Sunday, May 20, 2007

Vice-Admiral Sir William Nathan Wrighte Hewett 1834–88

Here is the commander of my nascent Naval Brigade. It has to be Admiral Billy Hewett VC. Admiral Hewett was Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Navy's East India Station and commanded the 150 seaman, 400 Royal Marines and six gardiner guns that comprised the Naval Brigade. He arrived at Suakin on 16thDecember 1883 in his flagship, Euryalus. Following Baker's disastrous engagement at First El Teb Hewitt was put in overall military charge and the 15o Seamen and marines he landed to preserve order were the first British forces officially deployed in the Sudan.

At Second El Teb he personally commanded the Naval Brigade from the Square and led a charge at swordpoint! No wonder he was known as "The Fighting Admiral"! He won his VC in the Crimea when, having been ordered to retire from a Naval Brigade Battery being threatened by Russians, he shouted: 'Retire? Retire and be damned! Fire!'

He died in 1888, in Haslar Naval Hospital, and is buried in Portsmouth where he has a suitably nautical headstone!

1 comment:

Giles said...

Another excellent post LH. The horse is particularly well done - I like the protruding ribs with the suggestion of undernourishment! Nice touch.