Salvador, 1805

James Wolfe, 34, Ord Seaman, HMS Naiad, 1804

John Wood, 25, AB, HMS Belleisle, 1802-5, was at Trafalgar, wages paid to wife 1803, Plymouth

John Woodman, 20, Landsman, HMS Tonnant, 1804

Jacob Wookey, 32, Ord Seaman, Somerset, HMS Spartiate, volunteer from United Brothers

John Wright, 24, Armourer’s mate, HMS  Naiad

William Wyatt, 34, AB, HMS Achille, 1805-10, was at Trafalgar

Thomas York, 23, Landsman, HMS Thunderer, substitute from Salvador

William Abbot, Pte, Marshfield, Glos. (TR "Leviathan")

John Adams, 23, Pte. HMS Britannia, 1805

William Adams, Pte, St George’s, Bristol

Matthew Amos, Pte, "Rackley" sic. (Redcliffe?) Nr Bristol

James Applegate, Pte, Berkeley, Glos, (TR "Naiad")

William Bailey, Pte, Winford, Som

John Ball, Pte, Marshfield, Glos

William Bartlett, Pte, Walcot, Bath

John Brookes, Pte. 30, HMS Victory" at Trafalgar. 14 April 1803, Zealand, 15 January 1806 at Chatham HQ. On TR.

John Buckley, Pte, St James, Bristol

John Cantle, Pte, Bedminster

Jacob Capell, Pte, 27, Queen Charlton, Som, HMS Victory, 1803-6, at Trafalgar, paid off Chatham, 1806,  (TR "Victory")

Hugh Carney, Pte, 32, St Michael, Bristol , HMS Britannia, at Trafalgar, (TR "Britannia")

Isaac Chandler, Pte, Melksham, Wilts. HMS Euralyus, allotment made to wife, from wages, from Wootton under edge, wife have already died.

Charles Chappell, Pte, 26, Thornbury, HMS Victory, at Trafalgar, paid off Chatham 1806

Richard Chinnock, Pte, 20, Lye (sic) on Mendip, HMS Britannia, at Trafalgar, (TR "Britannia")

Charles F. Clear, Boy, RM, HMS Achille, at Trafalgar, died Plymouth Hospital, 1806

Jeremiah Coke, Clutton, Bath

Thomas Coles, Pte, St Philips, Glos

John Cook, Sergeant, from St Mary Redcliffe

William Cook, Pte, Hawkesbury, Glos

Captain James Cottell/Cottle, 2 nd Lieut, RM, 1798, 1 st Lieut, 1804. HMS Tonnant, at Trafalgar. Retired Half pay, 1835, died Bedminster 1842.

Moses Dagger, Pte, St Philip & St Jacob, Glos, HMS Dreadnought

James Davis, Boy, Ratcliffe (sic) Bristol

William Day, Pte, HMS Spartiate

David Drew, Pte, Croomdell (sic) (Cromhall?) Glos, HMS Mars

Samuel Eyles, Pte, Stapleton, Glos, HMS Naiaid

James Fisher, Pte, Marshfield, Glos, HMS Swiftsure

William Ford, Pte, 26 St Stephen’s, Bristol,  HMS Victory at Trafalgar. 18 April 1803, Winchelsea, 15 January 1806, Chatham HQ

John Grimes, Pte, St Michael’s Bristol, HMS Royal Sovereign

Thomas Harding, Boy, marine

Thomas Harding, Pte, marine

Samuel Harris, Pte, Winterbourne, Glos, HMS Prince

John Hayward, Boy, RM, Milksham (sic) Wilts, HMS Belleisle

Francis Hicks, Pte, 23, Bitten, (sic: Bitton) Glos, HMS Orion

John Hicks, Pte, Bath, HMS Achille, service 1805-1812, was at Trafalgar, allotment from wages 1807 to mother Hannah,  paid Bath, discharged 1815 Plymouth

George Hodges, Pte, C40, St Georges, (sic) Bristol. Age 26. HS Victory, at Trafalgar". 17 April 1803 and 15 January 1806, at Chatham HQ.

Edward Hore, Pte, Chew Magney (sic)

Robert House, Pte, Camerton, Som, HMS Prince

James Hughes, Pte. St Philips, Bristol, HMS Neptune

Thomas Hurle, Pte. Berkeley, Glos , HMS Temeraire

George Jeffries, Pte, Siston, Glos, HMS Sirius

James Jones, Pte, Milksham (sic) Wilts, (TR "Tonnant")

Thomas Lansdown, Pte, Olveston, Glos, HMS Conqueror

Moses Llewellyn, Pte, Mangotsfield, Glos, HMS Achille, 1805-1812, at Trafalgar, discharged Portsmouth, 1813

Isaac May, Pte, Avening, Glos, HMS Sirius

George Moseley, Pte, 24, Frampton Cotterell, HMS Defiance

Cornelius Organ, Pte. North Nibley, HMS Spartiate

John Parfitt, Pte, Strait, Somerset

Charles Parsons, Pte, Yeaton, (sic Yatton) Somerset, HMS Neptune

John Phillips, Pte, Temple, Bristol, HMS Neptune

Charles Pinker, Pte, Temple, Som (Temple Cloud rather than Temple Bristol?), HMS Temeraire

