West Africa
West Africa

The Bluejackets Locations West Africa

West Africa

Having decided to destroy the Atlantic slave trade Britain spent the Victorian Era patrolling the West Coast of Africa intercepting the slave ships between the African Kingdoms that were selling them and the areas that were buying them




HMS Growler is Launched

Jul 20, 1841

HMS Growler is launched. She is a First Class Sloop with a wooden hull and paddle wheels to supplement her sails. She was dispatched to the west coast of Africa to be used in the anti-slavery patrols under Commander Claude Henry Mason Buckle

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Location: West Africa



HMS Ardent is Commissioned

Jul 24, 1841

HMS Ardent is commissioned under Commander John Russell and sent to the South America and African stations

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Location: West Africa



Morrell is Given HMS Espoir

May 25, 1843

Commander Morrell is given command of HMS Espoir, a wooden Brig-sloop. He is then sent to the coast of Africa to take part in the anti-slavery patrols.

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Location: West Africa



HMS Growler Chases a Slaver

May 27, 1843

HMS Growler chases a suspected slaver, but is unable to catch her

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Location: West Africa



HMS Hydra Captures a Slaver

Jun 06, 1844

HMS Hydra captures a Spanish slave-vessel Cyrus

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Location: West Africa



HMS Growler Captures a Slaver

Jul 21, 1844

HMS Growler captures a Spanish slaver the Brigantine Veterano

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Location: West Africa



Belgrave joins HMS Eclair

Aug 30, 1844

Lieutenant Thomas Belgrave joins HMS Eclair on the west coast of Africa

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Location: West Africa



Harris is Given HMS Flying Fish

Sep 07, 1844

Commander Harris is given command of HMS Flying Fish. She is initially part of the experimental brig squadron and then sent to the west coast of Africa as part of the West Africa Squadron to take part in the anti-slavery patrols.

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Location: West Africa



HMS Growler Captures Another Slaver

Sep 23, 1844

HMS Growler captures the Spanish slave schooner Concepcion

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Location: West Africa



Attack on Pinnace

Jan 12, 1845

Lieutenant Lodwick is cruising off the west coast of Africa in a pinnace despatched from HMS Growler in order to look for slavers. She sees a Felucca, which hove to when it saw the pinnace. The Lieutenant took this to mean that she would surrender without a fight, however when he got within 30 yards the slavers suddenly appear with their muskets.

The Lieutenant called on his men to try and get to the Felucca before they could open fire, but no sooner had his men cheered this order and the slavers on the Felucca opened fire on them. They riddled the boat with shot, with one ball going through the rim of Lieutenant Lodwick's hat. He returned fire with the pinnace's gun, using both round shot and grape.

Their next volley hit him on the left knee and thigh, and struck down two of his men. The volley also damaged their oars allowing the slaver to get away.

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Location: West Africa



HMS Ardent Captures a Slaver

Mar 25, 1845

HMS Ardent captures the Spanish slaver Dos Hermanos off the Pongo River

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Location: West Africa



HMS Hydra Captures Hurrican

Mar 30, 1845

HMS Hydra captures the Felucca that had attacked the pinnace from HMS Growler.

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Location: West Africa



HMS Hydra Captures Pepita

Apr 08, 1845

HMS Hydra captures the felucca Pepita in a night chase.

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Location: West Africa



HMS Hydra Captures a Slave Brig

Jul 31, 1845

HMS Hydra captures a slave brig called Africano with 589 slaves on board. She was sent to Sierro Leone under Lieutenant H G Gray so that the slaves could be set free, and the ship adjudicated for prize money.

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Location: West Africa



Archibald Mcmurdo is Promoted

1846

Archibald McMurdo is made the Captain of HMS Contest as part of the West African squadron that was tasked with the suppression of the slave trade.

