british naval history


(he did)

Admiral Horatio Nelson, died at The Battle of Trafalgar 1805. His last words were “Kiss me Hardy”, but many tried to later pass it off as “kismet” to avoid embarrassment.

Likely taken during Operation Tungsten, a sailor of the Royal Canadian Navy looks aft from HMCS Algonquin’s deck, toward what would be the King George V-class battleships HMS Duke of York and HMS Anson - ca. April 1944.

Sourced from: Department of National Defence, Library and Archives Canada.

Uniform for Commissioned Officers.

The Admiral wore an open full-dress coat, with a horizontal strip of gold lace from each button-hole. He had a stand-up collar, also trimmed with gold lace. (There was more lace around the pockets and and cuffs) The coat was traditionally worn with a white waistcoat, breeches, and a black cocked hat with gold trim. 

The Captain had a full dress coat with wide white lapels  which reached down to the waist. It was worn either open or closed. It had gold lace around the edges of the lapels. A captain of 3 years’ seniority had two rows of gold lace around his cuffs, whereas juniors wore only one row. 

The Master & Commander’s coats were similar to the captains, but the lapels were blue; not white.

The Lieutenant’s uniform had virtually no gold lace, but had white lapels like the captain. Cocked black hats were worn, but did not have gold lace. 

The cutting out of HMS Hermione by Nicholas Pocock

HMS Hermione was a 32-gun fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy. She was notorious for having the bloodiest mutiny in British naval history, which saw her captain and most of the officers killed. The mutineers then handed the ship over to the Spanish, who took her into service under the name Santa Cecilia. Captain Edward Hamilton, aboard HMS Surprise, cut her out of the harbour in Puerto Cabello on 25 October, 1799, and she was returned to Royal Navy service under the names Retaliation and later Retribution.

The Hermione is shown on the left of the picture and under her bows are four boats from the Surprise. On deck and silhouetted against the smoke and flash of battle a number of figures are shown fighting. Sailors are loosing her fore topsail and jib. Two figures can be seen falling from her stern and there are others already in the water. The hulk of the Hermione is silhouetted against the fire of the shore batteries of Puerto Cabello and the hills beyond are visible against the moonlit sky. In the right background is the Surprise.