Tag: British Merchant Navy

A British Sailor whose name was Just Nuisance

Just Nuisance, a Great Dane, is the only dog ever to have been officially enlisted in the Royal Navy. During World War II between 1939 and 1944 the donkey-sized hound served with HMS Afrikander at the Royal Navy naval base in Simon’s Town (Simonstown), a once lovely, ordered and prosperous shoreline town in South Africa. The seaside community is located just 38 miles by road from Cape Town.

SS Baychimo: The Unsinkable Ghost Ship

Ships aren’t meant to sink, but sometimes you have to wonder what miraculous forces kept a vessel afloat. The SS Baychimo was such a ship. For nearly four decades after it was abandoned, this 1,300-ton cargo ship sailed the Arctic without fuel or crew, until it disappeared just over fifty years ago, but some believe she is still out there drifting among the frozen icebergs.

Coffin Ships and the Orphans of Ireland

During the Irish famine (1845 – 1849), an estimated 500,000 people were dispossessed of their cottages. Unscrupulous landlords used two methods to remove destitute tenants. The first involved applying for a legal judgment against the male head of a family owing back-rent. After the local barrister pronounced judgment, the man would be thrown in jail and his wife and children evicted. A ‘notice to appear’ was usually enough to cause most pauper families to flee and they were handed out by the hundreds.

Go Back to See the Future

News that Lieutenant John Chard’s original report to Queen Victoria concerning the engagement between 139 South Wales Borderers and a force estimated to be around 3,000 Zulus at Rorke’s Drift on the 22nd and 23rd of January 1879 is coming up for auction at Bonham’s in London.