1809 - Captain Forrest and Russian gun-boats at Fredericksham, Boats of Lynx and Monkey off Dais head


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1809 Light Squadrons and Single Ships 182

the loss acknowledged to have been sustained by the Russians were 63 killed. A great many of the Russian seamen escaped on shore, and several perished in the attempt ; and, of the 127 prisoners taken, 51 were wounded.

On the 25th of July Captain Charles Dudley Paten commanding a British squadron, composed of his own ship the Princess-Caroline 74, the Minotaur, of the same force, Captain John Barrett, 18-pounder 32-gun frigate Cerberus, Captain Henry Whitby, and 18-gun ship-sloop Prometheus, Captain Thomas Forrest, permitted the latter to lead the boats of the squadron, 17 in number, to the attack of four Russian gun-boats and an armed brig, lying at Fredericksham, near Apso roads, in the gulf of Finland. After dark the boats, commanded by Captain Forrest, who was assisted by, among other officers, Lieutenants James Bashford of the Princess-Caroline, John James Callenan, and Lieutenants of marines William Wilkin, of the Minotaur, Lieutenants Robert Pettet and John Simpson, of the Cerberus, and Gawen Forster and Thomas Finnimore, of the Prometheus, pushed off from the squadron, and at 10 h. 30 m. p.m. commenced the attack. After a most desperate and sanguinary conflict, three of the gun-boats, mounting two long 38-pounders each, and having on board between them 137 men, besides an armed transport brig, with 23 men, were captured and brought off.

Costly, indeed, were the prizes. The British loss amounted to one lieutenant (John James Callenan), one second lieutenant of marines (William Wilkin), one midshipman (Gordon Carrington), and six seamen and marines killed ; Captain Forrest himself, one lieutenant (Gawen Forster), three midshipmen (George Elvey, Thomas Milne, and John Chalmers), and 46 seamen and marines wounded. The Russians, on their side, acknowledged a loss of 28 killed and 59 wounded ; making a total of 47 men killed and 110 wounded, in obtaining possession of three gun-boats. One of these gun-boats, No. 62, was so obstinately defended, that every man of her crew, 44 in number, was either killed or wounded. before she surrendered : the killed alone amounted to 24. The result of this enterprise was a defeat to the Russians certainly, but under circumstances that reflected the brightest honour upon the character of their navy. For the gallantry, he had shown on the occasion, Captain Forrest was promoted to post-rank.

On the 12th of August the British 18-gun ship-sloop Lynx, Captain John Willoughby Marshall, and gun-brig Monkey, Lieutenant Thomas Fitzgerald, being off Dais head on the Danish coast, discovered and chased a lugger, and on standing in-shore discovered two others at an anchor. The latter got under way, and, with the one first seen, hoisted Danish colours, and re-anchored in line within the reef off Dais head. The water being too shoal to admit the Lynx to get within gun-shot

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