Amos Poulson, Pte, Melksham

Benjamin Powell, Pte, Timsbury

David Powell, Pte, 24, HMS Victory, at Trafalgar, 1803-6, paid off 1806

Henry Powell, Pte, P18, aged 22, On "Victory" at Trafalgar. 21 May 1803, Zealand, 15 January 1806, Chatham HQ

John Skinner, Pte, 20, Bath. HMS Britannia

George Skidmore, Pte, Iron Acton, Glos, HMS Mars, killed in Action, Trafalgar, 21 Oct 1805

*? Isaac Smith, Pte, Trowbridge. (see letters) HMS Swiftsure

*John Summers, Pte (see letters) HMS Ajax

John Thorn, Pte, Barclay, Som, (sic)

Daniel Webb, Boy, RM, Melksham, Wilts, HMS Bellerephon

*? Joseph Webb, Pte, Melksham, Wilts (see letters) HMS Prince

Joseph White, Pte, Mangotsfield, Glos, HMS Defence

John Whiting, Pte, 19, Shepton Mallet, HMS Britannia,  allotment from wages made to mother, 1804-5, at Trafalgar (TR)

Mark Williams, Pte, Westbury, Glos , HMS Naiad

Bibliography, abbreviations and sources

"Men who served with Nelson" BAFHS Journal, No. 71, March 1993

National Archives – data base, Trafalgar Ancestors

Appellation “see letters” = further information in my possession to be added to blog in due course.

"A British Tar. Examination before a Court Martial of Serving officers of His Majesty’s late Ship Java, Jones Humble, boatswain, deposed ‘About an hour after the action commenced, I was wounded I went down and stopped near an hour and when I got my arm put a little to rights by a tourniquet put on it, nothing else, (my hand was carried away, my arm wounded about the elbow) I put my arm into the bosom of my shirt and went up again and when I saw the enemy ahead of us repairing his damages, I had my orders from Lieutenant Chads before the action began to cheer up the boarders with my pipe that they might make a clean spring of the boarding.’ This is a fine and truly characteristic specimen of the British seaman." (FFBJ 5.6.1813)

A sailor at Trafalgar aboard "Britannia" had his leg shot off a little below the knee and said to the officer ordering him to be conveyed to the cockpit "That’s but a shilling touch, Your Honour, an inch higher and I should have had my eighteenpence." (ie. pension according to severity.)

The same fellow said to one of his friends, "I say Bob, take a look for my leg, and give me the silver buckle out of my shoe. I’ll do as much for you another time." (both anecdotes reported FFBJ 16.11.1822)

Pictures show the history of Bristol's city docks through the years

We’ve been going through the archives again, and it goes without saying that the Post and the Western Daily between them amassed an awful lot of photos of Bristol’s city docks at work. Happily we have an excuse to show you a batch of them (along with a couple of interesting agency pics) this week.

Our pretext for showing them comes courtesy of Amy King, who is collecting people’s stories of the city docks. She recently sent us an appeal to BT readers saying:

Do you remember the Old City Docks?

Maybe you worked down on the Docks? Or played there as a child? Or lived nearby and remember a certain boat coming in?

I am collecting memories for a project about the Bristol Old City Docks, and I would like to hear from anybody with memories to share. I really want to bring the original voices back to the space of the docks, so I would love to record our conversation. I may then use parts of our recording to make a series of audio tracks people can listen to when they walk around what used to be the City Docks, from M Shed up to Underfall Yard.

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So whether you remember the dockers’ brilliant nicknames (like ‘Olympic Torch’ because he never went out!), the fig trees growing out of Bristol Bridge or tricking boats into throwing coal at you (free warmth!), I would love to hear your stories.

If you have any memories to share, or would like further information, please get in touch. You can reach me via email ([email protected] ) , phone 0117 382 7017 or on Twitter @bristoldockers

Archive pictures tell the story of the old Bristol docks

June 20 1935. This appears to have been taken for a national newspaper and shows “Mrs Clutterbuck hanging out her washing on Bristol dock quayside”. She presumably lived in one of the old dock cottages (probably one of the block that’s the Sea Cadets centre nowadays). The bridge in the background was part of the old docks railway system, which suggests that her whites wouldn’t come out whiter than white if she left them on the line too long.

Western Daily Press, April 25 1946: “INO&aposS MAIDEN VOYAGE. The Ino, first of the Bristol Steam Navigation Company&aposs two new motor vessels, berthed at Bristol City Docks yesterday, bringing her maiden voyage a cargo of oilcake. She lies near Prince Street bridge, and was gay with flags yesterday. She was built by a Goole firm. A sister ship, Cato, is now completing at Goole and will shortly be in service.

This, according to our captioning, is the BD6, a steam dredger originally built in the 1840s and show here still going strong 110 years later. It remained in use until 1961 and pulled itself across the harbour with attached to bollards on the quaysides.

