The HMRC State: where the self-employed are second-class citizens

Royal Navy ………… On This Day ………… 24 October ……….

1793  Thames fought the French Uranie 130 miles S.W. of Ushant. When disabled the Thames struck to the French Carmagnole and two other frigates. Her crew were ill-treated, but she was recaptured next June.

1797  Indefatigable captured the French privateer Hyéne to the westward of Cape de Sines.

1798  Sirius (36) captured the Dutch Furie (24) and Waakzaamheid (36) to the north-west of the Texel.

1811  Guadeloupe captured the French privateer Sirené 9 miles N. by W. of Dragonera Island, Majorca.

1862  British and French forces recaptured Kading. Naval Brigade from Euryalus, Imperieuse, Pearl, Starling and Vulcan. Troops: Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, 31st and 67th Regiments, 5th Bombay Native Light Infantry.

1877  Lightning, RN’s first torpedo boat, commissioned. Displaced 19 tons and carried first swivelling torpedo tube.


First class torpedo boat No. 2 (1878), showing the single bow-mounted torpedo tube and two reload torpedoes abaft the funnel. (RNM)

1911  Winston Churchill succeeded Reginald McKenna as First Lord of the Admiralty.

1917  Submarine C 32 grounded in the Gulf of Riga, Baltic. Blown up by her own crew.

1939  U-16 attacked by patrol vessel Puffin and trawler Cayton Wyke and forced on to Goodwin Sands.

1940  Fourteen Swordfish aircraft, disembarked from Illustrious and Eagle, bombed Tobruk and mined the entrance of the harbour. FAA Sqns: 815, 819, 824.

1942  Liberator G/224 sank U-599 in S.W. Approaches (47-07N, 17-40W). Convoy KX 2.

1943  Wellington A/179 sank U-566 in the Bay of Biscay.

1943  Destroyer Eclipse sunk by mine off Kalymnos Island in the Dodecanese (37-01N, 27-11E).

1944  Mines laid by aircraft of 852 and 846 Sqns (Campania and Trumpeter), escorted by Devonshire and six destroyers in Lepsorev and Harrhamsfjord (62-36N, 06-12E). W/T stations on Vigra and Hanoy attacked. Operation Hardy.

Royal Navy ………… On This Day ………… 23 October ……….

1702  Dragon fought a French 60-gun ship 36 miles W. of Cape Finisterre.

1753  RNH Haslar admitted first patients.

The Royal Navy Hospital at Haslar is the oldest naval hospital in the modern sense of the word. It was not built for merely humanitarian reasons, however, but to nurse sick sailors when there was a desperate shortage of trained naval manpower.

Comparatively few men were killed by the enemy. The mortality rate for sailors ran at 1:30.25, compared with a ratio ashore of 1:80. The main killers were scurvy, yellow fever, ship fever and accidents (often caused by drink). It is clear from these figures, allied to the need for men to fight the wars, that a hospital which could rehabilitate at least some of them was a sensible investment. At first the hospital was run entirely by doctors, but the desertion rate was so high that post-captains were soon involved.


The original design of Haslar Hospital by Theodore Jacobsen was for a quadrangle. Eventually only three sides were constructed, but it was still on an immense scale; capable of accommodating 1,500 men with the front elevation some 597ft long. (RNM 1992/324(1))

1762  Brune captured the French Oiseau 30 miles E.S.E. of Cape Palos, Spain.

1809  Pomone burned five sail of a French convoy in the Gulf of Lyons.

1813  Andromache captured the Franco-Batavian Trave 45 miles W. by N. of Pointe du Raz, Brittany.

1865  Paddle sloop Bulldog ran aground in attempt to ram the Haitian rebel steamer Volorogue by gunfire. The Bulldog, unable to refloat herself, was destroyed by her own crew, prematurely in the Admiralty’s opinion.

1876  The appointment of Chaplain of the Fleet created by Order in Council.

1903  Neptune, which had been the last British rigged turret-ship when launched at Millwall in 1874, made a spectacular passage down the harbour at Portsmouth on her way to the breakers, by ramming Victory, colliding with the turret-ship Hero and having close shaves with other ships.

