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1762 Lion captured the French Zephyr 100 miles S.W. of Ushant.
1762 Aeolus destroyed the Spanish San José at Aviles, north-west Spain.
1801 Pomone, Phoenix and Minerve drove ashore the French Succés on Vada shoal, and Bravoure 4 miles S. of Leghorn. Succés was captured and refloated; Bravoure became a total loss.
1801 Capitulation of Alexandria to the forces under Adm Lord Keith (Foudroyant) and Lt-Gen Sir John Hutchinson. The French Justice and five other ships captured.
1801 Victor fought the French Fléche to the north-east of the Seychelles
1807 Bombardment of Copenhagen by the fleet under Adm James Gambier (Prince of Wales) and shore batteries erected by Lt-Gen Lord Cathcart, Ships; Agamemnon, Alfred, Brunswick, Captain, Centaur, Defence, Dictator, Ganges, Goliath, Hercules, Inflexible, Leyden, Maida, Mars, Minotaur, Nassau, Orion, Pompee, Prince of Wales, Resolution, Ruby, Spencer, Superb, Valiant, Vanguard, Frigates: Africaine, Comus, Franchise, Nymphe, Sybille. Gun-brigs: Desperate, Fearless, Indignant, Kite, Pincher, Safeguard, Tigress, Urgent. Bombardment Flotilla: Aetna, Cruizer, Hebe (hired), Mutine, Thunder, Vesuvius, Zebra.
HMS Minotaur, laid down in September 1861. The first five-masted warship, at anchor, with Brunel’s SS Great Eastern in the background. (RNM).
1917 SS Olive Branch torpedoed by U-28 off Hammsfort. Gunfire from the U-boat exploded the ammunition carried in No.4 hold and Olive Branch blew up. U-28 was wrecked by the explosion and sank.
1918 VC: CPO George Prowse, DSM, RNVR, Drake Battalion RND, France: for gallantry in attack on the Hindenburg Line. Last award on blue ribbon.
1944 Keppel, Mermaid, Peacock, Whitehall and Swordfish A/285 (Vindex) sank U-394 off Lofoten Island.
1944 Glen Avon, a paddle steamer hired in First World War and again in Second World War, foundered in a storm in Seine Bay.
1945 Japanese delegates signed surrender on USS Missouri, in Tokyo Bay. Adm Sir Bruce Fraser, present on board Duke of York, countersigned for the United Kingdom.
1945 Merchant ship losses from 3 September 1939 to 2 September 1945: 4,786 vessels of 21,194,000 grt.
1946 Childers and Chivalrous apprehended Fede (Four Freedoms) off Tel Aviv. First illegal immigrant ship to resist arrest.
1946 First entry of Junior Marines at RM Depot, Deal.
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1781 Chatham captured the French Magicienne 9 miles E. of Boston lighthouse.
1783 Lt-Gen J. McKenzie, RM, appointed the first Commandent in Town.
1812 Boats of Bacchante cut out the French Tisiphone, two gunboats and all seven of a convoy in the Canale di Leme.
1814 Avon (18) sunk by the American Wasp (22) 230 miles W.S.W. of Ushant.
1836 Rum withdrawn from accompanying women and children who became entitled to tea and sugar in lieu.
1858 Canning appointed first Viceroy of India, on the demise of the Honourable East India Company.
1859 Pearl’s Naval Brigade at Dhebrahia, with detachments of 13th Light Infantry, Bengal Yeomanry, 6th Madras Light Cavalry and 27th Madras Native Infantry.
1870 First successful RN firing of Whitehead torpedo.
A torpedo as recovered after sinking in 21 fathoms after a practice firing in the 1890’s.
1875 Iron Duke rammed and sank Vanguard during a thick fog in the Irish Sea, near the Kish lightvessel (53-13N, 05-46W). First RN capital ship lost in collision and an inadvertent demonstration of power of the ram ‘which has proved more dangerous in accident than formidable in action’ – Laird Clowes, The Royal Navy, Vol. 7. p. 24.
1898 Bombardment of Omdurman, Sudan (captured next day). Gunboats: Abu Klea, Fatch, Melik, Metemmeh, Nasr, Sheikh, Sulan, Tumai.
1916 Hull of battlecruiser Hood, the building of which was suspended to incorporate lessons from Jutland, laid down for the second time at John Browns, Clydebank.
1917 Pangbourne Nautical College opened under command of Capt W.F. Montanaro, RN.
1919 Vittoria torpedoedby Bolshevik submarine Pantera in Gulf of Finland.
1920 Royal cypher in dull silver to be worn in each epaulette by admirals of the fleet, and aides-de-camp and honorary surgeons and physicians to the monarch.