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July 15 1954. The River Police station by Prince Street Bridge.

June 4 1954. Not something you’d ever have seen coming up the river all that often, but it’s OK, it’s one of ours. This was HMS Amphion, built for the Royal Navy in 1944, but entering service too late to have seen any action. She was scrapped in 1971.

July 15 1955. If you’re old enough you might remember the Kingstonian, the little pleasure steamer which regularly took people on trips up the river, usually as far as Keynsham, in the summer months. She did this for decades (from about the 1890s?), though we’re not sure when she was finally retired, but think it was the late 1960s. In this photo, she’s taking a party of schoolboys on a trip, courtesy of the Bristol Round Table. The Post’s Pillar Box Club also used to take its young members on outings on the Kingstonian with ‘Uncle’ Bob Bennett leading the singing.

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May 28 1957. Another reminder of the railways all round the docks. This bascule bridge used to carry trains across the harbourside entrance to Bathurst Basin. It was removed in the early 1960s, and there’s nowadays a footbridge (built in the 1980s) on the spot.

The old CWS building, photographed on a dull January day in 1962.

HMS Locust was originally designed as a gunboat to patrol the Yangtse River in China but on being commissioned in 1940 was diverted to more urgent duties. She took a lot of damage taking part in the Dunkirk evacuation, and was involved in the Dieppe and St Nazaire raids as well as D-Day. In 1951 she arrived at Mardyke Wharf to become a “drill ship” for the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. And here she stayed until the day this picture was taken in 1968 when she was towed off to Newport to be broken up.

OK, help needed here. The only information we have is that it’s 1968 and it’s a Russian vessel. She’s presumably leaving because of the way she’s pointed and because she looks dangerously high in the water. At a guess she would have been bringing in a cargo of timber, but we don’t know. We can’t read all the name on the back but our amateur translation of the Cyrillic lettering suggests it ends in “-ansk” or “-yansk” and that she was registered in Talinn. Any ideas?

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It’s 1969 and we’re all mod cons in the control room of the new Cumberland Basin swing bridge.

It’s 1984 (possibly February) and here is a chapter in more recent dockside history that doesn’t deserve to be forgotten. After a couple of years of planning and a lot of hard work by volunteers, L Shed (next to M Shed) opened as the National Lifeboat Museum in 1979, with a collection of lifeboats and artefacts dedicated to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. It gained respectable numbers of visitors but for all the hard work and dedication it lurched from one financial crisis to another before finally closing in 1988. Its collection of boats continued to grow all this time and beyond until they were moved to Chatham in 1994. At that time the Post announced that there were plans to turn L Shed into a sort of high-tech dinosaur museum to cash in on the popularity of ‘Jurassic Park’ … Nowadays L Shed is used for storage of historical and heritage artefacts.

