Memorial: M5547

Wall tablet in Hawkesbury, New South Wales dedicated to Captain William Blake RN d. 1874

Location

St Matthew's Church, Hawkesbury, New South Wales, Australia

Transcript

'SACRED TO THE BELOVED MEMORY OF / CAPTAIN WILLIAM HANS BLAKE, ROYAL NAVY, / YOUNGEST SON OF THE LATE COMMANDER GEORGE HANS BLAKE, R.N., / BORN 23, MARCH 1832, DIED 27.JANUARY 1874, AT CAPE COAST CASTLE, WEST COAST OF AFRICA, FROM THE EFFECTS / OF CLIMATE, BROUGHT ON BY EXCESSIVE EXERTION AND EXPOSURE, WHEN IN COMMAND OF THE NAVAL / BRIGADE, WHILE ON THE MARCH TO COOMASSIE, DURING THE ASHANTEE WAR OF 1873-4. / THIS GALLANT OFFICER ENTERED THE ROYAL NAVY IN 1846, AS NAVAL CADET ON BOARD H.M.S.'HOUND', / IN WHICH VESSEL, BOTH AS CADET AND MIDSHIPMAN HE WAS EMPLOYED ON THE WEST COAST OF AFRICA IN THE / SUPPRESSION OF THE SLAVE TRADE, EVENTUALLY PROCEEDING IN HER TO THE WEST INDIES WHERE HE ALSO SERVED / IN H.M.SHIPS 'ALARM' AND 'IMAUM' - BEING ATTACHED TO THE 'BERMUDA' SCHOONER, A SAILING TENDER OF THE/LATTER - UNTIL THE END OF 1850, IN NOVEMBER OF WHICH YEAR HE JOINED H.M.S.'ALBION' AND WAS EMPLOYED / ON THE MEDITERRANEAN STATION. ON THE 29.OCTOBER 1852, WHILE IN THE 'ALBION' HE PASSED HIS EXAMINATION / FOR A LIEUTENANT WITH GREAT CREDIT AND CONTINUED TO SERVE IN HER AS ACTING MATE UNTIL MARCH 1854, WHEN/HE WAS APPOINTED TO H.M.S.'DUKE OF WELLINGTON' FLAG SHIP IN THE BALTIC, DURING THE WAR WITH RUSSIA. IN/SEPTEMBER 1854, HE WAS PROMOTED TO THE RANK OF LIEUTENANT AND TRANSFERRED TO H.M.S.'EDINBURGH' IN / WHICH SHIP HE COMMANDED A ROCKET BOAT AT THE BOMBARDMENT OF SWEABORG IN AUGUST 1855, AND WAS / GAZETTED IN DESPATCHES 'AS MAINTAINING HIS POSITION WITH STEADY GALLANTRY UNDER A SMART FIRE OF / BURSTING SHELL'. ON BEING PAID OFF FROM THE 'EDINBURGH' IN JUNE 1856, HE JOINED H.M.S.'EXCELLENT' / WHENCE HE WAS IN NOVEMBER 1857, TRANSFERRED TO H.M.S.'CAMBRIAN', AND PROCEEDED IN HER TO CHINA / WHERE HE WAS MOST ACTIVELY ENGAGED DURING THE EARLIER PERIOD OF THE CHINA WAR AND EARNED THE / HIGH COMMENDATION OF HIS SUPERIORS. FROM THE 'CAMBRIAN' HE JOINED IN JANUARY 1859, H.M.S.'NIGER' AND / PROCEEDED IN HER TO NEW ZEALAND WHERE HE SAW MUCH HARD SERVICE AT THE OUTBREAK OF THE / MAORI WAR, AND WAS AS SENIOR LIEUTENANT OF THE 'NIGER' WHEN ON SHORE IN COMMAND OF THE PARTY OF / SEAMEN, DESPERATELY WOUNDED AT WAIREKA TARANAKI BY A GUN-SHOT WOUND IN THE BREAST WHICH UP TO THE TIME OF HIS LAMENTED / DEATH CAUSED HIM MUCH SUFFERING, THE BULLET HAVING LODGED NEAR THE HEART, AND BEING ONLY EXTRACTED AT THE POST- / MORTEM EXAMINATION HELD ON HIS REMAINS AT CAPE COAST CASTLE. FOR HIS CONSPICUOUS BRAVERY IN NEW ZEALAND HE RECEIVED / HIS PROMOTION TO THE RANK OF COMMANDER, AND WAS FOR HIS WOUND AWARDED A PENSION FOR LIFE. FROM JANUARY 1863, TO / MARCH 1865, HE COMMANDED H.M.S.'ALECTO' ON THE SOUTH AMERICAN STATION; FROM APRIL 1865 TO MAY 1866, H.M.S.'MUTINE' ON / THE PACIFIC STATION, WHERE HE MORE THAN ONCE RECEIVED THE THANKS OF HIS COUNTRYMEN FOR THE PROTECTION HE AFFORDED / TO BRITISH INTERESTS. FROM JUNE 1866 TO DECEMBER 1867, HE COMMANDED H.M.S.'FALCON' ON THE AUSTRALIAN STATION, WHENCE HE / RETURNED TO ENGLAND, HAVING BEEN PROMOTED TO THE RANK OF CAPTAIN ON THE 14.SEPTEMBER 1867. IN APRIL 1873, HE WAS / APPOINTED TO H.M.S.'DRUID' ON THE WEST COAST OF AFRICA, WHERE HE TOOK A MOST PROMINENT AND ACTIVE PART IN THE ASHANTEE / WAR, AND ON THE MARCH TO COOMASSIE BEING DETERMINED UPON, HE WAS FROM HIS HIGH PROFESSIONAL ABILITIES, SELECTED TO / ORGANIZE AND COMMAND THE NAVAL BRIGADE WITH WHICH HE MARCHED FROM CAPE COAST CASTLE TO PRASHU WITHOUT A SINGLE / MAN FALLING OUT, SO STRONGLY HAD HE IMBUED THOSE UNDER HIM WITH HIS OWN INDOMITABLE SPIRIT. LEAVING A FEW MEN TO GUARD / STORES AT PRASHU, HE, AT THE HEAD OF THE REMAINING PORTION OF HIS BRIGADE HAD THE HONOR OF BEING THE FIRST OF THE COMBINED / FORCES TO CROSS THE RIVER PRAH, BEYOND WHICH HE PROCEEDED SEVEN MILES, BUT ON HIS RETURN TO PRASHU AFTER THIS ARDUOUS / MARCH TO AWAIT REINFORCEMENTS AND JOIN THE BRITISH TROOPS HE WAS STRUCK DOWN WITH VIOLENT AFRICAN FEVER, AND AFTER / HEROICALLY BUT VAINLY STRUGGLING AGAINST ITS MASTERY, HE WAS COMPELLED FROM UTTER PROSTRATION TO RESIGN HIS COMMAND AND / WAS CARRIED FROM PRASHU DOWN TO CAPE COAST CASTLE, WHERE HE EXPIRED ON THE 27.JANUARY 1874, ON BOARD H.M.S.'VICTOR / EMANUEL' AND WAS BURIED ON SHORE THE SAME DAY WITH THE HONORS DUE TO HIS RANK. THUS WAS ADDED TO THE LONG AND /I MPERISHABLE ROLL OF PAST GALLANT NAVAL OFFICERS, ONE, WHOSE HIGH PROFESSIONAL CHARACTER, EQUALLY WITH / HIS NOBLE AND GENTLE QUALITIES, MADE HIM SO BELOVED IN LIFE AND AND SO DEEPLY LAMENTED IN DEATH. / THIS TABLET IS ERECTED TO THE BEST OF HUSBANDS AND FATHERS, BY HIS / SORROWING WIDOW. / BLESSED ARE THE DEAD WHICH DIE IN THE LORD FROM HENCEFORTH; YEA, SAITH THE SPIRIT, / THAT THEY MAY REST FROM THEIR LABOURS; AND THEIR WORKS DO FOLLOW THEM . / REV.XIV.13.'

Details

Description: In relief above the inscription a foul anchor with the chain wrapped round a cross.

Wall tablet in Hawkesbury, New South Wales dedicated to William Blake. d. 1874
Type: Wall tablet
Position: East end
Materials: Marble
Artists: Gaffin & Co
Vessel: HMS Alarm; HMS Imaum; HMS Albion; HMS Duke of Wellington; HMS Edinburgh; HMS Excellent; HMS Cambria; HMS Alecto; HMS Mutine; HMS Falcon; HMS Druid; HMS Victor Emanuel

Event

Crimea War, Second China War, Second New Zealand War, Ashantee War.

Event Category

19th century conflicts in Asia, 19th century conflicts in Africa

People

Blake, William Hans
Age: 41
Date of Death: 27/1/1874
Cause of Death: Infectious disease
Rank / Occupation: Captain RN
Organisation: Royal Navy

Extra

Bibliography: www.hawkesbury.net.au

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