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"The black heroes of Trafalgar" Topic

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573 hits since 2 Jun 2018
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP02 Jun 2018 1:07 p.m. PST

…The crews on board the English fleet were renowned for their toughness. Public floggings were frequent, there was a lack of drinking water, food was in short supply and scurvy was common. They were also the best-drilled and most disciplined force on the seas.

Many of the foreigners on board may have been press-ganged, the hated system of recruitment that was still rife in the Royal Navy, which was always short of sailors to man the so-called "wooden walls" of England.

Little is known about the foreigners who made up nearly a third of Nelson's flagship, and the many more who served on the other men of war in Nelson's fleet that day…."
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goragrad02 Jun 2018 7:49 p.m. PST

Wasn't there a post not long ago Tango about how the crews in the Royal Navy were actually fairly well fed?

At any rate, the title is a bit misleading there – the bulk of the article is about the multi-national nature of the crews rather than specifically about their color. Apparently the Royal Navy of the time only cared where you came from when recording you on the rolls, not what your color or ethnicity were…

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP03 Jun 2018 3:33 p.m. PST

About the multi-national nature of the crews… which was the highest rank achieved by a colored sailor of Nelson?….


BrianW03 Jun 2018 8:25 p.m. PST

I believe that would be this person:


EDIT: He did make full Captain, but only ever served in the West Indies. He was bi-racial, or as they said back then, "a mulatto."

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP04 Jun 2018 11:02 a.m. PST

Many thanks!…. a very interesting character for a wargame!….


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