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Location: West Africa



Powell is Given HMS Kingfisher

Apr 1846

Lieutenant Powell is made the Acting Commander of HMS Kingfisher on the west coast of Africa

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Location: West Africa



Slaver Run Aground

Apr 17, 1846

HMS Flying Fish chases a slaver ashore, but then tragedy strikes as when they attempt to salvage the prize

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Location: West Africa



Dyke is Given HMS Flying Fish

May 19, 1846

Commander Dyke is given command of HMS Flying Fish and sent to the west coast Africa to take part in the anti-slavery patrols as part of the West Africa Squadron

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Location: West Africa



Trading on the Cameroon River

Aug 29, 1846

HMS Hydra escorts a trade mission up the Cameroon River. She had a cargo of muskets, powder and a quantity of cotton bales, as well as two handsome coats covered with gold lace for the kings ruling that region. They agreed a trade of ivory, but before leaving one of the kings asked for a cup of naval rum "to keep his insides warm".

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Location: West Africa



HMS Hydra Captures Another Slaver

Sep 13, 1846

HMS Hydra captures a Brazilian slaver called Amelia

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Location: West Africa



HMS Hydra Captures a Slaver

Sep 30, 1846

HMS Hydra captures a Brazilian slaver called Isabel and freed 352 slaves

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Location: West Africa



HMS Hydra Runs Aground

Oct 29, 1846

HMS Hydra ran aground on a sand bar. They removed her 68-pounder and her 32-pounder carronade to try and lighten her, and eventually gets free.

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Location: West Africa



HMS Hydra Goes Up the Bonny

Oct 30, 1846

HMS Hydra is piloted up the Bonny to negotiate a trade dispute

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Location: West Africa



HMS Hydra Goes to the Bimbia River

Nov 18, 1846

HMS Hydra accompanied by HMS Styx take up a position off the river Bimbia having been given a tip off that there was a slaving trading encampment there, only to find that it was in fact a settlement of Baptist missionaries.

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Location: West Africa



Letter From HMS Hydra

Mar 06, 1847

The Captain of HMS Hydra writes a letter home about the treatment of slaves

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Location: West Africa



Count Bomfim Captured

Sep 17, 1847

Count Bomfim and his sons had escaped from Angola but HMS Flying Fish had over taken their vessel and restored them to their jailers

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Location: West Africa



HMS Flying Fish Arrives in Loanda

Sep 28, 1847

HMS Flying Fish arrives in Loanda. Captain Dyke tells the British Consul there what had happened and a message is sent to the Governor-General of Angola to inform him that they had captured Count Bomfim.

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Location: West Africa



Count Bomfim Given to Portuguese

Sep 30, 1847

A message from the Governor-General of Angola reaches HMS Flying Fish informing them that he claimed Count Bomfim. The Count asked to appeal to the British consul, but before he could be rowed out to HMS Flying Fish the prisoners were transferred over to the Portuguese warships.

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Location: West Africa



Buckle is Given HMS Centaur

Jan 01, 1849

HMS Centaur was the flagship of Commodore Arthur Fanshawe on the west coast of Africa

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Location: West Africa



Roderick Dew joins HMS Cyclops

Jun 13, 1849

Roderick Dew joins HMS Cyclops on the west coast of Africa

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Location: West Africa



Patey is Given HMS Flying Fish

Aug 11, 1849

Commander Patey is given command of HMS Flying Fish and sent to the west coast of Africa as part of the anti-slavery patrols

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Location: West Africa



Buckle is Invalided

1850

He then returns to Britain in order to recover.

