1807 - Sir John Duckworth at the Dardanells


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Naval history of Great Britain - Vol. IV
William James
1807 Sir John Duckworth at the Dardanells 303

Thunderer, and was making for the European side ; when the Active, by signal weighed and stood after her, but was unable to prevent the Turks from running their ship on shore. Captain Moubray then sent his boats, under the command of Lieutenant George Wickens Willes and Walter Croker, who took out the crew of the frigate, and afterwards destroyed her.

As the redoubt on the point maintained its fire, and the Turkish ships that had run on shore near it kept up their colours, while a part of the crews remained armed on the beach, and a considerable body of Asiatic troops, both horse and foot, appeared on the hills, the British were under the necessity of continuing the cannonade. A few shells from the Pompée dispersed the Asiatics, and Lieutenant Mark Oates, of that ship's marines, landed and brought off their green standard. Meanwhile the boats of the Thunderer and Standard, under the command of Lieutenants John Carter, John Waller, and Thomas Colby, boarded and destroyed the three Turkish frigates on shore on the Asiatic side ; and Lieutenant Edward Nicolls of the Standard's marines ; to whom the duty of burning the 40-gun frigate had been assigned, struck and carried off the flag of the captain pasha. Profiting by the consternation of the Turks from the explosions on all sides of them, Lieutenant Nicolls, accompanied by Lieutenant of marines William Finmore and Lieutenant Lestock Francis Boileau, entered the redoubt, the Turks retreating as the party approached. He then set fire to the gabions, and spiked the guns ; eight of which were brass, and carried immensely large marble balls. The expected explosion of the line-of-battle ship, which the Repulse, by signal from the commander-in-chief, was assisting the Pompée's boats to destroy, obliged the British to retire from the shore before they had quite completed the demolition of the redoubt. The boats detached upon this service were commanded by Lieutenant William Fairbrother Carroll, having under him Lieutenant Walter Croker, Lieutenants of marines David Holt and William Lawrie, master's mate David Sinclair, and midshipmen Thomas Smith, George Parkyns, Edmund Lyons, and Norfolk King.

The loss sustained by the British in their engagement with the Turkish squadron and the redoubt amounted to three seamen and one marine killed, and one officer, * nine seamen, and four marines wounded, belonging to the Thunderer, five seamen wounded belonging to the Pompée, one officer and five seamen wounded belonging to the Standard, and one marine wounded, to the Endymion; total four killed and 26 wounded : making, with the previous loss, 10 killed and 77 wounded, the amount in the official return.

*  In consequence of the manner in which the general return of loss is drawn up at the foot of Sir John Duckworth's public letter, we are unable to specify what officer was wounded in any of the separate services performed during this expedition.

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