1915  Submarine E 8 sank the German cruiser Prinz Adalbert 20 miles W. of Libau, which led to withdrawal of German heavy units from the Baltic.

1916  Sloop  Genista sunk by U-57, 120 miles W. of Cape Clear.

1917  Destroyer Melampus sank UC-16 off Selsey Bill.

1917  The Constitution of the Board of Admiralty revised by Order in Council.

‘We beg leave humbly to propose to Your Majesty that the members of the Board shall be:

The First Lord of the Admiralty

The First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff

The Deputy First Sea Lord

The Second Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Personnel

The Third Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Material

The Fourth Sea Lord and the Chief of Supplies and Transport

The Fifth Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Air Service

The Deputy Chief of Naval Staff

The Assistant Chief of Naval Staff

The Civil Lord

The Controller

And two Secretaries:

The Parliamentary and Financial Secretary

The Permanent Secretary.

‘We beg leave to recommend that Your Majesty may be graciously pleased, by Your Order in Council, to sanction the foregoing.’

1918  Dame Agnes Weston died, aged 78, still at work in Devonport.

1941  Destroyer Cossack torpedoed by U-563 W. of Portugal (35-26N, 10-04W).

1942  Submarine Unique presumed lost to the westward of Gibraltar Strait while on passage from the UK.

1943  Destroyers Duncan, Vidette and Liberator Z/224 sank U-274 S.W. of Iceland. Convoy ON 207.

1943  Minesweeper Cromarty sunk by mine in Bonifacio Strait, Sardinia (41-23N, 09-12E).

1943  Light Cruiser Charybdis sunk by the German TBs T-23 and T-27 off Triagoz Island, France (48-59N, 03-39W). Destroyer Limbourne torpedoed by the German TBs T-22 and T-24 in the same position: sunk by Talybont and Rocket. Operation Tunnel. Ships: Charybdis, Grenville, Limbourne, Rocket, Stevenstone, Talybont, Wensleydale. Dead washed ashore on Channel Islands; buried by islanders despite German occupation. The only RN cruiser lost in 1943.

1944  Battle of Leyte Gulf 920-27 October) between US 3rd and 7th Fleets and Japanese battle fleet, resulting in the defeat of the Japanese. Ships present with 7th Fleet: Ariadne and Arunta, Australia, Gascoyne, Warramunga and Shropshire (RAN). Australia, damaged the previous day by Japanese Army aircraft, had to withdraw, escorted by Warramunga.

1954  West Germany joined NATO.

Royal Navy ………… On This Day ………… 22 October ……….

1683  First officials appointed to open Jamaica Dockyard. Closed 1905.

1707  Association lost on Scilly Isles. Adm Sir Cloudesley Shovell reputedly killed by looters.


Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, 1650-1707 – Although he is generally best known for the manner of his death when his flagship the Association, together with Romney and Eagle, struck on the Scilly Isles on 22 October 1707, Shovell was quite remarkable for being one of the very few senior officers before this century to have risen in the Service entirely on his own merit. He was first reported by Sir John Narborough for gallant behaviour under fire and was later knighted for his conduct at Bantry in 1689. He was an admiral in 1690 at Beachy Head and at Gibraltar and Malaga in 1704. He was returning from an expedition to Toulon in 1707,which was an attempt to acquire a Mediterranean base for the Fleet, when one of the storms which made such a base so important caused his death.

1793  Agamemnon fought the French Melpoméne, three other frigates and a brig corvette 15 miles to the eastward of Cape San Lorenzo, Sardinia.

1800  Indefatigable and Fisgard captured the French Venus 90 miles N. by W. of Cape Belem.

1805  Vice-Adm Collingwood, who assumed command of the Fleet off Trafalgar after Nelson’s death, issued the following General Order from his temporary flagship, the frigate Euryalus, on the day after the battle:

