Sunday, 13 October 2013

A couple of bits of historical news

I was idly skimming the online Telegraph today, while watching the Vikings get absolutely trounced (ok, while trying not to look - it was that painful), when I came across a couple of interesting pieces.

If you're (like me) a Pink Floyd fan, it's always been clear that bassist and lyricist Roger Waters has drawn on, and been affected by, the loss of his father, Lt. Eric Fletcher Waters, during the WW2 campaign in Italy - there are threads of that loss all the way through his later lyric writing. Now it appears that, by dint of some research by a 93-year-old veteran of the campaign (and the head of the Italy Star Association), Harry Schindler, that it's been possible to track down the location of Lt. Waters' death.

Going back a couple of centuries, the National Maritime Museum and the National Archives have been doing some research into the rollcall for the battle of Trafalgar, and turned up, to the Telegraph's apparent surprise, that 1 in 10 of the sailors weren't from these shores. To be honest, given the nature of the Navy in that day and age, I'm not surprised - I'm more intrigued by the 25% that were Irish, and much more by learning that Sir John Franklin (of North-West passage fame) served on the HMS Bellerophon as a midshipman at 19.


  1. Good post Mike! The Georgian Navy was really diverse. There were sailors from just about everywhere wood floats on the British men-of-war. One of the best books I've read on this is a supremely readable book called "The Wooden World" by NAM Rodger. Well worth checking out. All the best!

  2. I am actually surprised that as many as 9 in 10 were from GB.

    How are they counting Colonials?

    I thought all the Irish were in the Army.

  3. Interesting stuff. Family legend has it an ancestor fought at Trafalgar, but it's not something we've been able to pin down for certain.

  4. Interesting couple of links, thanks.

    As for the Vikings what do you expect? They didn't even put their axemen on the field and their sorry excuse for a shieldwall was pathetic!


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