In the Navy c1800 - 1900

At Halloween 1805, a fresh-faced sixteen-year-old boy, Henry Hawkins, from Bremhill joined the Navy. England was amid war with France. Tales of Admiral Nelson and the British fleet and fears over a possible English invasion by Napoleon circulated the countryside during that summer. Henry was from a poor family. Driven by economic necessity, patriotism or maybe a yearning for adventure, he had enlisted. However, it was not what he had expected, after trying to run away, he was returned and was later discharged by the Admiralty in Bermuda, many thousands of miles from home.

Henry was by no means the first or indeed the last boy from Bremhill parish to join-up. This talk explores the stories of some of these boys and young men from the Napoleonic Wars until the outbreak of World War One.

Recorded on 10th June 2020