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"Trafalgar Hero – Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy" Topic

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©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP22 Dec 2017 3:03 p.m. PST

"Thomas was born at Kingston Russell House, Long Bredy in the heart of the beautiful Bride Valley in April, 1769. The family moved to Portesham in 1778 and this village in West Dorset was to remain close to his heart until he died. After schooling in Crewkerne he joined the navy as captain's servant to Captain Francis Roberts on the brig Helena. His career was successful from the start and included a close friendship with Lord Nelson which lasted until the latter died on the Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar of 1805. At Trafalgar, the combined French and Spanish fleets were beaten by the smaller British fleet, but Nelson was mortally wounded. As Nelson lay dying he said the famous words ‘Kiss me Hardy'. At this, Hardy bent and kissed his dying friend on the forehead.

Thomas was Captain of H.M.S Victory at the time and he went on to become a full admiral, First Sea Lord and Governor of Greenwich Hospital. He died on 20th September 1839 at 70 and was laid to rest in the mausoleum of the old cemetery belonging to the hospital. His home in Portesham is still a private dwelling.

Below are extracts taken from the ‘Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society Volume 42, 1921 xxxv-xxxvii' of an excursion to Thomas Masterman Hardy's House at Portesham on 16th September, 1920…"
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