MY WAR 1939 - 1946

My name is Donald William Hutton Stepney, I was born on 23/08/24 to Betty and Walter Thomas Stepney of Staines in Middlesex. Father had served as a Sapper in The Royal Engineers during the 1914 –18 War and in 1939 we were living at 44, London Road Staines. The day war broke out – with apologies to that great comedian Mr Robb Wilton – my Mum said to me, “It’s up to you” I said “me” she said“yes” I said “why” she said “ Well, your Father did his bit in the trenches in the 1914 –18 War and now its your turn”
Well, on the 3rd September 1939 I had just turned 15 years of age and was attending Ashford (Middx)County Grammar School, was commencing my third year, was not very happy there and due to the outbreak of the war was only going to school one day a week initially. I found that due to the war pupils could leave school before the age of sixteen so I jumped at the chance and found myself a job in the Costs Office of the Staines Linoleum Co as junior clerk at a wage of seventeen shillings and sixpence a week.
In a few months when I became 16 I was allowed to become one of the Fire Watchers in the area where I lived, so my war effort began! Together with David Cooper, a friend of the same age and also two older men, we took turns on a rota system of Fire Watching in the area in which we lived. The headquarters were in a nearby disused shop, we went there from 9pm in the evening until 6am the following morning. Duties were to patrol the area and keep a lookout for fire incendiary bombs dropped by enemy aircraft and if necessary deal with them with a stirrup pump if possible. We lived in Staines about 16 miles from Hyde Park Corner. We were also a few miles from the railway marshalling yard at Feltham, a favourite target for enemy aircraft. A few bombs were ditched over Staines by aircraft returning from bombing London. Whilst on these firewatch duties one could see the huge glow in the air over London during the blitz. I did these duties for a year until I was 17 and joined the Works Home Guard unit. I did not have to deal with any incendiaries during this period but do recall one night when a stick of bombs weredropped about a quarter of a mile away from our home and that was just after the All Clear had sounded.
Home Guard duties were vastly different to fire watching. I was a private with the unit where I worked, this was a company that manufactured linoleum but now, in wartime was greatly turned over to various munitions manufacture. It’s site covered 50 acres and consisted of some 250 buildings of all shapes and sizes. It had it’s own power station and goods railway yard. It certainly warranted its own Home Guard unit. Specialist training was done with the local Middlesex Battalion Home Guard – Training with Machine Gun firing, Grenade throwing, Rifle and Bayonet use etc all mostly done at weekends as were military manoeuvres with various other local units. Sadly I recall one Sunday morning, on Staines Moor when grenade throwing was being practised, a member of the town Home Guard was killed. On the lighter side I remember, whilst in the factory unit Home Guard that on the top of one seven storey building Air Observer duties were done on a rota basis. There was no shortage of volunteers for duty on a Thursday afternoon – Why? – well, binoculars were used of course to overlook the surrounds of the Staines area, and it was early closing day in the nearby High Street, so the shop girls and their boy friends spent the afternoon on Staines Moor – need I say more.
Having registered for service in the armed forces when I became 17 and having indicated a preference for the Royal Navy, on the 18th May 1943 I was very pleased to be called upon to report to HMS Bristol, at Bristol.
This particular ‘ship’ was what is known, in naval jargon as a ‘stone frigate’ – It was a collection of Victorian built buildings on Ashley Down in Bristol and had originally been built as an orphanage by a George Muller and I believe these children’s homes, in the Bristol area, still exist today under that name. Gloucestershire County Cricket Ground is next to the site.
My medical had classed me as Grade 2 due to eyesight and up to this time in 1943 the RN did not take persons graded as such. However, in May 1943 things changed, and at HMS Bristol an eight week course had been set up to put recruits through their paces, assess the medical problems etc: and if all tests were passed, they were accepted into the RN. We were called Prob Ord. Seaman.
We did plenty of physical training (running round the County Cricket Ground) Rifle Drill, Route Marches etc: Some did not make the grade but I am pleased to say that I did and even took part in a parade in Portishead where a Naval Detachment was called for. I really enjoyed my time in HMS Bristol. If I remember correctly the Commanding Officer at that time was a Captain Walker RN who had previously had a distinguished naval career at sea.
In July 1943 I went to HMS Royal Arthur at Skegness ( This was another ‘stone frigate’ – prewar it was a Butlin’s Holiday Camp) here I changed to square rig and became a Prob Supply Assistant. On the 6th Aug’43 I went to President V in Highgate, London for a Supply Branch Training course. President V was Highgate College. Whilst here I was billeted at home, in Staines, and travelling Staines to Waterloo then Underground on the Northern Line. to Archway, morning and evening!
Previous to all this at some point during my induction period. I should add, I had been asked which naval depot I would prefer to be based at – Chatham, Portsmouth or Devonport?. Naturally, living at Staines I said either Portsmouth or Chatham would be suitable!. Naturally, again! I ended up a Devonport rating!!
On the 18th October 1943 having passed my Supply Branch exams I ended up at HMS Drake in Devonport as a Supply Assistant awaiting a draft posting. That was exactly 5 months after joining.