‘The ever-to-be-lamented death of Lord Viscount Nelson, Duke of Bronte, the Commander in Chief, who fell in the action of the 21st, in the arms of victory, covered with glory, whose memory will be ever dear to the British Navy, and the British nation; whose zeal for the honour of his King, and for the interests of his country, will be ever held up as a shining example for a British seaman – leaves me a duty to return my thanks to the Right Honourable Rear-Admiral, the captains, officers, seamen, and detachments of Royal Marines serving on board His Majesty’s squadron now under my command, for their conduct on that day; but where can I find language to express my sentiments of the valour and skill which were displayed by the officers, the seamen, and the marines in the battle with the enemy, where every individual appeared an hero, on whom the glory of his country depended; the attack was irrestible, and the issue of it adds to the page of naval annals a brilliant instance of what Britons can do, when their King and their country needs their service. To the Right Honourable Rear-Admiral The Earl of Northesk, to the captains, officers, and seamen, and to the officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates of the Royal Marines, I beg to give my sincere and hearty thanks for their highly meritorious conduct, both in the action, and in their zeal and activity in bringing the captured ships out of the perilous situation in which they were, after their surrender, among the shoals of Trafalgar, in boisterous weather. And I desire that the respective captains will be pleased to communicate to the officers, seamen, and Royal Marines, this public testimony of my high approbation of their conduct, and my thanks for it.’

1805  Five Trafalgar prizes – Redoubtable, Bucentaure, Fougueux, Santissima Trinidad and Algésires – wrecked, and five more would be taken within a fortnight.

1809  Plover captured the French privateer Hirondelle 18 miles S.E. by S. of Lizard Head.

1821  Rising Star built for Chilean Navy sailed, first British-built steam warship to cross Atlantic.

1853  British and French fleets passed the Dardanelles, precipitating war between Russia and Turkey.

1860  Metropolitan Police from the 3rd Division took over security duties at Devonport Dockyard. Establishment: 1 superintendent, 5 inspectors, 21 sergeants and 125 PCs.

1870  Slow-burning ‘pebble powder’ introduced in RN.

1904  Russian Baltic Fleet fired on British trawlers off the Dogger Bank, on its way to Tsushima.

1926  Sloop Valerian foundered in hurricane off Bermuda.

1940  Destroyer Margaree (RCN), ex-Diana, transferred, sank in collision with SS Port Fairy in Atlantic (53-24N, 22-50W). Convoy OL 8.

1941  RFA Darkdale, oiler, torpedoed and sunk at anchor off Jamestown, St Helena by U-68 (16-00S, 05-37W). Thirty-seven crew and four gunners lost. The first ship sunk by a U-boat south of the Equator in the Second World War. Memorial plaque unveiled at St Helena 15 April 2001.

1942  Wellington B/179 sank U-412 in Norwegian Sea (63-55N, 00-24W).

1943  Destroyer Hurworth sunk by mine off Kalymnos Island (36-59N, 27-06E). Survivors landed in Turkey. Adrias (Greek), ex-Border, mined in same field and beached on Turkish coast. Refloated and reached Alexandria, but CTL.

1944  Heavy cruiser Australia (RAN) damaged by archetypal kamikaze attack.

1946  Destroyers Saumarez and Volage mined off Corfu.

The Corfu Incident

With the war in Europe over for some eighteen months, the Mediterranean Fleet of two carriers, five cruisers, eighteen destroyers and nine frigates, with a submarine and minesweeping flotilla and their attendant depot ships, were cruising, and visiting the Greek Islands which included Corfu. The cruisers Mauritius and Leander with the destroyers Saumarez and Volage were detached to negotiate the channel between Corfu and Albania where, six months before, Orion and Superb had been fired on from the Albanian shore. On passage through the channel Saumarez struck a mine which killed thirty-six of her company and damaged the ship so badly that she was subsequently scrapped. Leander and Mauritius cleared the channel immediately, leaving Volage to tow the stricken Saumarez back to Corfu. One and a half hours later Volage in turn struck a mine which killed eight men, but she was still able to tow over the bow, even though it had been blown off. She proceeded to tow Saumarez while steaming astern. The International Court of Justice decided that the mines had been laid after the end of hostilities in Europe and awarded Great Britain £1,000,000 in compensation, which has not yet been paid.

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Royal Navy ………… On This Day ………… 21 October ……….

