Paul Baker

Paul Baker has 19 articles published.

“Sai, ho!” A story of Pirates in Gibraltar – PT1

in Features

When anyone mentions “Pirates” one immediately thinks of the Caribbean, however, long before this, there were attacks on shipping in the Mediterranean. The Beys on the coast of North Africa, especially in Tunis, Tripoli and Algiers were preying on merchant ships trading between Spain, Italy, Greece and Northern Europe. Most of the large trading vessels were square rigged and were unable to manoeuvre very well as they were limited by the strength and direction of the wind. The Moors, on the other hand, operating from ports along the coast, were able to use small, fast agile craft, employing lateen sails and oars, manned by slaves captured from foreign ships were able to sail much closer to the wind. These vessels could head in any direction, able to overtake the lumbering cargo ships with ease. Not all the pirates were North African, many were renegade captains, Europeans who for one reason or another had thrown in their lot with the Berbers.  

One of the most famous of these was Bararossa or Red beard. In fact this was not just one man but two brothers, Oruc (Aruje) and Hazir. (Kheir) They were born in Greece on the Island of Lesbos around 1470 from a Greek mother and a retired Turkish soldier, now a potter. They began their career by attacking ships in the Aegean Sea operation from their home base on Lesbos. Oruc was captured by the Knights of Rhodes (Crusaders) and served as a slave until ransomed by an Egyptian Prince in 1505 and reunited with his brother Hazir. They set up a base in Alexandria under the protection of the local Pasha. They then moved to Djerba, a port in Tunisia, south west of Sicily which enabled them to pillage ships coming through the gap between the North Africa coast and Sicily. This port became very rich as the result of this trade. The two brothers developed a hatred of the Spaniards and targeted their ships and raided their coastal ports. Oruc was hit by a cannon ball and lost an arm in one of his attacks on a Spanish stronghold in 1512. 

The Sultan of Algiers was very unpopular among his people. In 1516 Aruj attacked the city and after killing the Sultan, took over the throne. Spain controlled part of the territory and for the next two years took on his hated enemy. During the siege of Tiemcan in 1518, he tried to escape but was captured, killed and put on display. His brother Hazir took over the throne and continued the struggle, this time with the support of and accord of Suliman I, the Turkish Emperor. Hacen Aga was made his Viceroy by the Turkish Sultan.  Hazir was the seaman of the two brothers and spoke a number of languages as well as being a most accomplished engineer. He always admired his brother and in order to perpetuate his memory, he died his beard red like his brother.

He continued to harass the Spanish coast. In 1538, there were some forty Barbary captives living as slaves, some working on the fortifications, others at the oars of Spanish craft. These latter would often careen their master’s vessels at Los Dos Rios near Palmones where they would watch the coming and going of vessels into the port of Gibraltar and also get all the information they could about the fortifications and realised that the Spanish had let the walls and defences fall into disrepair also that the garrison was undermanned. Their hatred of the Spanish gave them the will to find a way to escape. One group of these oarsmen overcame their guards and made off in the ship that they had spent so much time rowing under the merciless whip of the slave master. Others pretended to convert to Catholicism in order to be liberated and eventually escape. A few climbed over the castle walls and descended by rope, eventually escaping to North Africa by boat.

Bararosa made a visit to Constantinople. While he was discussing business with the Emperor, his viceroy was approached by Caramani, who was a renegade Italian that had been a galley slave of Don Alvaro Bazan*, with the information on the state of the defences of Gibraltar, suggesting that it would be a easy place to attack, even if it was only for the booty and captives. The matter was passed to Barbarosa, now called Khier-ed-Din or Hayreddin, who was given the rank of Admiral of the Turkish Navy. In order to maintain the reputation of his dead brother he died his beard red. A number of his advisors were gathered in Algiers, among them was a Sicilian named Azenaga. It was concluded that Gibraltar was an easy target for their vengeance and probably booty was to be had. Calamani had a number of sailors who, had been slaves in Gibraltar with him, and knew the place intimately..

A plan was swiftly drawn up. A fleet of three galleys. Five galliots, six fustas and two brigantines, 900 oarsmen, most of them Christian captives, under Ali Hamat, a renegade Sardinian, and two thousand troops under General Caramani, Among the Captains, selected for their bravery and knowledge of the coast were, Mohamad and Mami both renegade Greeks, converted to Islam, Alicaur and Martin Juan and Daide all escapees from Don Alvaro’s ships at Palmones. Alisoja was a captain of one of the brigantines, also an ex-slave, the remaining captains were Turks. At this time most of North Africa was under Turk domination but Morocco was the exception.     

The fleet left Algiers on August 20th 1540. They stopped on route at Cape Entrefolcos where they sent a brigantine out to find the location of the Spanish fleet under Don Bernardo de Mendoza. The vessel soon returned to report that the Spanish fleet was still in Sicily. The invasion fleet was sighted by the Spaniards from Melilla who sent word across to Malaga and from there by messenger to Gibraltar warning them of the approach of the enemy. The messenger was received by Gomez Balboa in the castle and immediately called Alonso Moreno,

the mayor and the other councillors to a meeting in the Castle Tower. The Magistrate, Juan de Lujan was at this time in Grenada.  The Council ordered guards to be put on alert and that a message be sent to Tarifa and Cadiz to warn them of the fleet approaching from the East. The defenders were now very worried about the state of the city’s defences. The confidence that the council had in the city defences was misplaced but Pedro de Piña laughed at the warnings. Now they would suffer the consequences, the city was undefendable. Canons and powder that had been left by Bazan in 1538 were useless as they were dismounted. Utter confusion reigned. Nobody warned the surrounding countryside of the impending danger and the people in the town went about their business as if there was nothing to worry about. 


in Features


In 1931 Gibraltar Airways started a service to Tangier using a Windhover amphibian flying boat called “General Godley,” after the current Governor. Although the flights were only £1.00 each way, by January 1932 the operation ceased.

On the 18th of February that same year, General Godley summoned the Heads of all the forces in Gibraltar to discuss the provision of a landing strip in Gibraltar. Although Windmill Hill was considered, it was obvious that the only viable site was the neutral ground, even the possibility of a floating airport off Europa Point was considered. The army were totally against the use of North Front, as they were accustomed to hold their training in this area, and an airport would make this impossible. The Governor decided that steps should be taken immediately to construct an emergency landing strip, for military use only, civilian use would only be considered at a later date. On March 5th 1932, a report was provided to the Governor with sketches and a costing of £373 with an extra £10 for the re-erection of the groundsman’s quarters

Admiral Sir John D Kelly, C-in-C Atlantic Fleet, commenting on an emergency landing ground at Gibraltar, in a letter, remarked, “From a naval point of view, it is most desirable to have an emergency landing ground in the vicinity of Gibraltar. In time of war it would be essential for any aircraft defences allocated to the Rock and on ships employed in trade protection in the Western Mediterranean and Atlantic. A landing strip would also appear to be of value in certain circumstances as a link in passing aircraft reinforcements to the East by air.”

After a great deal of correspondents, including the opinion of the Ambassador in Madrid, on May 2nd 1933, the Rear Admiral in Gibraltar, advised that the airstrip had been approved, strictly in accordance with the Governor’s proposal, and that the airstrip was for the use of the Fleet Air Arm and restricted to emergencies only.

When the Royal Engineers in Gibraltar began their preparations, it was obvious that the estimates were too low, and a new estimate of £450 was put forward. The work was looked at again, following complaints about the increase, and finally it was proposed to do the work for £470. The Air Ministry agreed this figure and work began on the 14th of September 1934.

As this work required modification to the existing racecourse structure, which the Government demanded should be covered by the Racecourse itself, there were protests by both the Jockey Club and the Governor stating that the Racecourse was an outlet for the military and also provided funds to many charities in Gibraltar. Finally, after much discussion, it was agreed that the Air Ministry would bear the cost. The army continued to complain about the lack of training ground and it was not until the 10th of March 1936 that the strip was fully ready. 

The situation in Europe was becoming ever more unstable, and it was soon realized that a fully-fledged airport would be required in the very near future. Events in Ethiopia, then called Abyssinia, crystallised the thinking of the War Department, and it was inevitable that the Racecourse and Victoria Gardens would be sacrificed for this purpose. Indecision in London, and the fear of upsetting the status quo with Spain over the neutral ground, was brought into focus in early 1939, when Franco began construction of fortifications on the Spanish side of the fence with the aid of German engineers. The breakdown of International Law at this time provided Britain with the opportunity to disregard Spanish sensitivity.

Nobody thought it would ever be possible to build a runway on the neutral ground. Apart from the physical difficulties, many considered the weather to be an important factor against this area being used for aircraft. The Secretary of State for the Colonies, Ormsby-Gore, wrote to the Governor, General Harrington, on the 1st of October 1936 suggesting the possibility of reclaiming land from the sea. By November of that year, Ormsby-Gore however, decided that to upset Spain outweighed any advantage of extending the runway. By August 1937, a draft plan was proposed to reclaim an area of 1000 by 800 yards. This plan would require the removal of the Blands ship yard, which did not go down too well with either the Governor or the local population. In December 1937 the Spanish Government indicated that if Britain went ahead with their plans, they would fortify the neutral ground. In November 1938, Harrington was replaced by General Ironside, who began pressing the War Office for permission to go ahead with the proposed airport. In their meeting in London, on the 28th of February, it was decided that land and air action would never come to Gibraltar, the RAF agreed they would only use Gibraltar for occasional visits in peacetime and as a staging post for refuelling units on passage. Trade protection flights would be covered by seaplanes or amphibian aircraft based permanently in Gibraltar. The C in C Mediterranean suggested that a fighter squadron be based in Gibraltar for the defence of the Rock, but the Air Ministry did not consider this an immediate possibility. While all this prevarication continued, on the 21st of November 1939, orders were given that work was only to continue on the strip, the reclamation work would not be proceeded with. 

