1708 Adm Leake took Minorca.
1757 Adm Edward Vernon died.
1809 Surveillante took the Spanish Milan 60 miles S.W. of Ushant.
1824 Capture of Martaban by combined forces under Lt-Col Henry Godwin (41st Regiment) and Lt Charles Keele (Arachne). Ships: Arachne, Sophie. Troops: 41st Regiment, Bengal and Madras Artillery, 3rd Madras Native Light Infantry.
1828 Bombardment and capture of Morca Castle, Patras, by combined British and French forces. Ships: Blonde, Aetna, Conquerant, Armide, Didon, Duchesse de Berry. Ships landed guns for the bombardment.
1844 Gorgon refloated, having been aground since 10 May near Montevideo.
1877 Wearing of a half-stripe by officers ranking as a lieutenant with eight years’ seniority extended to all branches.
‘The Purser': a print by Thomas Rowlandson, 1799. (NMM Neg. No.1640)
The Bursar, later Purser, now ‘Pusser’, of a King’s ship has been a member of the crew from the earliest days of the Navy. In 1623, Slops (clothing shops) were established ‘to avoyde nastie beastlyness by continual wearing of one suite of clothes, and therbie boddilie diseases and unwholesome ill smells’. The ‘Slop Room’ still exists today.
In 1683 the Purser was officially paid by making ‘savings’, partial cause of the Spithead Mutiny in 1797. By 1808 he dad become a warrant officer of wardroom rank and by 1843 a commissioned officer. In 1852 he became salaried, and was no longer paid on a percentage basis. On 1 January 1956 the Supply Officer became a General List Officer. He is now an expert on logistics and administration as well as taking a full part in the fighting of his ship.
1899 Powerful’s Naval Brigade at Lombard’s Kop Ladysmith.
1914 Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher of Kilverstone, First Sea Lord 1906, recalled at age 71 by Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, to serve again as First Sea Lord after the resignation two days earlier of Adm HSH Prince Louis of Battenberg.
1917 M 15, M 29, M 31 and, occasionally, M 32 and Raglan, and Ladybird, Aphis, Comet, Staunch and City of Oxford, began bombardment of Gaza coast. Ended 11 November with loss of M 15 and Staunch.
1918 Armistice signed by Turkey on board battleship Agamemnon.
1940 Destroyer Sturdy wrecked in gale on Tiree Island, west Scotland. Convoy SC 8.
1940 First Italian midget S/M attack at Gibraltar.
1940 Harvester and Highlander sank U-32, which had just sunk the Empress of Britain, in N.W. Approaches (55-37N, 12-20W).
1942 Liberator X/10 (RCAF) sank U-520 (47-47N, 49-50W) and Hudson Y/145 (RCAF) sank U-658 in Atlantic (50-32N, 46-32W). Convoy SC 107.
1942 Dulverton, Hero, Hurworth, Pakenham, Petard and Wellesley aircraft of 47 Sqn sank U-559 in E. Mediterranean (32-30N, 33-00E). Codebooks and new Wetterkurz-schlussel recovered but not the M-4 cypher machine. Nevertheless, the material was of immense importance. It arrived at Bletchley Park on 24 November and was significant in the penetration of Triton on 13 December.
GC: Lt Francis Anthony Blair Fasson and AB Colin Grazier (Petard) for attempting to salvage cypher machine from U-559. Both posthumous.
1943 Submarine Ultimatum sank U-431 off Toulon.
1954 X 51 (Stickleback) set new altitude record for a submarine – 279m. (This was reached on a railway track on Shap Summit.)
1967 Resolution, first Polaris submarine, commissioned.
HMS Resolution (1966), the first Polaris ballistic missile submarine. (RNSM)