1926 Adm Sir Herbert Richmond, founder of the Naval Review, appointed first Commandant of the Imperial Defence College, now the RCDS.
1936 Light cruiser Birmingham launched at Devonport Dockyard. The first British cruiser since the Emerald-class with a fully flared bow instead of the by-then traditional cruiser knuckle bow, and the last.
1940 Re-formation of 10th Submarine Flotilla, at Malta. The first had been formed at Immingham in 1914 and disbanded in December 1919.
1941 Monitor M 29, Medusa, commissioned as Talbot, depot ship for Malta submarines. Became Medway II in 1943 before reverting to Medusa in 1944.
1942 Morden (RCN) depth-charged and sank U-756 on her first operational patrol, E.S.E. of Cape Farewell (57-41N, 31-30W).
1943 HQ Special Service Brigade (now 3 Cdo Brigade RM) formed from HQ 102 RM Brigade.
1944 Hurst Castle sunk by U-482 N. of Tory Island, Donegal (55-27N, 08-12W).
1944 St John and Swansea (both RCN) sank U-247 off Land’s End (49-54N, 05-49W).
1944 Malaya bombarded the batteries on Cezembre Island, off St Malo.
1950 RM bands integrated on formation of RM School of Music.
1958 First fishery dispute began with Iceland over her unilateral extensions of fishing zone by 12 miles. Eastbourne the first ship involved. This became the first of three Cod Wars.
1968 Flag Officer Aircraft Carriers (FOAC) became FOCAS (Flag Officer Carriers and Amphibious Ships).
1970 Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service (RMAS) founded. RMAS ensign to be a blue ensign defaced in the fly with a yellow horizontal anchor with two yellow wavy lines beneath to represent the seagoing character of the service.
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1591 Revenge taken by a Spanish fleet under Don Alonzo de Bazan off the Azores.
The Revenge, under Sir Richard Grenville, was at Flores in the Azores with other British ships when a superior force of Spanish ships was sighted. The Revenge stayed to recover sick men on shore, and was engaged by the Spanish when she sailed. She fought for fifteen hours against no fewer than fifty-three enemy ships, and was boarded fifteen times, repulsing each attack. Finally she was forced to surrender after sinking four enemy ships, and with Sir Richard Grenville mortally wounded: ‘sink me the ship Master Gunner: sink her, split her in twain . . .’
1782 Fall of Trincomalee.
1807 Psyche captured the Dutch Scipio, Ceres and Resolutie 9 miles W. of Samarang, Java, and destroyed two Dutch merchant vessels at Samarang.
1810 Repulse (74) ‘with the greatest bravery and coolness’ deterred three French forty-gun frigates supported by several ships of the line, threatening the brig sloop Philomel (18) off Hyéres.
1817 Adm Sir John Duckworth died while C-in-C Plymouth.
A comemorative medal by Mills in silver for Admiral Sir John Duckworth (1748-1817).
1837 Gorgon, wood paddle frigate, 1,610 tons, launched at Pembroke Dockyard. With her sister ship Cyclops, 1,960 tons, launched at the same yard on 1 July 1839, they were the first steam vessels over 1,000 tons and were regarded as the first steam frigates. The men were uneasy about the portents of Gorgon spelled backwards.
1855 VC: Boatswain Joseph Kellaway (Wrangler), Destruction of Russian stores at Lyapina, near Mairuol, Sea of Azov, by Wrangler and rocket boats of Vesuvius.
1870 First and unsuccessful RN trial of Whitehead torpedo (Oberon).
1878 Gannet, composite screw sloop, launched at Sheerness. Became RNVR drill ship as President 1903 and boys’ training ship Mercury in 1913. Arrived Chatham 1987 for preservation. Opened to the public 2004.
1908 Final day of trials of Col Cody’s man-lifting kite off Isle of Wight, with battleship Revenge (tender to Excellent) and TBDs Fervent and Recruit. Strong winds, searches for submerged mines outside St Helens Bay and occasional immersions – ‘the aeronauts have got up satisfactorily but were finding difficulty in getting down’.
1937 Havock attacked by Italian submarine in Spanish Civil War.
1939 Admiralty ordered general mobilisation of naval reserves.
1939 Issuing Prices for service provisions on repayment and expended for General Mess purposes included
Herrings in Tomato Sauce: 1lb tin. 4 1/4d; Lard: 1lb tin, 8 1/2d (except on the China station, where the price will be communicated by the Victualling Yard). AFO 2496/39.