Spain continued to complain, but the work went on regardless. However, on the 26th of September 1939, few days after war was declared, the Royal Air Force arrived in Gibraltar from Malta and the 200 Group was formed. Accommodation in Gibraltar had always been a problem, the RAF set up their headquarters in the Bristol Hotel, operating London flying boats from 202 Squadron. These aircraft began patrolling the area around Gibraltar. By December of that year, 202 Squadron had carried out 95 anti U boat patrols, 56 convoy escorts, 13 reconnaissance patrols and six photographic sorties, a total of 1037 flying hours. Since the airport was an FAA base, it was essential that there was corporation between the two branches of the services. Group Captain Barrington, O/C RAF in a letter to the Commander Mediterranean Command on September 30th 1939 stated that half the prepared strip would not be available in under six months and the other half would not be ready until they could remove some of the obstructions. It was obvious to him, that only an emergency strip was being contemplated, no provision for hangers or maintenance were being considered. The Spanish authorities had been told that this was only an emergency strip and it seemed unlikely that the Foreign Office were likely to change their policy. Since there was an urgent need to patrol the sea west of Gibraltar, he suggested that a squadron be placed at Port Lautey in French West Africa.

Correspondence with London suggested that something was afoot, but still only 150 yards of prepared strip was envisaged. On the 21st of November 1939, the Governor received a letter confirming that the reclamation had been abandoned. The strip as it was, hardly provided sufficient runway for aircraft such as Hudsons and Wellingtons which were now in use by the RAF, accidents were common.

The German invasion of Sicily made the authorities realise that British Aircraft on the way to the Middle East were now at risk and need a refuelling stop in Gibraltar. In a letter to the Ambassador in Madrid, Churchill suggested that in one sense, the war itself constitutes an emergency, and as the landings would be intermittent and are either done singly and unostentatiously, it was not necessary or desirable to advise the Spanish Authorities.

On April 6th the first of the transit Wellingtons and Bombay’s were able to carry out successful landings and takeoffs from North Front with a full load.

The new OC No. 200 Group, Group Captain Rogers, along with other heads of the services, formed an Inter-Service Committee to discuss any problems associated with the airport. The committee suggested the runway be widened and extended, this was enthusiastically taken up by the Governor, Lord Gort who suggested the quickest method of building the extension was with the use of broken stone from the tunnelling, rolled, and covered in cold sprayed bitumen. Work went ahead quickly, but it was not very ambitious, and it was a surprise to all when an order was received from the Air Ministry on the 27th of October 1941 that the new runway was to be extended to a length of 1550 yards and have a width of 150 yards. This work would require 40,000 tons of fill and would extend 570 yards into the sea. The work was beyond the resources of Gibraltar, the United States had obviously been putting pressure on the UK authorities as they required Gibraltar as a stop off point for the U.S. Air Ferry Service from Africa to the United Kingdom. Top priority was given to this work and all necessary assistance was promised. The dilemma of what to do with the road to Spain which crossed the runway, caused a great deal of headache, since up to 10,000 Spaniards crossed the runway twice each day on their way to and from work in Gibraltar. These workers were essential since many worked in the dockyard and on other military sites. It was hoped that the security authorities would be able to avoid infiltration by enemy spies and the possibility of sabotage.

A visit by Air Chief Marshal Philip Joubert de la Porte, Acting C in C of Coastal Command, at the end of November 1941, suggested an extension to the runway for a total of 1800 yards, this gesture was approved by the Air Council in December 16th 1941 to a length of 1550 yards. Work began a few days later with the arrival of the first contingent of personnel and plant. Stone and rubble were blasted from the rock and dug from tunnels, then tipped into the sea to form the foundation of the runway, the dust and noise was horrendous.

Very few knew the reason for the urgency. The airfield resembled an ants’ nest, all traces of the Racecourse and Victoria Gardens had vanished, in their place buildings were erected. Lord Gort took a keen interest in the work and visited the airport each morning, he obviously knew what was going on. Trucks carrying the scree and rocks from the quarries formed an almost continuous train, requiring the trips to be scheduled, allowing, approximately 30 minutes for each round trip. The daily total averaged 7500 tons. On 12 January 1942, the runway had reached 985 yards and was estimated to reach 1150 yards by the end of April.

Attacks on Malta was causing problems with aircraft transiting there for the Middle East, it was therefore imperative that the work in Gibraltar be carried out with the urgency, as it was proposed to transit Wellingtons, which had been stripped to the bare minimum in order to fly from Gibraltar directly to the Egypt. Even under these conditions, the Wellingtons would be unable to take off with a full load of fuel until the runway had been extended to nearly 1550 yards.

Following an urgent message from London, Lord Gort replied “possibly 3rd April.” The response from the Chief of Imperial Staff was “please convey my congratulations to all concerned.”

Group Captain Harrington with No. 200 Group was carrying out operations using flying boats based in the harbour. Six Fleet Air Arm Swordfish, operating from the emergency strip, assisted the Group. The headquarters of the Group was at the Tower, with the administration based at No.2 Cathedral Square. The operational control of the Navy aircraft was passed to the RAF.

The Governor had stipulated that no operational flights should take place from Gibraltar, however aircraft carrying anti-submarine patrols were permitted to load 10lb anti-submarine bombs. There was confusion between London and Gibraltar as what exactly the situation was with regard to diplomacy. The local administration believed London did not appreciate the situation in Gibraltar.

Accommodation was a major problem, every possible unoccupied building had been converted for the military, the town was brimming with military personnel. 

In February 1939, 202 Squadron under the command of Wing Commander Blake with the four aircraft, was transferred to Gibraltar. Having provided moorings, test flights, and other preparations, the rest of the Squadrons’ London flying boats arrived on the 10th of September. They were operational next day. In October 1939, the Squadron made its first sightings of a U Boat but the attack was unsuccessful, they also found the German merchant ship Glucksburg leaving Cadiz Harbour, having signalled HMS Wishart, they shadowed the vessel until the destroyer arrived, however the German vessel ran itself aground on the Spanish Coast.

From its arrival in September to the end of December 1939, the Squadron carried out 95 anti U Boat patrols, 56 convoy escorts, 13 reconnaissance patrols and six photographic sorties, a total of 1027 flying hours.

Maintenance of these aircraft had been a problem but the arrival of the RAF depot ship Dumana, provided some short term relief. The navy had been reclaiming some land at the north eastern end of the dockyard, this land was ceded to the RAF for the duration of the war, and it was developed for, what was to become RAF New Camp, with hangars, slipway, accommodation and maintenance facilities. Around this time Wing Commander Blake relinquished command of No.202 Squadron.


in Features

Part 2

They left the United Kingdom on the morning of the 2nd of June flying direct to Gibraltar. The flight took 11hours at an average speed of 100mph.” with a following wind.” The Nurses, from the Queen Alexander Imperial Military Nursing Service, were Sisters G E Morgan, N K Smyth and Staff Nurses M R Ikin and M Ellis. The Aircraft touched down in Gibraltar at 1445hrs. The Bombing of the Deutschland caused a flurry of international political activity. An Italian cruiser Barletta was hit by bombs on the 24th of May whilst lying in the harbour of Palma with the death of six Italian sailors, and near misses were recorded on another German Patrol Ship Albatross off Palma on the 26th of May and the German cruiser Leipzig which claimed to have been attacked by a submarine. Complaints of these and other incidents were being laid before the League of Nations (the inter- war version of the United Nations). Claims by the Republican Government that arms were being shipped to the Franco forces of contravention to existing agreements of the Non- Intervention agreement, that the Deutschland had fired at their aircraft first, that they were reconnaissance flights and that the Russian pilots had mistaken the Deutschland for the Republican cruiser Canarias were countered by claims that the vessel was stood down at the time of the attacks and that what were reconnaissance aircraft doing flying loaded with bombs.

In the House of Commons, Sir Anthony Eden called on the German Charge d’Affaires to pass on to his government the hope that they will make no further moves to aggravate the present grave situation. However, Germany and Italy declared that they were withdrawing from Non-Intervention Committee.

The Spanish Government were divided as to what action to take over the bombing of Almeria. Some within the Ministry of Defence wanted to attack all German vessels in the Mediterranean. Fears were expressed that this could lead to a world war as countries ranged themselves of the different sides of the Spanish conflict. Discussions were held with Moscow and the decision was made to quietly let the matter drop.

On the 6th of June a stoker Herman Durr died at the Military Hospital making the total to date of 27.

The Deutschland requested its government to allow it to remain in Spanish waters as the damage did not affect its combat capabilities. On the 6th of June the battleship returned to Gibraltar and the Admiral visited the patients at the Hospital. The ship left the next day.

The German Government then decided that the dead should be buried in their native land and plans were formulated to enable the bodies to be disinterred, placed in lead lined crates for transfer to the Deutchland. The German Consul Mr George Imossi, liaised with the Colonial Secretary for the preparations and supply of coffins and the payment for the work involved. The concern voiced by the Colonial Secretary was the possible health risk caused by the operation. However, the insistence that all plans had to be approved and overseen by the Sanitary Inspectors allayed some of the fears.