A Memorable Date observed by the Corps of Royal Marines – Trafalgar

1757  Augusta, Dreadnought and Edinburgh under Capt Forrest fought a French squadron of seven ships under Capt Kersaint (Intrépide) 30 miles N.N.E. of Cape Francois, Haiti and severely damaged them. Dreadnought was commanded by Capt Suckling, who left his sword to his nephew, Horatio Nelson.

1794  Artois, assisted eventually by Diamond, captured the French Révolutionnaire off Ushant.

1805  Battle of Trafalgar (Cadiz, N. 28DEG E. 8 Leagues). Vice-Adm Viscount Nelson (Victory) died after defeating the Franco-Spanish fleet of thirty-three sail of the line under Vice-Adm Pierre Villeneuve (Bucentaure) and Adm Don Federico Gravina (Principe de Asturias), of which sixteen were destroyed and four captured.

Ships: Victory, Temeraire, Neptune, Conqueror, Leviathon, Britannia, Ajax, Orion, Agamemnon, Minotaur, Spartiate, Africa, Royal Sovereign, Belleisle, Mars, Tonnant, Bellerophon, Colossus, Achille, Revenge, Prince, Swiftsure, Polyphemus, Dreadnought, Defence, Defiance, Thunderer. Frigates: Euryalus, Naiad, Phoebe, Sirius. Cutter: Entreprenante. Schooner: Pickle.

The action began at 1220 and at 1330 Nelson was hit by a bullet from Redoubtable. ‘Partial firing continued until 4.30 when a victory having been reported to the Right Honourable Lord Viscount Nelson KB and Commander-in-Chief, he then died of his wound’, having thanked God that he had done his duty. ‘There was no old age to dim the brightness of his great achievement’ – CNP. ‘When another: for all were made acquaintances in the rites of common anguish’ – Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

That morning, kneeling in his cabin cleared for action he had written his last prayer:

May the great God whom I worship grant to my country, and for the benefit of Europe in general, a great and glorious victory, and may no misconduct in anyone tarnish it: and may humanity after victory be the predominant feature in the British Fleet. For myself individually I commit my life to him that made me: and may his blessing alight on my endeavours for serving my country faithfully. To him I resign myself, and the just cause which is entrusted to me to defend.

Amen, Amen, Amen.

Nelson’s last signal was made at 11.43 –  No. 16:

‘Engage the enemy more closely.’

Trafalgar was the first posthumous award of gold medals to next-of-kin of Nelson, Duff (Mars) and Cooke (Bellerophon).


‘The Death of Nelson’, by William Devis (1762-1822). Devis went aboard the Victory on her return to Portsmouth in December 1805, and took care to provide a realistic portrayal by sketching her officers and noting details of the ship. This did notfind favour with Benjaamin West, President of the Royal Academy, who felt it showed Nelson, ‘like a sick man in a Prison hole’. (RNM 1961/59)

1813  Royalist captured the Franco-Batavian Weser off Ushant, and Achates fought her compatriot, Trave, 150 miles S.W. of Ushant.

1854  Admiral of the Fleet Sir Thomas Byam Martin died. First occasion when the next senior Admiral was not automatically promoted, but he was eighty-nine years old, had been on the Retired List for forty-five years and had never flown his flag.

1912  Queen Elizabeth laid down. First oil-fuelled capital ship, first to be armed with 15in guns, and first to exceed 24 knots.

1915  M 15 and M 28, supported by Theseus, bombarded Dedeagatch in Bulgaria.

1917  Destroyer Marmion lost in collision with destroyer Tirade off Lerwick.

1918  Last British merchant ship (St Barchan) sunk by German submarine in home waters in First World War, off St John’s Point, Co. Down.

1928  The Duke of York laid the foundation stone of the Royal Hospital School at Holbrook, which eventually vacated The Queen’s House at Greenwich for the National Maritime Museum.

1939  AMC Transylvania intercepted and sank the German raider Poseidon off Iceland (66-25N, 20-19W).

1940  Destroyer Kimberley drove ashore and wrecked the Italian destroyer Francesco Nullo on Harmil Island in the Red Sea (16-29N, 40-13E). Convoy BN 7.