1940 Swordfish aircraft of 812 Sqn FAA (disembarked) bombed oil tanks at Rotterdam.
1943 Nelson, Rodney and Orion, in Messina Strait, bombarded the Calabrian coast. Operation Hammer.
1945 Total deaths of seamen of all nationalities serving in British merchant ships, and British seamen serving in foreign ships, chartered or requisitioned, from 3 September 1939 to 31 August 1945; 29,994.
1950 Chatham Group RM disbanded.
1992 First women join Royal Marines, as musicians.
1993 Last Captain of Mercury, Capt Paul Sutermeister, relinquished command.
1779 Boreas captured the French Compas to the eastward of Montserrat.
1799 Adm Mitchell (Isis) received further Dutch surrenders.
1806 Boats of Bacchante cut out three Spanish vessels at Santa Marta, Colombia, in a particularly dashing coup.
1806 Pike captured a Spanish schooner of Isla de Pinos, Cuba.
1823 Sappho, her guns and stores ashore at Gibraltar and with only her lower yards rigged, got under way with urgent dispatches in four hours.
1854 Preliminary attack on Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka. Ships: President, Pique, Virago. French ships: Forte, Eurydice, Obligado.
Suicide of Rear-Adm Price, C-in-C of British Pacific squadron.
1914 Occupation of German Somoa, Australia (flag) and Melbourne (RAN), Philomel (NZ), Montcalm (French), Psyche and Pyramus.
1940 Stonecrop and Stork sank U-634 in N. Atlantic (40-13N, 19-24W), Convoys SL 135/MKS 22. First attacked on 29th.
1945 Liberation of Hong Kong. Rear-Adm C.H.J. Harcourt, flag in Swiftsure, entered harbour. Five hundred men landed from Swiftsure and Euryalus, who cleared the dockyard that evening.
HMS Swiftsure off Portsmouth, 1953.
1350 Battle of L’Espanols sur Mer. Edward III (Thomas) defeated the Spanish fleet under Don Carlos de la Cerda off Winchelsea. First battle in which cannon were used at sea.
1572 Matthew Baker appointed master shipwright.
1583 Delight lost with all hands off Nova Scotia.
1771 James Cook promoted Commander.
1782 Royal George (100) capsized and sank at Spithead, with loss of Admiral Kempenfelt and most of her crew. According to Howe, she ‘being upon the heel . . . suddenly over set, filled and sank’.
Rear-Admiral Richard Kempenfelt (1718-82) Of Swedish extraction. Kempenfelt served in the Caribbean under Vernon and for a considerable period of time in the Far East. He was considered one of the most thoughful officers of his time, and is remembered for his transformation of the Fleet signalling system, used to great effect by Howe of Gibraltar (1782), and for his introduction of the divisional system. He was drowned when the Royal George capsized at Spithead. He has been quoted as writing, ‘There is a vulgar notion that our seamen are braver than the Frence. Ridiculous to suppose courage is dependent upon climate. The men who are best disciplined, of whatever nationality they are, will always fight the best . . . it is a maxim that experience has ever confirmed, that discipline gives more force than numbers,’
1791 Pandora, sixth rate, searching for Bounty mutineers, lost on Great Barrier Reef. Fourteen had been captured at Tahiti but four of these drowned in the wreck. Remaining ten brought back to Porstmouth for court martial and three of them hanged.
1800 Boats of Renown, Impetueux, London, Courageux, Amethyst, Stag, Amelia, Brilliant and Cynthia cut out the French privateer Guépe near Redondela, Vigo Bay.
1807 Plantagenet captured the French privateer Incomparable 50 miles S. by W. of Lizard Head.
1810 Dover and detachments of the Madras European Regiment and Madras Coast Artillery captured Ternate, Moluccas. A second success for Capt Tucker and the third in those seas in six months.
1810 Hired cutter Queen Charlotte fought a large French cutter (ex-British Revenue cutter Swan) 10 miles N.N.E. of Alderney.
1814 Destruction of Fort Washinton and capitulation of Alexandria, Potomac River.
Ships: Seahorse, Euryalus, Devastation, Aetna, Meteor, Erebus, Fairy, Anna Maria.
1842 Treaty of Tientsin ended the First China War.
1877 Alfred Dudley Pickman Rogers Pound born.
1911 Canadian Naval Service became Royal Canadian Navy. In January 1911 Canada requested to change the name of the Canadian Naval Service and on 29 August was advised ‘His Majesty having been graciously pleased to authorise that the Canadian Naval Forces shall be designated the “Royal Canadian Navy”, under this title [it] is to be officially adopted, the abbreviation thereof being “RCN”.’ All Canadian warships thereafter prefixed with ‘HMCS’, Notwithstanding the Royal directive, the terms ‘Canadian Naval Service’ and ‘Naval Service of Canada’ remained in occasional use until finally ended by a Canadian Order in Council in 1944.