On June the 11th the Deutschland came into harbour to pick up 20 sailors that were fit to travel out of the 53 that came to the hospital. That evening she move to an anchorage in the bay where she began to load the crates containing the bodies of the 26 victims disinterred from the North Front Cemetery on the nights of the 8th and 9th and two further bodies that died recently and had not been buried. The crates and lead lined coffins had been supplied by the German Government, the bodies placed in them at the North Front Cemetery and loaded on a lighter at Stone Jetty (now under the Victoria Stadium). Some worries existed that the condition of the bodies might deteriorate in the heat if left out in the Bay too long, The loading continued all night. There were three more bodies on board the ship bringing the total death toll to thirty one. The Panzerschiff as she was classified by the German Navy left that morning for Wilhelmshaven where it arrived on the 16th of June. A huge silent crowd gathered to meet the Battleship as it came alongside. The gangways were covered in black cloth and a fleet of lorries stood by to take the victims to where they would spend the night before being taken to their last resting place.

The following day the dead were buried with full military honours. Hitler was present at the ceremony as well as Field Marshal Von Blomberg. Admiral Raeder spoke of the sacrifice of the dead sailors and gave a detailed account of the action. There is little doubt that Hitler, as past master of political spectaculars would have squeezed the last ounce of propaganda value out of the occasion.

On Thursday July the 8th the Admiral Graf Spey, sistership of the Deutschland, and the ship that was to be sunk in the second world war in the battle of the River Plate, arrived in Gibraltar to collect 5 sailors. On the 24th a further 17 were collected by the cruiser Koln. The cruiser Nuremberg arrived on the 30th to collect the last four sailors as well as the Chaplain and interpreter that had remained in Gibraltar throughout the episode.

The four nurses that had been brought out to Gibraltar to assist the hard pressed staff of the Military Hospital were shipped back to the United Kingdom on board the SS Mongolia on the 21st of June.

In the Bright morning sunshine of August 17th, the German battleship Admiral Scheer entered the harbour under the shadow of the Rock, on board was Admiral Rolf Carl A crowd had gathered outside the Convent to watch the soldiers formed up in full uniform. An air of expectation was in the air. It was obvious that this was no ordinary military parade. The Regimental Colours hung limply in the humid heat. At 11 o’clock precisely an official car drew up beneath the convent terrace as the troops presented arms. The German National Anthem was played by the band. The parade stood rigid as Admiral Carls stepped out of the car, his military decorations sparkling in to brilliant sun. “Slope Arms.” The crash of the rifles and the echo of the boots resounded across the silence of the square. Brigadier H P Curry invited the Admiral to inspect the Guard drawn from the 1st battalion of the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry as the band under Major Redman played appropriate music.. In the distance a seventeen gun salute could be heard as the two officers walked the immaculately turned out soldiers.

The Brigadier saluted the Admiral as he turned and entered the Government House

followed by Mr George Imossi, the German Consul in Gibraltar. He was met by The Governor attended by the ADC. A reception followed to which members of the Executive Council were invited. During the party the Admiral expressed his thanks for the way in which the victims of the Deutschland were treated in Gibraltar.

At noon the Governor was received on board the Admiral Scheer. which was followed by a luncheon at Governor’s Cottage. That evening Rear Admiral Evans gave a dinner at the Mount.

On Wednesday the German Admiral gave a luncheon on board the Admiral Scheer. Before sitting down to the meal the Admiral spoke of the gratitude felt by the German Government and that the Fuhrer had ordered him to come to Gibraltar to personally convey his thanks and those of his Government. Special mention was made of the doctors and nurses of the Military Hospital and the whole community of Gibraltar, who had assisted the victims of the Deutschland.

Presentations were made to the following:-

The Star of the Order of the German Red Cross.

  • He The Governor Sir Charles Harington 
  • Rear Admiral A E Evans

1st Class Medal of the German Red Cross

  • Capt TB Fellows RN 
  • Lt Co l JT Simson

Cross of Merit

  • Lt Col HBC Dixon 
  • Major BE Gentleman
  • Major CBC Aderson 
  • Capt JP Douglas
  • Major WI Spencer Cox 
  • Capt AL Pennefather
  • Major JT Smyth

Badge of Honour

  • Mr George Imossi German Consul 
  • Cde CWAG Hemley RN
  • Lt (QRM) GP Steer

Ladies Cross

  • Miss Crosswell Miss MR Ikin
  • Miss Sowter Miss M Ellis
  • Miss Smith Miss NK Smyth
  • Miss Morris Miss Coleing
  • Miss Joules Miss Dittey
  • Miss GE Morgan Miss Mellor
  • Miss Steer Miss McShane
  • Mrs Lewis Miss Lockhead
  • Miss Garesse Miss Lourdes Canto
  • Miss Olga Giraldi Mrs Burton
  • Mrs Davies

The terrace at the Rock Hotel was buzzing with conversation. The light breeze rustled in the trees below. The reflection of the lights from the warships ships in harbour were shimmering in the water, The German Battleship Admiral Scheer could be seen tied up alongside the Tower. Her Admiral was the Guest of Honour at the cocktail party given by Mr George Imossi. The Governor, the British Admiral and some fifty other guests were present. The visit was coming to an end and the hectic programme would end as the Battleship left harbour the following day escorted by the destroyer Leopard.


in Features

In order to understand this incident it is necessary to provide some background information which lead to the presence of foreign warships in Spanish waters.

In 1937 Germany was beginning to come out of a most destructive economical crisis. The German Mark had devalued to such an extent that the paper used to print the currency was worth more than its face value. Postage stamps were in millions of Marks. Hitler had taken over the country and the Nazi party was gaining ever more popular support within Germany.  Against International Convention, Germany was secretly rearming and its military was now a force to be reckoned with. The German people were pleased to see their country growing in strength and power. Little did they realise what would be the consequences. 

Italy was following Germany’s lead. Mussolini and the Faceist Party were gaining ever more popularity. Eritrea, Ethiopia and Libya were colonised and the military held sway over politics.

In Spain, the Republican Government had lost popularity, Franco had lead a revolt in Spanish Morocco which had spread to mainland Spain where he now controlled a large portion of the country and was gaining more territory by the day. (see map fig 1) 

Britain, France, Russia, Germany and Italy had signed a Non-Intervention Pact which provided for the positioning of warships in the Mediterranean and the Spanish Atlantic coast to monitor the combatant’s actions and protect neutral shipping from attack. The pact was a farce and interpreted by all parties to suit their particular politics.

A number of British ships were damaged in Spanish harbours as both sides claimed they were supplying war materials to the opposition. Of course many of these claims were true but were never admitted by the Government. British warships based in Gibraltar, patrolled the southern coast of Spain and the major seaports in the area, sometimes coming under attack themselves. France, Italy and Germany were each allocated  sections of coast to patrol.. (see map fig)   

Germany was supporting the Franco regime by supplying aircraft, crew and materials fighting under the Spanish (Franco) colours. Italy supplied submarines, ships and materials in the same guise. Britain was not without blame, also providing materials surreptitiously under the excuse that it was humanitarian aide France was also supplying aircraft and spares, Russia of course supporting the Republicans. Gun runners were having a field day.

On the 29th of May of 1937, The Baleares, with the exception of Minorca, was under Franco’s command. The German 10,000ton Battleship Deutschland was lying off Ibiza. Her nine hundred and twenty six crew going about their duties in the warm sunshine, little worried about the conflict on the mainland. This powerful warship was armed with six, eleven inch guns in two triple turrets and eight, five point nine guns in duel turrets as secondary armament. She also carried six, three point five inch anti aircraft guns and eight torpedo tubes. A spotter floatplane could be launched from a catapult sited behind the funnel. This vessel was later renamed Lutzow when the new Deutschland  was launched in 1940. There was little fear of an attack by surface vessels as there was nothing on either side of the conflict that could match this magnificent but deadly war machine. The warship was strictly speaking in the French patrol area and therefore stood down. 

The peaceful scene was suddenly interrupted as the sun  began to set. Two Republican aircraft, flown by Russian pilots, on their way to bomb Ibiza appear overhead. The alarm sounded throughout the ship. The two planes circle the ship and drop twelve bombs scoring two hits, one through the foredeck and into the seaman’s mess. the other hitting the ships side causing little damage. The aircraft flew back to their base in Minorca and safety.

On board the stricken vessel fire control teams were fighting the fire in the foreword seaman’s mess. Bodies  began to arrive on deck and wounded were rushed to the sickbay on stretchers. The fire was soon under control and the task of clearing up and assessing the damage, commenced.

It was soon clear that the ships medical resources were inadequate to cope with the level of medical attention required by the wounded. The German Government sought and received permission for the Deutschland to proceed to Gibraltar. 

Hitler was livid, his rage took six hours to calm down. Germany was shocked that so many German seamen had been killed and injured following the attack on the pride of their fleet. The government decided to seek retribution by attacking the Republican held town of Almeria on the southern coast of Spain. On the 31st of May the Admiral Scheer a sister ship to the Deutschland and four destroyers bombarded  the town, firing 200 shells into the helpless city, destroying the harbour fortifications and killing twenty five and wounding forty civilians. (some reports claim 150 wounded) Thirty five buildings in the town were also hit. Telephone, water and electricity supplies were interrupted and many inhabitants left the city for fear of further attacks. 

