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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: November 2011
  • First published in: 1840

LORD NELSON'S MEMOIR OF HIS SERVICES

Summary

“In April, 1797, I hoisted my flag as Rear-Admiral of the Blue, and was sent to bring down the garrison of Porto Ferrajo; which service performed, I shifted my flag from the Captain to the Theseus on May the 27th, and was employed in the command of the inner squadron at the blockade of Cadiz. It was during this period that perhaps my personal courage was more conspicuous than at any other part of my life. In an attack of the Spanish gun-boats, I was boarded in my barge with its common crew of ten men, cockswain, Captain Freemantle, and myself, by the commander of the gun-boats; the Spanish barge rowed twenty-six oars, besides officers, thirty men in the whole. This was a service hand to hand with swords, in which my cockswain, John Sykes, now no more, twice saved my life. Eighteen of the Spaniards being killed and several wounded, we succeeded in taking their commander. On the 15th of July, 1797, I sailed for Teneriffe; for the event, I refer to my letter on that expedition. Having then lost my right arm, for this loss and my former services his majesty was pleased to settle on me a pension of £1000 a year. By some unlucky mismanagement of my arm, I was obliged to go to England, and it was the 13th of December, 1797, before the surgeons pronounced me fit for service. On the 19th of December, the Vanguard was commissioned for my flag-ship.

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