1941  Wellington Z/179 sank U-431 in Leigh Light attack off Balearics.

1941  Jervis, Jupiter and Kandahar bombarded Bardia. Gnat torpedoed by U-79 N. of Bardia; reached Alexandria but CTL.

1941  Vice-Adm Sir James Somerville, KCB, Flag Officer Force H at Gibraltar, appointed KBE. As quick as a flash, Adm Sir Andrew Cunningham, C-in-C Mediterranean Fleet, signalled, ‘What, twice a knight at your age?’

1943  Minesweeper Chedabucto (RCN) in collision with SS Lord Kelvin in St Lawrence River (48-14N, 69-16W). Beached.

1943  Admiral of the Fleet Sir Dudley Pound died.

1960  The Queen launched Dreadnought, Britain’s first nuclear-powered submarine, at Vickers Armstrongs, Barrow. Barrow’s 295th submarine. Vickers had produced 326 of the 510 boats built for the Service.

From the Secretary of the Navy, Washington, to the First Lord of the Admiralty: ‘On behalf of the US Navy, I wish to extend sincere congratulations on this historic day. Your wonderful navy has added yet another entry to the log of Maritime history. I am confident that Dreadnought will carry on the gallant traditions of the Royal Navy’ –  W.B. Franke.

To the Secretary of the Navy, Washington: ‘May I, on behalf of the Royal Navy, thank you for your kind message of congratulations and best wishes on the occasion of the launch of HMS Dreadnought. The Royal Navy is very conscious and appreciative of the part which the US Navy has played in this achievement.’ AFO 2938/60.

1965  National appeal launched for funds to erect a memorial to Admiral of the Fleet Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope, ‘the only Naval Commander of the Second World War whom it is intended to honour in this way’ – DCI(RN) 1551/65. A bust placed in Trafalgar Square near those of Adms Jellicoe and Beatty, and a plaque in St Paul’s Cathedral near Nelson’s tomb. The DCI was signed by admirals of the fleet Earl Mountbatten, Lord Fraser, Sir Algernon Willis and Sir Philip Vian, Adm Sir David Luce, Gens Ismay and O’Connor, and Marshal of the RAF Lord Portal.

1976  Sovereign, SSN, held most northerly Trafalgar Night dinner en route to North Pole (84-53N, 69-25W).

1989  Lt-Cdr Peter Whitlock, Captain of Victory 1974-8, died on Trafalgar Day at Haslar. Last Master Rigger and Boatswain of Portsmouth Dockyard and naval historian.

1991  RM Barracks, Eastney, closed. Occupied by RM since 1865. RM Museum remains in former Officers’ Mess.

1996  Invincible Group conducted operations in the Adriatic. 800 NAS SHAR flew sorties over Bosnia.

1998  The last Trafalgar Night dinner to be celebrated at Greenwich under the White Ensign and the last Mess Dinner before the Wardroom closed on 31 October 1998. The Duke of Edinburgh, Baron Greenwich, proposed the Toast to the Immortal Memory. DCI(RN) 112/98.


‘The Battle of Trafalgar’, by Thomas Luny. Victory is at the centre flying the signal ‘Engage the enemy more closely’, with the Redoubtable to starboard. (RNM 1973/65)

Royal Navy ………… On This Day ………… 20 October ……….

1778  Jupiter and Medea fought the French Triton off Cape Vilano, Spain.

1779  Charon, Lowestoft, Pomona, Porcupine, Racehorse, with the Loyal Irish Volunteers, captured San Fernando de Omoa and two Spanish privateers.

1779  Proserpine captured the French Alcmene 80 miles E. of Martinique.

1782  Adm Viscount Howe (Victory) fought the Franco-Spanish Fleet 45 miles W. by S. of Cape Spartel. Ships: (van) Goliath, Ganges, Royal William, Britannia, Atlas, Ruby, Panther, Foudroyant, Edgar, Polyphemus, Suffolk, Vigilant: (centre) Courageux, Crown, Alexander, Sampson, Princess Royal, Victory, Blenheim, Asia, Egmont, Queen, Bellona; (rear) Raisonnable, Fortitude, Princess Amelia, Berwick, Bienfaisant, Dublin, Cambridge, Ocean, Union, Buffalo, Vengeance.