The Main Street in Gibraltar was crowded with people watching the Corpus Christi procession make its way to Cassettes for the annual ritual. An alter had been set up at John Macintosh square where the procession would return and where the clergy were preparing to receive the faithful. The veiled girls in long white dresses, carrying baskets of rose petal which they spread ahead of them, the boys in their best suits following the cassocked cross bearer at the head of the procession. The proud parents smiling and shyly waving to their children as they passed by with their prayer books a rosary wrapped around their hands, head bowed, acknowledged the wave with a smile.

It was the 30th of May and in the light of the setting sun, a large warship came round Europa Point. At the stern flying at half mast was the Nazi flag. The Deutschland was the flagship of Rear Admiral Hermann Von Fischal. As she came closer the military observers on the Rock could see that there was serious damage to the forecastle of this mighty ship. She slowly made her way through the harbour entrance where the Dockyard  tugs waited to help the emblem of German might to berth alongside the Tower. The time was 1900hrs. On board were 23 dead and 19 serious and 64 slightly wounded seamen. All the ships in harbour and the Government buildings had their flags at half mast as a mark of respect for the dead seamen.   

As soon as the formalities were completed 53 of the wounded were taken  to the Military Hospital where they were looked after by the existing staff, however the level of personnel was insufficient to cope with this number of casualties and so a call went out to England for assistance. 

The next day the 31st of May, at 11am the Deutschland left harbour, leaving behind the Chaplain, Marinepfarrer Gerthard Plantiko and the interpreter Stalsighaller Gart Frank Schulte. During the night another sailor died from his wounds bringing the total to 24. The funeral of the 24 German Naval ratings left through the Dockyard North Gate at 5pm with the coffins draped in the German flag and carried on motor vehicles covered in Union Flags, two to a lorry. The cortege passed Waterport and followed along the Inundation  and turned onto Devil’s Tower Road and on to the North Front Cemetery. Accompanying the coffins was an escort from HMS Arethusa and also following were detachments from all the British ships in harbour as well as the Dutch submarine 0.13, USS Kane and the Turkish Destroyer Kocatepe. Along the route the local police lined the road. At the gates to the Cemetery a Guard of Honour formed up from the Destroyer Squadron. The coffins were then taken from the vehicles and carried to the grave side by sailors from HMS Arethusa. The band of the Royal Marines provided the solemn Music.

The Governor, Sir Charles Harington  was accompanied by his Aide-de-Camp and Rear Admiral Evans and many other military and civil dignitaries and consuls 

The Church of England Cathedral Dean, The very Reverend W K Knight-Adkin, read the opening prayer. The German Naval Chaplain followed by thanking everyone on behalf of the officers and crew of the Deutschland for the way in which their comrades had been treated in Gibraltar. He then read the committal. The grave was closed to the sound of shots from the Firing Party drawn from HMS Despatch. The Last Post and Reveille was played by the buglers of the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

That night another seaman died and was buried with full military honours on the following day, the 1st of June, leaving North Gate at 2pm. 

Part 2 will feature in the next edition of Gibraltar Insight. 

The Perl that bites

in Features


For time immemorial, the Pearl Rocks have been the curse of ships entering the Bay of Gibraltar. This was especially so in the days of sail, when ships were at the mercy of the wind and current. The list of victims of this natural navigation hazard is long and no doubt will remain silent, like a maritime spider, waiting quietly for its next victim to fall into its web of razor sharp rocks. 

The rocks are situated some 1500 meters south of Punta Carnero and extend about 1000 meters west from the shore. 

Most groundings have been the result of the weather, mechanical faults or enemy action, however, in the case of HMS Agincourt, the weather was fine, visibility good and no cause for concern.

Shortly after 0900hrs on the morning of 1st July 1871, seven war ships of the Channel Fleet left Gibraltar under Vice Admiral Wellesley CB on HMS Minotaur under the command of Captain Beamish. The ships formed two columns, HMS Minotaur (Capt. Wells) leaving first to head the port column, under the Admiral, followed by HMS Agincourt to lead the starboard column. These were followed my, HMS Hercules (Capt. Lord Gilford), Warrior (Capt. C.Glyn) Northumberland (Capt. Alexander) and Pigeon alternately forming the starboard and port columns. 

The frigate, HMS Agincourt flew the flag of Admiral Wilton and lead the starboard column. This ship was launched in March 1865 as a Minotaur Class “Iron-clad,” which means that the wooden hull was reinforced with armour plating. At 407ft in length and displacing 10,027tons, she was a large ship for the primitive horizontal steam engines driving a single screw. In order to handle the sails and man the 4 x 9” and 24 x 7” muzzle loading guns, she had a crew of 800 men.

The squadron steamed majestically out of the bay and turned onto a heading of 225°or West South West towards Tangier, as requested by Staff Commander Kiddle, the fleet navigating officer, in the Minotaur.

As the ships formed up, and taking sightings from the San Roque and Cabrita clearing points.

They steamed at 6 knots in order to save coal. The navigating officer seemed unaware that there was a westerly current running at 4 knots. The Agincourt, under compass setting, gradually drifted out of line and was described later as having drifted seven cable lengths (1400ft) off away from the flagship instead of four (800ft). 

Under normal circumstances, the Flag should have led the starboard column, which was the line closest the shore, as was the custom.     

Astern of Agincourt was HMS Warrior. Commander May on board this ship registered his concern to the Captain and Officer of the Watch on seeing the Agincourt drifting towards the coast, a statement later disclaimed by Lt. Hoghton, the officer in question, who claimed that he only remarked that they were to close to the shore.  

Many other officers and crew claim that the Agincourt was off station. 

The charts at the time, showed the Pearl Rocks, however it was claimed that they did not show the full extent of the reef, in fact following the incident, the Admiralty carried out a survey of the area. 

The first report of the plight of the Agincourt arrived in Gibraltar at 1300hrs. Reports claimed that the frigate was on the Pearl Rocks and HMS Hercules was standing by. HMS Helicon, Lee and Redpole were immediately ordered to get up steam while the tugs Lion Belge and Dockyard tug Hercules were already alongside. The three warships left shortly after towing two lighters and two punts and HMS Lee was due to pick up some more before heading out to the scene. The rest of the fleet continued to cruise the Strait.  

The Agincourt was on the southeast edge rocks, up to her second mast on the starboard side and the engine room to port. In order to lighten the ship, all her guns, shot, anchors and anything heavy was being transferred to the punts and lighters. The coal was thrown overboard, no doubt to the delight of the local inhabitants as some would probably wash ashore. The lighters were being unloaded in the dockyard and Rosia Bay in the early hours of the morning when the wind veered to the East causing concern for the safety of the Agincourt, so the anchors were returned and secured to the stern in order to stop the ship swinging and becoming even further wedged on the rocks. 

An anchor was put out from the Agincourt’s port bow by the Lion Belge to 100fathoms (600ft) in a south westerly direction. The stern of HMS Hercules was the attached to the stern of the stranded vessel by a 5 fathom (30ft) chain from each of the anchor hawse pipes to the stern of Agincourt. As the tide reached maximum, and the Agincourt made as light as possible, the Hercules took the strain and began to pull. A shudder passed through the ship as the vicious rocks gave up their prey. The tugs then came into play and helped the Hercules as she slid into the sea. The Spanish paddle sloop Linier also helped in the tug of war, breaking a hawser but was soon able to replace it and continue with its assistance. Unfortunately, the Agincourt slid off the rocks and collided with the stern of the Hercules, but the damage was minor. 

The tugs took charge of the frigate and towed it to anchor off Sandy Bay where HMS Minotaur was riding at anchor. Next morning, HMS Minotaur, Hercules and Agincourt came round from Eastside and into the dockyard, the latter coming alongside in order have the hull examined, re-embarking her guns and ammunition and re-coaling. 

As HMS Hercules came into harbour she was greeted the sounds of a band with the cheers of the ships in harbour.

An anchor, left behind, was picked up by a barge belonging to Messers Garese.

A few days later, the Agincourt accompanied the Minotaur, Valorous and Helicon set sail for England.

At the Court Martial that followed their arrival in England, Staff Commander Kiddle, the Fleet Navigating Officer confirmed that the Agincourt had drifted off station, but confirmed that the use of San Roque and Cabrita marks were unreliable for navigation. Admiral Wellesley, in his evidence, stated that both columns had been swept towards Pearl Rock whereas the navigating officer was under the impression that the current was to the east and that the incident was an accident. Staff Commander MacFarlane of the Northumberland, stated that the course that was set was very close and that the slightest set of the current would take her on the shoal. He also considered that the Admiralty Sailing Directions were a contributing factor. Captain Glyn of the Warrior, considered that the course of WSW and the slow speed was very dangerous for a large ship like the Agincourt. At slow speeds, the ship’s rudder does not react effectively and can easily be pushed off course by the current. 

Under normal circumstances the Admiral would lead the Starboard column, which was the side closest to the shore. When queried, Wellesley explained that he had Sir J.D Hay and his family on board. He intended to transfer them to the Pigeon which would take them to Tangier. What his had to do with the position of the Minotaur is unclear. 

The inquiry lasted ten days. The verdict was as follows:-

“Having heard the evidence in support of the charge, as well as what the prisoners have offered on their behalf, and having maturely and deliberately weighed and considered the same, the Court is of the opinion that as regards each of the said prisoners the charge has been proved; but, considering the circumstances under which the Agincourt was then being navigated, the Court only adjudges the said Captain Beamish and the said Staff Commander Knight to be severely reprimanded and admonished to be more careful in the future; and the Court only adjudges the said Lieutenant Bell to be admonished to be more careful in future; and that Captain Beamish  and Staff Commander Knight are hereby severely reprimanded and admonished, and Lieutenant Bell is hereby admonished.”

