Royal Navy ……. On This Day ……….13 September …..

1747  Dover captured the French Renommée off Ushant.

1759  Capture of Quebec by Maj-Gen James Wolfe and Vice-Adm Charles Saunders (Neptune).

Ships: Alcide, Bedford, Captain, Centurion, Devonshire, Diana, Dublin, Echo, Eurus, Fowey, Head, Hind, Hunter, Lizard, Lowestoffe, Medway, Neptune, Nightingale, Northumberland, Orford, Pembroke, Porcupine, Prince Frederick, Prince of Orange, Princess Amelia, Richmond, Royal William, Scarborough, Scorpion, Sea Horse, Shrewsbury, Somerset, Squirrel, Stirling Castle, Sutherland, Terrible, Trent, Trident, Vanguard, Zephyr. Bombs: Baltimore, Pelican, Racehorse. Fireships: Boscawen, Cormorant, Halifax, Strombolo, Vesuvius. Cutter: Rodney. Storeship: Crown.

The Seven Years War was started as a result of the French settlers in Canada fortifying a number of posts against the advance of English settlers. The French city of Quebec was the key to the conquest of Upper Canada. The city stood far up the St Lawrence River and the tortuous channel was believed to be impassable by anything larger than a frigate. The French therefore believed that Quebec was safe from attack by sea.

However, a British fleet under Vice-Adm Sir Charles Saunders, aided by the brilliant pilotage of James Cook, Master of Pembroke and later Captain, sailed up the St Lawrence River with an army embarked. During the attack on the city the fleet dominated the river, preventing supplies from reaching the defence, and landed the 17,000 men at the assault position below the plains of Abraham. Seamen of the fleet also landed guns and hauled them up the Heights of Abraham.

‘A Military, Naval, Littoral War, when wisely prepared and discreetly conducted, is a terrible Sort of War. Happy for that People who are Sovereigns enough of the Sea to put it in Execution! For it comes like Thunder and Lightning to some unprepared Part of the World’ – Molyneux, Conjunct Operations.

1782  Repulse of the Spanish attack on Gibraltar, all ten Spanish battering ships being destroyed. Seamen from Brilliant reinforced the garrison.

1786  Marine Society commissioned the first designed pre-sea-training ship.

1799  Arrow and Wolverine captured the Batavian Republic Draak and Gier in Vliestroom.

1800  Capitulation of Curacao.

1805  Nelson and Sir Arthur Wellesley (later Duke of Wellington) met in the waiting room of Lord Castlereagh, Secretary of State for War and the Colonies: their only recorded meeting and a fascinating encounter.

1807  Saumarez attacked landing craft at Granville, Normandy.

1810  Africaine taken by the French Iphigénie and Astrée off Réunion. Recaptured by Boadicea, Otter and Staunch. Troops: detachments of 86th Regiment in Africaine, 1/69th in Otter and Staunch, 89th in Boadicea.

1855  Institution of Conspicuous Gallantry Medal. Eleven awarded. Active service in Baltic and Crimea revealed that there was no naval equivalent to the Army’s Distinguished Conduct Medal, the first award to distinguish conduct from mere service. Hence the CGM was instituted by Order in Council. Eleven awards were made to ten individuals, including Trevawas. After the institution of the VC no more awards were made until 7 July 1874 and there were only 234 by the end of 1946.

1858  Pearl’s Naval Brigade at Domariaganj.

1882  Battle of Tel-el-Kebir, Sudan. Two battalions of Royal Marines were present.


Gattling-gun crew and shore party in HMS Superb at Telel-Kebir, 1882. The sailors are armed with Martini-Henry rifles and cutlass bayonets. (RNM)

1914  E 9, Lt-Cdr Max Horton, sank German cruiser Hela S.W. of Heligoland. DSO. First RN Submarine commander to sink an enemy warship. Returned to Harwich flying Jolly Roger and so established traditional signal for a successful patrol.

1942  11th RM battalion raided Tobruk.

1943  Lord Gort presented, on behalf of the King, the George Cross to Sir George Borg, Chief Justice of Malta, who received it on behalf of the Maltese people.

1947  Minesweeper HMAS Warrnambool mined and sunk off Cockburn Reef, Queensland.

1958  MVs Melika and Fernand Gilbert salvaged, after collision and fire in Gulf of Oman, by carrier Bulwark and frigates Puma, Loch Killisport, St Bride’s Bay and RFA Wave Knight.

1985  Orpheus made last submarine visit to Manchester. There was a firm liaison with Exide, which made submarine batteries.

1988  Active and RFA Oakleaf provided hurricane relief at Jamaica.

Published by Nick Mortel

Ex-RN Submariner (Communications), Interests; #CW #AmateurRadioHam, Astronomy, Watercolour, Poetry, History, Environmental News, Wannabe #Narrowboater.

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