The 23rd Oct I joined HMS Brigadier who was attached to a buoy in Portland Harbour. I was an assistant to a Leading Supply Assistant and we were responsible for all Naval Stores (Engineering and Maintenance) Brigadier had been a cross channel ferry before the war – she was the SS Worthing and did the Newhaven – Dieppe run. When I joined she was a Landing Ship Infantry, she carried 6 Landing Craft Assault (LCA’s) I did not find out her full history until this year (2005) She was built in 1928 Tonnage of 2,343 gross. In 1939 she was a troop carrier, also a hospital Carrier during the Dunkirk evacuation. In 1940 a Fleet Air Arm target vessel. From 1941 she became an Infantry Landing Ship and carried out troop landing exercises in Scotland then eventually coming south to Portland where I joined her.
Crew wise she was a mixture of RN and T124X personnel. Officers were RNR and RNVR. Ratings were mostly RN and Combined Operations for the LCA’s. T124x rating s had been in the MN and still received that rate of pay – they were usually Stokers, Stewards, Cooks and Victualling Stores ratings.
All other ratings including the two Naval stores supply assistants were RN!
From when I joined Brigadier in Oct’43 until May ’44 we were on landing exercises along the mostly Devon coast, loading up with British, Canadian and American troops either at Portsmouth or Southampton and transporting them for practising assault landings in the LCA’s
On the 5th June 1944 HMS Brigadier departed the Solent as part of Assault Convoy J10 to land troops at the Juno beach-head on the morning of 6th June 1944. As far as I can remember we lost 2 of our LCAs that day when they went in to land. We came back to Portsmouth. late afternoon, it was very sunny, just off of Arromanches, we took onboard from a MTB, 2 badly wounded soldiers and one who had died and we brought them with us back home.
On this D Day as it was known, HMS Brigadier’s Landing Craft Assault Crews were part of 513 Flotilla and as far as I recall, their Petty Officer was named Croucher and came from Sunbury and the officer was Sub/Lt McMasters RNVR. The Captain was Cdr A Paramore RNR, Ist Lt was Lt D Winters RNR, Chief Engineer was Lt Cdr McLellan RNR and the Paymaster was SubLt D Love RNVR whocame from Hounslow
Some of the Rating friends I recall were LSA Frank Dart from Newton Abbot, Supply Asst William Dummett from Plymouth and Steward Bert Waller who had been on the ship when she was SS Worthing on the Newhaven/Dieppe run.
After the 6th of June Brigadier was part of a cross-channel shuttle service carrying reinforcements of all types, men an stores across to France. Once such journey included the Royal Navy’s own Dance Band,’ The Blue Mariners ‘ under the leadership of pianist Petty Officer George Crowe and featuring the noted alto saxophonist Freddy Gardner who was also of P O rank. The compere of this group that were going to entertain Service units in Europe was Sub Lt Eric Barker RNVR noted entertainer..
We had our moments of danger on these trips, such as, disposing of floating mines with rifle fire! Then there was the time I went aft on deck and saw the 28,000 tons of SS Monowi bearing down speedily upon us! There was a scraping noise on the starboard side but thankfully no serious damage!
The end for HMS Brigadier came on the 11/11/44 - It was a Saturday evening and we were leaving Southampton with 430 troops on board when we rammed the stern of HM Headquarters Ship Hilary at anchor at Spithead. The vessels were locked together and had to be cut apart, Brigadier’s bow was pushed back to the hawse pipes. She returned to Southampton the next day and paid off on the 18/12/44. I understand she was returned to Red Ensign service again and once more became SS Worthing on her Newhaven/Dieppe run! As a matter of interest she was sold to a Greek firm in 1954 and did cruisies in the Med under the name PHRYNI. Sadly she was broken up in Greece in 1954 after an illustrious career
After Christmas leave I was back to HMS Drake in Devonport awaiting draft. I should mention I was now a Leading Supply Assistant having applied to be upgraded whilst on Brigadier,. by virtue of the fact that I had passed my original exam with an 80% plus pass that allowed me to take that step.
On the 1st March 1945 I joined a Castle Class Corvette named HMS Headingham Castle at Blyth in Northumberland. She had recently been completed and it was my job to store her for commissioning. I was the sole supply branch rating aboard responsible to the First Lieutenant for all stores. I had an Able Seaman allocated as ‘Tanky’ (Assistant).
At this stage all the crew were gradually arriving but billeted ashore in Blyth as ship’s accommodation was not ready. One Able Seaman and myself were staying with a very hospitable family in Blyth they treated us as if we were their very own family members.I have always thought very highly of ‘Geordie’ folk since that period of my life.
Castle Class Corvettes were built for anti-submarine work and it was assumed that we would eventually be engaged on such activites. Commissioning took place and we did our ‘working up trials’ around Scotland at Tobermory,. Fairlie and ended up at Greenock. By this time VE Day had arrived whilst we were still at Blyth so when we had completed our trials it was assumed we would be making our way to the Far East. Then VJ Day arrived and that changed things completely. I cannot remember why but on VJ Day we were anchored off of Southend Pier and I recall travelling home to Staines on leave that very day!
Headingham Castle did not head for the Far East but as the war was over became based at Greenock and did three week periods in the North Atlantic as a Weather Ship
For some reason, known only to the Lords of The Admiralty! The crew of Headingham Castle, some 120 men, in Feb 1946 became the crew of HMS Oxford Castle and vice versa ! So eventually on Oxford Castle we ended up back at Portland Harbour. By this time Portland was an ASDIC training base. On the 18th May 1946 I was awarded my 1st 3yr Good Conduct Badge. As my Class A Naval Release was pending, in July’46 I was back at Devonport and drafted to DrakeII to await my release.
My waiting time was spent destoring a Cable ship that was moored at Turnchapel. For this period I was once again living ashore and actually stayed with my friend from HMS Brigadier days, Bill Dummett, he had already returned to civvy street and I boarded with him and his wife at their home in Hartley Vale, Plymouth,travelling into the City and over to Turnchapel each morning.
On the 24th September 1946 I was released from Naval Service from St Budeaux to proceed on 56 days resettlement leave.