Although Vice- Admiral Wellesley was a distinguished officer and served his country well, it was regrettable that he would be asked to strike his flag. Rear Admiral Wilmot, of the Agincourt was to be superseded in his command. Captain Wells of the Minotaur, Captain Beamish of the Agincourt were dismissed their ships, Staff Commander Kiddle was put on half pay 

Initially, the press feared that the investigation would be “Burked.” This term originated  from the trial of William Burke, a body snatcher, who, with his companion murdered 15 people and sold the bodies to a doctor. Their method of killing was to compress the chest and smother the victim. He was executed in Edinburgh in 1829. From this “to Burke” became synonymous with the suppressions of information to speed the enquiry. The Press came to the conclusion that the fault lay with the flagship and that a searching inquiry should follow. In fact a survey was carried out shortly afterwards, by the Navy, covering the Pearl Rocks 

Round The Rock by railway

in Features

It could have been done around 1905 if you had “connections”.

Those who worked in the Dockyard remember the railway that ran from Ordnance Wharf down to the South Mole, connecting the Ragged Staff Magazine to the wharves and serving almost all the buildings in the complex. Before Queensway was a public road, the railway ran along the side of the road to the North Mole and out along it to the various jetties. It also went south from the Dockyard, climbed up a ramp and tunnelled under the south entrance, then through a cutting, past the “100 ton Gun” and into the Victualling Yard. It branched off through a tunnel to the Cold Meat Store in North Gorge and to an electric lift at the bottom of the cliff to serve the Naval Hospital. It also ran through the Rock using the Admiralty, or East-West, Tunnel reach the Oil Tanks on the east side.

When the Dockyard area was extended in the 1894 to 1907 period it was built on reclaimed land outside the Line Wall, all the way from Waterport to the South Mole. Both the North and South Moles were extended and the Detached Mole built at this time. The materials used to reclaim these areas, for the various buildings and to make the concrete blocks for the Moles came from quarries on the east side of the Rock. Sir Herbert Miles Road was originally the route of the railway that ran from the Oil Tanks to the Devil’s Tower. At the Devil’s Tower was a block making yard that had a railway across the isthmus to, a jetty on the west side. Here the concrete blocks were loaded onto barges to be taken out to the Detached Mole. Those for the North mole went across Bayside on a timber viaduct to the Devil’s Tongue and out to be placed in the North Mole and it’s Jetties.

The huge yellow machines seen working on new roads and construction projects these days didn’t exist when the Dockyard was extended.. Men used picks, shovels and dynamite to dig holes and little trains hauled by steam engines moved soil and rock away to fill areas to be reclaimed, temporary tracks being moved as needed. Horses were too slow to move over 120, 000 blocks from the Devil’s Tower yard out to the Moles and wharves, as most of the blocks weighed four tons. They would have had difficulties moving the 8, 300 in the 20 to 40 ton weight range used in the Detached Mole.

So, until after the Second World War, trains could puff along from the North Mole, through the Dockyard to the Victualling Yard, hauling coal, stores, food and munitions for the Navy. Extension of two of the dry docks just before WWII needed stone to make concrete, so the railway was extended through two new tunnels into the existing Europa Quarry in Camp Bay.

The railway was two parts in the early 1900’s. The permanent Admiralty Railway ran from the Rosia area through the Dockyard, branching off to the Oil Tanks via the East-West Tunnel, then along the reclaimed land outside the Line Wall and out onto the North Mole. The temporary lines started at the Waterport end of the North Mole, crossed Bayside by a timber viaduct and ran eastwards along Devil’s Tower Road to the block making yard by the Devil’s Tower. It turned south through Puente Basura Quarry, on the east end of the North Face, after the Catalan Bay Quarry, behind the village. It continued southward to the sand pit dug in the east side slopes and then to Monkey’s Alameda Quarry where it joined the line through the East-West Tunnel.

The railway never ran any passenger trains, not even for workmen. It did have three or four “Inspection Carriages” to take the high and mighty on tours of the works. These were unlikely to have been the usual opulent victorian railway coaches, probably little better than roofed four wheeled trucks with seats, befitting a works railway whose track was only one metre gauge. The permanent Admiralty Railway would give a reasonable ride, the temporary track much more “rock and roll”. When the Moles were complete the block yard was demolished and the quarries closed, then all connecting temporary tracks were removed.

So, Yes, you could have gone round the Rock by train, even pulled by a locomotive named “Rosia” or “Calpe”. Most of the 17 engines just had numbers but four were named, the other two called “Catalan” and “Gibraltar”. It was only possible for a couple of years but you would have had to have the right friends – and some stamina to endure the trip at the 7mph maximum speed.

What is “Heritage”? 

An opportunity to preserve a relic
of Gibraltar’s industrial past

I had seen a photo of `the one remaining wagon of the Dockyard railway’ in a magazine article published in UK about four

years ago. Much to my surprise it still survives in the same place in Caramel Laird’s yard, and I was lucky enough join Dave Eveson when he went to have a look at it last month.

John Murphy had taken Dr. Darren Fa, of the Gibraltar Museum to see this Box Van some time ago. They both felt it was a unique relic of Gibraltar’s industrial past. It may not be what is normally taken to be “heritage” but represents something that many in Gibraltar saw during their work in the dockyard and with which visiting ships crews’ could have been familiar. The Museum probably cannot finance the restoration as there are many demands on its available funds.

What exactly is it? A metre gauge goods truck. It is a smaller version of the closed trucks that were seen on UK railways until recently. It is, in effect, a robust softwood timber shed, with a curved roof and a sliding door to each side, on a steel chassis that runs on four flanged wheels. The timber body is 13′ – 6″ long by 6′ – 6″ wide and 6′ – 6″ maximum height. On its chassis the van stands

9′ – 3″ high from rail level. It has a simple lever operated hand brake acting on one wheel. It is likely to be over 65 years old and details suggest it is not one of those supplied before the First World War. It worked on the Dockyard system up to the 1968 closure.

Despite looking scruffy due to peeling paint, rusting ironwork, missing one door and having lost

most of the tarred canvas roof waterproofing it has lasted very well. As the van will be a static exhibit there is no need to overhaul the wheels and their bearings or to refurbish the body to accept the needs and stresses of operational use. The chassis seems to have only moderate surface rust to be cleaned off before painting. The missing door is a simple framed piece of carpentry that only needs to be fixed in the `closed’ position. There is some repair and replacement needed to the framing but the floor and side boarding appear sound, only needing preparation and painting. The roof boarding seems sound only requiring a waterproof covering.

As far as can be ascertained the work needed to prepare this van to be a static exhibit is therefore mostly cosmetic.

This practical aspect of the preparation presupposes the present owners will donate this wagon to The Gibraltar Heritage Society for preservation. There is a need to approach the owners with a viable scheme to convince them to part with it. Much exploratory work is in hand, such as the search for a suitable site, resourcing materials, skills and a location to carry out the renovation. Then there is moving a three tonne mass of 25 cu in volume, mounting it on a plinth and ensuring its care in the future.

Heritage Society members, particularly John Murphy and Dave Eveson, have worked towards

the acquisition, restoration and siting of this historic artefact. It would be sad if, surplus to the owners present needs, this one remaining goods van was just broken up to get it out of the way.

What is needed now is confirmation from the Gibraltar Heritage Society that a Preservation Plan can be prepared. This will give authority to those negotiating to make this van a static exhibit.. Should the project prove to be a viable and appropriate task for the Heritage Society, it would be good to see an item from Gibraltar’s industrial past displayed to remind us of just how extensive and important that past once was.

The Headstone

in Features

A story of bravery in the Antarctic


One normally associates a cemetery with ghosts and darkness. However, a study of the headstones at North Front reveals an incredible source of interesting and often tragic stories. In the next few issues we are going to reveal some of the stories that lie behind the headstones. 

In 1898, a Norwegian explorer obtained backing from a British publisher and put together the British Antarctic Expedition,1898 to 1900. The President of the British Geographical Society considered this an affront since they had been planning a similar expedition for some time and considered a British-funded Norwegian operation a travesty.

The prize was to be the first to reach the South and Magnetic Poles. The Norwegians proved that it was possible to survive a winter in the Antarctic, having spent the winter of 1898 in huts at Cape Adare. Our first is a tale of adventure, suffering and courage in a hostile environment in the days when there were still areas of our planet to be conquered.

With the backing of the British Geographical Society, the Government and businessmen in the City, a British expedition was assembled under Commander Robert Scott RN. Subscriptions and donations amounted to £90,000 (approximately £3.6m today). This sum enabled them to purchase a purpose-built ship from the Dundee Shipbuilders Company and launch it on March 21st 1901. The ship was built to withstand the pressure of the ice in the event that it became ice-bound.  

RGS Discovery was a three-masted barque-rigged ship with coal-fired engines. With a length of 52m and a beam of 10m, she had a displacement of 1570tonnes. Capable of 8 knots, she was unable to carry enough coal for a long voyage, hence the sails. Her wooden hull was reinforced to withstand the pressure of the ice pack. The rudder and propeller were capable of being withdrawn to prevent damage from ice. Her bow was sheathed in iron and racked to enable her to ride up on the pack ice and break through. Her shallow draft and streamlined hull was designed to work in the Antarctic waters but made her uncomfortable on the high seas. Her sailing qualities were criticised by Captain Scott, who complained that she carried too much sail aft and not enough forward. No doubt the position of the engines had something to do with this. The construction of the hull was designed to withstand compression and included five different types of wood. The keel was made from a single eucalyptus tree. The ballast consisted of old cannon balls. In order to facilitate scientific study of the earth’s magnetism, all the ship’s metal fittings were made from bronze, including the anchor and chains.