1793  Crescent captured the French Réunion 4 miles E. by N. of Cherbourg. Capt James Saumarez knighted.

1798  Fisgard captured the French Immortalité. 60 miles W. by N. of Ushant.

1806  Athenienne (64), ex-French L’Athenienne, wrecked on Esqueriques (‘Skerki’) Banks off Cape Bon. Capt Robert Raynsford and 396 men lost.

1827  The battle of Navarino, the last fleet action under sail. Vice-Adm Sir Edward Codrington, a Trafalgar veteran, commanding a combined fleet of British, French and Russian ships, destroyed a Turco-Egyptian Fleet in Navarino Bay which was intent on restoring Turkish hegemony over Greece. Ships: Asia (flag), Albion, Genoa, Brisk, Cambrian, Dartmouth, Glasgow, Mosquito, Philomel, Rose, Talbot, Hind.

The battle was referred to in the King’s Speech at the Opening of Parliament on 29 January 1828 as ‘this untoward event’. Codrington had won a ‘diplomatically inexpedient victory’ (Woodhouse), which led to his being recalled. He handed over to Sir Pulteney Malcolm on 22 August at Malta.


The battle of Navarino, 1827. (RNM 1984/499)

1849  Columbine, Fury, Phlegethon (Ben. Mar.), with a pary from Hastings, destroyed fifty-eight pirate junks in the Kua Kam, Indo-China.

857  Second party of Shannon’s Naval Brigade arrived at Allahabad.

1914  Glitra, first British merchant ship to be sunk by a German submarine, torpedoed by U-17 14 miles W.S.W. of Skudenaes. Until then the submarine had been regarded as an anti-warship weapon.

1918  Belgian coast completely recaptured by Allied forces. Coastal monitor M 21 sunk by mine off Ostend.

1927  Submarine L 4 rescued SS Irene  from pirates off Honk Kong.

1939  AMC Transylvania captured the German Bianca in Denmark Strait (67-29N, 22-15W).

1940  Three Force H destroyers, Hotspur, Gallant and Griffin, attacked the Italian submarine Lafole E. of Gibraltar. After a long and persistent hunt she was rammed and sunk by Hotspur, Cdr H.F.H. Layman: bar to DSO. Ship’s company enjoyed extended run ashore in Gibraltar while ship’s bows repaired.

Cdr Layman’s first DSO was for Narvik. His son, Kit (later rear-admiral0, commanded Argonaut in Falklands War: DSO.

1941  Light cruisers Ajax, Galatea and Hobart (RAN) bombarded batteries E. of Tobruk.

1942  Liberator H/224 sank U-216 in Bay of Biscay 948-21N, 19-25W). Aircraft crashed on landing due to damage incurred by explosion of depth charges.

1943  Light cruiser Aurora and Miaoulis (Greek) bombarded Rhodes.

1988  Fawn fired on by Guatemalan gunboats while surveying in Gulf of Honduras.

1997  HMY Britannia sailed from Portsmouth on her last cruise, a clockwise circumnavigation visiting seven UK ports.

Royal Navy ………… On This Day ………… 19 October ……….

1739  Great Britain declared war on Spain – the War of Jenkins’ Ear. The three principal naval actions, all official battle honours, were Porto Bello 22 November 1739, Finisterre 3 May 1747 and Ushant 14 October 1747.

1781  Gen Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, cornered by Washington and blockaded by de Grasse who had evaded Graves.

1797  Anson and Boadicea captured the French privateer Zephyr 45 miles S.W. by W. of Belle Ile.

1799  Stag captured the French letter of marque Heureux 130 miles W. by S. of Cordouan lighthouse.

1799  Cerberus fought five Spanish frigates and two brigs, escorting a large convoy, 40 miles N.N.E. of Cape Penas.

1818  Unsuccessful experiments to defeat the weevil by adding caraway seed to biscuit: the weevils simply ignored the seeds.

1831  Gold-laced trousers restored for all officers.

1903  First drill night in London Division RNVR.

1917  AMC Orama sunk by U-62 S. of Ireland.

1918  Zeebrugge and Bruges retaken by Allied forces.

1918  Plumpton mined off Ostend.

1939  AMC Scotstoun captured the German tanker Biscaya off Reykjavik (66-03N, 23-00W).

1939  Supply of Dentures to Serving Ratings. ‘An initial supply of dentures at the public expense is allowable to serving ratings of all branches, including recruits and Royal Marine ranks, provided

1a. The supply is essential to render the man dentally fit for general service . . .