I returned to my home with Mum and Dad in Staines, Middx and after my leave resumed my employment at the Staines Linoleum Co. All the members of the family had been very fortunate to survive World War II unscathed.

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HMS Bristol (1910)

Alus tilattiin osana vuosien 1908-1909 laivasto-ohjelmaa John Brown and Companyltä Clydebankista, missä köli laskettiin 23. maaliskuuta 1909. Alus laskettiin vesille 23. helmikuuta 1910 ja valmistui samana vuonna 17. joulukuuta. [1] Alus poikkesi muista Bristol-luokan aluksista siten, että sen voimanlähteenä oli kahteen akseliin kytketty Brown Curtis -turbiinit eivätkä neliakseliset Parsons-turbiinit. Aluksella oli peräkkäin kaksi konehuonetta, joissa kummassakin oli yksi turbiinimoottori. [2]

Palvelukseen otettaessa alus liitettiin Kotilaivaston 2. taistelulaivaviirikköön tiedustelijaksi. Alus ajoi karille 22. joulukuuta 1912 Plymouthinlahdella, mistä aiheutuneiden vaurioiden korjaamisen jälkeen se liitettiin Kotilaivaston 2. laivastoon tammikuussa 1913, edelleen 2. risteilijäviirikköön heinäkuussa ja 5. risteilijäviirikköön 1914. [3]

Elokuussa 1914 alus siirrettiin 4. risteilijäviirikköön, jonka muut alukset olivat Monmouth-luokan panssariristeilijät HMS Suffolk, HMS Lancaster, HMS Essex ja HMS Berwick. Alus lähti viirikköönsä Länsi-Intian ja Pohjois-Amerikan laivastoasemalle Bermudalle, missä se oli edelleen ensimmäisen maailmansodan alkaessa. Se oli ensimmäinen ympärysvaltojen alus, joka osallistui sotatoimiin kohdatessaan 6. elokuuta Saksan keisarikunnan laivaston kaapparin SMS Karlsruhen, joka kuitenkin pakeni yhteenottoa suuremman nopeutensa turvin. [3]

Alus kuului joulukuun 1914 alussa kontra-amiraali Stoddartin osastoon, joka oli lähetetty tuhoamaan amiraali Maximilian von Speen laivasto-osasto kostoksi Coronelin taistelussa kärsitystä tappiosta. Se oli 8. joulukuuta hiilestämässä Port Stanleyssa, joten se ei osallistunut Falklandsaarten taisteluun. Alus valtasi yhdessä apuristeilijä HMS Macedonian kanssa myöhemmin kaksi saksalaisosastoon kuulunutta tukilaivaa. Alus ajoi joulukuun lopun takaa risteilijä SMS Dresdeniä, minkä jälkeen se liitettiin Välimeren laivastoon. [3]

Vuonna 1916 alus siirrettiin Adrianmeren laivueeseen Italian laivaston amiraalin alaisuuteen, jolloin se osallistui Otrantonsalmen taisteluun Itävalta-Unkarin laivastoa vastaan. Tämän jälkeen alus siirrettiin 1917 Etelä-Amerikan rannikolle partiointitehtäviin, josta se palasi kotivesille 1918. [3]

Bristol siirrettiin kesäkuussa 1919 Portsmouthissa reserviin, josta alus asetettiin poistolistalle toukokuussa 1920. Alus myytiin romutettavaksi 9. toukokuuta 1921 Wardille Hayleen. [3]

The Deadliest Atlantic Hurricane

1780 was among the worst years in history for North Atlantic hurricanes. The season kicked off in mid-June when a squall formed in the Caribbean and tore across St. Lucia and Puerto Rico. In August, two more storms struck the Caribbean islands and New Orleans, killing dozens of people and wrecking all the ships moored in the mouth of the Mississippi River. The month of September was relatively quiet, but October 3 brought the infamous Savanna-la-Mar hurricane, which drowned the coast of Jamaica in a deadly storm surge. “The sky on a sudden became very much overcast, and an uncommon elevation of the sea immediately followed,” British Colonel John Dalling later wrote. “Whilst the unhappy settlers…were observing this extraordinary phenomenon, the sea broke suddenly in upon the town, and on its retreat swept everything away with it, so as not to leave the smallest vestige of Man, Beast or House behind.”

While the Caribbean was still reeling from the effects of the Savanna-la-Mar storm, the behemoth that would become known as the “Great Hurricane” was brewing thousands of miles away in the Atlantic. Meteorologists are uncertain of its exact birthplace, but most believe it formed off the coast of West Africa near the Cape Verde Islands. The slow-moving storm system then migrated west, feeding off the warm waters near the equator and growing in size and strength. By October 9, it was looming just off the coast of Barbados and the other islands of the Lesser Antilles.

HMS Hector and HMS Bristol in the hurricane of 1780.

Since the Great Hurricane came long before the advent of modern storm tracking, the residents of the Caribbean had no warning of what was about to hit them. In Barbados, witnesses noted that October 9 was a particularly pleasant day, distinguished only by a brilliant blood-red sky in the evening. A light rain began to fall after sunset and continued throughout the night, giving way to downpours and gusting winds by midmorning. By nightfall on October 10, the entire island was in the grip of punishing winds typical of a category five hurricane. Houses creaked, swayed and then blew apart, and trees and shrubs were uprooted and thrown about like kindling. Many of the ships docked in the island’s harbors were swept out to sea or dashed against the shore. Witnesses later noted that the gales ripped the bark off felled trees𠅊 phenomenon believed to occur only when winds climb above 200 miles per hour.

“The very tone or sound of the wind was wound up to a pitch almost bordering upon a whistle,” British colonist William Senhouse later wrote. “Rain fell like a deluge, which added great weight to the wind and when driven in our faces felt like hail or small shot the thunder and lighting was tremendous and incessant.” In the capital city of Bridgetown, Governor James Cuninghame was forced to retreat to a basement cellar after the wind ripped his house’s roof away. When the cellar flooded, he and his family fled outside and passed an anxious night hiding under a cannon, terrified that at any moment it might blow over and crush them.