Captain Scott had a crew of 11 officers and 36 men (other sources state 49 officers and men). 

The Discovery sailed from London on July 31st to the Isle of Wight for the regatta, where she was visited by the King. On August 6th she set sail for the Antarctic, calling in at Madeira for coal. 

The next we hear of her she is in Littleton, New Zealand, where they picked up provisions to last years. 45 live sheep were donated by local farmers. Other items were also loaded, including some prefabricated wooden huts.

The leader of the scientific group, Professor Gregory, resigned before the Discovery sailed on December 21st. On leaving harbour, Corporal Arthur Blissett of the Royal Marines fell to his death and was replaced at Port Chalmers by Able Seaman Jesse Handsley. After picking up coal at Port Chalmers, and a stop at Cape Adare, Scott headed for the ice. On February 4th, he, accompanied by Sub Lieutenant Shackleton RNR, took the Balloon “Eva” up over the Ross Ice Shelf , where the first aerial photographs of the Antarctic were taken. 

Camp was set up on Ross Island, where the huts were quickly set up; however, the permafrost caused some difficulty during the erection. The Discovery was originally scheduled to leave the area for the winter, but Scott decided that she should stay and the ship was secured to the ice, where it was soon totally encased in ice. The Discovery was to remain so for the next two years. 

The expedition arrived at Ross Island with a crew of 47. This was made up of 30 from the Royal Navy, eight from the Merchant Navy and marines, four civilians and five scientists.

A number of expeditions were carried out, among them a trip across Ross Island, where the Emperor penguin rookery was discovered, and the first photographs a of a penguin chick taken. On December 30th 1902, Scott, Shackleton and Wilson reached 82 deg 16 sec. South and Lieutenant Armitage reached the Polar Plateau and the Glacier later named Hartely Glacier, at a height of 2,740m. 

In January 1903, the relief ship Morning arrived and took off Shackleton, who had contracted scurvy due to the rigors of the long sledging treks with insufficient vitamins in the diet. Eight other crew were put on board, leaving 37 at the base. 

The Discovery remained ice-bound until February 1904, when she was freed using explosive charges to break though the final barrier of ice.

Conditions in the Antarctic were rough. The clothing available at the time was inefficient, the huts were basic, and food, although plentiful, lacked the variety to maintain good health for such a long period. The Discovery returned to England, arriving on 16th February 1904.

What has this to do with Gibraltar?

Among the crew of Discovery was an AB called Jesse Handsley, born in Skegness, in Lincolnshire, England on March 29th 1876. He joined the navy at 18 and was transferred from the Ringarooma in New Zealand as part of the South Depot under Barne on December 31st 1901. Indications are that he was nominally part of HMS President while attached to Discovery, since the latter was not a Royal Navy vessel. As he was part of Barne’s crew, he probably took part in the expedition of March 4th 1902 led by Royds. The party consisted of three other officers and eight men. Using four dog sleds, they set off for Cape Crozier, the site of the penguin rookery. Fresh snow made progress difficult. Finally, with the dogs going lame, Royds decided to carry on with Koettlitz and Skelton, sending the rest back to base. The expedition never did get to the Cape, turning back, unable to deal with the conditions.

In recognition of their gallantry and perseverance under extreme conditions, all the crew were awarded “The Antarctic RGS Silver Medal,” including Jesse Handsley. On December 29th he was put forward for promotion to Petty Officer 1st Class, to be retroactive from September 1904 in recognition of his service with the Discovery expedition. 

In 1916, while serving on HMS Swiftsure, he was taken ill and transferred to the (Old) Naval Hospital, Gibraltar, where he died on June 3rd 1916 from gastric ulcers. He is buried at North Front Cemetery in the War Graves area. 

We acknowledge the great help provided by Jane Handsley in compiling this story, without whose help it could not have been written.

Defence of Gibraltar

in Features

March 30 – 1896

The following article, the first of a series on Gibraltar, is taken from
the Morning Post of that date

It has taken a long time for the British nation to rise to a full appreciation of the importance of the strategic position which Gibraltar holds.  In one way, perhaps, this is not under an unalloyed evil.  It is at any rate for certain that if the borrower awakening the of the country on the subject had taken place 10 years ago instead of today we should find ourselves at the present time provided with the docks which would be quite incapable of accommodating of huge battleships.  This, however, is the only grain of comfort to be derived from an inexcusable delay.  At first, no doubt, the national interest in possession of Gibraltar was to some extent sentimental.  A British Fleet under Sir George Rooke had captured it during the War of the Spanish Succession in 1704; the Rock had been formally seeded to England by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713; and there was a natural disinclination to surrender what had been hardly won, and had been formally recognized as a British Territory.  Nelson ward, however, had exchanged it for Fort Mahon, in Minorca, on the ground that the latter, and infinitely better Harbour than Gibraltar could ever be made, and near to Toulon.  William Pitt, too, had actually offered Gibraltar to Spain in return for their help in the recovery of Minorca.  Happily Spain refused, and the fortress which Captain Mahan calls the watch tower from which England overlooks the road between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, still flew as it still flies, the ensign of the union.  In those days, however there was in the first place no Suez Canal and in the second plays we had been stiffened by war and were more inclined than we appear to be at present. To rely on the manhood of the nation to seize whatever we wanted in the event of war.  Nowadays we are perhaps too much inclined to accept forth as the expression of energy, and a music hall enthusiasm as the outcome of a definite national sentiment.  At any rate the conditions of warfare have altered.  In 1759, two years after it had offered to exchange Gibraltar for assisting in obtaining mean older, Boscowen, who commanded in the Mediterranean, and whose ships had been a bit knocked about in an attack upon some French ships Toulon roads, took his whole fleet, which included 14 sail of the line as well as smaller vessels into Gibraltar to refit.  De La Clue, the French Admiral at Toulon, hearing of this, sailed from the French arsenal with 12 line of battleships, and made his way into the Atlantic.  His passage through the Strait had, however been observed and Boscowen followed, attacked and defeated him.  Five of the ships put into Cadiz, and of the remainder two escaped, a fact which they had to thank the magnificent gallantry of a third which fought for 5 hours against enormous odds and surrendered only when in a sinking condition.  The Moral of the French navy in those days was far superior to what it was during the revolutionary wars, though even then in spite of the fact that we established the prestige of victory, we could never afford to undervalue our foes.  Of the other four ships, two were captured and two were burnt.  Here we have an instance of the succour afforded by Gibraltar to a British Fleet and of the strategic value of the Rock.  A few days again before the Battle of Trafalgar, Nelson sent five line of battleships to Gibraltar to refit and re-victual, with instructions to return as soon as possible.  It is said that the thunder of the canonade of the decisive contest reached the years of the captain and crew, and that sail was immediately made and the ship’s heads directed towards the sound of the firing in order to rejoin the flag.  The Donegal, commanded by Sir Pulteney Malcolm, hailed the first British ship she met for news, and the answer was, 19 sail of the line taken and Lord Nelson killed.  The details of the story may go for what they are worth.  The tale is correct in its main particulars and it emphasises the importance of Gibraltar at that time of the base.