1915 Submarine C 29 sunk on a mine while under tow by Ariadne.
1918 UB-109 sunk in controlled minefield off Folkestone.
1939 Admiralty ordered mobilisation of Fleet.
1942 Arunta (RAN) sank the Japanese S/M Ro-33 off New Guinea (09-36S, 147-06E).
1942 Eridge torpedoed off Daba (31-07N, 28-26E). Towed to Alexandria but CTL.
1960 Admiral of the Fleet Sir Charles Lambe died.
1971 Adm John Henry Godfrey, a distinguished Director of Naval Intelligence for first three years of the Second World War, died. ‘The only officer of his rank to receive no official recognition whatsoever for his immense services to the Allied cause during the war, a palpable injustice’ – Beesly: ‘a disgraceful act of prejudice’ – Roskill. He began the war with a CB and ended it with nothing more.
1595 Drake and Hawkins left Plymouth on what turned out to be their last voyage, since neither returned. Drake died of yellow fever and Hawkins of dysentery.
1652 Capt Richard Badiley (Paragon) escorting a convoy of four sail, fought a Dutch squadron under Capt Johan van Galen 2 Leagues S. of Leghorn, near Montecristo, Ships: Paragon, Phoenix, Constant Warwick, Elisabeth. Captured: Phoenix. The convoy escaped. (A partial engagement had begun during the previous afternoon.)
1799 Adm Viscount Duncan (Kent) received the surrender of the Dutch fleet at the Texel, Ships: Circe, Isis, Kent. Wrecked: Blanche, Content, Lutine, Nassau.
1810 Iphigenia taken by the French Bellone, Minerve, Victor and three other frigates at Grand Port, Mauritius.
1844 Capture of Colonia, Uruguay. Ships: Gorgon, Satellite, Philomel.
1914 Battle of the Heligoland Bight.
Ships: Lion, Queen Mary, Princess Royal, Invincible, New Zealand, Badger, Beaver, Jackal, Sandfly. 1st LCS: Birmingham, Falmouth, Liverpool, Lowestoft, Nottingham, Southampton, Cruiser Force C: Aboukir, Amethyst, Bacchante, Cressy, Euryalus, Hogue, 1st DF: Acheron, Attack, Hind, Archer, Ariel, Lucifer, Llewellyn, Ferret, Forester, Druid, Defender, Fearless, Goshawk, Lizard, Lapwing, Phoenix, 3rd DF: Lookout, Leonidas, Legion, Lennox, Lark, Lance, Linnet, Landrail, Laforey, Lawford, Louis, Lydiard, Laurel, Liberty, Lysander, Laertes, Arethusa. S/Ms: D 2, D 8, E 4, E 5, E 6, E 7, E 8, E 9, Destroyers: Lurcher, Firedrake.
German ships sunk: Ariadne, Koln, Mainz, V-187. British War Medal: clasp ‘Heligoland 28 Aug 1914′ approved but not issued. First known use of the phrase ‘the Grand Fleet’.
Although close blockade by the battle fleet became obsolete as the mine, submarine and torpedo were introduced, the Grand Fleet determined still to exercise its supremacy of the sea. In August 1914, the light cruiser force from Harwich made a sweep into the Heligoland Bight, tempting German forces out to the guns of the battlecruisers under Beatty. The plan succeeded, and three German cruisers and one destroyer were sunk.
1918 Aircraft BK 9983 and Ouse sank UC-70 off Whitby (54-31N, 00-40W).
1940 First German acoustic mine believed dropped in Thames estuary.
1940 AMC Dumvegan Castle torpedoed and sunk by U-46 off Tory Island, N.W. of Ireland (55-05N, 11-00W).
1941 Landing party from Triumph demolished the railway bridge near Caronia, northern Sicily.
1942 Corvette Oakville (RCN) and US Catalina flying boat sank U-94 in Caribbean, S. of Haiti.
1943 Ultor sank the Italian TB Lince, grounded off Punta Alice (39-24N, 17-01E) since the 4th.
1960 Admiral of the Fleet Sir Charles Forbes, C-in-C Home Fleet at beginning of Second World War, died.
1996 Prime Minister John Major attended ceremony at Neptune, Clyde Submarine Base, to mark the paying-off of Repulse and the end of the Polaris programme.