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Location: West Africa



HMS Flying Fish Captures a Prize

Nov 02, 1850

HMS Flying Fish captures her seventh prize of that commission

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Location: West Africa



Roderick Dew joins HMS Gladiator

Dec 12, 1850

Roderick Dew joins HMS Gladiator on the west coast of Africa

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Location: West Africa



Commander Crozier is Invalided

Mar 13, 1852

Commander Crozier is invalided on the west coast of Africa and sent back to Britain

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Location: West Africa



Bonham is Given HMS Wasp

Apr 1852

Acting-Commander Bonham takes command of HMS Wasp on the west coast of Africa

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Location: West Africa



Survey of Danger Point

Apr 27, 1852

HMS Hydra goes to Danger Point, where HMS Birkenhead was lost, in order to survey the area in order to prevent another disaster like the lost of the Birkenhead

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Location: West Africa



Pritchard is Given HMS Wasp

Aug 1852

Command of HMS Wasp transfers to Samuel Pritchard who remains in command until she returns to Britain.

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Location: West Africa



Commander Belgrave is Injured

Aug 10, 1852

Commander Thomas Belgrave is injured and sent back to Britain. Command is transferred to William Gordon who is made Acting Commander.

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Location: West Africa



Burgoyne is Promoted to Lieutenant

Jan 11, 1854

Hugh Burgoyne is promoted to Lieutenant and appointed to HMS Britomart on the West Coast of Africa

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Location: West Africa



Buckley is Promoted to Commander

May 24, 1856

Cecil Buckley is promoted to Commander in HMS Merlin on the West Coast of Africa

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Location: West Africa



Commander Cave is Given HMS Ardent

Nov 12, 1857

Command of HMS Ardent is given to Commander John Halliday Cave and she is sent off to patrol the West Coast of Africa again as part of the navy's ongoing anti-slavery operations.

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Location: West Africa



Sickness in West Africa

1858

The west coast of africa was a notoriously unhealthy environment. Out of HMS Ardent's crew of 150 there were 238 cases of sickness serious to get recorded, and 10 of them were serious enough to require them to be invalided back to Britain.

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Location: West Africa



Hamilton is Given HMS Hydra

Jun 04, 1858

Commander Hamilton is given command of HMS Hydra and sent to west Africa as part of the anti-slavery patrols

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Location: West Africa



Hewett is Promoted to Commander

Sep 13, 1858

William Hewett is promoted to Commander and appointed to HMS Viper on the West Coast of Africa

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Location: West Africa



George Day joins HMS Firefly

Sep 20, 1859

George Day joins HMS Firefly on the west coast of Africa

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Location: West Africa



Beamish is Given HMS Wrangler

May 15, 1860

HMS Wrangler is given to Commander Henry Hamilton Beamish and sent to the west coast of Africa

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Location: West Africa



Letters From Commander Hamilton

Dec 01, 1860

Letters from Commander Hamilton were received in Plymouth about the state of the ship

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Location: West Africa



Capture of Porto Novo

Apr 1861

Henry Raby commands the boats of the squadron at the capture of Porto Novo in an attempt to stop the slave trade through this port from the Kingdom of Dahomey

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Location: West Africa



Hoskins is Given HMS Zebra

Apr 07, 1862

Commander Hoskins is given command of the gunboat HMS Zebra on the west coast of Africa

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Location: West Africa



Raby joins HMS Alecto

Nov 24, 1862

Henry Raby joins HMS Alecto patrolling the west coast of Africa

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Location: West Africa



Bythesea is Given HMS Archer

Mar 04, 1863

John Bythesea is given command of HMS Archer on the West Coast of Africa

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Location: West Africa



HMS Recruit is Given to Commander Cottam

Jul 24, 1863

HMS Recruit is given to Commander George Frederic Cottam to be fitted out for use on west coast of Africa

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Location: West Africa



Hoskins is Made Captain

Dec 12, 1863

Commander Hoskins is promoted to Captain while on the west coast of Africa

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Location: West Africa



John Bythesea is Invalided

Apr 11, 1864

John Bythesea is invalided back to Britain

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Location: West Africa



Commander Edward Seymour Given HMS Growler

Jun 1869

Commander Edward Seymour takes command of HMS Growler on the West African Coast to take part in operations against African pirates

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Location: West Africa



Commerell is Promoted to Commodore

Feb 16, 1871

John Commerell is promoted to Commodore and becomes Commander-in-Chief Cape of Good Hope and West Coast of Africa Station

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Location: West Africa



Wyatt Rawson joins HMS Active

1872

Wyatt Rawson joins HMS Active having passed his examination for Lieutenant, but not yet having received a commission.