Modern developments of construction and armament has not diminished this importance, but they have altered the methods of its application.  Boscowen’s squadron, Nelson’s ships, could rely largely upon their own crew for all that was required in order to refit them.  There was in those days, no danger of torpedo attack; there were no shell bursts in board.  After the next great action however things will be entirely changed and the repairs which will be necessary will have to be carried out on a scale which will far transcend the resources of the skilled artisans on board the ships themselves.  For this cause alone docking will be necessary, while to allow ships to lie in an exposed anchorage would be simply two invite the attacker of torpedo boats.  If, as has been said the delay which has taken place in the provision of suitable accommodation is not an unalloyed evil, successive governments and successive the Board of Admiralty can hardly be held blameless for not having risen to the level of their responsibilities, which have continuously increased ever since steamer was introduced as the motive power of warships.  In the olden days of sailing ships Gibraltar to some limited extent and no more, commanded the straits and it has often been said that the prevailing wind and the set of the current compelled a large number of ships seeking to pass between the Pillars of Hercules to come within range of its guns.  Even allowing for the increased power of modern weapons, steam has altered this position issued if it ever really existed.  It is easy for a ship or squadron to pass between Europe and Africa beyond all affected range of the guns of Gibraltar.  The Rock is valuable as a post of observation from which everything can be seen by day and from which, if it ever really exists everything can be discovered by night by means of swift very small cruisers.  In time of war, in fact no vessel should past Gibraltar either by day or by night without the authorities being aware of it.  Here what may be described as the remnants of its ancient utility came to an end.  Beyond this, however arises its modern usefulness which may be comprised in the statement that it is necessary to great Britain’s naval position that she should possess suitable dock accommodation in the vicinity of the Western entrance to the Mediterranean.  It is somewhere about half a century since Sir William Parker, then commander in chief in the Mediterranean, recognized the growing importance of Gibraltar as a naval station in view of the rapid increase of steamships, and urged his view upon the Admiralty.  In March 1891 a question on the subject was asked in the House of Lords, and this was far from being the first occasion on which the matter was brought forward in parliament.  A committee had at that time investigated the subject, and had reported in the previous September.  The report recommended the creation of a dock, a prolongation of the New Mole.  No vote however was proposed in the estimates are for the year, there being so many more pressing an important matters to be considered.  Happily we have arrived at a more just appreciation of matters which are pressing an important in their relation to the nation’s welfare.  In the estimate for 1893 to 1894 provision was made for the extension of the New Mole and for the expenditure of a certain sum which was assuredly not spent before it was needed, for the improvement of the magazines.  A year later we heard of the further elongation of the mole at Gibraltar, which, when completed will be 3700 feet in length and also of the proposal to commence at once and graving dock at Gibraltar.  By 1895 to 1896 a more extensive scheme had been elaborated and so now we have a proposal to build three docks instead of one, to still further extend the mole and to create an enclosed Harbour.  To this plan there is only one objection, which will be discussed here after.  Apart from that, the schema of the government is calculated to strengthen very materially our position in regard to any action which might be fought within 300-400 miles on either side of the Strait of Gibraltar.  Suppose that we were at war with France, it would hardly be possible to send ships not perhaps under complete control from Malta, on the other hand or to Devenport on the other for repair.  The risk of running the gauntlet of the French torpedo boats from Southern France, from Corsica, from North Africa on the one hand or from the whole of the western coast of France on the other would be too great.  Gibraltar then would furnish us with our repairing and with our coaling station.  Let us see then what it is proposed to do at Gibraltar.  The present Anchorage is wholly unsafe it is exposed to south westerly gales, and from these the so called New Mole did not protect it.  This mole is a construction stretching on the western side of Gibraltar in a north westerly direction from a small natural cape near the town.  It is supposed to be an adjunct of the dockyard so called, it is believed, because all docks and all appliances for fulfilling the ordinary repair function of the dockyard are wanting.  It has its origins in 1620 and from that time until 1851 it was only 300 feet long.  Then it was extended to about ¼ mile, and at this point it has since remained.  The dockyard, such as it is, is to be found at the junction of the New Mole with the mainland.  Alongside the mole as it existed a year or two ago, a couple of battleships and a smaller vessel might perhaps be moored.  The Anchorage, who’s bad holding ground is notorious, could have taken the remainder of a small squadron, but there were, and there are, no facilities for repair whatsoever.  It is now  proposed to extend the New Mole for a very considerable distance, so that it shall not only enclose a large amount of sea space but shall afford a great deal of jetty room.  At the same time a detached mole is to be constructed, and either a commercial coaling mole, now under consideration, will be built, or other precautions will be taken to render the Harbour, whose entrance will be at the northern end, secure against torpedo boat attack.  Within the space thus to be enclosed, on the New Mole Parade, a dock is already in course of excavation, and its length is to be increased to such an extent as to enable it, under certain circumstances, to accommodate two ships at once.  Two smaller dry docks of smaller size are also to be constructed and it is to be presumed that these stocks will not be made without due provision for the repair of any ships that may be placed in them.  When, therefore, the works are complete and their cost is estimated to be roughly speaking three million pounds, of which rather more than one third is to be spent within the present century, we shall have at Gibraltar a made Harbour with adequate protection from the torpedo boat attacks, three docks, and presumably repairing facilities adequate to a dock system of this magnitude.  If we could say this and nothing more it would be obvious that our position in Western Mediterranean would be greatly improved, but it remains to consider what are the disadvantages of a scheme whose adoption must be regarded as inevitable rather than as voluntary.

The Central News says in pursuance of the policy recently expounded by our Mr. Goschen in the navy estimates are, and by Earl Spencer during his term of office at the Admiralty, a number of distinguished officers and officials connected with the Admiralty will proceed upon a tour of inspection of the Mediterranean stations.  Rear Admiral Sir Frederick Bedford KCB., Mister J. Austin Chamberlain MP, Mr. William McCartney MP of the Board of Admiralty, Major Raban, royal engineers, director of engineering and architectural works, captain Gallagham, RN, Naval Adviser to the Inspector General of Fortification, and Mr. York and Mr. Pell, of the Secretary’s Dept of the Admiralty, will proceed to Malta and Major Pilkington, Royal Engineers to Gibraltar.  They were to sail from Tilbury Docks on a Friday last on board the P&O Steamer Britannia, due here tomorrow.

The Magnficent Seven

in Features


The first was a 20 gun sixth rate launched in 1711. She was rebuilt in 1727 to become a practically new ship.

On 3rd of September 1742 under the command of Captain Thorpe Fawke, HMS Gibraltar was sent to Jamaica to bring Admiral Vernon and General Wentworth back to England in disgrace. Admiral Edward Vernon was a lieutenant on HMS Barfleur under Admiral Cloudisley Shovell at the capture of Gibraltar and the Battle of Velez Malaga. He transferred to HMS Britannia with Shovell remaining in the Mediterranean and in HMS Rye formed part of Shovell’s fleet in 1707 that was wrecked off the Scilly Isles, his ship survived. 

 In 1727, he was in Gibraltar for a short tour in the Mediterranean fleet. In 1739 he was promoted to Vice Admiral and given a squadron of five ships in the West Indies in what was to be known as the “War of Jenkin’s Ear” against Spanish aggression towards British Traders in the Caribbean. (sound familiar?) The task he was given, verged on the impossible. It was obvious that he was the victim of political infighting. He was tasked to attack as many of the Spanish colonies as possible but it was hoped he would fail and return to London in disgrace. He proved them wrong and returned having in triumph, having captured Puerto Bello. 

He returned to the area in 1741 with a fleet of 186 sail and a military contingent of 27,000 men under Lieutenant General Wentworth. The operation was a fiasco. The superior British force was unable to overthrow the weak and incompetent Spanish garrison of 3500 men and six ships of the line, resulting in heavy losses and a defeat. Vernon and Wentworth returned to Jamaica. The two Officers were constantly at loggerheads and hence the recall to London. 

Admiral John Byng was a lieutenant in 1723 at the age of 19 and then Captain of HMS Gibraltar at 23. He was executed under article 12 of the Articles of War for the loss of Minorca in 1757. HMS Gibraltar was sold in 1748 for £340 (£17m today).

Gibraltar number two was a twenty gun sixth rate frigate built at Beaulieu in 1756. She had a crew of one hundred and sixty. This same year saw the beginning of the Seven Year War, in which the French prepared to invade England.

In 1756 The Gibraltar captured a French gunship of 16 guns called the Gleneur, which was renamed the Gibraltar Prize. The following year she captured a twenty six gun French privateer. Under the command of Captain William M’Cleverty. HMS Gibraltar was in Gibraltar as part of Admiral Boscawen’s fleet blockading the French fleet in Toulon. Under Admiral Jean- Francois de la Clue this fleet was anxious to join the main French fleet in Brest for the invasion. Not having any other port available, Boscawen came to Gibraltar to re-vital and water. While out on patrol in the Strait on August 17th, the Gibraltar sighted the French fleet of fifteen warships off the coast of Morocco. She quickly returned to Gibraltar and Admiral Bascawen promptly put to sea with a fleet of twenty nine ships. 

Due to the weather, the English ships got spread out and many lost contact with each other however, next day, eight of the fleet caught sight of the enemy and the signal made to “engage the enemy.” The Namur, Boscawen’s flagship was severely damaged which forced the Admiral to shift his flag to the Newark of 80 guns. It is reported that as he was rowed across, a shot made a hole in the boat which he plugged with his wig. The French fleet made a run for Lagos bay in Portugal. The chase went on through the night. Later the Centaure, which was severely damaged during the battle, lowered her flag and was taken as a prize. On the 19th all but two of the remaining ships sought shelter in Lagos Bay. Many of the ships were in a bad shape, in fact, Admiral De La Clue’s flagship ran aground and the wounded Admiral surrendered.

Despite the French being under the Portuguese batteries, the English ship attacked the remaining three ships, burning two and capturing the other one. One of the ships captured was the Temeraire, her namesake was the subject of a famous painting.

HMS Gibraltar was unable to catch up with the fleet but was given the task of taking the Flag Captain with the despatches to England. As was the custom, she received £500 from the King. This action allowed the two British fleets to join which was a major factor in the battle of Quiberon Bay which finally put paid to French plans to invade England. Here again it was HMS Gibraltar that reported the departure of the French fleet from Brest to Admiral Hawke but she took no part in the subsequent battle. Boscawen was criticized for attacking the French fleet in a neutral port, but did no harm to his career. Her career ended in 1773

The third HMS Gibraltar was the Gibraltar Prize already mentioned above. She was the French 16 gun Gleneur of 117 tons, with a crew of fifty and a privateer which was another name for a legal pirate. Purchased for £795 in 1757 and sold in 1761 for £135.

In 1781 an American 14 gun brig was captured. This 85 tonner with a crew of 45 was renamed HMS Gibraltar. As number four and under the command of Lieutenant Anderson she was captured by the Spanish in 1781 and renamed Salvador but was recaptured by HMS Anson in 1800.

