October 08, 2009

It's Never Too Early To Be Thinking About Christmas

And if any of Robbo's family are stuck for an idea of what he might like to find in his stocking, well, this would be pretty durn cool:

The only surviving Union Jack to have been flown by the Royal Navy at the Battle of Trafalgar has been discovered in a drawer. The flag was flown from the jackstaff of HMS Spartiate, one of Nelson’s warships, as the battle against the French navy raged 204 years ago this month.

After the defeat of the French, the flag was presented by a grateful crew to Lieutenant James Clephan, one of the most popular officers in the Royal Navy and one of the few to have risen from the ranks. After Trafalgar, Clephan was promoted to captain and went on to command his own ship.

The 11ft x 7ft (3.5m x 2.1m) Union Jack was made by the Spartiate’s crew from 31 bunting panels and is riddled with holes made by shot and shell splinters during the battle. It has been in the captain’s family since the battle but is now being sold at auction with a pre-sale estimate of £15,000.

Charles Miller, who is selling the flag in London on Trafalgar Day, October 21, said: “We believe it is the only existing flag that flew at Trafalgar. It is one of the most important historical items any collector could expect to handle. The damage is probably from bullet holes or splinter fragments, but despite this it is in amazing condition.”

(I know I stand about the same chance of getting this as I did of getting a pony when I was young, but it's still nice to dream about it.....)

Posted by Robert at October 8, 2009 10:20 AM | TrackBack