A Memorable Date observed by the Corps of Royal Marines – Gallipoli
1503 The French were defeated by the Spanish under Gonsalvo de Cordoba at the ‘Battle of Cerignola’ near Naples. Although this was a land battle, it is notable for being the first major battle won largely through the use of small arms fire using gunpowder.
Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba finds the corpse of Louis d’Armagnac. Federico de Madrazo, 1835. Museo del Prado.
Wikipedia – Battle of Cerignola – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Cerignola
1789 A mutiny occurs aboard the British Royal Navy ship HMS Bounty. The mutiny was led by Fletcher Christian against commanding officer Lieutenant William Bligh. According to most accounts, the sailors were attracted to the idyllic life on the Pacific island of Tahiti and had been motivated by harsh treatment from their captain.
Eighteen mutineers set Lieutenant Bligh adrift in a small boat with eighteen of the twenty-two crew loyal to him. The mutineers then variously settled on Pitcairn Island or in Tahiti and burned the Bounty off Pitcairn Island, to avoid detection and to prevent desertion.
Bligh navigated the 23-foot open launch on a 47-day voyage to Timor in the Dutch East Indies, equipped with a quadrant and pocket watch and without charts or compass. He recorded the distance as 3,618 nautical miles. He then returned to Britain and reported the mutiny to the Admiralty on 15th March 1790, 2 years and 11 weeks after his original departure.
See 9 September 1754, 23 December 1787, 14 June 1817.
Lt Wiliam Bligh – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Bligh
Wikipedia – Fletcher Christian – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fletcher_Christian
After having been cast adrift, Bligh and his crew were hospitably received by the Governor of Timor.
The Mutiny on HMS Bounty, 29th April 1789, by Robert Dodd.
HMS Bounty – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Bounty
Rare copy of minutes of Court Martial – DailyMail.co.uk – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2329070/Mutiny-Bounty-Rare-copy-minutes-court-martial-revealed-221-years.html
1799 Martin captured the French Vengeur off the Skaw, Denmark.
1813 Boats of Orpheus destroyed the American letter of marque Wampo 3 miles up the West River, Narragansett Bay. [m]
1814 Napoleon surrendered to Capt Thomas Ussher, Undaunted, at Fréjus and sailed for exile in Elba, landing at Porto Ferrajo on 4 May.
The journey of a modern hero, to the island of Elba. Print shows Napoleon seated backwards on a donkey on the road “to Elba” from Fontainebleau; he holds a broken sword in one hand and the donkey’s tail in the other while two drummers follow him playing a farewell. Wikipedia – Thomas Ussher – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Ussher
1851 Adm Sir Edward Codrington died.
See 27 April 1770.
Admiral Sir Edward Codrington KCB RN – wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Codrington
1864 Last major operation of the New Zealand wars. Naval Brigade landed from screw frigate Curacoa, corvettes Esk and Miranda, and sloops Harrier and Falcon, to attack a Maori fortification at Gate Pah, near Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand’s North Island. VC won by Samuel Mitchell, Captain of the Foretop and Captain’s Coxswain in Harrier, for rescuing mortally wounded Cdr Edward Hay who led the initial assault. Capt Fane Charles Hamilton of Esk also killed: city of Hamilton named after him.
1865 Sir Samuel Cunard, 1st Baronet, died on this day in Kensington. He was buried nearby in Brompton Cemetery.
Known for the shipping line that carries his name, the Canadian-English shipping magnate was already a highly successful entrepreneur in Halifax shipping and one of a group of twelve individuals who dominated the affairs of Nova Scotia. Early investments in steam included co-founding the steam ferry company in Halifax harbour and an investment in the pioneering steamship Royal William.
Later, Cunard travelled to the United Kingdom, where he set up a company with several other businessmen to bid for the rights to run a transatlantic mail service between the UK and North America. The group was successful with its bid, and the company later became Cunard Steamships Limited.
Sir Samuel Cunard – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Cunard
SS Royal William – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Royal_William
1871 Royal Marines’ wives at RM Barracks Forton and Eastney offered out-work, producing shirts and towels for the Fleet.
1896 Hannibal, Majestic-class battleship, 14,900 tons, launched, the last and biggest battleship built at Pembroke Dockyard.
HMS Hannibal (1896) – wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Hannibal_(1896)
1915 3rd Royal Marine Battalion landed at Gallipoli.