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Location: West Africa



HMS Bittern Attacks Pirates

Jan 1872

HMS Bittern attacks pirates based on Corisco and Elobey Islands off west Africa after the British mail steamer 'McGregor Laird' was lost.

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Location: West Africa



British Buy Elmina Fort

Apr 06, 1872

The British buy the for at Elmina from the dutch. This prevented the Ashanti Empire from accessing the sea in order to trade. The Ashanti Empire had grown rich by trading gold and slaves, whom it captured from the neighbouring kingdoms, but the British were attempting to stop the trade in slaves and so this was a serious danger to Ashanti prosperity.

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Location: West Africa



The Ashanti Invade

Jun 1873

In early 1873 a 12000 strong Ashanti army crosses the Pra River and invades the British protectorate on the gold coast. Their goal is to gain control of the fort at Elmina, and on their way they ravage the area, which had originally been controlled by the Fanti. The Royal Navy responded by shelling the fort and destroying it.

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Location: West Africa



Hewett Becomes C in C of Western Africa

Oct 04, 1873

William Hewett becomes the Commander-in-Chief of the West Coast of Africa in HMS Active

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Location: West Africa



The Ashanti Expedition

Jan 1874

General Sir Garnet Wolseley was despatched to mount a counter-attack into the Ashanti Empire itself. He had a force of native Fanti plus 3000 British and Wet-Indian troops. They crossed the Pra River to take the war to the Ashanti. The Ashanti had used their profits from the slave trade to buy European firearms, but they still could not match the amount of firepower that the British could bring to bear including guns and rocket tubes dismounted from the British ships.

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Location: West Africa



Treaty of Fomena

Mar 14, 1874

The Ashanti war ends with the Treaty of Fomena

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Location: West Africa



Wyatt Rawson Promoted

Mar 31, 1874

Wyatt Rawson was promoted to Lieutenant at age 20 for his service in the Ashanti War

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Location: West Africa



Romilly joins HMS Boadicea

Nov 18, 1878

Commander Romilly joins HMS Boadicea

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Location: West Africa



HMS Decoy Goes to Coanza River

May 10, 1879

HMS Decoy is sent to transport the British Consul to Coanza River to investigate some killings

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Location: West Africa



Salmon Raises His Flag on HMS Boadicea

Apr 1882

Rear-Admiral Sir Nowell Salmon raises his flag on HMS Boadicea as Command-in-Chief of the Cape of Good Hope and West Coast of Africa Station

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Location: West Africa



Von Spee Goes to West Africa

1884

von Spee goes to West Africa in order to help in the establishment of the German Empire

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Location: West Africa



Scheers Takes Part in Landing Party

Dec 1884

Scheer participated in a landing party that suppressed a pro-British chieftain in Kamerun

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Location: West Africa



Salmon is Promoted to Vice-Admiral

Jul 01, 1885

Rear-Admiral Sir Nowell Salmon is promoted to Vice-Admiral

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Location: West Africa



Cadet Keyes joins HMS Raleigh

Aug 1887

Cadet Keyes is appointed to the flagship of the Cape of Good Hope and West Africa Station, HMS Raleigh

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Location: West Africa



Marchand Arrives in Gabon

Jun 20, 1896

Captain Jean-Baptiste Marchand and his west African troops arrive at Libreville in the French colony of Gabon. They take a steamer up the Ubangi River as far as it can carry them before starting their trek overland.

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Location: West Africa



Goodenough Becomes C in C of the Africa Station

1920

William Goodenough is made the Commander-in-Chief of the Africa Station

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Location: West Africa