Gibraltar number five was a ship captured from the Spaniards. Fenix was an 80 gun warship captured by Admiral George Rodney off Cape St Vincent. At 2184tons, she was a force to be reckoned with. 174ft long she had been the flagship of Vice Admiral Juan de Langara. In this battle, Rodney was ill and spent the entire battle in his bunk. He was escorting a relief convoy for Gibraltar where the situation was critical. The siege was in its second year and supplies were rock bottom.  He saw that the Spanish ships were not part of a larger fleet, and by 2pm he gave orders to pursue them. Langara made for Cadiz but Rodney cut off their retreat. The Spanish fleet consisted of twelve ships, ten were third rate 74 gun, except Langara’s Fenix which carried 80, the rest were frigates of 34 guns. The British fleet consisted of one first rate 100 gun, two second rate 90 guns, fifteen third rate 74 and six frigates of 32 and 24 guns. By 4pm the first shots were fired. One of the Spanish ships blew up after receiving a broadside, another surrendered after an hour long battle. By six pm it was getting dark but it was decided to continue the pursuit. It was now dark and HMS Defence came into contact with the Fenix. HMS Prince George and Montague joined in the fight and Langara was wounded. The Fenix finally surrendered to HMS Bienfaisant who came up late in the contest. There was however a problem, Bienfaisant had an outbreak of smallpox on board. The British captain explained the position to Langara and so as not to infect the Spanish crew by sending over a prize crew, it was agreed to put him and his crew on “Parole.” The British captured six ships. One of the prizes, the San Julian was too damaged and was driven ashore. How many of the prizes reached Gibraltar is unclear as the Spanish claim that many were retaken and sailed to Cadiz. When Rodney arrived in the Bay with the relief supplies, the Spanish blockading fleet retreated to Algeciras. Langara was taken to Tangier and freed on parole with the other Spanish prisoners. The Fenix was purchased for the Royal Navy and renamed Gibraltar. This was known as “The Midnight Battle.” 

In April 1781 under Captain Knutchbull and flying the flag of Rear-Admiral Drake, she was part of the Hood’s fleet in a fight with a French fleet off Martinique suffering six dead and eight wounded. In June 1783 she was again in action in the East Indies, flying the pennant of Commodore Bickerton in what became known as the Battle of Cuddalore. Unfortunately this battle was fought after peace negotiations had commenced unbeknown to either party. This time the toll was six killed and four wounded.

Her next recorded action was on the 5th of May 1794 off Ushant. The bad gunnery of the Gibraltar caused her shots to hit the Queen Charlotte. It appears that the captain missed a signal from the Flagship and ended up out of position, thereby missing most of the action. The toll was still two killed and twelve wounded. On July 9th under Captain Pakenham the Gibraltar was part of a Neapolitan-British fleet which fought an action against the French fleet of Hyeres near Toulon.  

In 1796 while anchored in Gibraltar a fierce gale came up. In those days the south mole was only 300meters long and provided no shelter from the weather to ships anchored inside the bay. The Courageux had already ended up on Pearl Rock at the entrance to the bay and was a write off. HMS Gibraltar found herself in dire straits. She was forced to cut her anchor cable. At 9pm she set her foresail and stay sails and by 9.30pm the mainsails and main topsails were also set in order to get passed Cabrita Point. The main topsails split as soon as they were set and at 10pm the gale increased in violence carrying away the fore topmast and split her foresail, mainsail, main topmast staysail and mizzen staysail. Having virtually nothing left she ran over the Pearl Rocks. Fortunately she was a sturdily built ship and despite the grounding, took no water on. She hove to but finally made it to Tangier where she anchored with her remaining anchor. 

Another account of the incident claims that the sails got caught up stopping them from setting the sails and that after hitting the rocks, the crew were prepared to abandon ship but the First Lieutenant found the rudder still free and as a wave washed the ship off the rocks they made their way to Tangier. Which one is the true story is anyone’s guess. The Gibraltar rejoined the fleet but it was decided she was too damaged and required to return to England to enter dry dock for repair. She did not sail for five weeks and was taken into docks at Plymouth on March17th 1797

When examined in dock a large rock was found wedged into her hull. Had it fallen out during the return voyage she would probably have sunk.

In 1801, Commanded by Captain William Hancock Kelly, HMS Gibraltar was part of a squadron of nine ships that attacked the French batteries at Porto Ferrairo. 

In 1803, the ship’s company were near to mutiny having been kept abroad long after the war had been concluded.

On March 17th 1809 under captain Lidgbird Ball the Gibraltar was one of sixty ships commanded by Admiral Gambier that attacked the French fleet in the Basque Roads. Fireships were employed in the attack, one of which was commanded by Lieutenant Cookesley of the Gibraltar. She was broken up in 1836

Gibraltar number seven was a four gun cutter known as “Fuerte de Gibraltar” and captured from the Spanish by HMS Mercury on the 4th of February 1805. 

Number eight was a 101 ton screw ship launched in Davenport in 1860. This ship was converted to a Training ship for Belfast and renamed “Grampion in 1888.

It is important to note that the core of Mayoral Mace in the Greenwich City Council is made from part of the Grampion (Ex HMS Gibraltar) 

Tribute to Lord Nelson

in Features

All those that took part in the Battle of Trafalgar
October 21st 1805

Part 1 of 2


I had the pleasure of writing to my aunt from off Cadiz, on the 21st of September, just after the entry of the combined fleets into that place. I am happy to convey you now the intelligence of their entire defeat; which, though I was confident would take place whenever they mustered courage enough to come out, yet I scarcely expected they would so soon have given us an opportunity of again showing the superiority of the British Navy. You will doubtless have already seen a much better account of the action than I can possibly give you; but as I hope  what few particulars I have been able to obtain, will not prove unacceptable to you, I sit down to give you the best account in my power.— The combined fleet, after their action with Sir R. Calder, put into Vigo, and leaving there three of their disabled ships, sailed again for Ferrol, off which they were joined by fourteen sail of the line, and proceeded with the whole of their fleet, consisting of twenty- nine sail of the line, to Cadiz, where they arrived on the 20th of August. Admiral Collingwood, with four sail of the line, was cruising off the port when they hove in sight, and would most probably have been taken had they attempted to pursue him, which luckily they did not. The Bellerophon, and three more sail of the line, which were up the Strait, joined Admiral Collingwood on the 23d, and Sir R. Calder’s squadron on the 31st. Our fleet then consisted of twenty- six sail of the line, and we immediately resumed the blockade of Cadiz with the greatest severity, till Lord Nelson joined and took the command on the 29th of September. His plan being to give the enemy an opportunity of coming out, he only left a squadron of frigates cruising off the harbour, whilst the fleet continued cruising to the N.W., frequently out of sight of land.

As we knew the enemy, who were now reinforced by five sail of the line in Cadiz, had positive order to put to sea, and retrieve their character, after their action with Sir R. Calder, we were in momentary expectation of their coming out, and every ship that was perceived coming from the in-shore squadron was expected to convey the welcome intelligence. Everyone was in the highest spirits ; and so confident were our people of success, that on the very morning of the action, when we were bearing down on a superior fleet, they were employed in fixing the number of their prizes, and pitching upon that which should fall to the lot of each of our ships: ours, by the calculation of the oldest sailors on board, was to have been the Santisima Trinidad, the Spanish four-decker; and I dare say we were far from being the only ship in the fleet that had fixed upon her.

We were not long kept in that state of anxiety and suspense, which you will naturally suppose everyone in our situation must have felt, for about nine o’clock in the morning of the 19th of October, the Mars was observed firing guns and making signals for the enemy’s fleet being getting under weigh. The Admiral immediately made signal for a general chase, and to clear for action, which was obeyed with the greatest alacrity, and in ten minutes the whole fleet was under all sail, steering for the Straits, which was supposed to be the enemy’s destination, for the purpose of forming a junction with the Carthagena and Toulon squadrons.

The Bellerophon, Belleisle, Leviathan; Orion, and Polyphemus, soon showed their superiority of sailing, and got far ahead of the rest of the fleet: at day-light in the morning we were in sight of the Rock of Gibraltar, but on a frigate’s making signal for the enemy’s fleet bearing N.E., wore, and again formed the order of sailing: the day was unfavourable and weather squally, so that we did not get sight of the enemy, though our small vessels formed a chain betwixt them and us. In the following night we got so close to them as to perceive plainly their signals, and everyone was in the most anxious state of suspense, till day-light the next morning (21st,) when the enemy was plainly discerned about seven miles to leeward of us, and about five leagues from Cape Trafalgar. Every advantage was on their side; they had thirty-three sail of the line, whilst we had only twenty-seven: they were full of Seamen and troops, and had a friendly port under their lee: whilst we had to beat off shore after the action, and might certainly have expected some of our disabled ships would have drifted on shore, but nothing was an obstacle to the Hero of Aboukir, and he immediately made signal to bear down upon the enemy in two columns, himself in the Victory leading the starboard division, Admiral Collingwood in the Royal Sovereign the larboard one, in which the Bellerophon was the fifth ship; no signal was ever obeyed with more promptitude; one would have thought that the people were preparing for a festival, rather than a combat; and no satisfaction was expressed, except at the state of the weather, which was calm, and prevented our nearing the enemy till ten o’clock, when a light breeze springing up, we came up with them fast. They were in the meantime employed in forming a close and well-imagined, though, till now, unexampled order of battle; but which, had their plan of defence been as well executed as it was contrived, would have rendered our victory much more dearly bought than it has been: they were formed in a double line, thus 123-456 French and Spaniards alternately, and it was their intention on our breaking the line (which manoeuvre they expected we should as usual put in execution) astern of No.4, for No.2 to make sail, that the British ship in hauling up should fall on board of her, while No.5 should bear up and rake her, and No.1 would bring her broadside to bear, on her starboard bow. Luckily, this manoeuvre only succeeded with the Tonnant and Bellerophon, which were among the ships that suffered most.

A few moments before the action commenced; Lord Nelson conveyed the following sentence by telegraph, to the fleet” England expects every man will do his duty!” The loud and repeated cheering with which this was received, was a convincing proof that such an injunction was needless.

At noon precisely the action commenced by the Fougeux and Monarca opening fire on the Royal Sovereign. . 

Part 2 to follow next month. 

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