The Great Hurricane ravaged Barbados for most of late October 10 and early October 11. Sugar cane fields were flattened, and nearly all of the island’s buildings—including those made of stone—were blown away like houses of cards, leaving only pockmarked foundations behind. The island’s forts and military garrison were leveled, and one cannon was picked up and carried hundreds of feet by the wind. Many residents were buried beneath the rubble of their collapsed houses. Others were struck by flying debris or drowned when the rivers and streams flooded. “The most beautiful island in the world has the appearance of a country laid waste by fire, and sword,” British Admiral Sir George Rodney later wrote.

Drawing of Port Royal, Martinique from the 1750s.

Some 4,500 people lay dead on Barbados, but the island was only the first target in the Great Hurricane’s crosshairs. On October 11, the storm turned northwest and passed over the island of Saint Vincent, where it ripped apart over 500 houses. Nearby Saint Lucia was hit even harder. The hurricane pulverized the island for several hours, flooding its harbors and tossing one helpless ship on top of a hospital. In Port Castries, only two houses were left standing. Next to feel the storm’s wrath was Martinique, where screaming winds and a 25-foot storm surge claimed 9,000 lives and leveled a cathedral and a brand new hospital.

The destruction wasn’t limited to land. The storm came during the height of the American Revolution, when the French and Spanish were fighting a naval war against Britain for domination of the Caribbean islands. Both sides saw dozens of warships overwhelmed before they could escape to calmer seas. British Admiral Rodney lost several vessels at St. Lucia, and a Dutch flotilla of 19 ships sank after being thrown onto rocky shoals near Grenada. An even more horrific scene unfolded off the coast of Martinique, where the storm enveloped a 40-ship fleet of French supply ships. Nearly all the vessels were driven to the ocean floor or thrashed against the coastline, killing some 4,000 sailors.

After leveling Martinique, the Great Hurricane continued to drift north across the islands of Dominica, Guadeloupe and St. Kitts. At the Dutch colony of Saint Eustatius, a colossal sea surge killed an estimated 4,000 people. The storm then clipped Puerto Rico and Hispaniola on its way north toward the open ocean. It finally died down after reaching the chilly waters of the North Atlantic sometime after October 18, but not before striking tiny Bermuda, where it caused mass devastation and wrecked several dozen ships.

British Admiral Sir George Rodney described the devastation of the Great Hurricane.

The Great Hurricane left much of the eastern Caribbean in utter ruin. The misery only mounted in mid-October, when another massive hurricane struck a Spanish fleet in the Gulf of Mexico and caused 2,000 fatalities. The storms crippled the Caribbean’s sugar trade, and despite an outpouring of charitable donations and government aid from Britain and elsewhere, it took several years before many of the islands recovered. “The melancholy appearance of every person and thing, struck me with a degree of terror not easily to be described,” wrote a British colonist who arrived in Barbados in early 1781.

All told, an estimated 22,000 people lost their lives during the Great Hurricane of 1780. Because of the outbreaks of famine that followed—particularly among the islands’ slave population—some historians place the number closer to 30,000. To this day, it remains the deadliest Atlantic storm in recorded history.

We visited the Matthew after visiting the M Shed and were pleasantly surprised by the lovely little replica. The volunteers do an amazing job of the upkeep of the boat and are available for any questions you might have. It really is a wondrous little

We’ve just got back home and had a wonderful trip on The Matthew. The crew were fantastic and the fish and chips and wine were very welcome. The history talk was very informative. The weather was superb. What more could we have hoped for?

1st Earl of Bristol

John Hervey, 1st Earl of Bristol

John Hervey (1665-1751) followed his father Sir Thomas Hervey as MP for Bury St Edmunds. On 27 March 1702/3, he was raised to the Peerage of England as Baron Hervey of Ickworth in the County of Suffolk. On 19 October 1714 he was further honoured when he was made Earl of Bristol in the Peerage of Great Britain. He married twice and fathered 20 children. He had a large impact in setting up the family for the next few hundred years. He married 2 heiresses who greatly contributed to the Bristol Estates. Firstly, he married Isabella Carre of Sleaford who brought in all the Lincolnshire estates, and secondly, he married Elizabeth Felton who helped increase the size of the Suffolk Estates but also brought in the Essex estates.

John, Lord Hervey

John, Lord Hervey (1696-1743), eldest son of the 1st Earl of Bristol, was a politician, courtier, writer and memoirist. He was Vice-Chamberlain of the Household and a member of the Privy Council. He became Lord Privy Seal in 1740. His memoirs of the Court of King George II from 1727-37 are some of the best written accounts of this period in existence, which also outline his close relationship with Queen Caroline. His father, 1st Earl of Bristol blamed his early death at the age of 47 on his fondness for “that detestable and poisonous plant, tea."

John, Lord Hervey was the father of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Earls of Bristol and General the Hon. Sir William Hervey.