1b. The need for the supply had not arisen through the man’s imprudence or fault.’ AFO 3074/39.

1940  Venetia sunk by mine off the East Knob in Thames estuary (51-33N, 01-10E).

1941  Corvette Mallow and sloop Rochester sank U-204 in Strait of Gibraltar.

1942  P 37 (Unbending) sank the Italian destroyer Giovanni da Verazzano S. of Pantelleria (35-52N, 12-02E).

1944  Termagant and Tuscan drove ashore and destroyed the German TA-18 (ex-Italian TB Solferino) off Skiathos 937-45N, 26-59E).


HMS Termagant, a T-class destroyer, 1946. (RNM W&L 795A)

1944  Continuation of attacks on Nicobar and on Nancowry.

Royal Navy ………… On This Day ………… 18 October ……….

1652  First recorded dockyard strike when no pay was available on pay day.

1746  Severn, escorting a convoy, taken by the French Terrible 450 miles W.S.W. of Ushant. The convoy, with Woolwich, escaped.

1760  Boreas captured the French SireneLively captured Valeur, Hampshire drove ashore Prince Edouard and Fleur-de-Lys (burned by own crews) off Tortuga.

1798  Anson (44) and Kangaroo (18) captured the French Loire (44) S.W. of Ireland.

1799  An exuberant master, having helped bring a convoy from Lisbon and impatient to get into Spithead, put the allegedly Impregnable (98) on to the Chichester Shoals. During the night she moved nearly 2 miles over them, and bilged; the master disissed and the wreck sold.

1806  Caroline captured the Dutch Zeerob between Middleburg and Amsterdam Islands, and Maria Reygersbergen in Batavia Roads. The Dutch Phoenix, three corvettes and eight merchant vessels ran themselves ashore.

1812  Brig sloop Frolic (18), damaged in a gale off US east coast while escorting a convoy, boarded and taken by the also-gale-damaged American ship sloop Wasp (18), after a desperate gunnery duel. Within hours the RN two-decker Poictiers (74) arrived and took both sloops.

1854  Boats of Spartan recaptured the cargo of the wrecked barque Caldera to the southward of Macao. Also destroyed twenty junks, three villages and a battery at Sam Hoi Chuk.

1854  VC: Capt William Peel and Mid Edward St John Daniel (Diamond). Batteries before Sevastopol.

1909  Warrant rank opened to writers, cooks and stewards.

1914  First bombardment of Ostend, which continued until the 21st. Ships: Attentive, Foresight, Humber, Mersey, Severn, Amazon, Mohawk, Nubian.

1914  E-3 sunk by U-27 off the Ems (first RN submarine sunk in action).

1921  US Congress signed a separate peace treaty with Germany, formally ending American hostilities in the First World War. Having refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, the USA had continued to be legally at war with Germany two years longer than Britain, France, Italy and Japan.

1924  Adm Sir Percy Scott died.


Capt Percy Scott (1853-1924). (RNM)

1940  Seven U-boats attacked convoy SC 7 and sank seventeen of thirty-four ships. Six attacked convoy HX 79 and sank fourteen of forty-nine.

1940  Submarine H 49 sunk by UJ-116 and UJ-118 off the Texel.

1940  Destroyers Firedrake, Wrestler and London flying-boats of 202 Sqn sank the Italian S/M Durbo E. of Gibraltar.

1941  Broadwater, ex-US destroyer Mason, sunk by U-101 in N. Atlantic (57-01N, 19-08W) escorting convoy SC 48. Memorial to four officers and forty en lost is in St Mary’s Church, Broadwater, West Sussex. They include Lt John Stanley Parker, RNVR, of Boston, Massachusetts, one of the first of his countrymen to become a sea officer in the Royal Navy.

1944  Geelong (RAN) sunk in collision with the US tanker York off New Guinea (06-04S, 147-50E).

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How To Hire The Best Growth Consultant For Your Ecommerce Company – Graham Hunter, Tradecraft

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