1940 Black Swan damaged and Cape Siretoko sunk by German aircraft off Andalsnes.
HMS Black Swan (L57) – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Black_Swan_(L57)
1940 VC: Lt RIchard Been Stannard, RNR, of the A/S trawler Arab at Namsos, Norway, between 28 April and 2 May. ‘This continuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy was magnificent’ – citation. Invested at Buckingham Palace on first anniversary of outbreak of war, 3 September 1940.
1941 Destroyer Douglas sank U-65 in N. Atlantic (59-51N, 15-30W). Convoy HX 121.
HMS Douglas – wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Douglas
Conning tower emblem (Runic ‘S’) U-65 – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_submarine_U-65_(1940)
1941 Submarine Usk presumed lost, within a year of her launch, on patrol in central Mediterranean, perhaps depth-charged by Antonio Pigafetta.
HMS Usk (N65) – wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Usk_(N65)
1943 Submarine Unshaken sank Italian TB Climene in three minutes off Punta Libeccio, W. of Marettimo (37-45N, 11-33E).
HMS Unshaken (P54) – wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Unshaken_(P54)
1944 Wellington W/612 sank U-193 in Bay of Biscay (45-38N, 09-43W).
U-193 Dive on wreck – YouTube – https://youtu.be/6lHNTqKqSXA
1944 Code-named ‘Exercise Tiger’ (or Operation Tiger), the large-scale rehearsals for the D-Day invasion of Normandy were taking place on Slapton Sands or Slapton Beach in Devon.
In the early hours of 28th April, an allied convoy of Landing Craft was positioning itself for a landing, when it came under attack from nine E-boats of the German Kriegsmarine, resulting in the deaths of 946 American servicemen. The incident was under the strictest secrecy at the time due to the impending invasion, and was only nominally reported afterward; as a result it has been called ‘forgotten’.
American troops landing on Slapton Sands in England during rehearsals for the invasion of Normandy.
Wikipedia – Exercise Tiger – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exercise_Tiger
1947 Norwegian explorer & writer Thor Heyerdahl with five companions, set off from Peru on board a balsa wood raft, in order to discover whether it was possible that Peruvian Indians could have crossed the Pacific ocean and settled in the Polynesian islands.
The raft, named ‘Kon-Tiki’ after the Inca sun god, Viracocha (for whom ‘Kon-Tiki’ was said to be an old name), was constructed in an indigenous style, as recorded in illustrations by Spanish conquistadores, and using only technologies available to those people at the time.
Thor Heyerdahl – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thor_Heyerdahl
Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki during its 101-day voyage from Peru to Polynesia, 1947.
Wikipedia – Kon Tiki expedition – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kon-Tiki_expedition
1954 Flag of FORY, Vice-Adm Conolly Abel Smith, hoisted in HM Yacht Britannia at Malta for first time. A/Capt J.S. Dalglish, who had commissioned the ship, removed fourth stripe and became her Commander.
Vice Admiral Sir Edward Michael Conolly Abel Smith GCVO, CB, JP. Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conolly_Abel_Smith
1980 First WRNS officer on RN Supply charge course.
1982 Total Exclusion Zone (TEZ) of 200 miles declared around Falkland Islands, from 30 April.
1982 His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh presented the Design Council Award to Mr. P. Denham Christie, Chairman of the RNLI Boat committee and Lt. Cdr. H. E. Over, Chief Technical Officer of the RNLI for ‘the excellence of design of the Arun class lifeboat’.
Arun-class lifeboat – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arun-class_lifeboat
By the end of summer 1981, Arun lifeboats had been at sea on service for more than 3000 hours, rescuing 455 people and landing 256. Although rescues had been performed in winds up to hurricane force and tremendous seas, no Arun has capsized and no crew member lost or seriously disabled. Three services for which gold medals had been awarded had been carried out aboard Aruns. By the time the last left service in 2009, three gold, six silver and twenty bronze medals have been awarded to Arun crews. Their safety record remained perfect.
1986 The United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Enterprise becomes the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to transit the Suez Canal, navigating from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea to relieve the USS Coral Sea.
USS Enterprise (CVN-65) – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Enterprise_(CVN-65)
wrecksite.eu – On This Day – http://wrecksite.eu/wrecked-on-this-day.aspx