2nd Earl of Bristol

George, 2nd Earl of Bristol (1721-75) was the eldest son of John, Lord Hervey. He held political office, firstly as Minister in Turin (1755-8) before becoming Ambassador to Madrid 1758-61. It was during this period where he commissioned a significant amount of Ambassadorial silver to signify his status and compete with other foreign ambassadors of the time.

He was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1766-7, and it was thanks to his influence here that his younger brother Frederick (later 4th Earl of Bristol) was elevated to Bishop of Cloyne in 1767. A large monument was erected at Downhill, the house in Ireland built by the 4th Earl in memory of his elder brother. After Ireland the 2nd Earl became Lord Privy Seal (1768-70), a position his father had held some 30 years earlier.

3rd Earl of Bristol

Augustus, 3rd Earl of Bristol

The 2nd Earl was succeeded by his brother Augustus John Hervey as 3rd Earl of Bristol (1724- 79). The 3rd Earl was a vice-admiral of the Royal Navy and a politician. He served as Chief Secretary for Ireland 1766-67. In the Royal Navy he commanded the HMS Phoenix at the Battle of Minorca in May 1756, as well as HMS Dragon at the Capture of Belle Île in June 1761, the Invasion of Martinique in January 1762, and the Battle of Havana in June 1762 during the Seven Years’ War. He went on to be First Naval Lord 1771-75. He was known as the English Casanova, due to his colourful personal life, which by his own account included deflowering a dozen Portuguese nuns.

4th Earl of Bristol

Frederick, 4th Earl of Bristol

The 3rd Earl was succeeded by his next younger brother, Frederick, who became the 4th Earl of Bristol (1730-1803). The 4th Earl of Bristol served as Bishop of Cloyne from 1767 to 1768 and as Bishop of Derry from 1768 to 1803. He is commonly known as the Earl Bishop. The majority of the hotels around the world bearing the name ‘Hotel Bristol’ are named after him, including the Bristol hotels in Paris and Vienna. It is said that Lord Bristol’s love of travelling and luxury inspired the fashion for naming a hotel the Hotel Bristol. The implication being that if Lord Bristol were in town, that is where he would stay. Sir Jonah Barrington described him as ‘a man of elegant erudition, extensive learning, and an enlightened and classical, but eccentric mind: bold, ardent, and versatile he dazzled the vulgar by ostentatious state, and worked upon the gentry by ease and condescension.’ He was passionate about art and architectural design. He built 2 large houses in Ireland: Downhill, and Ballyscullion before designing and commencing Ickworth House in Suffolk. Unusually as an English protestant bishop in Ireland at the time he believed in complete religious equality, giving no preference to one religion over another. In 1799 he also became the fifth Baron Howard de Walden when the abeyance of this peerage was terminated. He married Elizabeth, sister and heir of Sir Charles Davers, 6th Baronet (1737–1807), and great-granddaughter of Thomas Jermyn, 2nd Baron Jermyn, nephew of Henry Jermyn, 1st Baron Jermyn.

5th Earl and 1st Marquess of Bristol

Frederick William Hervey, 1st Marquess of Bristol

Upon the 4th Earl's death in 1803, the title passed to his son Frederick who became the 5th Earl of Bristol (1769-1859). He was a politician, MP for Bury St Edmunds, and served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs 1801-03. In 1826 he was created Marquess of Bristol and Earl Jermyn, of Horningsheath in the County of Suffolk. He had a fractured relationship with his father, choosing a life of responsibility and long-term gains over short term highs. He had a significant impact in strengthening the family position and estates, helping those less fortunate than him, as well as completing the building of Ickworth.

5th Marquess of Bristol

Herbert, 5th Marquess of Bristol

Lord Herbert Hervey 1870-1960 (father of Victor, 6th Marquess of Bristol, and grandfather of the present Marquess of Bristol) became 5th Marquess of Bristol in later life after the death of his older brother Frederick, 4th Marquess of Bristol in 1951. The 5th Marquess spent a large part of his working life abroad, in particular in South America. He was Consul to Chile in 1892, Consul in Abyssinia 1907-9, Minister and Consul-General to Columbia 1919-23, and Minister to Peru and Ecuador from 1923 to 1929. He married Lady Jean Cochrane, daughter of Douglas, 12th Earl of Dundonald, and great granddaughter of the famous Thomas Admiral Lord Cochrane (later 10th Earl of Dundonald). Lord Cochrane, nicknamed by Napoleon, ‘the sea wolf’, successful in virtually all his naval actions, helped lead the navies of Chile and Brazil in their fight for independence. Patrick O’Brian is believed to have based his protagonist Jack Aubrey on him.

The present head of the family is Frederick, 8th Marquess of Bristol, who married Meredith Dunn of Weston, Massachusetts in 2018. They have a daughter, Lady Arabella Hervey, born on 8th March 2020.

Watch the video: ROYAL NAVY TYPE 82 DESTROYER HMS BRISTOL D23 AT PORTSMOUTH - 15th July 2017 (July 2022).


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